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  • Bigotry Is Not On The Menu
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  • Category: Tourists/Travel

    Trying To Get Through Her Thick Helmet

    | UK | Crazy Requests, Health & Body, Tourists/Travel

    (I worked in a chain of high-end ski and mountain sports stores. On this occasion, I was standing at the till whilst my assistant manager was moving some items nearby. A lady in her mid-60s comes storming into the store with a ski helmet in her hand; it’s obvious it’s taken a heavy hit on the back and there’s a big dent in it.)

    Me: “Hi there, madam. How can I help?”

    Customer: “You sold me a faulty product. I demand to see the manager.”

    Me: “Sorry to hear that, madam. Our manager’s just on a conference call with our head office at the moment, but our assistant manager’s over the—”

    (She stormed over to my assistant manager before I could finish, and I listened to the rest of the conversation whilst I carried on with my work.)

    Customer: “You sold me a faulty product. I bought this [ski helmet] for my grandson last month, and it broke on his first trip. I want a refund and compensation.”

    Assistant Manager: “Okay, madam, may I take a look at the helmet and see what’s wrong with it?” *the lady hands over the helmet*

    Assistant Manager: “Madam, could I ask if your grandson took a fall at any point during his trip?”

    Customer: “What? Yes, of course he did. He was on a school trip and they were learning. He told me they did some off-piste skiing on their last day and he fell and hit his head on one of the chair lift pylons. What’s this got to do with anything, though? The helmet’s clearly failed and is faulty, I want a refund!”

    Assistant Manager: “Madam, I understand your frustration considering you only just bought this, but company policy is that we don’t refund damaged helmets in any way. Essentially, the helmet’s done its job by protecting your grandson’s head.”

    Customer: “HOW DARE YOU TRY AND BRUSH THIS OFF! YOU WON’T GET AWAY WITH THIS! I DON’T CARE IF YOUR MANAGER’S ON THE PHONE TO THE SULTAN OF BRUNEI, I WANT HIM OUT HERE, WITH MY MONEY, NOW!!!”

    (My assistant manager goes to the office where my manager’s just finished the call. She’s a rather petite woman, but has a very strong personality and is not known for backing down easily.)

    Manager: “Hello, Madam. My name is [Manager] and I’m the store manager here. What seems to be the issue?

    (The customer re-rants her story and the manager stands there looking at the helmet briefly.)

    Manager: “So, what you’re saying is, your grandson took a tumble, hit his head on a ski lift pylon, and the helmet suffered damage as a result of this?”

    Customer: “Yes!”

    Manager: “So your grandson’s still alive then?”

    Customer: “I… What?”

    Manager: “Madam, if your grandson had gone off piste without the helmet on and hit the pylon, he wouldn’t have come back at all. The helmet did its job in protecting his head from the impact. I appreciate the fact you’ve spent money on a protective device and it has become damaged so quickly, but that’s what it’s for: protection. I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do.”

    Customer: *practically bellowing* “THIS IS DISGUSTING! I’VE SPENT THOUSANDS IN YOUR STORE SINCE IT WAS OPENED AND I’VE NEVER BEEN TREATED LIKE THIS BEFORE! THIS PIECE OF C*** IS BROKEN, AND YOU’RE TELLING ME YOU WON’T REFUND IT?! WHAT THE H** CAN I DO WITH IT NOW, USE IT AS A PAPERWEIGHT?! I’LL TAKE THIS TO HEAD OFFICE AND GET TREATED CORRECTLY AND HAVE YOU FIRED FOR YOUR IDIOCY!”

    (My manager doesn’t like being shouted at by anyone, and looks directly at the customer.)

    Manager: “Madam, I’m sorry, but your outburst has just cost you a store credit I was considering offering by way of a goodwill gesture. I’ve been manager since this store has been open and I have never seen you here before, let alone on regular occurrences. Please feel free to contact our head office to discuss this further; their details are on our website. But for now I would like you to leave, please.”

    (The customer stormed out without another word. Later that week, we heard from head office that she’d managed to get the contact details for the CEO who then proceeded to provide a replacement helmet, free of charge, plus about £100 worth of vouchers to use at any store as compensation “for the utter humiliation” she suffered in our store. Nice to know that despite standing by what you believe is right, the customer can still get what they want if they go high up and moan loudly enough.)

    Reply Back Like An Act Of God

    | Paris, France | Bad Behavior, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (I am working the customer service desk. Due to inclement weather, we have to cancel a flight to a smaller airport, as the plane used to make said flight would not be capable of landing there in a storm. I am dealing with a customer who has just been informed that the plane to which he was transferred due to a mechanical fault in a previous flight, is cancelled.)

