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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!

    Going Totally Off The Wall

    | CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Home Improvement, Top

    (I work for a company that builds homes and develops land. As per California law, we warranty our homes for a ten-year period after the house is bought. Our warranty covers structural defects.)

    Me: “Warranty. [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “Hello, my house has a structural defect. I want you to fix it.”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am. Could you give me your address? And what exactly is the defect in question?”

    Caller: “My address is [address].”

    Me: “Okay, I see you in our system. Could you tell me the problem, and I will see what I can do about entering a ticket for you.”

    Caller: “The walls are not strong enough. You have to send someone here to put in better walls.”

    Me: “The walls are not strong enough? Are they bowing, or cracking?”

    Caller: “No, the ones that are still standing are fine.”

    Me: “The ones that are… still standing…?”

    Caller: “Yes. I wanted to remodel to make my living room and kitchen one big room, but it was too expensive. I saw a demolition crew do wall removals on those home improvement shows, so I just got a chainsaw and cut the wall out myself.”

    Me: “Okay… so you ‘remodeled?’”

    Caller: “Yeah! But then my house caved in.”

    Me: “… Ma’am, are you saying you cut down a load-bearing wall in your home with a chainsaw?”

    Caller: “Well, I didn’t know it was load-bearing. But this is clearly a structural defect! The roof caved in, and I’ve been living here for 16 years! I could sue you for endangering my life all this time!”

    Me: “Ma’am, it was not a structural defect.”

    Caller: “How can you say that?! THE ROOF CAVED IN!”

    Me: “Because you chopped down a load-bearing wall!”

    Caller: “THIS IS NOT MY FAULT! I DESERVE A BRAND NEW HOUSE! IT WAS A STRUCTURAL DEFECT, AND I HAVE A WARRANTY!”

    Me: “Your house was under warranty for 10 years. Your house is 16 years old. It was structurally sound until you made it structurally unsound, by CUTTING OUT A LOAD-BEARING WALL WITH A CHAINSAW.”

    Caller: “YOU OWE ME A NEW HOUSE! YOU OWE ME A NEW HOUSE! I’LL SUE! I’LL SUE YOU!” *click*

    Off-Color Customers

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement, Theme Of The Month

    (A customer comes up to me with several bathmats. I am the only staff member in a large store; my coworker is at lunch.)

    Me: “Hi. Can I help you?”

    Customer #1: “I need to know which of these you think will suit my bathroom.”

    Me: “I have no idea what your bathroom looks like.”

    Customer #1: “Well, it has…” *mutters off strange colour combination I don’t quite understand* “…and black on the floor. Which one suits my bathroom?”

    (This goes back and forth for several minutes. Finally I have had enough.)

    Me: *pointing to one* “That one will suit.”

    Customer #1: “Are you sure? I need one for toilet, one for wash hands and one for…” *struggles to find word*

    Me: “Bathtub?”

    (I go and get him another set, but he is upset that there will be two contour mats for the toilet.)

    Me: “You will need to wash that one more often, so two would be good.”

    Customer #1: “I look for more. You come.”

    Me: “No, you look. I am the only one in the store at the moment and there is another customer waiting.”

    (I turn to the other customer, vainly hoping for an easy sale.)

    Me: “Hi. Can I help you?”

    Customer #2: “I need jersey fabric. Can you show me where it is?”

    Me: “Okay. I can show you quickly. I do need to back to the counter as I am the only one on the floor right now.”

    (I take her to the jersey fabrics and point them out to her.)

    Customer #2: “I need five colours.”

    Me: “Okay. I’ll just leave you to choose them. Bring them to the counter when you are ready.”

    Customer #2: “I need your help choosing them.”

    Me: “Sorry. I really need to be back at the counter, as I’ve already explained.”

    Customer #2: “How long until someone comes back and you can do it?”

    Me: “20 minutes.”

    Customer #2: “I’ll come back.”

    (I go back to the counter to find that Customer #1 is back there.)

    Customer #1: *with other bathmats* “Will these suit my bathroom?”

    (I eventually sell Customer #1 the two sets of mats in the colour I chose. After 20 minutes, my coworker has come back and Customer #2 comes back in.)

