Burn Your Return

, , , , , | Right | June 18, 2017

Customer: “I would like to return these pants.”

Me: “Okay, do you have your receipt?”

Customer: “Yes, I do.” *hands the receipt to me* “I’m returning them because the girl blew her nose and picked up a receipt off the floor and didn’t wash her hands. I think they are contaminated.  They are dirty now. You need to train your employees to be sanitary.”

Me: “Aren’t you the woman who used to come in the dry cleaners I used to work at and always complain and try to get a free order? Then I went to working at [Local Drug Store] and you had issues there, too. Let me tell you something. We are sales associates who try to do our jobs and make other people happy. But you are one customer who I know well, and nothing satisfies you.”

Customer: “I want to see a manager.”

(Manager comes up to the register.)

Manager: “How may I help you?”

Customer: “This employee is back-talking me.”

Manager: *holding up the pants* “What is your reason for returning this now? Let me tell you something, miss. Every week, you are in here returning something, sometimes more than once a week.”

Customer: “Well, your sales associates are disrespectful and this item was touched by someone who didn’t wash their hands after they rang me up and they blew their nose. They also picked up a slip off the floor. I can’t shop in a store so dirty.”

Manager: “I can return the pants, but honestly, I don’t like to lose customers. In your case, however, your returns are far outweighing your purchases and we feel you are abusing our return policy. This is the last return we are processing for you. I am asking you to not come back in this store, as you’ve had a history of harassing associates.”

(The customer took the completed return and left, clearly in shock. That’s the last time I saw the Watertown Retail Bully ever around my area.)

1 Thumbs
  • David Willy

    MORE management needs to refuse the abusers. If the store was that dirty, why did she enter it in the first place?

    • Catherine Stone

      To get free stuff.

  • Will Flynn

    I would like to think this could/would happen more and more often. Sadly, not unless something drastic happens.

  • Sara van der Merwe

    If only most managers were like this. Instead, all of the ones I’ve seen are the ‘bend backwards for every customer no matter how rude’ type. If only they would realise that type of business running doesn’t work.

    • Donnell Hanog

      Usually, that’s corporate/the owners talking through the managers, not the managers themselves.

      • Kathy Plester

        This is very true – I’ve worked many different jobs and it was almost always the case that in places where corporate had your back, managers would stand up to customers, but in places where corporate would always undermine and overturn decision made by managers, managers gave up and gave in. What was the point, corporate were just going to give them their way. Of course there were generally sh*tty managers anyway who would give in because they couldn’t be bothered, but normally this was the case.

    • The Aussie Bloke

      *Throws choc-chip cookies at Ruby*

      • Sara van der Merwe

        You have made a grave mistake. I’m talking Pyrrha levels of grave here.

        • The Aussie Bloke

          Ruby doesn’t want cookies? 🙁

          • Sara van der Merwe

            Oh, she wants those cookies all right… you better be prepared for a food fight! Team rwby will not be conquered!

          • Hahn Ackles

            I can exactly imagine Ruby’s voice saying “You have made a grave mistake.” In that playful tone of hers. XD

            Cave Johnson is right, though (he usually is, except maybe about the shower curtain thing); too soon! D:

          • Sara van der Merwe

            Humour is what Pyrrha would have wanted. Right, Jaune?

        • Cave Johnson

          Too soon

  • David Bourke

    If the story was true why did the customer take them in the first place instead is touching them, going home and then coming back.

    • JenL

      Because the real reason she wants to return them is somewhere between “didn’t try them on in the store, got home and doesn’t like how they fit” and “if I return enough and complain enough, they’ll give me coupons or store credits so I can get free stuff”. Or maybe it’s “wear it once, then return it, so I have an ever-changing wardrobe without paying for it.”

      • Abigail Hermione Irwin

        My guess would be that last one: wore it once and now wants her money back so she can buy something else that she plans to wear once.

    • Siirenias

      Yeah, the reason was an excuse. Most likely, a lie.

  • Cally

    I hate doing this, mainly because I loathe it when I see it in genuine posts so often, but I don’t think this is real. It just reads so wrong. Some of it might be true, The last paragraph of the manager’s words seem kosher but the majority of the other speech just doesn’t read like someone speaking but making it up in their heads.

