Unfiltered Story #190600

, , | Unfiltered | March 25, 2020

(I work in a very popular convenience store located across the northern states. This has so far been a typical day in business, when a couple of customers come in looking very confused.)

Me: “Hello! How are you today!”

Customer 1: “Hey, are your pumps on?”

(This was a highly unexpected question so I turn to my coworker in confusion before answering.)

Me: “Well, yes. They are always on. Why are you asking?”

Customer 2: “Well they aren’t. The screens are black.”

Customer 1: “Yeah, and you can’t do anything with the pump. Can we just pay inside? Will that work?”

(At this point I call over my coworker and ask her to please check out the pumps outside while I deal with the customers. I have never heard of our pumps doing this before so I’m a bit concerned with what kind of problem we are having. Sure enough, she goes outside and sees that all but 2 of our 16 pumps have black screens, or black with colorful lines down the middle.)

Me *to customer #1*: “Ok sir, while my coworker goes out to check on the pumps, why don’t I prepay you in here and see if that works for you. Once we prepay the pump, you simply go outside and ignoring the screen, pick up the nozzle then select the grade of gas you want. You should be able to pump it without any issues.”

Customer 1: “Ok, *looks at me skeptically* but if this doesn’t work then I guess I’ll have to go somewhere else. I really need gas in my boat and I won’t be lucky enough to pull my truck up alongside two pumps again.”

(I nod understandingly at him while smiling professionally and prepay his pump. My coworker is on the phone at this point trying to sort out the pump problem, while I work the register and another coworker is working on food. Not even two minutes after sending him outside, customer #1 is heading back in looking irritable.)

Me: “Oh no, it didn’t work for you?”

Customer 1: “No. It still didn’t do anything! The screen stayed black with those wiggly lines in it. It wouldn’t let me do anything.”

Me: “Well sir, you don’t need the screen since I prepaid the pump for you. If you want I can refund your money so you can try to go somewhere else if you need to get gas for your boat in a hurry. Or, I can do a new prepay on it and come outside with you and help you pump?”

Customer 1: “Well I don’t see how that will help since I couldn’t get it to do anything. But if you want to come try I guess I’ll let you.”

(At this point I’m already flustered as I’ve tried to help him once and the problem with the pumps hasn’t been resolved yet. But I set the pump and followed the gentleman outside.)

Me: “Ok sir, the pump is set so now just pick up the nozzle *I do so and hand it to him* then select the grade you need. Which grade did you need?”

(The man looks at me surprised and tells me which one. I push the button for him and tell him it should pump fine now. He takes over and begins pumping.)

Me: “Awesome! Looks like you’re all set. Anything else I can do for you today?”

Customer 1: “I’ll be honest, I didn’t even try any of what you just did. Hey, can you just turn the pump on right there by my truck? I need to gas it up too while I’m at it. Or do I have to go all the way back inside to pay you again?”

(My jaw nearly hits the ground at this. Everything I had told him to do he didn’t even attempt. He just assumed the pump wouldn’t work. And now he’s asking me to do something that I cannot do.)

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry but unfortunately I can’t just turn the pump on for you. I have to have a payment before I can authorize a pump. I’m very sorry but it’s just how our system works.”

(Cue him huffing and puffing as he locks the nozzle pumping into his boat, pulls out some money and shoves it in my hand. He then goes back to pumping and I rush inside to put his payment on the second pump for him. I tell my coworkers what just happened and we all shake our heads about it. A few minutes later the customer comes back inside.)

Customer 1: “Ok, now that we got that out of the way. I wanted to ask if I’m going to get my ten cents back as well as what I didn’t pump?”

Me *confused*: “Your ten cents sir? I’m sorry but what ten cents? Your pump is only giving back **** as change.”

Customer 1: *pulls out our company card that allows customers to receive a discount* “From using this of course. Am I going to get my gas price changed since I couldn’t use this at the pump?”

Me: “Oh! Oh no, I’m so sorry sir but our system just doesn’t work like that I’m afraid. You would have needed to prepay both pumps with that card in order for the discount to apply. I have no way of refunding the the savings you would have received once you’ve paid and pumped using cash or another payment.”

Customer 1: *visibly upset at this point* You have got to be kidding me! They told me I could never use the card inside if I wanted to get the discount. I’m a very unhappy customer right now. This has not been a good visit or good customer service.”

Me: *feeling myself become upset after going out of my way several times to give him good service and to help him but holding myself in check regardless* “I’m very sorry they told you that sir. I’m not sure why they would have but I assure you it should give you the discount whether you use the card to pay outside or inside the store. I apologize again for all the trouble. This was a very unusual issue we had today and certainly not one we’ve ever had before.”

Customer 1: “Yeah, well. I’m not happy. I can’t believe this. Whatever.”

(I would have apologized again but he headed on out at this point. Not five minutes later we had all the pumps screens working again and experienced no other issues. This had to be one of the most infuriating exchanges I’ve had with a customer recently. I can’t wrap my head around just how dumb he seemed to be.)