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    Tip Top Service

    , | Scotland, UK | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money, Technology

    (Our card readers are set up to offer an option to add a tip to the total. This isn’t typical for card readers in our location, and it gives some customers a lot of problems, especially if they need reading glasses or don’t look at the screen.)

    Me: “Okay, sir, I just need to you to follow the instructions on the card reader now while it asks a few questions. The green button is yes, and the yellow button is no.”

    Customer: “Fine, fine, okay.”

    Me: “So, first it just asks if that’s the correct total, then it’ll give an option to add a tip if you’d like. Just press the yellow button if you’d prefer to skip it.”

    (I don’t usually spell it out quite this much, but I have the feeling that this man isn’t really listening.)

    Customer: “Yeah, fine, fine.”

    (The customer presses the buttons worryingly fast, then swears.)

    Customer: “Hey, why is it asking for my PIN again? I just entered that! Stupid machine.”

    Me: “Oh dear, I’m sorry but I think you may have entered your PIN as a tip. I’d better cancel the transaction to make sure it—”

    Customer: “No, no, it’s fine. I didn’t put in a tip.”

    Me: “Are you sure you definitely pressed ‘no’? The only way it’d ask for your PIN again is if the first time was the tip prompt, not the PIN prompt. It’s easily done. It’s happened before—”

    Customer: “Are you calling me stupid? Are you trying to suggest I can’t follow simple instructions? I’m a high-level manager at [Department Store Chain]. Do you think I can’t work a simple machine?”

    Me: “Really sir, I think it would be safer if I redo the transaction just in case.”

    (The customer sighs theatrically.)

    Customer: “Fine, then, just to prove to you that I’m not a moron.”

    (I cancel the transaction and the receipts print out. I see a tip had been added, and I only have to glance at the first digit to see that it could not have been intentional. I quickly hand the receipt over to protect the customer’s PIN privacy, without looking at the full number.)

    Me: “Here’s the cancellation receipts, sir, and I’m giving you both copies so that you can keep your PIN private.”

    (The customer takes the receipts and his eyes go wide. He seems to swell up, and for a moment I think he’s going to start screaming at me, before he suddenly deflates.)

    Customer: “Oh god, I’m so sorry. Thank you, you just saved me from a serious talking-to by accounts.”

    Me: “I’m sure your credit card company wouldn’t have authorised it anyway, sir, so it would’ve been fine. As I said, don’t worry. It’s happened before.”

    Customer: “No, you don’t understand. This company card has a £15,000 credit limit.”

    (I’m still not sure if the credit card would have authorised that size of transaction, but we still joke about the ’1000 per cent tip.’ Just for comparison, that first digit was a 6…)