    Me: “So, I’m terribly sorry, sir. The best we can do now is rebook you for our earliest flight to [City] tomorrow morning, or start processing a refund to your credit card for this leg of your trip.”

    Customer: *sighs* “Well, I need to be in [City] tonight, so I guess I’ll just take the refund.”

    Me: “All right, sir. We will start processing your refund immediately, and again, we are terribly sorry for the inconvenience. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

    Customer: “Yes, would you happen to know how much it costs to take the metro from here to [Main City station]? I guess I’ll be catching a late train.”

    Me: “Certainly sir, it’s—”

    (Suddenly the lady behind this customer speaks up.)

    Woman: “Is that it? You’re not going to get mad? You’re not going to threaten to sue them?”

    Customer: “…why would I do that?”

    Woman: “They’ve ruined your trip! They took your money and ruined everything anyway!”

    Customer: “I highly doubt anyone in Paris is responsible for the storm at [City], and the people working customer service are certainly not responsible for a mechanical fault in the plane.”

    Woman: “But they’ve cost you hundreds of euros!”

    Customer: “If they refund this leg, then it works out almost even. It’s really not a problem.”

    Woman: “What are you talking about, it’s not a problem?! Of course it’s a problem! They should be made to pay! It’s that stupid French laziness where they just don’t want to work and—”

    Customer: “Lady, shut the f*** up.”

    (The woman chokes on her words as the customer who has been nothing but calm and polite this whole time fixes a glare on her.)

    Customer: “I had to get up before six this morning to take a one-hour bus to the airport for a flight that got delayed. I was stuck in THIS airport for hours before finding out that my other flight was cancelled, and now I have to hop the metro to catch a two-hour train to be in [City] hours after I was supposed to arrive. I am tired. I want a shower. I am not in the mood to fight [Airline] over an act of God, and I am definitely not in the mood to listen to you rant and rave like a g****** lunatic about something that is none of your business. Now, kindly f*** off!”

    (He turns back to me as the woman stammers incoherently.)

    Customer: “Merci pour votre aide. Bonne soiree.” *Thanks for your help. Good evening*

    (He gathered up his travel documents and calmly walked off.)

    Welsh Excuse Me

    | Wales, UK | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    Customer: “WHY ARE ALL YOUR TOWN NAMES STUPID? CAN’T YOU SPELL?!”

    Me: “Sir, please don’t shout. The town names around here are in Welsh, because you’re in Wales. I’m sorry if this offends you.”

    Customer: “It’s not just offensive. It’s f***ing stupid!”

    Me: “Sir, please don’t swear. The town names are part of our unique history. They tell us about our heritage.

    Customer: Well your heritage f***ing sucks.

    Me: Sir, can I actually help you with anything, or did you just come here to tell us that you don’t like Wales?

    Customer: You all need to be more English. *leaves*

    Coworker: Well… at least you didn’t need to ask him to leave!

    Music Went From Lucky To Sucky

    | GA, USA | Family & Kids, Musical Mayhem, Tourists/Travel

    (I DJ at a theme park that has a built in water park. I am happily jamming to ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk by the wave pool when a guest approaches my DJ booth.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, ma’am, who makes the play list for the water park?”

    Me: “I do, sir, but all the songs on my laptop have been pre-approved by upper management.”

    Guest: “Well I have my eight-year-old with me, and she is asking what ‘get lucky’ means. What do you expect me to tell her?!”

    Me: “I’m not sure, sir. I am very sorry my music selection has offended you. I didn’t mean any harm.”

    Guest: *harumph* “I am taking this to upper management!”

    (The man proceeds to tell my supervisor, who talks him out of taking his complaint any further by promising the song will be deleted and no longer played.)

    Supervisor: *to me* “Meh, I like that song. If he was smart he would have just told his kid the song meant winning the lottery or something.”

    (The rest of the time that particular guest was there, I played super safe things like The Beach Boys. But after that day, I have continued to play that song regularly.)

    Doesn’t Always Take Practise, Practise, Practise…

    | NY, USA | Bizarre, Family & Kids, Musical Mayhem, Tourists/Travel

    (My grandfather and I are taking a tour of a world-famous opera house many years ago when this happens:)

    Tour Guide: “And now, we are in the stage area, where—”

    Grandfather: *singing* “La la la la la!”

    Tour Guide: “What was that, sir?”

    Grandfather: “Now I can say I sang on stage at [Famous Opera House]!”

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