Providing A Self-Service Service

| East Sussex, England, UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Technology

(We have two self-service checkouts and three normal registers. Younger customers tend to be fine with the SSC but our elderly customers prefer the manned registers; however, there’s often only two staff in so if there’s a queue then sometimes people who would normally come to a human will switch to the SSC queue. An elderly man switches out of our queue to use a SSC, and immediately starts having issues. The next SSC comes free and a mother starts teaching her daughter how to use it.)

Elderly Man: *puts his basket in the bagging area*

SSC: “Unexpected item in the bagging area. Remove item before continuing.”

Elderly Man: “THESE CHECKOUTS ARE A DISGRACE! They don’t make any sense!”

Mother: “Now, [Daughter], lots of people find these tricky, but if you remember a few things then they’re easy as pie!”

Daughter: “Okay, mummy! What do I do?”

Mother: “Well, put your basket on the left. The left side is just a shelf and the right side has scales which weigh our shopping so it knows we aren’t stealing. The middle bit is the scanner and we have to wave the barcodes at the glass panels there.”

Elderly Man: *picks up his basket and looks to the woman uncertainly*

Mother: “So, [Daughter], remember: leave ‘em to the left and roll ‘em to the right. You can’t go wrong!”

Daughter: *picks up a tin of beans and rolls it over the scanner glass*

Mother: “Now, hear that beep? That means it scanned it. You can look at the screen if you’re not sure.” *points to where the screen now says ‘beans’*

Elderly Man: *copies*

(It all goes well at both tills for about 30 seconds until…)

Elderly Man: “THESE PEACHES WON’T SCAN. THESE TILLS ARE A JOKE! YOUR PRODUCTS ARE ALL CRAP!”

Mother: *rips the corner off a ready meal barcode whilst her daughter is looking at the elderly man shouting* “Oh, no! Look, [Daughter], we can’t scan this one!”

Daughter: “Should I get another one, mummy?”

Mother: “No, that takes too long, but it’s okay. See that big button that says ‘Finish and Pay’?”

Daughter: “Yes, mummy.”

Mother: “Well, just above that there’s a button that says ‘Item Does Not Scan,’ so if you press that, you can put the numbers from the barcode in by yourself. If I read the numbers out, you can push the buttons.”

Daughter: *does this*

Elderly Man: *copies and then picks up a Danish pastry, and turns it over in his hand looking for a label*

Mother: *notices and picks up her own bakery items* “[Daughter], let’s do these next!”

Daughter: “But these don’t have a label on them!”

Mother: “That’s because we bagged them ourselves, silly! Now there’s two ways we can do this. If we press the ‘bakery’ button we can either select a subcategory like ‘pastries’ or ‘doughnuts,’ or we can press search if we’re not sure what category something goes into.”

Daughter: *puts all their bakery through*

Elderly Man: *copies daughter*

Mother: “Now, then. We’re all done. What button should we press now?”

Daughter: “Finish and pay?”

Mother: “Exactly right. Now, before we pay, mummy needs to scan her [Loyalty Card] so we can have the points for our shopping. Can you press the button for it?”

Daughter: *presses the button*

Elderly Man: *finishes scanning items and stands there looking at the till*

Mother: “Oh hang on, [Daughter]! I want to check if those crisps came up as ‘buy one get one free.'”

Daughter: “How can we check?”

Mother: “Well, the tills take the offers off at the end, so if you press ‘go back’ we can look at the bottom of the screen to check the offers. If it’s all good then we can just PRESS THE BIG FINISH AND PAY BUTTON ON THE BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER OF THE SCREEN.”

Daughter: *goes back to look if the offers have come off and then presses back to the payment screen*

Elderly Man: *presses ‘Finish And Pay’*

Mother: “Good, so now we just need to put the money in. Remember to check the notes are unfolded and that the corners aren’t bent. You can drop coins in this hole.”

