Category: At The Checkout

The customer has seemed normal and maybe even intelligent throughout the shopping purchase. But then they get to the checkout and as soon as human interaction is required it all falls apart. The checkout operators really are our first line of defense against the stupid customer!

She’s The Carrier

| UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(In the UK we have implemented a 5p charge on carrier bags; this is to help reduce the number of carrier bags going into landfills. Our store had implemented this well before the other stores. If a customer came in for one item that was easy to carry or put in pocket/handbag, no carrier bag was offered, yet if they had sufficient items, you would offer a carrier bag but explain it would cost them 5p. A very posh looking woman enters the store, walks up the sweets aisle, picks up a small chocolate bar and comes over to my till.)

Me: “Hello, did you find everything you needed today?”

Customer: *said in a posh voice but also very belittling* “Yes, that will be all.”

Me: “Okay, that is [price], please.”

Customer: “Give me a carrier bag.”

Me: “Okay, but carrier bags are 5p now, what with our store’s initiatives to—”

Customer: *cuts me off* “I AM NOT PAYING FOR A CARRIER BAG!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it’s just company policy—”

Customer: “I WILL NOT PAY FOR A CARRIER BAG! I HAVE ASKED YOU FOR ONE AND I WOULD LIKE A CARRIER BAG SUITABLE FOR MY PURCHASE!”

(A queue has built up now and I am beginning to lose my temper. Suddenly an idea pops in my head.)

Me: “One moment, please.”

(I walk out of my till, and walk over to the fruit and veg section nearby, pick up a small plastic bag that would be used to place small amounts of loose fruit or veg in. I walk back to the till and place the chocolate bar inside the bag and hand it to the customer.)

Me: “There we go. So, that was [price], please.”

Customer: “WHAT IS THAT?”

Me: “Well, it is a carrier bag suitable for the small nature of your product and will not cost you a penny extra on your [price], please.”

(The queue of people are making comments about how silly she has been, asking for a carrier bag for a chocolate bar and refusing to pay for a one.)

Customer: “I WANT TO SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER!”

(The manager is called down, and the story was told from both sides with other customers backing me up as she was accusing me of yelling and swearing. The customer was basically told the same thing that I was trying to say about the carrier bags. She admitted defeat but told my manager she wanted this logged as an official complaint against me. The manager pulled me to one side saying by company policy they are meant to give me a verbal warning but that they found it so funny that no such action would take place.)

The Story Isn’t Worthy Of The Magazine

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

(I work at a large supermarket chain which releases a new free magazine for customers each month which includes recipes as well as information about new products we sell and promotions we are running. The magazines are very popular and, as each store only gets a certain amount, and there is no limit to how many a customer can take, it’s not uncommon for us to run out before the month is over. This takes place the day the new magazine has come out.)

Customer #1: “I love these magazines! Would it be all right if I took three?”

Me: “You can have as many as you would like!”

Customer #1: “Awesome!” *jokingly* “I like to sell them on the black market!”

Me: *jokingly* “The trick is to wait until we run out, then you’ll make a killing!

(After Customer #1 has left, Customer #2 puts at least ten of the magazines in his bag.)

Customer #2: “I can’t believe idiots pay money for these! I can’t wait to make millions!”

Me: *laughs as I think he’s joking*

Customer #2: “I bet I can get at least $50 per magazine!”

(Out of morbid curiosity I later checked online. It turned out he tried to sell a free magazine online and got no bids. Clearly he thought free magazines would be a hot selling item at $50 plus $10 shipping each.)

It Doesn’t Matter As Long As It Matters

| Chicago, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(Our chocolate and vanilla cupcakes have a lot of variation in decoration from icing color to type of sprinkle. Some version of this conversation happens several times a day.)

Me: “Do you have a decoration preference?”

Customer: “Oh, it doesn’t matter.” *as I reach for the nearest cupcake* “Oh, no, I wanted the blue one!”

Leave Them All Hanging In The Line

| Racine, WI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(A new store has just opened in the local mall, and is still working on being fully staffed. As a result, the place is pretty busy. I am there as a customer, waiting in line to purchase a few items. There are only two registers open at the moment, so the line is getting quite long. Near the line are a couple racks with hangers on them, and a sign.)

Sign: “In order to get your purchases home faster, please remove your hangers and leave them here.”

(Despite the sign, no one pays much attention to it except me, and my items don’t come with hangers, so it doesn’t apply. I am currently standing between two customers, Customer #1 in front of me and Customer #2 behind.)

Cashier: *calling out for the whole line to hear* “Hi, everyone! If you’re buying any clothing items, if you could please remove your hangers and hang them on the racks beside you in line, it would be a big help!”

Customer #1: “Isn’t that their job?”

Customer #2: “Yeah. I don’t think I got a job here without anyone telling me.”

Me: *speaking out loud, but as if talking to myself* “Maybe they’re just trying to get the line through faster.”

(Neither of the other customers said anything after that, but when Customer #1 was called to the next register, I watched her start removing the hangers herself, leaving them on the counter for the cashier to remove when she could have just as easily removed them while she was still in line.)

Taking Their Baggage With Them

| MI, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

(I am bagging groceries at a local grocery store and my cashier rings up only about 3-4 items. I put them all in one bag to be eco-friendly.)

Customer: “Oh, honey, that’s too heavy for me. Can you separate those into three separate bags?”

Me: “Sure, no problem.”

(I take the lady’s items and put them in three separate bags, taking extra time to distribute the little weight evenly.)

Me: “Here you go, ma’am.”

Customer: “Thanks!”

(She proceeded to grab all three bags in one hand and to walk out the door.)

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