    Customer #2: *haughtily* “Can you serve me now?”

    Me: “Yes, I can. Sorry about before. That customer was really doing my head in. Do you need help finding colours?”

    Customer #2: “No. I know exactly what colours I need.”

    (All Customer #2 wanted me for was to hold up fabric while she ‘ummed’ and ‘ahhed’ over the colour, as well as carry the very light rolls to the counter!)

    Needs To Go Back To Square One

    | Rochester, NY, USA | Extra Stupid, Home Improvement, Math & Science

    Customer: “I’m looking for a square tablecloth. I need 52 by 52, but it doesn’t fit.”

    Me: “Hmm, well what’s the size of the table?”

    Customer: “Well, it’s 52 by 104.”

    Me: “So you’re looking for an oblong tablecloth?”

    Customer: “I could have sworn it was a square.”

    His Table Lawsuit Won’t Have A Leg To Stand On

    | Baton Rouge, LA, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Home Improvement, Theme Of The Month

    (My family is out to dinner at a Chinese buffet. My boss texts me from the furniture store where I work. I’m known for getting the problem customers.)

    Boss: “You’re not allowed to sell to psychos anymore!”

    Me: “But they’re my best business! But, seriously. What happened?”

    (My boss proceeds to tell me about a customer that already harassed me three times the day before, as well as the customer service line several times, and tried to prevent our drivers from leaving his home after his delivery. His complaint was that his table was the wrong shade of brown.)

    Boss: “He sent me an email complaining that he’s talking to highly educated people about suing us.”

    Me: “Ha! His lawyer can call my lawyer! I’ll sue for harassment.”

    (I happen to open my fortune cookie at this point and start laughing. I send my boss a picture. The fortune reads ‘A judgment will rule in your favor.’)

    Me: “Fortune cookie says we can take him!”

    Send You Off The Rails

    | Nashville, TN, USA | Home Improvement, Liars & Scammers

    (I am self-employed in the real estate appraisal business. I have made an FHA appraisal of a home that needs some minor repair. Once the repairs have been made, it will be necessary for me to re-inspect the home to make sure that the repairs have been satisfactorily completed. In this case, I have required that railings be installed around the front porch and stairway because they are several feet above the walkway. Shortly after submitting the appraisal and repair list, I received a call from the seller’s realtor.)

    Realtor: “I want to talk to you about the repairs you required. Why do we have to put up stair and porch railings?”

    Me: “It’s an FHA requirement. When a home sells with FHA financing, it has to meet minimum safety standards set by FHA.”

    Realtor: “Well, I don’t see why they’re necessary. The house already has an FHA loan. Why weren’t the railings required when my client bought the house?”

    Me: “I don’t know. Maybe the other appraiser wasn’t paying attention.”

    Realtor: “Why can’t you just look the other way?”

    Me: “I’m sorry. That’s not the way I do business.”

    Realtor: “We’re not going to put up the railings. And that’s that.”

    Me: “I understand your frustration, but it seems to be a shame that you’re going to allow this sale to be killed over a few hundred dollars.”

    Realtor: *long pause* “Okay, but you can’t charge for the repair inspection.”

    Me: “What do you mean?”

    Realtor: “I mean if we’re going to pay for a repair that’s clearly not necessary, then the least you can do is waive your fee for the repair inspection.”

    Me: “Let me call you right back. I’ll have to talk to my supervisor about this. I don’t know what he’ll say.”

    Realtor: “Okay. That will be fine.”

    (The realtor doesn’t know that I’m self employed. I wait ten minutes and call the realtor back.)

    Realtor: “Hello?”

    Me: “Hello. I just spoke to my supervisor and he got mad as h***. I argued on your behalf and he finally agreed to a 50 percent discount on the fee. This is the best I can do. He’s really upset with me.”

    Realtor: “A 50 percent discount? Okay. That will be fine.”

    (The realtor and seller were good to their word and quickly had the railings installed. On the invoice to the mortgage company, I charged full fee, but wrote in blue ink, ‘This fee represents a 50 per cent discount.’ I later did several more appraisals for that realtor. He thought he had gotten the best of me!)

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