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    Category: Home Improvement

    Stupid customers still have to live somewhere. While we applaud them for sometimes wanting to make the place look nice, please don’t assume flat-pack furniture comes ready out of the box, or that power-tools are named as such because they need power! They make Tim The Toolman Taylor look like Frank Gehry!

    Same Name, Shed Load Of Difference

    | ON, Canada | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement, Money

    (It’s the middle of January, in Ontario, early morning. I’m working the customer service/return desk when I get a call.)

    Customer: *slightly hysterical* “I need your help! I just need you to listen. My ex-husband just dropped off a shed at my place but it’s the wrong size! He got me the wrong size! I need to return it!”

    Me: “That’s not a problem. Just bring back the shed in the original box and the receipt. We can give you a full refund.”

    Customer: “But I don’t want a refund. I want a god-d*** shed!”

    Me: “I understand that. Just bring in the shed with the receipt and you can use the refund to buy a new shed.”

    Customer: “Well, how does that work?”

    Me: “We’ll refund the purchase to however much he paid for it. If it was cash, we’ll give you cash. If it was credit, then we’ll refund it to his card.”

    Customer: “He paid cash!”

    Me: “That’s fine. Bring in the receipt and we’ll give you cash. But I do need that receipt and the product in the original packaging. Without the receipt, I can still offer you store credit for the shed, but you may not get as much as he paid.”

    Customer: “Okay. I’m going to have to get a cab, and you still have the box.”

    Me: “I… what?”

    Customer: “You still have the box. My ex-husband couldn’t fit it in his truck. So they took the shed out of the box and left the box behind.”

    Me: “I need that box. I can’t take back something like that in bits and pieces. It has to come back in the same condition it left.”

    Customer: “I need you to take it back! You still have the box!”

    Me: “I appreciate your position, but I need that box. Without the receipt I can still offer you store credit but I can’t take it back without the box. I need it to sell it to someone else.”

    Customer: “But I need you to take it back! It won’t fit! My ex-husband—”

    Me: “Please, miss. Let me take a look around. If we’re lucky, the box hasn’t been sent to the compactor yet and we can put the shed back in the box when you get here. Give me your name and number. In 10 minutes I’ll call you back. It’s early and it’s been slow, so maybe I still have that box.”

    Customer: “Okay. I’ve already called a cab to pick me up and take back this lousy shed! Call me back soon.”

    Me: “Okay. I’ll do what I can. Please don’t leave until I call you back.”

    (I give her my name and position, and end the call. I start going across the store looking for the box. The compactor is completely empty. It’s not by our loading area. I’m starting to suspect something isn’t quite right. I go out to our outdoor garden area, which is where the sheds are stored. The area is closed for the season. It has two feet of snow and not a single footprint since the last snowfall. No one has sold a shed today. I call the customer back but only get voice mail. The customer has already left, there is no box, and no one remembers selling or loading a shed. I leave a message anyway, asking the customer to call me back, and that I can’t find the box. Three hours later I get a call.)

    Customer: “Is this [My Name]?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Customer: “I called earlier about the shed? I just got back and got your message.”

    Me: “Okay. So, I—”

    Customer: “I came into your store and returned the shed. You weren’t there. There was another man there, and they still had the box. They gave me a store credit. But you said that if I had the receipt and my ex-husband paid cash, then—”

    Me: “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Miss… I have been here all day. I haven’t left my desk once because I was expecting you. There has been no one else.”

    Customer: “I went to the store on the north side of town. Do you work in the store on the north or south side?”

    Me: “Miss, there is only one [store] in town.”

    Customer: “Well, no. They told me that there are two. One in the north and one in the south.”

    Me: “Miss, do you still have the receipt?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “Could you read it to me? Right from the top?”

    Customer: “It says [Competitor], [address], [date]—”

    Me: “Miss, your receipt is from [Competitor].”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “This is [store].”

    Customer: “Oh…” *click*

    (The really funny part? That day, working at the returns desk at the competitor’s store was a guy with the same name as me! She came gunning right for him. The poor guy never had a chance.)

    Highly Screwed

    | Muskogee, OK, USA | Bizarre, Home Improvement

    (I am working late evening, when a customer comes in near closing time. He is high on something and brings a 4 ft tall bong.)

