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  • Always Time For A Rhyme
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  • Lack Of Appliance Compliance

    | Round Rock, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Home Improvement, Money

    (I work in the appliances department of a popular home improvement store. Occasionally, I go to the customer service desk to help out. On this particular evening, a customer is arguing with my older, Irish coworker. I walk over to help out.)

    Me: “What’s the problem?”

    Coworker: “Oh, she refused her appliances and wants a refund.”

    Me: *to customer* “When were your appliances delivered?”

    Customer: “At five-thirty.”

    Me: “Today?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    (I check the time and see it’s only six-forty pm. The delivery company office closes at five pm and so do our venders.)

    Me: “Okay, ma’am. The delivery office is closed, and the notes indicating that you refused your appliances aren’t in the system yet. It won’t be until eight o’clock in the morning.”

    Coworker: “Yeah, once the notes are in, there’s a 72-hour wait until we get the identification numbers for the appliances. Then, we can process your refund.”

    Me: “We get the identification number from [appliance brand the customer bought from].”

    Customer: “No, no, no. I buy from [Store], not [Appliance Brand].”

    Coworker: “Yes, but we need those numbers in order to process the refund. The identification numbers let us know that the refused washer and dryer are back with [Appliance Brand]. Once the notes come in tomorrow morning, we’ll get the identification numbers and give you a call.”

    Customer: “No. I buy from [Store]. I want my money now!”

    Me: “Ma’am, this is our policy with [Appliance Brand]. There is nothing we can do until the notes show up in the system tomorrow morning and—“

    (The customer grabs her paperwork and abruptly walks off to the appliance department. A short time later, another coworker calls me back to appliances because a customer wishes to return her appliances and get a refund. Low and behold, it’s the same customer.)

    Customer: *freezes upon seeing me* “He call you?”

    Me: “Yes, I’m the appliance specialist. What did you need?”

    Customer: *points to a stacked washer and dryer* “I want those.”

    Me: “Sure! I can set up an order for you.”

    Customer: “But I want credit from this to use to that.” *waves her paperwork in front of me*

    Me: “Ma’am, like I told you earlier, after the notes show up, it can take up to 72 hours for the identification numbers then—“

    Customer: “I don’t understand why you can’t refund me. I want to buy these.”

    Me: “And you can.”

    Customer: “Then give me my money.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I can’t. Not until we get the identification numbers from [Appliance Brand].”

    Customer: “No, I didn’t buy from [Appliance Brand]. I bought from [Store]. You need to give me my money.”

    Me: “Ma’am, the store cannot process any refund until we get the identification numbers from [Appliance Brand]. Once we have those, you’ll get your money back. Without it, we cannot do anything, especially since there aren’t any notes in the system yet.”

    Customer: “And what if [Appliance Brand] goes bankrupt?”

    Me: “I…I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “What if [Appliance Brand] goes bankrupt? What happens to my money then?”

    Me: “Believe me, ma’am. [Appliance Brand] will not go bankrupt.”

    (Note: this particular appliance brand also makes TVs, laptops, and cellphones. It is practically impossible for them to go bankrupt. Especially in three days.)

    Customer: “I said ‘if’. If they go bankrupt. [Another unrelated company] went bankrupt and I lost my money. What do I do if [Appliance Brand] goes bankrupt?”

    Me: “Ma’am, that’s not really an issue nor a concern. You’re more than welcome to buy a new washer and dryer set, but you’ll have to wait 72 hours for your refund. I can show you some features this washer has—“

    Customer: “But I want my money. If you don’t give me my money, I’ll go broke. I spent $3,000! I’m broke because of you. I’ll complain to your boss!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can do until tomorrow morning.”

    (The customer throws her hands up and promptly leaves the store. I relayed the story to my manager and Irish coworker. My manager laughed.)

    Coworker: “Serves her right! Coming in here like the f****** Queen of England. Bleh!”

