October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

Trying To Re-Coup The Coupon

| Westland, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

(I am working the return desk at a major department store. We offer a dollar-off coupon for every x amount the customer spends, to be used at a later date. If the customer returns products from the original purchase and the return brings the total under x amount, it makes the dollar off coupon void.)

Me: “Okay, you are going to get $35.76 credited back to your Visa, and it will deactivate your [dollar off coupon].”

Customer: “What do you mean, it will deactivate it?!”

Me: “The coupon will no longer be valid. By returning these items, it drops your purchasing total below x amount, which was what you needed to earn the coupon.”

Customer: “But I had PLANS for that [dollar off coupon]! I was going to buy my daughter new shoes!”

Me: “I apologize for that, ma’am, but I cannot override the system. Once you return products and the total drops below x amount, the coupon is no longer valid.”

Customer: “Well, I still have the coupon right here!” *waves the physical [dollar off coupon] in the air* “I’m not gonna give it to you, so I am just going to take it right up to the register and use it! HA!” *she actually laughed right in my face*

Me: “Well, it actually deactivated electronically, not manually, so the cashier would see that it does not have any balance on it. You can—”

Customer: “But, but… THAT’S NOT FAIR!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but if you would like, you can make another purchase, and if that purchase and your old purchase combine to equal more than x amount, I can issue you a new dollar off coupon.”

Customer: “No, no, no! I shouldn’t have to spend more money. I already earned that dollar-off coupon when I made THIS purchase! You are just trying to rip us hard working people off so you can pocket more money! I was going to get my daughter shoes, so I guess you want my daughter to walk around barefoot, looking homeless, and catching some wild disease. You want my daughter to die!”

(She storms off, exiting our store for the rest of the mall, still raving about how I want to kill her child.)

Me: *to my coworker* “Well, if she needed shoes for her daughter that badly, maybe she shouldn’t be purchasing $70 worth of nail polish and fragrance.”

(That customer called to complain to my manager, saying I “threatened the life of her and her child,” and chased her out of the store. Of course, my coworker vouched for me about the threats, but even my manager didn’t believe that I chased her out of the store!)

The Color Of Stupid, Part 2

| Brisbane, QLD, Australia | Extra Stupid, Technology

Customer: “I have some old photos that I want printed, but I want them to be in colour.”

Me: “Okay, sir, we don’t actually Photoshop colour into the photos here. You’ll have to use a different service for that. We only print and copy photos.

Customer: What are you talking about? Just scan the photos and colour copy them.”

Me: “Oh, so the photos are already in colour?”

Customer: “You’re not listening to me. The photos are in black and white so I want you to make a colour copy of them so they come out in colour.”

Me: “Sir, that’s not how photos work. I can’t bring colour out of a photo that has no colour to begin with.”

Customer: *now yelling* “Just listen to me and maybe you’ll get it through your thick head! Just copy… my black… and white photos… in COLOUR.

(I take one final attempt to explain it to him.)

Customer: “FINE. If you won’t do that, I’ll just have to take a photo of the black and white photo with my colour camera, and then you can print that out because it will be in colour! Or are you too dumb to figure that out as well?”

(I hung up after that point. I truly worry about people.)

The Color Of Stupid

A Passport For Bad Behavior

| London, England, UK | Bizarre, Spouses & Partners

(I am working over the Christmas holidays in a very fancy shop, so much so that it is a pretty famous tourist destination. An American woman in her sixties comes in wearing a long black fur coat, fur hat, and various gold rings – the epitome of glamour. She starts looking at our most expensive leather wallets.)

Me: “Hi, are you looking for anything in particular?”

Customer: “I need a wallet for my husband.”

Me: “Any particular kind?”

Customer: “It has to be large enough to fit a passport. He has to carry it everywhere now because he can’t use his driving license as identification any more. The cops took it away when they found him doing 150 miles per hour on the highway.”

(She shakes her head, as if to say ‘what is he like?’, and wanders off.)

Weeding Out The Bad Customers

| Australia | Criminal/Illegal

(I work in the kitchen department in a well known retail chain when a toothless young man who looks and smells like he hasn’t bathed in a while approaches me.)

Customer: “Excuse me; do you have anything electric that can grind… herbs?”

Me: “Sure, we have a basic herb chopper, but if you want to grind it fine you might need a coffee grinder.”

Customer: “I don’t want to lie to you…” *whispers* “It’s for weed.”

Me: “I figured.”

Customer: “”What do you use to grind your weed?”

(I don’t use the stuff.)

Me: “This coffee grinder here. It’s perfect for the job”

Customer: “Thanks. Please don’t tell the cops.”

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.)


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.)


(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.)

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