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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!

Not Gifted In The Art Of Returns

| CO, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(While starting up my medical program, I am working at an outdoor style clothing store, which is a person’s name and not just initials or a place, in the mall. We are pretty busy, resulting in me being stuck on the register since I am the fastest at it.  I am the team leader for the current shift when this guy comes in with a hand full of socks, two shirts, and a pair of jeans. With him is a reasonably attractive blond, who I believe is his wife, since they have matching wedding bands on.)

Me: “Hey, how are you? What can I do for you?”

Him: “Well, my secretary got me all this stuff for my birthday and none of it is my style. I have never shopped at [Store] before and I don’t intend to. Not to mention none of these fit.”

Me: “Oh, no problem. Do you happen to have the receipt or gift receipt?”

(The man sighs, tapping the jeans with the palm of his hands.)

Him: “No, why would I? It was a gift. I told you that.”

Me: “Which is why I asked if you had a gift receipt. It’s all good, though. I can still get these returned for you. I don’t remember any of these having a sale outside of our coupons.”

(I ring everything up, coming up with a decent amount, and let him know.)

Me: “So, no, nothing was on sale, so I can give you the full price of it all. However, I can only do a gift card or a merchandise credit.”

Him: “WHAT?! Just give me the cash!”

Me: “I cannot do that. The register doesn’t even give me the option to do that. I will, unfortunately, also need your driver license to finalize the return.”

Him: “This is absolutely uncalled for! I am NOT giving your my license! I am NOT taking store credit! I told you I NEVER SHOP HERE! There is NOTHING you have that I want! I want to talk to who’s in charge!”

Me: “Hello, that’s me.”

(I smile and wave at him like an anime character.)

Him: “This is absolute bull-s***! You are an a**-hole! I can’t believe you don’t want to help me!”

Me: “I am helping you. You just don’t want the help.”

(At this point he grabs everything, while still screaming about how the ‘Return Anything Without A Receipt’ sign is a lie, so I point out where it says ‘Store Credit.’ As he’s screaming profanities at this point, I tell him he needs to leave or I’m having the police escort him out, since they have officers walking the mall. He hands the items to his arm candy, and he can’t help but scream one more time.)

Him: “I am NEVER shopping here again!

Me: “According to you, you never shopped here to begin with! You’re kind of like a vegetarian boycotting KFC: It doesn’t matter.”

No Will For A Refill

| MO, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers

(I’m currently at the register because the manager on shift doesn’t like to be up there all day. I normally don’t mind too much, and he’ll put someone else on if I’m just not feeling it. It is getting late and we have several customers in the store when the manager comes up and leans in close, which is always a sign that he’s talking about a customer.)

Manager: *whispering* “There’s a man in a baseball cap with a frozen refill in a mug and he’s going to say it’s ice.”

(After he says that he gets off the register to return to the store and I wait for the man in question. After a couple of minutes a man fitting the description comes up with a fifty two ounce mug and says it is an ice refill.)

Me: “My manager just told me that that is a frozen refill.”

Man: *getting grumpy* “No, it’s ice.”

Me: “If it’s ice, could you open it and show me?”

Man: “Fine, just take it!”

(He shoved the mug at me, luckily not knocking it off the counter, before he stormed out of the store. I double-checked that, yes, the mug was filled with one of our frozen drinks. A few minutes later my manager came back up and told me that the man saw him and threatened ‘to get him.’ All of this over a dollar-something refill that we caught him trying to filch.)

The Employee Fee

| Mesquite, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers

(I work in the home department of a widely-known department store. It’s close to Christmas and on this day, I happen to be in the china/dinnerware section. A woman with a child in a stroller and another on-the-way comes up to my register with a Christmas tree shaped candy dish.)

Me: “Good evening! Did you find everything okay?”

Customer: “Don’t ring that up yet. I just want to know how much it is.”

(At this point, I have a chance to get a better look at her. She has fingernail scars on her face and a ratty t-shirt that looks like she hasn’t changed for a week. I get a bad vibe about her but I try my best to be polite and courteous. I look and the tag on the bottom of the dish.)

Me: “It’s $15.99, miss.”

Customer: “How much would that be with my employee discount?”

Me: “You’re an employee? Which store do you work at?”

Customer: “Ummm… the one at [Nearby Mall].”

Me: “Oh, really? What department are you in?”

Customer: “Uh… jewelry. Look, can we just get on with this?”

Me: “Well, the employee discount is 25% off so this would be about $12. Do you need to make a payment on your card first?”

(The employee discount only works with a prepaid card.)

Customer: “Oh, I don’t have it with me. Can’t I just give you my driver’s license?”

(At this point, I know she’s lying about being an employee, but I keep going through the motions.)

Me: “Well, if you don’t have your card with you, we can just call the card service department and get the number. All I need is your social.”

Customer: “You don’t need my social security number!”

Me: “Have you never done this before? All you do is call the toll-free number right here and enter your number. You can key it on the phone yourself. I don’t need to see it.”

Customer: “You DON’T need my social.”

Me: “It’s how all the employees look up their card number. I’ve helped several do it. Look, you can use the phone right here at the register. I’ve done it myself a couple times!”

(I try to remain helpful and polite while trying to not to laugh. Regular employees know and expect this routine.)

Customer: “YOU DON’T NEED MY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, YOU THIEF!”

Me: “If you would like, I can call [Manager at Nearby Mall location] to confirm your status and clarify how we should confirm your employee discount card number.”

(The customer stomps away from the register, screaming.)

Customer: “I’VE NEVER BEEN SO INSULTED. I’VE BEEN AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS!”

(After she walks out, an older employee, who saw and heard everything (and has been at this store for 6 years), walks up to me.)

Older Employee: “I’ve never seen her before in my life… and she’s not even old enough to have worked anywhere for 10 years.”

(We both got a good laugh out of the ordeal and told our manager about it later, who also chuckled a bit.)