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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!

Refuses To Walk A Mile In Full Price Shoes

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | At The Checkout, Money, Spouses & Partners

(We are currently having a shoe sale which is ‘buy two and get a third pair half price.’ The sign also states they have to be purchased in the one transaction. A woman comes in; her English is not very good so communication is a little difficult. She has bought two pairs on a previous day and now wants a third pair half price. I try to explain to her about the one transaction rule, but she looks very confused. She is very nice and I feel bad for her. She leaves looking confused and disappointed. Only after do I think of returning the two pairs she previously bought and then selling them back to her together with the discount. A little while later she comes back with her husband, who speaks better English. I’m happy to see her since figuring out a solution, until her husband opens his mouth and is extremely rude.)

Husband: “You need to sell these to my wife at half price like your sign says.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. I tried to explain that the deal is—”

Husband: “—I don’t care what the ‘deeeaaalll’  is. My wife bought two shoes so she gets a third pair half price.”

Me: “Okay, I understand. Like I was saying they have to be bought in the same transaction but—”

Husband: “I. DON’T. CARE. You refused to serve my wife. Now you will give them to her half price or I want to see a manager!”

Me: “I’m sorry if I have upset your wife, and I’m happy to help. Just let me just explain first. I can’t override the system but what I can do is—”

Husband: “NO! This is ridiculous.” *he rants for a while longer, then smiles weirdly* “You know what, I just want to return these two shoes for a full refund.” *he then turns and murmurs to his wife* “Then we’ll just buy them back and get the half price.” *sniggers*

Me: *inwardly sighing* “Okay, I can refund them if you like.”

(As I’m doing the refund he is murmuring nasty things under his breath and I’m tempted to refuse service, but I feel bad for his wife so just keep smiling and decide to kill him with kindness. I finish the refund and then straight away put the sale back through with all three items, with the half price included.)

Me: “Sir, the refund is all done.”

Husband: *talking down to me very smugly* “Excellent. Now here is what we’re going to do. I’m going to buy all three of these back, with the half price. What do you think of that?”

Me: “That’s a very good idea, sir. I did try to tell you I could do that for you before. In fact, I’ve already put the sale through for you, I just need you to sign here for your card and I can print the receipt for you.”

(The shock on his face was priceless. I sincerely hope his wife enjoyed those shoes… and found a better husband.)

Unable To Make-Up

| Concord, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I have recently quit my job and am working the cash register on my last scheduled day. I’ve made it to my last half hour without incident. At the time, the shift supervisor and I are the only people on the floor as our coworker is on lunch. A middle-aged customer walks up to my register, cuts in front of a regular customer, and throws a plastic bag onto the counter.)

Customer: “This makeup I bought is terrible. I hate it. It doesn’t bring out my eyelashes like it should and I want you to do something about it.”

Me: “Err, I can definitely give you a refund if you’re unhappy with the product.”

(I open the plastic bag to find that not only does she not have a receipt, but she also doesn’t have the original packing, which means the product doesn’t have the necessary bar code.)

Me: “Ma’am, I do require both the receipt and the original packaging. Do you happen to have either of those?”

Customer: “No, I don’t! I want my money back!”

Me: “I can give you a store gift card with the amount of the refund, but without the bar code I can’t go any further with this. I’ll call my supervisor and have her find the product packaging.”

(I call my supervisor who leaves to find the product on the shelf. We have a large cosmetics section, so this takes a few minutes. The line is growing longer and people are beginning to stare at me expectantly.)

Me: “Ma’am, would it be okay if I helped the customers in line behind you? It will take a few minutes for my supervisor to find the correct product.”

Customer: *completely ignoring the fact that she had cut to the front of the line* “I was here first and you will help me first!”

(My regular customer, an older woman, gives me a knowing nod. Just then my supervisor returns and hands me the product.)

Customer: “I can’t believe your store is so unorganized!” *continues ranting as I complete the return*

(I try my best to ignore the rudeness spilling from her mouth, but it becomes increasingly difficult. I finish her return as best I can.)

Me: “If I could just have you sign the return slip ma’am.” *hands her a pen*

Customer: “I am NOT signing anything! It’s YOUR fault, anyway! Your customer service skills are terrible, your products are terrible, and I’m never shopping here again!”

(At this point the customer throws the pen at me and hits me directly in my eye. I lose my cool, but before I can act my regular customer steps up.)

Regular: “Listen here, lady. I’ve watched you mistreat this young man for the last 5 minutes. Verbal assault is one thing, but now you’ve physically assaulted him. I have half a mind to call the police, but you’re a special case and should be dealt with accordingly.”

(To my complete surprise, my regular begins beating the customer with her purse and runs her out of the store. As the rude woman leaves, my regular follows her out and calls after her.)

