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!

An Unhealthy Understanding Of Health

| PA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Health & Body

(I am in line to buy a hot chocolate in the coffee shop section of a bookstore. I notice two women in line behind me, wondering out loud if they have hot chocolate.)

Woman #1: “Do you think they have hot cocoa? I really want hot cocoa.”

Me: “They do, actually. I’m getting some myself! They have the BEST hot chocolate.”

Woman #2: “Oh, that’s great! I wanted to get some since I just read that hot cocoa is really healthy for you!”

Me: “Healthy?”

Woman #2: “Yeah! They said that it is SO healthy for you, and that you should drink some every day!” *she notices the pastry display* “Oh! I think I’ll get a cupcake, too! Those are SUPER healthy!”

They Have You At Check-Mate

| AR, USA | At The Checkout, Money, Popular

(This particular customer has come to our store multiple times and this always happens.)

Cashier: “May I please see an ID?”

Customer: “Sure, sure, but my name isn’t on the check. My husband’s name is on it and we have the same address though.”

(She pulls out her ID and hands it to the cashier.)

Cashier: “I’m sorry but unless your name is on the check, I can’t take this form of payment.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous. I do this all the time. She let me do it before!”

(The customer points at me.)

Me: “No, ma’am, I did not. Our policy is that we cannot accept personal checks unless they have your name, which matches your ID, printed on it.”

Customer: “Come on, just take my check. I swear you’ve taken it before.”

(At this point she looks behind herself at the next customer.)

Customer: “Can you believe this! How ridiculous is this?”

Customer #2: “Don’t look at me. I’m not going to help you try to get these girls fired.”

(After that the customer was just done. She left her cart full of things on the counter and stormed out all angrily.)

Dispatched With Relative(s) Ease

| CO, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers, Popular

(I work in a family restaurant. The family is an elderly couple who pass their restaurant onto their two children, a brother and sister.)

Customer: “I’m [Male Owner]’s brother, and he always gives me a discount.”

Me: *seeing red flags* “Oh, okay. What’s your name?”

Customer: “Ryan.”

Me: “Okay, he’s actually here right now. I’ll let him know you’re here.”

Customer: *practically jumping out of his chair* “NO, don’t do that! It’s busy. I don’t want to bother him.”

Me: “Don’t be silly! We only have a few tables. He’d be mad if I didn’t tell him you were here. Plus, you’re family. He can set aside a few minutes. I’ll have him come out here, and I’ll let him know you want a discount, too.”

(I walk away, but instead of walking to the back, I walk right to the hostess stand and wait. I watch them as they get up, get their coats, and begin to leave, avoiding eye contact with me.)

Me: *with a patronizing half-smile* “Have a good night.”

Did Nazi That Coming

TX, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Popular, Religion

(I work in a gas station located on a major interstate, and we get a lot of out-of-town customers who are just passing through. Many of them object to the company’s policy of requiring customers to pre-pay for gas.)

Customer #1: “I want to fill up with gas, but I want to buy drinks, too. Can you just hold my card and turn on the pump?”

Me: “No, sir, I’m sorry; company policy does not allow me to do that, in the event that a card may be declined.”

Customer #1: “My card is good. Just turn on the pump.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I’m not allowed to do that. You will have to use your card to pay at the pump and come in to purchase your drinks separately.”

Customer #1: “This is bull-s***! Why should I have to make two separate purchases? You just like telling people what to do! You’re a god-d*** [Gas Station] Nazi!” *continues ranting and cursing, using the word “Nazi” at least four more times*

Customer #2: *in line behind Customer #1* “That will be enough of that, young man.”

(Customer #1 rounds on Customer #2, obviously preparing to continue his tirade. Customer #2, an elderly lady wearing a necklace with a large silver Star of David pendant, looks back at him calmly as his mouth shuts with a snap. Without looking at either of us again, he slinks off and drives away.)

Me: “I’m so sorry about that, ma’am.”

Customer #2: “Quite all right, miss. Twenty dollars on pump two, please.”

Me: “Thank you, and have a lovely day!”

Customer #2: “Shalom!”

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…”