July Theme Of The Month: Great Timing!

Category: Liars & Scammers

Ever come across a customer that has made you want to call the police? These ones pretty much ensure it. It goes way beyond the realms of shoplifting or threatening behavior. Some of these customers are too stupid even for those…

Not Kidding About That Discount

| Vienna, Austria | Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers

(We have a really convoluted system of discounts based on age and group size. People rarely ask for the right ticket, so we ask follow-up questions.)

Customer: “Hello, I’d like one family ticket: two adults and two children.”

Me: “Sure, how old are the children?”

Customer: “22 and 24.”

Trying To Get Bread Without Any Dough

| Australia | Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers

(I am alone at the tills of the bakery I work at. A friendly looking middle-aged lady comes up to me and I smile and greet her.)

Me: “Hi! ”

Customer: “Hello.”

Me: “What can I do for you today?”

Customer: “Well, I’ve just been down at the [Bakery franchise] store in my local mall and they were telling me you have a coupon deal to get a free loaf.”

Me: *thinking she wants more details* “Yes, that’s absolutely right; we do have that deal. All you have to do is buy six tarts—”

Customer: “Oh, no, they already told me about it there. I’d just like to get it, please.”

Me: “No problem. Please give me a moment to find it. I haven’t had the chance to put one of these through yet.”

(I start quickly looking through the copious buttons on our till. The customer looks a little frustrated but waits for me to find it.)

Me: “There we are! So all I need now is your coupon and I can go box your tarts and slice up your loaf for you.”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t have a coupon with me.”

(I’m a little a loss here after the conversation we’d just had, and I’m thinking perhaps I’d misunderstood her intentions.)

Me: “Well, we will have that deal right up to Christmas so whenever you want to come and grab it we can help you out.”

Customer: “Oh, but I want it today.”

Me: *wishing I wasn’t the only person out front* “Well, I’m sorry, but I can’t put the sale through without a coupon.”

Customer: “It’s okay, though. I have it in my car.”

Me: “Oh that’s all right, then. I’d be happy to slice your loaf for you while you go and get it.”

Customer: *looking suddenly very irritated* “I don’t want to go all the way back to my car! It’s all the way on the other side of the mall. I don’t have time for that. Can’t you just give me the deal?”

Me: “I’m very sorry, but without the coupon you can’t get the loaf for free.” *trying to diffuse the tension* “However, there is still a price reduction when you buy those two items together so it still comes in a bit cheaper.”

Customer: “I don’t understand why you won’t give me the loaf?!”

(I start trying to explain to her the basics of how a coupon works but she cuts me off.)

Customer: “Why should I have to show you my coupon?! I should just have to say that I have it.”

Me: “But that way everyone could just claim that they had one and get out products for free.”

Customer: “But it’s in my car!”

Me: “And again I will be happy to collect your items and keep them here while you go and grab your coupon.”

(She looks at me furiously for a minute as if I’m being the unreasonable one.)

Customer: “Fine! I’ll go and get it all the way in my car!”

(She stormed off with her trolley. Strangely enough, that customer did not return with her coupon that day. So either she was just trying to wrangle a free loaf of bread from me or she seriously needed to learn how a coupon works.)

No Will For A Refill

| MO, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers

(I’m currently at the register because the manager on shift doesn’t like to be up there all day. I normally don’t mind too much, and he’ll put someone else on if I’m just not feeling it. It is getting late and we have several customers in the store when the manager comes up and leans in close, which is always a sign that he’s talking about a customer.)

Manager: *whispering* “There’s a man in a baseball cap with a frozen refill in a mug and he’s going to say it’s ice.”

(After he says that he gets off the register to return to the store and I wait for the man in question. After a couple of minutes a man fitting the description comes up with a fifty two ounce mug and says it is an ice refill.)

Me: “My manager just told me that that is a frozen refill.”

Man: *getting grumpy* “No, it’s ice.”

Me: “If it’s ice, could you open it and show me?”

Man: “Fine, just take it!”

(He shoved the mug at me, luckily not knocking it off the counter, before he stormed out of the store. I double-checked that, yes, the mug was filled with one of our frozen drinks. A few minutes later my manager came back up and told me that the man saw him and threatened ‘to get him.’ All of this over a dollar-something refill that we caught him trying to filch.)

The Employee Fee

| Mesquite, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers

(I work in the home department of a widely-known department store. It’s close to Christmas and on this day, I happen to be in the china/dinnerware section. A woman with a child in a stroller and another on-the-way comes up to my register with a Christmas tree shaped candy dish.)

Me: “Good evening! Did you find everything okay?”

Customer: “Don’t ring that up yet. I just want to know how much it is.”

(At this point, I have a chance to get a better look at her. She has fingernail scars on her face and a ratty t-shirt that looks like she hasn’t changed for a week. I get a bad vibe about her but I try my best to be polite and courteous. I look and the tag on the bottom of the dish.)

Me: “It’s $15.99, miss.”

Customer: “How much would that be with my employee discount?”

Me: “You’re an employee? Which store do you work at?”

Customer: “Ummm… the one at [Nearby Mall].”

Me: “Oh, really? What department are you in?”

Customer: “Uh… jewelry. Look, can we just get on with this?”

Me: “Well, the employee discount is 25% off so this would be about $12. Do you need to make a payment on your card first?”

(The employee discount only works with a prepaid card.)

Customer: “Oh, I don’t have it with me. Can’t I just give you my driver license?”

(At this point, I know she’s lying about being an employee, but I keep going through the motions.)

Me: “Well, if you don’t have your card with you, we can just call the card service department and get the number. All I need is you social.”

Customer: “You don’t need my social security number!”

Me: “Have you never done this before? All you do is call the toll-free number right here and enter your number. You can key it on the phone yourself. I don’t need to see it.”

Customer: “You DON’T need my social.”

Me: “It’s how all the employees look up their card number. I’ve helped several do it. Look, you can use the phone right here at the register. I’ve done it myself a couple times!”

(I try to remain helpful and polite while trying to not to laugh. Regular employees know and expect this routine.)

Customer: “YOU DON’T NEED MY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, YOU THIEF!”

Me: “If you would like, I can call [Manager at Nearby Mall location] to confirm your status and clarify how we should confirm your employee discount card number.”

(The customer stomps away from the register, screaming.)

Customer: “I’VE NEVER BEEN SO INSULTED. I’VE BEEN AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS!”

(After she walks out, an older employee, who saw and heard everything (and has been at this store for 6 years), walks up to me.)

Older Employee: “I’ve never seen her before in my life… and she’s not even old enough to have worked anywhere for 10 years.”

(We both got a good laugh out of the ordeal and told our manager about it later, who also chuckled a bit.)

A Disability At Having A Disability

| USA | Health & Body, Liars & Scammers

(I work in an assisted living facility. Our residents run the range from sharp as a nail to completely senile, and perfectly fit to bedridden. This particular woman, whose health care is paid for by the state, has in her medical records that she cannot stand, cannot use one arm at all, and has limited use of her other. There is nothing wrong with her mentally.)

Me: *forgetting to knock before entering her room* “Hey. Sorry to disturb you. I’m just here to… get your… trash…”

(She’s standing at her sink, washing an apple. We lock eyes, and she slowly lowers herself to the floor.)

Me: “Um…”

Female Customer: “I crawled over, but I can’t get up now.”

Me: “Do you need me to call anyone for help?”

Female Customer: “No. No need to give the nurses extra work. I’ll manage. Would you be all right to come back later?”

Me: “…Sure.”

(Apparently I’m not the first one to catch her. But we could never conclusively prove that she was faking disability.)

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