    Me: “How can I help you today, sir?”

    Customer: “Well… umm… I broke it.”

    Me: “Broke what?”

    Customer: “I broke my smoker.”

    Me: “Okay… what can I do to help you?”

    Customer: “Screw. I need a screw. I think a screw will fix it. Or maybe something else. A screw. I need a screw. I need a screw!”

    (I try to help him find the right screw, but he’s not thinking. He walks away, with his screw, and, I’m sure, another chance to get high again.)

    Customer: “Need a screw. Need a screw. Need a screw…”

    H2-D’oh!

    | NE, USA | Extra Stupid, Home Improvement

    Me: “[Lawn Care], how can I help you?”

    Caller: “Yes, you seeded my backyard for me this spring.”

    Me: “Yes, is everything okay?”

    Caller: “Well, it isn’t coming up very well. Some of it is, but not very much.”

    Me: “I see, and how often are you watering?”

    Caller: “Excuse me?”

    Me: “How often are you watering your lawn?”

    Caller: “Oh, I’m not. Should I be? Will that help?”

    Doesn’t Understand The ‘Custom’ Part Of Customer

    | MO, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

    (A popular bookstore chain is going out of business, and all of their stores are having ‘going-out-of-business’ sales. One such store is located in the same plaza as the home improvement store where I work.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Home Improvement Store]. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “Yeah, you guys are located in the same plaza as [Bookstore] right?”

    Me: Yes, ma’am, we are located a few stores down from [Bookstore]. How can I assist you today?”

    Customer: “Are they open?”

    Me: “That particular branch of [Bookstore] hasn’t closed their doors yet, but given the fact that they’re going out of business, I’m not sure how much longer they’ll stay open.”

    Customer: “Well, I just tried calling them and no one is answering the phone.”

    Me: “I do know that they are still open. However it’s possible that whatever few employees are actually still working there are currently assisting other customers at the moment, so I would try giving them a call again a little bit later. In the meantime, is there anything we here at [Home Improvement Store] can help you with today?”

    Customer: “Yeah, could you go down to [Bookstore] and see if they have any copies of [various book titles] left?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but no one here is going to be able to leave the store in order to check that for you.”

    Customer: “Well, why the h*** not?”

    Me: “Because we’re all employees of [Home Improvement Store], not [Bookstore]. We’re all needed here.”

    Customer: “You retail people are supposed to go above and beyond for your customers!”

    Me: “We do a lot for our customers, ma’am. You, however, have expressed no interest in being our customer, but rather that of [Bookstore].”

    Customer: “Well, you’re no f****** help!”

    (I ended up transferring her call to my manager, who laughed at her request to send one of his employees to check the inventory of a different store.)

    Spinning A Yarn About Being Sorry

    | Gaithersburg, MD, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Home Improvement, Money

    (A customer brings up a skein of yarn to the register. I see she is intending to use a coupon.)

    Me: “Ma’am, that coupon won’t work on the yarn because it is on clearance.”

    Customer: “Well, that’s not very fair. It’s only a few cents off from the normal price, anyway.”

    Me: “Actually, these are normally about $6, and it’s coming up for $2.64, so it’s cheaper than you would get using a coupon on a regular-priced one. Would you still like to buy it?”

    Customer: “It’s not fair! Why can’t I get my discount!? This is ridiculous!”

    Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, but we don’t give discounts on clearance items.”

    Customer: “Oh, I bet you are.”

    (I am becoming both annoyed and nervous that the customer is going to have a full-on meltdown over this. I attempt to sound deeply sorry.)

    Me: “I cannot express how bad I feel about this, ma’am. There’s really just not much I can do here.”

    (The customer suddenly starts laughing and smiling.)

    Customer: “Oh, I’m sure. I still don’t think it’s fair, but thank you for having some humor about it!”

    (The customer pays for her yarn and leaves. The next customer in my line has been watching the whole exchange and is just as surprised as me that things didn’t turn ugly.)

    Next Customer: “Is your boss around?”

    Me: “Actually, I’m the boss right now; I’m the only manager here tonight.”

    Next Customer: “Oh, well I would like to compliment the crap out of you! I was going to say something pretty soon if she kept on like that!”

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