    • Bizar_re

      Most stories here are posted days, months, even years after they actually happened. Few people can recall conversations word by word. So, chances are that something roughly like that happened, but dialogues are altered. Doesn’t mean the story isn’t true, though.

      • Alétheia

        Okay, but how likely is it that the OP just happened to encounter this woman and her antics at not one, not two, but three jobs?

        • Bonnie Seaberg

          If she chronically and habitually does this, extremely likely.

        • Sophia West

          Especially if you’re a bad enough customer. I had this one customer whose face I could’ve pinpointed in a crowd a solid year after I left that job and I only interacted with her two or three times during my time there. She was just such a pain in the butt. Constantly wore and returned things after she washed it, once didn’t even bother to dry it when she brought it in for a return cause “there’s a hole.”

        • Tanith Kamelot

          Small town maybe? I’ve encountered the same handful of customers at all three of my jobs (charity shop, CD/DVD store and cosmetics store, respectively) along with running into them at places where I’ve done voluntary work/work experience training. It happens.

        • Donnell Hanog

          Because the woman lived in the area and people like to work close to where they live?

        • Allegra O

          Watertown is a small suburb, it’s mostly a bedroom community. I grew up there.

      • Cally

        I’m not actually saying none of it happened, I just genuinely don’t think the OP called the customer out in any way, shape or form that she has written, even given the sites interesting editing.
        Apart from anything else; the way she has written the customer’s personality, the manager would have been called out before she was half way through her diatribe. She might have wanted to say these things but I genuinely don’t think she said even half of them.
        She might have mentioned the amount of returns which would get a manager called who in turn has made a note of this customers repeated returns and told them what was said in the post.
        Actually the customer and the manager’s words seem fairly accurate in patterns and someone recalling events but the OP’s words do not read as real at all.

        • Patrick Lambert


          For your hard work and diligence in investigating what could of been mistaken as the full truth thus causing a major catastrophic international incident , Sgt. Slaughter salutes you Cally.

          • Jackie Fauxe

            Come on, now. We’re here to discuss the story, and that’s what Cally is doing. She’s not screaming “FAKE!!!”, she’s just explaining why the story seems off to her. Why mock that?

            I think she’s right that the incident probably didn’t go down quite as it was described, but I think most of it can be explained away by condensing and the struggle to remember something word for word.

            I do think it’s odd that the OP gave the customer a hard time over a simple return, and I really wish we knew the condition of the pants she was returning. If they were still pristine and had the tags on, then the customer might have some mental issues, but who cares if she’s a serial returner since the story isn’t losing money? Now, if the pants didn’t still have their tags on, then it’s more likely that the customer was trying to take advantage of the store, and it makes sense that the OP brought up the other instances.

            I’d love it if the OP could tell me which it was. What’s nice about the Disqus comments is that we’re seeing more OPs show up and clarify details. Just the other day, I posted that something didn’t make sense the way it was presented, and the OP replied with the part she’d cut out in order to keep the story shorter. I’m glad I posted my confusion because I like knowing the full story–even though I completely understand why the full story doesn’t always work as the posted story. I encourage more people like Cally to politely post their questions, and I hope more OPs will fill in the blanks for us.

          • Cally

            It’s ok, I was amused.

          • Cally

            Why thank you kindly, Sarge!

            It’s just what I do, you know, got to keep people safe from the subversives.

    • Kathy Plester

      Very few of these stories happen exactly as they are written – some cut huge bits out because although it was relevant it would be pointless to know, and also it is very hard to remember verbatim what was said so the brain fills it in based on what it knows was said but it very rarely is said the way we write it. Sometimes as they have been said are deeply confusing and sound a little weird. Genuine human conversation doesn’t translate well onto paper so we give it context.

      • Cally

        As I say further down, I genuinely don’t think the OP said a thing apart from the amount of returns which got the customer to call for a manager. Where the other speech sounds relatively accurate to how a person relates things, the OP’s wording of what she says sounds very forced and false.

        • Kathy Plester

          They might not have said it to the customer but maybe to the manager. I don’t know. I have heard people say stuff that you wouldn’t expect, that almost don’t sound real.

          For me it could go either way. It could be something they wished they had said or they may have said it.