Regular: “Make-up can’t fix ugly like yours, honey!”

Getting It All In Español, Part 2

| CA, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words

(A group of guys come in speaking Spanish, which I understand and speak fairly well. They shove the one white guy in the group forward to talk to me, the white hostess.)

Guy: *in English* “Hi, uh, can we get a table for eight, please?”

Me: *in English* “Sure thing. I think I have one cleared off, but let me go check for you.”

Guy: *in English* “Yeah, no problem.”

(I go to check the table. It is clear. When I get back, the guys are talking to the bartender in Spanish.)

Guy: *in Spanish* “The girl here was pretty cute, huh, man?”

Bartender: *in Spanish* “Yeah, she’s okay.” *looks at me, says in Spanish with an evil grin:* “Hey, white girl, is the table ready yet?”

Me: *in Spanish* “Yeah, it’s ready. Come on, guys.”

(The whole group blushed bright red. They were very polite to the staff the whole time and left us a great tip!)

Related:
Getting It All In Español

A Legal Standing

| IN, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Criminal & Illegal

(Just the pharmacist and I are working the late shift, around 2:00 am. at a popular 24-hour pharmacy. An elderly woman, who has a reputation for getting prescriptions early, hands me a script for painkillers.)

Elderly Customer: “Hi, I need this filled.”

Me: *for narcotics, our store requires we ask vague questions to help weed out fraudulence* “All righty, is this from today?”

Elderly Customer: “Yes, but I want it dated for three days ago.”

Me: “Forgive me?”

Elderly Customer: “Yes. You all cheated me out of my pills, so I had to wait three days for my refill. So you will date it three days early so that i can get it early from now on.”

(The pharmacist, a 65-year-old man who’s so close to retirement he’s not afraid of being fired, hears the conversation and comes over.)

Pharmacist: “Hello, I’m the pharmacist. Can I help you with something?”

Elderly Customer: “Yes. Your technician refuses to fill my prescription. I want you to fill it and date it for three days ago.”

Pharmacist: “No. It is against the law to do so. I will fill and date it for today.” *turns to leave*

Elderly Customer: “Hey, a**-hole! I’m not done with you!”

(At this point, the pharmacist turns slowly around. I am searching for cover.)

Elderly Customer: “You’re gonna fill my d*** pills for how I want! I’m the customer!”

Pharmacist: “What you are asking is so illegal, it isn’t even physically possible to do with our software.”

Elderly Customer: “It’s not illegal where I’m standing.”

(The elderly customer gives a big grin like she has won. The pharmacist proceeds to walk around the counter, out of the pharmacy, and stands next to the customer.)

Pharmacist: “Ehhh. Nope! It’s illegal over here, too. Good luck getting that filled, though.”

(He handed her the prescription, and she stormed away screaming curses.)

Doesn’t Quite Swear By That DVD Player

| Vancouver, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Language & Words

(I work at a store that doesn’t do refunds. If a customer wants to return an item, we can only offer to exchange it for the exact same item, or give store credit to put towards a new purchase.)

Customer: “Hi, I’d like to return this DVD player. It no longer works.”

Me: “Sure. Would you like to do a straight exchange, or would you like a store credit?”

Customer: “Straight exchange, please. I really like this DVD player, and I’d really like another one like it.”

Me: “All right, just let me see if we have any in stock.”

(I do a search on my computer, and we show zero in stock. I even check with the stockroom staff to verify this.)

Me: “Sir, I’m afraid to say this, but we no longer have this DVD player in stock.”

Customer: “Are you sure?”

Me: “I’m absolutely sure. There aren’t any on the shelves, the computer says we have zero, and there aren’t any in the back. We’re all tapped out, I’m afraid.”

Customer: “Aw, s***!”

(Both the customer and I notice that there’s a small child next to us, and he heard the whole thing.)

Customer: “Uh, I mean poo-poo caca. Aw, poo-poo caca, I can’t believe you ran out of my favorite DVD player. Can you check to see if any other locations might still have it? I’m sorry to ask you this, but I really like this DVD player.”

Me: “Sure thing. Which location is the nearest to you?”

Customer: “Can you try [Location #1]?”

Me: “Certainly.”

(I dial the number to Location #1 to make my inquiry.)

Me: “I just got off the phone with [Location #1]. They don’t have it either.”

Customer: “Poo-poo caca. Can you try [Location #2]?”

(I phone up Location #2.)

Me: “They don’t have it either.”

Customer: “Aw, poo-poo caca. Can you try [Location #3]?”

Me: “Okay…”

(This went on for four more locations, and they all don’t have the very specific DVD player that my customer is looking for. Every time I told him the bad news, he responded with “poo-poo caca.”)

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