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!

Customers With Very Specific Baggage

| Tigard, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(I work at a large retail store. On the credit card machine, at the end of every transaction, a one question survey would pop up for the customer, asking to rate our customer service, from 1 to 5. I’ve just finished ringing up a customer and put her items in a plastic bag. She has been fairly normal so far, until…)

Customer: “Do you have any bags with handles?”

Me: “Yes, all our bags have handles.”

Customer: “No, I mean a paper bag. I don’t want plastic.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. All we have are plastic bags.”

Customer: *angrily replies* “Well, I don’t want a plastic bag!”

(She then picks up the stylus pen and chooses “1” on the customer service questions, deliberately pushing down so hard on the screen that it permanently leaves a mark.)

Customer: “Next time have paper bags!”

Shake Up The Calorie Count

| Perth, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Health & Body

(Our shake/sundae machine is down for cleaning and boy, did that create a lot of unhappy customers.)

Customer: “I’d like a chicken burger meal with a chocolate shake, please.”

Me: “Sorry, our shake machine is down for maintenance at the moment. Would you like to try a chocolate frappe instead?”

Customer: “What’s in that?”

Me: “Blended ice, chocolate, and whipped cream on top. It’s—”

Customer: “Oh, no, that’d have way too much sugar and fat. I’ll have a [Soda] instead.”

Me: “…Okay, then.”

(Frappes have a lower calorie count than both shakes AND [Soda]. I just… sigh.)

It’s All Fun And Games Until The Till

| Ashford, England, UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(Every morning, around 9 am, we have “Team Brief,” where the manager talks about the business issues of the day with the workers. The briefing takes place in an alcove near the lift, which is just off to the side of the main store. There is no door separating the customer area and alcove. The manager usually makes the briefings very informal. On this particular day, two colleagues remain on the tills to serve customers – one on a full sized till, and one on the “10 items or fewer” till. The briefing is going well and the manager has said something amusing, causing us all to laugh.)

Angry Customer: “Why the **** are you standing here laughing? I want to be served!”

(Everyone stops laughing, and the manager goes out to see what is happening. The small till is empty, but there are two customers waiting at the big till.)

Manager: “This till is available, sir.”

Angry Customer: “That’s not a proper till! I demand a proper till! If you were serving and not f****** around in there then I wouldn’t have to f****** wait!”

(Another employee opened another “proper” till and serves the man, who stormed off angrily after that. Nevertheless, we were all in a quiet mood for some time afterward.)

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 42

| USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Money

(The customer in question is trying to purchase just under $300 worth of material. Their card declines.)

Customer: “Oh, I’m sorry. Let me go outside and call my bank.”

(Comes back in a few minutes later on the phone.)

Customer: “Can you take a check over the phone?”

Me: “Do you mean a credit card?”

Customer: “No, a check. Like if I give you all the information off it can you take it over the phone?”

Me: “…No. I can’t take a check over the phone, sorry.”

(His wife shows up 15 minutes later with a check. I run in through our machine just to be safe. It is also declined.)

Me: “Sorry, your check was also declined. I’ll only be able to take cash as payment.”

Customer: “I don’t understand why it won’t go through! We just deposited $30,000 yesterday!”

Me: *trying to hide my skepticism* “I’m sorry for the trouble. Sometimes banks can be troublesome. Maybe you should call them again?”

(They went outside to ‘call their bank’ but ended up leaving in their new SUV, and new trucking pulling their new trailer.)

Related:
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 41
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 40
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 39

Set Up To Be Upset

| USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(I answer our phone at work. A customer wants to place a catering order. After working with her to copy down her order, she asks for a total. I have to go through a longer process to actually enter the order into our system, so I call her back.)

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name]. I’m calling to let you know your total will be [price].”

Customer: “That’s not right. I got [price].”

(I look over what she had requested for her order. I realize that one of the things she asked for was a premium item that wasn’t the same price as the rest of the catering sandwiches.)

Me: “Oh, the two chicken veggies are a little more than the regular sandwich prices.”

Customer: “Well, that’s not right! I called yesterday and spoke to a girl who said that the chicken didn’t cost extra.”

Me: “I’m sorry about that, ma’am. I’m not sure why they told you that chicken doesn’t cost extra but it does. The veggies normally come without it and adding it adds an additional charge.”

Customer: “The girl I spoke to yesterday said they were just additions, so they didn’t cost extra!”

Me: “Well, they are additions. ALL additions aside from our basic toppings cost extra.”

Customer: “I’m really upset that you’re telling me the chicken will cost extra!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but it’s always cost extra. Do you know who you spoke to?”

Customer: “No, I don’t remember her name!”

(I list a few females names that may have answered the phone. She doesn’t recognize any of them.)

Me: “I’m sorry about that, ma’am, but there may just have been a miscommunication. Perhaps she misunderstood your question or misspoke, because I can’t imagine any of our employees who you would have spoken to yesterday who would mistakenly tell anyone that chicken is a free addition.”

Customer: “I’m really upset that you’re telling me that the chicken is extra!”

Me: “…I’m sorry that there was a miscommunication about it, but chicken has always been extra.”

Customer: “I’m very upset about this! So, what, how much extra is it, what, two dollars?”

Me: “Yes, it would be two dollars total extra. It’s a dollar extra for chicken per sandwich.”

(The customer didn’t speak for a moment, presumably adding up the price again. We went over the prices twice and she asked for me to give her the total again. We eventually finalized everything. I didn’t work the next day, but apparently she sent someone else to go pick up the order. Apparently, she also wrote a customer complaint about how upset she was that chicken costs money!)