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A Sticker Sticking Point

| Right | November 19, 2016

(I work as a cashier in a well-known chain. We have a customer who likes to remove clearance stickers off cheap items and attach them to full-price items, then go to the newest cashiers who won’t argue it much. She comes up to my register when I am still fairly new, but have been working long enough to recognize her. I scan an expensive children’s toy that rings up at $49.99)

Customer: “Excuse me? The sticker says it’s on clearance for $2.44.”

(I look at the register where it says $49.99, and then look at the clearance sticker. I immediately realize what’s going on, but since we aren’t allowed to accuse anyone of something, I play along. I type in the product number on the sticker and it comes up as a decorative herb container from home decor, not even remotely close to anything resembling a toy.)

Me: “Huh, that’s strange. Oh, I see. Another customer must have put the sticker on this one for some reason. This wouldn’t have been something we did, it’s from a completely different department. Sorry, but the actual price is $49.99. See the sticker? It’s originally for a $5 item. I can take 10% off for your troubles.”

Customer: *being nice, but uncooperative* “Uh, no. The sticker says it’s on clearance. This is for my son’s birthday and I can’t spend fifty bucks on some toy. I found it on the shelf like this. You need to honor it.”

Me: “I can get my manager and see what she says, but I doubt we can give it to you for less than $3.” *I turn on my light and wait for my manager to arrive*

Manager: “How can I help?”

(The customer jumps in to explain the situation before I can. My manager takes a look and enters the product number like I did while listening to the customer.)

Manager: “Unfortunately, I can’t honor this. Likely a customer put this on here intending to get it for cheap, but never came back for it. I can offer you 10% off.”

Customer: “Like I told her, I can’t do that. I really think you should honor it.”

Manager: “I’m sorry; we can’t do that.”

Customer: “Is there someone else you can ask?”

Manager: “I’ll see what I can do and be right back.”

(My manager goes into her office and the woman, who has been mostly friendly at this point, tries to chat me up, saying “This always happens to me every time, blah blah.” Finally my manager returns.)

Manager: “I spoke to the store manager himself and he said we can do 50% off since the sticker was for 50% off the intended item, but we cannot do the $2.44. You can have it for $24.49 instead, which is still a great deal for such a popular toy.”

Customer: *giving my manager a nasty look and getting angry* “Seriously? Ugh. Fine, never mind, then. I don’t want it if you won’t honor your own prices. Take it off and finish it up.”

(My manager took the item back to the service desk where she took the sticker off and threw it away. The customer didn’t even acknowledge me after that. Later on, my manager came back up with the item the sticker was intended for, and you could see where a sticker had been removed.)

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