    Annoyingly Consistent

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Money

    (I am sitting on the registers as the main cashier for the day when an older woman marches up to my counter.)

    Me: “Good morning. How are you today?”

    Customer #1: “I don’t have time for this chit chat. I just want to pay for this jar of coffee and go as I am in a hurry.”

    (I scan the item and tell the customer the price of the item.)

    Me: “That’ll be [total price].”

    Customer #1: “Excuse me? How much?”

    Me: “Um, the total for the jar of coffee is [total price].”

    Customer #1: “That is far too much money; I’ll go choose another one.”

    (The customer storms off leaving the original jar of coffee with me. I put it to the side of my register and serve several other customers during the customer’s absence. Another customer unpacks her groceries onto my till and I greet her.)

    Me: “Hello. How are you?”

    Customer #2: “I am good, thank you. How are you?”

    Me: “I am very good, thanks.”

    (Before I could start to scan Customer #2′s items, Customer #1 returns and slams a jar of coffee onto my register completely cutting in front of Customer #2. I notice the jar of coffee she has now selected is identical to her previous one.)

    Customer #1: “I am next! Not this lady! Now, I want this coffee.”

    Customer #2: “I don’t mind. Let her go first.”

    (Customer #1 looks at Customer #2. Her eyes go wide for a moment. I interject.)

    Me: “This is the same brand and size as the coffee you wanted before.”

    Customer #1: “No, it is not. This one is cheaper than the previous one.”

    (I scan the coffee and sure enough it is the same price as the one earlier.)

    Me: “That’ll be [total price].”

    Customer #1: “See? Much better.”

    (After Customer #1 walks out of the shop Customer #2 begins laughing hysterically.)

    Customer #2: “Sorry. I shouldn’t laugh, but she used to be my mother-in-law before my divorce and I am so glad she is annoying to everyone!”

    Can’t Be Free From Customers Like This

    | Las Vegas, NV, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Money

    (I worked at a steakhouse that had a limited time special, clearly marked on banners outside; “Kids eat free on Tuesdays, with the purchase of an adult entree!” Sometimes, it could bring out the worst in people.)

    Me: “Hi, welcome to [Restaurant]. Can I get you started with an appetizer or beer?”

    Customer: *one adult with two kids* “Uh, yes, we would like your ‘kids eat free’ special, please! Both of the kids will have the child’s steak dinner, medium rare, with baked potato, and does it come with soup or salad?”

    Me: “The adult entrees come with soup or salad, so you can share yours with them if you like, or would you like to order an extra for them?”

    Customer: “Oh, I wasn’t going to order anything; I’m not very hungry.”

    Me: “I apologize for the confusion. The ‘kids eat free’ deal is with the purchase of an adult entrée.” *I point to the advert on the table, where it repeats the banner*

    Customer: “This is how you get the customers? You trick us into coming in saying that kids eat free?!”

    Me: “The kids DO get to eat for free. Restaurants would go out of business if they only offered free meals with no purchase required. But with this deal, you save quite a bit! It comes to the equivalent of ‘buy one and get two free.’”

    Customer: “Fine! What is the cheapest adult entree you have? And sodas come with their meals, right?”

    Me: “Yes, they get a child’s souvenir cup with their choice of drink. And the BBQ chicken is our current special for $9.95. It does come with soup, too.”

    Customer: “Child’s cup size? Can we just get it in a larger size so you don’t have to make as many trips?”

    Me: *looking at the three- and four-year-olds* “The adult glasses are fairly large and heavy. For young children we have plastic, non-spill cups.”

    Customer: “Okay, I’ll have that, and more of your free bread, like, two more loaves for now. And I’ll have a water to drink.”

    (When I bring her the sixth refill on both kid’s drinks and her soup, there are crackers on the dish.)

    Customer: “I didn’t order crackers! Take those off my bill!”

    Me: “Ma’am, like the bread, we don’t charge for crackers.”

    Customer: “Really? They are free? In that case, I’d like more, like, a lot more!”

