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!

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.)

No ID, No Idea, Part 24

| Canada | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Popular, Underaged

(It’s the law that you need to have your ID to be in the liquor store, except for children with parents. A group of young gentlemen come in. Several choose items and carry them to the front. Once everything is on the counter, one of the men steps forward to pay.)

Me: “Hi, guys! I need to see everyone’s ID, please!”

Customer #1: “Why? How old do you think I look?”

Me: “Well, you look like you’re under 25, so I’ll need to see that ID, please. Same goes for everyone else.”

Customer #1: “But I’m the only one buying something. This is all for me.”

Me: “That’s great, but I can’t know for sure that they’re not going to have some since you all carried it to the front. It’s the law that I need to ID everyone. Plus I still haven’t seen your ID.”

(At this point there’s a line of several people forming.)

Customer #1: “Yeah, but I’m the only one buying it.”

Me: “Last chance. I need to see everyone’s ID, please.”

Customer #1: “How old do you think I am? Really.”

Me: “Not old enough to buy liquor. Since you won’t show me your ID, you’re now loitering on the premises. You need to leave the store now.”

Customer #1: “Wait! I’ll show you my ID.”

Customer #2: “I have mine as well!”

Me: “You’ve wasted enough of my time. There are seven people behind you waiting to pay, many of whom have their IDs out and ready. Your other buddies still don’t have their IDs out. I’ve explained to you that I’m required by law to see them, and given you multiple chances to show me. I’ve had enough. Get out.”

Customer #1: “You’re going to lose valuable customers! They’ll fire you!”

Me: “They’re not going to fire me. I’m complying with the law and thereby with store policy. My manager just went outside to write down your license plate number and will be calling the police once she has it. She’s got my back. You need to leave now. Go find another liquor store, and don’t pull this crap with them if you want your beer.”

(A couple of the guys checked outside and saw the manager walking towards their vehicle. They booked it out, and I haven’t seen them since.)

Related:
No ID, No Idea, Part 23
No ID, No Idea, Part 22
No ID, No Idea, Part 21

Can’t Ignore The Little Comment

| QC, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Popular

(Customer #1 approaches me while I am already helping Customer #2.)

Customer #1: “Can you come help me when you are done with the little old lady?”

Customer #2: *who obviously heard* “Here, honey, now you can go help the fat lady!”

Leaving Only With Emotional Scar(f)s

, | UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Popular

(I am a volunteer in a charity shop. There is nowhere to store personal belongings, so I put my handbag under the counter and my coat and scarf on the back of the cashier’s chair – this is also behind the counter. I am sitting on the chair. A customer is about to pay for a book, and spots my scarf. There are several scarves for sale in the shop, including in the window display.)

Customer: “Can I see that scarf, please?”

Me: “Which one?”

Customer: “There.” *points to my scarf*

Me: “Oh, sorry, that’s mine. We have lots of others around the shop.”

Customer: “Yours? What do you mean?”

Me: “It’s mine; it belongs to me. It’s not for sale.”

Customer: “Of course it’s for sale. You can’t just keep anything you like the look of. I want to buy it. How much is it?”

Me: “No, sorry, it’s mine. It’s not from the shop. It’s really not for sale.”

Customer: “Yes, it is. How much?”

Me: “It’s MY scarf, I wore it to come to work this morning, it BELONGS to me, and it is NOT for sale. I can’t be much clearer.”

(At this point the customer glares at me and starts to walk AROUND the counter, looking at my scarf and is obviously just going to grab it. The other customers are staring at her in disbelief. I take my scarf from the chair and stuff it under the counter with my handbag, and physically stand in front of the customer so she can’t get round to the cashier’s area.)

Customer: “Hey, I want that! You can’t just hide it and keep it for yourself.”

Me: “Yes, I can, because it’s mine. You are not buying it. I am not going to sell it to you. Now, do you want the book?”

(She stands and glares at me, then throws the book onto the counter and stomps out of the shop, shaking her head and making comments about how rude I am and how she can’t believe how I treated her.)

Next Customer: *after a few moments of stunned silence* “So… how much for your coat, then?”