October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

Have A Heart (Failure)

| Staines, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Health & Body

(I am a customer in a supermarket. Unfortunately I am standing by the dairy aisle watching a paramedics team trying to save a man on the floor who’s probably had a heart attack. Both ends of the aisle are crudely boxed off and a member of staff is standing there preventing anyone entering the aisle. At the far end of the aisle there’s a middle-aged woman arguing with the staff member to be quickly let in to just get a tub of spread. She is quietly being told no. The woman must have run down the next aisle because she suddenly appears next to me and starts arguing again with another staff member.)

Customer: “Can you just reach over and pass me a tub of that [Spread]?”

Staff Member: “Ma’am, please, have a bit of sensitivity…”

Customer: “Oh, right! As if he cares one way or another!”

(The rest of us customers stared at each other in disbelief!)

Pig-Headed Over Halal

| Australia | Bigotry, Food & Drink, Pets & Animals, Religion

(I’m re-stocking shelves in the pet food aisle in, when a lady angrily shoves a pig’s ear (a type of dog treat) at me.)

Customer: “Where is this made?”

Me: “I’m not sure, but it usually says so on the packaging.”

Customer: “I bet it’s not Australian-made.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, if it is it usually states it on the packaging itself. Australian-made is a pretty big deal to local companies, so they like to put it on there if it is.”

(I take the pig’s ear and sure enough it is made locally in the state we are in, by a local company.)

Me: “Made right here in South Australia. Right there.”

Customer: “I bet it has that disgusting Halal certification crap all over it too! You know your company supports terrorism by allowing this Muslim garbage all over our food. And us customers have to pay for it!”

Me: “You are aware that Muslims are forbidden to eat pork, right? And that this is a pork dog treat? For animals, right?”

Customer: “It doesn’t matter. Your company supports terrorism by allowing Halal on it’s products.”

Me: “Be sure to inform your dog of his choice then, ma’am. Have a nice day.”

(She angrily shoved the locally-made, obviously not-Halal certified, pork dog treat back on the shelf and stormed off.)

Not-So-Smartphone, Part 13

| MO, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work in the electronics department of a supermarket, where we sell prepaid phone cards.)

Customer #1: “When I tried to add this card to my daughter’s phone, it keeps telling me it’s invalid.”

Me: “Let’s see what we can figure out. We’ll try to add the card for you and see what happens.”

(The customer hands me the phone card and receipt, and recites the phone number to me. I attempt to add it using our computer and receive the message that the plan is not compatible with the model of phone. This carrier has a policy that their smartphones can only take the unlimited plans and won’t allow the fixed-minutes cards to be loaded on smartphones.)

Me: “It looks like the issue is that your daughter’s phone is probably a smartphone. Unfortunately, this particular plan is not compatible with smartphones, and you’d have to buy the [slightly more expensive card]. Our customer service desk would be happy to exchange it for you if you’ll pay the difference, though!”

(The woman calls her daughter and learns that it is, in fact, a smartphone. I return her card and receipt along with providing her the correct card, and she walks off. About ten minutes later, a man walks up to me.)

Customer #2: “We can’t get this card to load on our phone.”

Me: “That happens sometimes! Believe it or not, we actually have had someone come in with the same problem just a while ago. Let’s see if we can’t get it to go through our computer.”

(He hands me the phone card and a phone number written on a piece of paper, with no receipt. I enter the information and receive the same error message from before.)

Me: “Okay, it looks like the phone is a smartphone, which isn’t able to take this particular—”

(The woman from before walks up to join him, and I realize it’s the exact same card and phone number.)

Customer #1: Why the h*** can’t it just take that? It’s ridiculous to pay so much for cell phone service!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, that’s just [Carrier]’s policy. You might be able to take it up with them if you call their customer service number but we’re not able to do anything about it ourselves.”

Customer #1: *irate* “Whatever!”

(They take their card and the phone number, and walk away. Shortly after, the woman returns again.)

Customer #1: “You didn’t give me my receipt back!”

Me: “Ma’am, we gave you your receipt with the card when you brought it over here the first time.”

Customer #1: “But then you didn’t give it back the second time! Give it back!”

(I check all around the area for the receipt despite the fact I know I wasn’t given it the second time, and am not able to find it. I tell her politely that it was never given to me and she storms away angrily, complaining about the phone plan the whole time. Later that evening, one of my coworkers answers the phone and is talking with a customer. From the look on his face, the customer is obviously upset about something. Eventually he turns to me to ask a question.)

Coworker: “Um, the smartphones for [Carrier] can only take the unlimited cards, right?”

(Turned out, it was the same customer from before, hoping a different employee at the same store would be able to give her a different answer. When he wasn’t able to change anything either, she demanded the number to one of our other stores in the area – whose electronics area was currently understaffed and who hadn’t been able to answer the phone all day. We didn’t hear back from her after that, but I like to think she got stuck on hold for a good while.)

Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 12
Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 11
Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 10

Talking Non-scents

| Columbus, OH, USA | Bizarre, Family & Kids

(It’s a couple months after the winter holidays and I’m working self-scan check-outs. My store offers everything from food to electronics. A woman flags me over to her self-scan.)

Customer: “These scented candles are supposed to be on clearance.”

(The candles are scented gingerbread. Holiday items are extremely discounted and the candles are clearly ringing up at full price.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am, let me fix that for you.”

(I begin to fix the price on the six or so candles she’s buying as she begins to bag up the rest of her items. She comes up to me a moment later.)

Customer: “Have you smelled these? They smell awful. You would think they would smell better.”

Me: “No, I haven’t smelled them.”

Customer: *offers a candle* “You should smell them.”

Me: “Uh…”

Customer: “Go ahead. Smell it.”

Me: *reluctantly taking a whiff* “I really don’t smell anything at all, ma’am. Do you not want the candles if they smell bad?”

Customer: “Oh, no, I still want them.” *she bags the rest up*

(I finish changing the prices and help her finish bagging. My thoughts still turn to the candles.)

Me: “Why are you buying them if you think they smell bad?”

Customer: “Because they’re on clearance! You can’t pass up on these prices!”

(I know customers like this who feel strongly about deals but I’m still stuck on why she would still want so many even though she clearly doesn’t like the smell.)

Me: “But what will you do with them?”

Customer: *pause* “I think I’ll give them to my sister… I don’t really like her either.”

On Her Own Little Aisle

| The Netherlands | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(I have just finished counting my till and am heading towards the canteen to change and go home after a 10-hour shift. On my way there, a woman in a scooter stops me.)

Customer: “Excuse me!”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “Where can I find [specific liquor]?”

Me: *not willing to walk her to it as I’m off duty* “It’s in the next aisle, near the end.”

Customer: “Can’t you get it for me? I can’t go driving around the store just searching! I need a lot of things and you know where they are.”

Me: “I’m sure it’s there. Now, if you’ll excuse me…”

(I go to the canteen, take off my work clothes, and change into my regular clothes. I head out and bump into the same woman.)

Customer: “Oh, are you off?”

Me: “Yes, I’m heading home.”

Customer: “Can you get me the milk?”

Me: *waving* “It’s over there.”

Customer: “It’s too high up; I can’t get it from my scooter. Get it for me.”

(I sigh and figure I’d be off faster if I just follow her commands.)

Customer: “See, now we’re getting somewhere. This is customer service; you’d better learn it quick!”

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