    • I’m inclined to think this one is possible, just written in a very stilted way while a lot of the others are more polished. I know people with a similar way of writing anecdotes.

    • clemdane

      Exactly. The dialogue sounds completely false.

  • KashyaCharsi

    At first I thought she had OCD or something. “Noo, you touched the money without rubber gloves, now it’s dirtyyy!”

    • NessaTameamea

      That was also my first thought, but I guess if that really were the case she wouldn’t have taken the clothes home with her.

  • Kitty

    Manager shouldn’t have done that return, either. Told her that he and his associates have had enough of her being obnoxious and leave, period.

    • NessaTameamea

      Maybe they couldn’t deny that return if it was fulfilling their return policies. Either way, better to not give that woman more reason to complain.

  • Aaron King

    How do returns outweigh purchases unless they’re stealing?

    • Donnell Hanog

      Net loss from things that couldn’t get resold?

      • Kirishima Touka

        If there’s nothing wrong with it though, there’s no reason why it can’t be resold. Unless returns affect weekly targets or something…

        • Donnell Hanog

          There may have been nothing wrong when it was *bought*. That does not mean there was nothing wrong when it was *returned*. Furthermore, ‘couldn’t be resold’ also includes stock no one else decided to buy post-return.

    • Allegra O

      It means they return more than they keep.

    • Dan

      Corporate often tracks returns and they WILL hold it against a store if they’re over some arbitrary number.

    • Amy Miller

      There are costs to selling items that aren’t recouped when an item is returned. (Labor, credit card fees, etc.) If a customer is continuously returning items far more often than they’re keeping them (which is what I think was meant here), they’re costing the business money.

  • Jen Leslie

    This is magical.

  • Allegra O

    I’m from Watertown! I wonder what store this was…

  • Alyssa Barratt

    Aaanddd next time on things that never happened….

    • Cristian Ilkka

      Aaanddd next time on opinions nobody cares about…

      • James Samuelson

        Aaanddd next time on funny comments that can get meta. . .

      • Alyssa Barratt

        Obviously you care though

  • Vulpis

    It always gets me that customers can be as disrespectful as they want to cashiers, but if the cashier is even the slightest out of line, they get read the riot act. :-/

  • Mushroom

    You got lucky. In most of these stories, the manager is not familiar with the customer’s patterns (the clerk here had dealt with them at 3 jobs, the manager would only maybe know about what went on in his/her store) and sides with the customer. But all’s well that ends well (presuming things happened as described), that’s the point. Congrats!

  • Kathy Plester

    You see – this manager gets it. Customers like this actually cause a loss – you don’t need them. This obsession of clinging onto as many customers as possible is crazy especially ones who lose you more money than you gain.

  • termt

    What crawled up her rear and died…
    What kind of hobby is harassing people while they’re working?

    • Pete Harris

      It’s a hobby that gets discounts and free stuff often enough that some are willing to overlook the fact that it takes a raging jerk to pull it off.

  • Holly

    Somebody should give the customer in this story the news: before she bought these pants, some other people probably tried them on, and some of them may have had dirty underwear or none at all. Enjoy your purchase, Ms. Customer!

  • Flami

    Good for the manager!

    That’s a very specious reason to return something, anyway. I gotta wonder how the customer goes outside since it is probably filled with germs. Maybe she soaks herself in hand sanitizer (NOT RECOMMENDED) when she gets home.

    • Harold Wagner


      • AMH

        No. Specious makes perfect sense there.

        • Harold Wagner

          so does suspicious lol

          • Brad Ryder

            Harold, I think I’ll just call you Herman. It’s a name, too.

          • Harold Wagner

            Okay Barney.

      • Flami

        Please Google the definition of “specious.” It is an actual word.

        • Harold Wagner

          I believe I’ve already acknowledged that both are words.

          • Flami


  • Ellen Mottley Tannenbaum

    How can returns exceed purchases? By definition they could match purchases, at the most. As long as she is only getting her money back, what’s the big deal?

    • Jaxad0127

      Purchases meaning stuff not returned, I’m guessing.

    • Cristian Ilkka

      They waste time if nothing else.

  • Carl Collier

    I never got this reasoning…why buy something if you’re planning to return it…what is…going on >_<

  • beth

    This sounds more like the telling of an urban legend. People really need to learn how to write stories correctly.