Unfiltered Story #193727

, , | Unfiltered | May 1, 2020

(In the UK the legal age to buy alcohol/tobacco is 18, though even if someone is obviously old enough to buy them if it’s obvious to the cashier that they’re buying the products for someone else who isn’t present then you’re not supposed to allow the sale, this is to avoid “Proxy sales”, where someone who is old enough to buy the product buys it for someone who isn’t. Generally most people understand this but you get the odd one who doesn’t.)

Customer: *Approaches the counter while looking at her phone* I’d like umm… what was it? Ah, here, 60 [Cigarette Brand].

Me: *Trying to give her the benefit of the doubt* Sure no problem, these are for YOU of course?

(I emphasised that as 99% of the time when someone buys for someone else in our shop it’s for an elderly parent as we’re near a large retirement area of my town, I wanted to save her hassle and hoped she’d catch on.)

Customer: No, no, they’re for someone else.

Me: Well then I’m sorry but I can’t sell you these then.

Customer: Why ever not? I’m old enough.

Me: While that is the case, you’ve just told me they’re for someone else, who for all I know could be under-age, company policy and even the law now states that I can’t sell you them.

Customer: Well they’re not under-age! *holds out hand*

Me: I believe you, but I still can’t sell you them, as I don’t know that.

Customer: But I’ve just told you!

Me: Ok but that’s not the same as seeing the person they’re for or seeing their ID.

Customer: But they’re old enough! I come in here all the time and buy for them!

Me: (I’ve worked here five days a week, every week for a year and never seen her before) Whether or not that’s the case, I can’t make the sale, I could be fired if I did.

Customer: But now I have to go somewhere else!

Me: …

Customer: Well?! Aren’t you going to stop me going somewhere else?!

Me: There’s not really anything I can do, I can’t break policy and possibly the law for you, sorry. If you hadn’t said they were for someone else there’d be no problem.

Customer: But I’ve got to go somewhere else to buy them now! *Holds out hand expectantly*

(After a bit more back and forth she eventually left complaining that she’d have to go somewhere else and that these cigarettes were more important than my job anyway, she never did indicate who they were actually for, which made me more suspicious that she was actually buying them for someone under-age.)