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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!

Medicated And Dedicated

| Perth, WA, Australia | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(It has been a quiet day, and I happen to overhear this conversation between my coworker and the customer. I decided to intervene at one point.)

Customer: “Hi, I’d like to buy a packet of [Medication].”

Coworker: “Sure, what packet size did you want? We have 84, or 168.”

Customer: “Don’t you have the smaller pack? The 28 pack?”

Coworker: “Sorry, I don’t think we do. I’ll go check the back if we might have stock.”

(Whilst my coworker went to the back to check, I decide to converse with the customer to keep the sale.)

Me: “I’m sorry that we don’t have the smaller pack in stock, but the larger packs do work out cheaper than the small pack in the long run. Especially if you need to take them long term.”

Customer: *angrily* “I know that! I’d prefer getting the small pack so I know what I’m taking! And I do need to watch what I spend to be able to put food on my plate each month.”

(My coworker returns.)

Coworker: “I’m sorry but we didn’t have any small packs at the back.”

Customer: *in a huff* “Oh fine, I’ll just take the 84s.”

(While my coworker is processing the sale:)

Customer: “Oh, and these as well.”

(She placed three chocolate bars on the counter.)

Needs To Get That Chip Off Their Shoulder

| BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(I work in a jewelry store in Canada. In Canada, chip-enabled credit cards are the norm, since they provide extra security against fraud, and the cashier doesn’t have to check ID or take a signature. However, my company’s policy is to ALWAYS check customer ID with credit cards, even if they have a chip – no matter how small the purchase is.)

Customer: “Yes, I’ll take the bracelet. Thank you.”

Me: “Fantastic! How would you like to pay today?”

Customer: “Visa, please.”

Me: “No problem, but could I just see a piece of photo ID with the credit card, please?”

Customer: “But it has a chip. You don’t need ID with a chip card. That’s the whole point of the chip.”

Me: “I’m so sorry, sir, it’s just our company policy in order to protect you and other customers when paying with credit. If you’d prefer to pay with a debit card or cash, I won’t need to see any ID at all.”

Customer: “This has never happened to me before! The whole point of a CHIP is so that I don’t need ID!”

Me: “I’m so sorry, sir! If you’d like to run home and grab a debit card or cash, I’d be happy to hold your bracelet for you.”

Customer: “That’s the strangest thing I’ve ever heard. How ridiculous. Could you get your manager?”

Me: “Of course, I’d be happy to.”

(As I move to fetch my manager, the customer grins and throws down two pieces of valid government issued photo ID that match his card.)

Customer: “I’m sorry, sweetheart. I was just teasing you. It’s true I’ve never had this happen to me before, but it’s a really good policy! Good for you for not backing down!”

(I am utterly speechless, but we finish the transaction pleasantly enough)

Customer: “I feel terrible for bugging you like that, but you can tell your manager you’re a star!”

She’s Not Stupid, She Just Acts Like It

| NH, USA | At The Checkout, Money

(I am a manager and have been called up to the register by my cashier because a customer is disagreeing with a price on a cat bed. They have pre-printed prices and have just gone up in price. We have missed tearing one of the old price tags off. The beds are also on sale for $3.00 off with a rewards card.)

Customer: “This bed of a different color said it was $14.99 but it’s ringing up as $19.99.”

Me: “Of course! The price of these actually just changed. We must have missed that other one while taking the tags off. I can change that for you.”

(I go to the screen and point the numbers out to the woman as I speak.)

Me: “Okay! So, the bed is also on sale today for $3.00 off. So what I’m going to do is push the computer to change the price to $17.99 and then it will automatically take off that additional $3.00 for me, bringing the price down to that $14.99 for you today!”

Customer: “Okay, so the bed is on sale, after being $14.99? So shouldn’t the price be lower?”

Me: “The sale is for $3.00 of off the $19.99 price. So if I price match that lower price for you, it’s the lower price of the two options.”

Customer: “But the other bed said $14.99 and it’s on sale! I’ll show you!”

(At this point I try to interject as I believe her 100% and have no problem changing the price for her. She insists though and I wait patiently for her to bring the bed back to me. Meanwhile, her husband is laughing and apologizing for her. Note, she had no idea the bed was on sale previously.)

Customer: *holding the other bed out to me* “See! This says $14.99 right on the tag.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, and that’s what you’re paying for the bed today.”

Customer: “But it was on sale!”

Me: *getting agitated* “Yes, ma’am, it is, off the price of the bed now. But since we forgot to remove that price tag I’m giving it to you for $14.99 instead of $16.99.”

Customer: “Okay, but if I came into the store right now and went to go get a bed, how much would I pay for it?”

Me: *exasperated* “$16.99!”

Customer: “Listen, I’m not stupid! I’m a smart person; I’m just trying to get you to understand. I need to understand. Why am I paying that much for the bed?”

Me: *literally throwing my arms in the air* “Ma’am, how much would you like to pay for the bed today!?”

Customer: “It’s not that! It’s the principle of it!”

Me: “No, Ma’am. I am not going to stand here all day and argue with you. Please, tell me how much you think you should pay for the bed and I will change it for you.”

Customer: “No, just forget it! I’m not stupid; you’re missing the point.”

Me: *sighs* “All right, Ma’am. Well, you have a great day.”

(I walked away, finding several associates in the nearby aisles, that had been listening and laughing. Apparently, after checking out, she tried to explain to my cashier how I was wrong, expressing again how she wasn’t stupid!)