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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!

The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Technology

(My store often offers promotions where if you buy two of certain items, you get a free $5 store gift card. Due to how our system works, the gift card has to be scanned to activate it. A customer comes up to me at the service desk, complaining that she’s been charged for the free gift card.)

Customer: “The sign said if I bought these two products, I’d get a free gift card. But the cashier charged me for the card!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Can I see your receipt? I’ll try to get this straightened out.”

(I look at her receipt, and she hasn’t been charged. It says:)

-Gift Card $5

-Free Promotion -$5

-Promo total $0

(I explain this to her, pointing out where the negative number cancels out the card amount.)

Customer: “…Well, I guess I wasn’t charged. But I’m still going to ask my husband to double-check this when I get home. This would be so much easier if you just gave people the card without scanning it!”

Me: “But ma’am, as I said, if it wasn’t scanned it wouldn’t activate, and you’d be given an empty card.”

Customer: “Well, that’s your problem, isn’t it?!”

(She finally leaves and another customer comes up.)

Customer #2: “Let me guess… that happens way more often than it should.”

Me: “You have no idea…”

Unable To Please You

| Lancashire, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Language & Words

(I am a cashier. Two customers approach the counter; one of them has an item of fruit.)

Customer #1: “Is this [price #1]?”

Me: “No, sir, it’s [price #2].”

Customer #2: *in a stern tone* “Please.”

Me: “…sorry?”

Customer #1: “So you should be. You say please when you tell me the price.”

Me: “It’s [price #2]… please?”

Customer #2: “That’s better.” *to Customer #1* “Don’t they teach people manners these days?”

(They put down the fruit and walk off.)

Me: “But… I… I was answering a question.”

Credited With Being An A**-Hole

| Reno, NV, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I work as a cashier for a sporting goods store. On this particular night, I’m training a new cashier on our store policies and procedures. In the middle of her training, a man and his three children approach my counter and set their purchases down. I halt the training to take care of them.)

Me: “Good evening, sir. How are you doing tonight?”

Customer: “Fine.”

(His attitude is a bit sharp, but nothing I’m not used to. As I ring up his purchases, he pulls a card from his wallet and prepares to swipe.)

Me: “Credit or debit?”

Customer: “Credit.”

Me: “Okay, may I see your card and ID, sir?”

(Instead of handing me both cards, he simply turns his credit card around to show me the signature.)

Me: “Sir, I need your ID as well.”

Customer: “The signature on the back is enough verification.”

(Our company policy states that any credit card without a picture on the card itself must be checked against the cardholder’s ID. As far as our managers are concerned, this is one of the few policies that is non-negotiable and absolutely must be followed. This is, of course, to prevent credit card fraud and cashiers who don’t check IDs are very likely to get in trouble.)

Me: “Sir, I need to see your card AND your ID.”

Customer: *pointing to signature* “My signature is enough. If you read right there, it states that signatures on Visa cards are enough to verify identity.”

(I begin to panic slightly, as I don’t like arguing with customers, especially one this agitated. But I’m not willing to risk my losing job over him, so I stand my ground.)

Me: “Sir, corporate policy states that we need to check your card and your ID.”

Customer: “Visa says that my signature is enough for you to verify.”

Me: “Sir, I’m just trying to follow the rules that I’ve been trained to follow. I need to check your ID.”

(The customer again refuses to show me his ID. I’m still not willing to risk losing my job over one customer, so I call my manager over to support me.)

Me: “[Manager]! Can you come here, please?”

Manager: “Is everything all right?”

Customer: “Yeah, everything’s fine.”

(As much as I wanted to dispute his claim, I stay silent. Strangely, the instant I call for my manager, the customer flips open his wallet and flashes his ID at me. It’s a brief glimpse but clear, and I’m able to verify that he is the cardholder and finish the transaction. I bag up his items and he leaves, leaving me slightly shaken.)

Me: *turning to the new hire* “I’m so sorry you had to see that.”

New Hire: *laughs* “It’s okay. I work in a casino, so I deal with difficult people all the time.”

(Customer #2 comes up to my register and places his stuff down. I quickly scan it through as he pulls out a card.)

Me: “Credit or debit?”

Customer #2: “Doesn’t matter; whatever’s easier.”

New Hire: *jokingly* “Don’t say credit.”

Me: *playing along* “Please don’t say credit!”

Customer #2: *laughing* “No, I’m doing debit. I could hear him from the other end of the store.”

(Customer #2 took his purchases and left. My manager came up to the registers to check on me and the new hire. Apparently Customer #1 was making such a scene that every other customer and coworker within the store could hear him, even those at the opposite end of the building. My manager sided with me, citing our policy, and commended me for following the rules. I was proud of myself for standing my ground, but I felt bad that the new hire had to witness such a difficult customer on her first night.)