    (The customer continued that way the entire evening. In the end, after running me ragged with countless refills of the “kids” sodas and anything free, she then emptied out the sugar caddy, stole the condiments from the table, and left EXACT change for the bill. When the manager and I watched her pack the kids in her Porsche Cayenne, we noticed her take out of her HUGE purse a ton of water bottles filled with soda and resealable bags full of loaves and crackers. She later called to complain, saying that the meal was unsatisfactory and she would like an additional dinner for three on us.)

    Ballooning Out Of Control

    | Greenwich, CT, USA | Crazy Requests, Family & Kids

    (I am doing some community service the other day, handing out balloons at an adopt-a-dog fair. I have been working for a few hours when a family of three approaches.)

    Me: “Hello, would you like a balloon?”

    Woman: *snatches her baby away* “How dare you offer a balloon to a child? Do you realize how dangerous those are? Are you trying to kill my baby? Call your manager right this instant!”

    Me: *taken aback* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I don’t actually work here. I’m doing community service.”

    Woman: *huffs* “Don’t lie to me, missy! Do you think I’m stupid? You’re just lying to get out of trouble! Now, call your manager. Now!”

    Me: *starting to get really fed up* “I don’t work here! I’m just here to I hand out balloons, and clearly you don’t want one, so I would suggest moving on to some of our other attractions.”

    Woman: “Why, of all the disrespectful—”

    (She has started to get pretty loud, so one of the managers running the fair wanders over to see what’s going on.)

    Manager: “Is there a problem?”

    Woman: “Finally! This young lady tried to give my child a balloon! Those can strangle kids! I demand to have her fired immediately!”

    Manager: *bewildered* “Sorry, what?”

    Woman: “She tried to murder my child! I can press charges!”

    Manager: “Right… Well, why don’t you go off and do that now…”

    (The woman’s storms off, taking her child with her. Her husband, who has been silent throughout the entire conversation, stays behind.)

    Husband: “Well, I don’t know about her, but I’d like a balloon…”

    Plenty Of (Full) Room To Hone Your Skills

    | USA | Crazy Requests, Hotels & Lodging, Politics

    (I enter the lobby of a hotel I’m staying at to find the receptionist face to face with a very red-faced woman.)

    Woman: “Look, stop with the bull about being full! I KNOW you always have a few rooms that you keep open for emergencies!”

    Receptionist: “Ma’am, while I am sincerely sorry, we are located at the hub of a major metropolitan area that draws over three million tourists per year. Typically we get reservations non-stop from Memorial Day to Labor Day. If we were to examine this from a logical and an economic perspective, wouldn’t it make more sense to give every room we have to those who wish to reserve them, rather than keep one or two open and thus deny ourselves the profit from them?”

    (The lady gawks and sputters, turning redder by the second.)

    Woman: “Well… what if President Obama came in and asked for a room, huh? What if one of his family came in? Would you turn them away?”

    Receptionist: “Yes, we would.”

    Woman: “Exactly! So why can’t you… wait… what?”

    Receptionist: “With all due respect, Ma’am, the President would have the sense to plan ahead so neither he nor his family would need to ask for a room. What’s more he doesn’t stay at this hotel when he comes to the area; he stays at [other hotel].”

    Woman: “But…”

    Receptionist: “FURTHERMORE, I don’t think the President would want the bad publicity from asking us to throw someone out of their room so he could take it. Therefore, why should we do that for you?”

    (The woman sputters some more, then finally just screams, loud enough that I have to cover my ears, and runs out the door to her car.)

    Receptionist: “I apologize that you had to be witness to that, sir.”

    Me: “I… uh… no, I think the apologies should go to you, as well as the congratulations for the way you handled that. Never seen someone get driven away by the force of logic.”

    Receptionist: “Yeah, well, don’t be too impressed. I’m only able to do that because I’ve had plenty of customers just like her to hone my skills on.”

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