Daughter: *pays*

Elderly Man: *copies*

Mother: “Right, [Daughter], our receipt comes out here, next to the scanner. Once it’s printed we can leave.”

Elderly Man: *snatches receipt and stalks off*

Manager: “Excuse me, miss? You forgot to take this!” *hands her a MASSIVE box of chocolates*

Mother: “Oh, I couldn’t!”

Manager: “No, please. That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. I wish all our customers were like you!”

How Em-Bra-assing

| GA, USA | At The Checkout, Money

(I am working the customer service/returns desk when a customer approaches the counter. The customer has quite an attitude throughout the whole transaction.)

Customer: “I think I was charged wrong!” *thrusting receipt at me*

Me: “All right, let’s take a look.”

(She pulls two bras out of her bag and points at clearance stickers on each, one is marked $9 and one is marked $7.)

Customer: “These bras rang up wrong!”

(I find the bras on the receipt, and sure enough the one marked $9 rang up for its original price… however, it was also VOIDED OFF at the original price and not rung up again for the clearance price. In other words, she didn’t pay for the $9 bra.)

Me: “Well, this bra you didn’t pay for.”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “You can see here, it rang up for $12.94…”

Customer: “Right! It’s supposed to be $9! It rang up wrong!”

Me: “Yes, but if you look just below it, it was voided off… and not added again at any price,. Therefore, you have not paid for that one. Now, as to the other one, oh, if you’ll look here, it rang up for $5.”

Customer: “I told you! They are not ringing up right! The sticker says $7! They should be ringing up at the right price!”

Me: “Well. ma’am, I can re-ring this one and charge you $2 more if you really want me to, but this other one you haven’t paid for at all, so there’s not much I can about it except ring it up for you at $9.”

Customer: *mutters* “Ring it up.”

(I rang up the $9 bra and she paid for it without another word.)

Maybe He Should Look Up Irony

| Portland, OR, USA | Books & Reading

(I work at an office supply store and one night an elderly gentleman comes up to the register and sets his items down, one item being a dictionary and thesaurus.)

Customer: *pointing to dictionary* “What’s a thesaurus?”

Me: “It shows you synonyms and related words. It’s a great tool for writers.”

Customer: “Oh, okay.” *pays and leaves*

(Used to answering stupid questions without flinching, I didn’t think much about it until after he left. Then we all had a good laugh over the fact that he asked what thesaurus meant while purchasing a dictionary…)

How To Fell His Yell

| QLD, Australia | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(I work for a large national mobile company. Road works cut our fibre cable and the network goes down. One gentleman keeps coming in and terrorising my staff.)

Customer: “You broke the network. I demand to be back up and running, now.”

Me: “Sir, I understand the frustration. Unfortunately we all have to wait until the cable is fixed; there isn’t any way around it.”

Customer: “Why did you cut the cable?”

Me: “Sir, I didn’t cut the cable. The road workers did.”

Customer: *all red faced and angry* “All you people are the same, useless! Why don’t you go out there and help them?!”

Me: *fed up* “Because then there wouldn’t be anyone here for you to yell at.”

Trust Is A Two-Way Street

| Aldergrove, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers

(An elderly woman comes through my till and is writing a cheque to pay for her order, but is having difficulties with her shaky hands. I offer to write it for her.)

Me: “All right, so the total was $62.83. If you would like to check it over yourself and sign it for me, please?”

(She goes to take the cheque from me when a younger woman behind it snatches it from my hands and starts triple-checking the amount on the cheque and the computer screen, before handing it to the elderly woman to sign.)

Young Woman: *snottily* “You just can’t trust some people.”

Me: “Fair enough…” *to the elderly woman* “Here’s your receipt; see you next week!”

(I quickly run the younger woman through, who says nothing the entire time. At the end of the transaction she hands me a $100 dollar bill. I hold it up to the light and start checking all of the security features, the younger woman glaring the entire time.)

Me: “Like you said, you just can’t trust some people.”

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