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!

Extra Register Does Not Register

| CT, USA | At The Checkout

(A coworker and I are working the registers during an early afternoon shift at our store. We are both busy ringing out customers at our respective registers, when an elderly gentleman, looking highly confused, approaches my coworker with two younger girls. Keep in mind that I am currently handing my customer her change for the transaction and her receipt, and my coworker is scanning items for her customer. There is also a sign above the registers that says “Check Out Here.” This is all in plain view of the elderly man.)

Elderly Customer: “Is this a register?”

Younger Girls: “YES, IT IS A REGISTER!”

Elderly Customer: “Are you sure?”

Coworker: “Yes, sir, this is a register. Either I or [My Name] could help ring you out in one moment.”

Elderly Customer: “But are you sure? All you are doing is folding clothes. Can you ring me out here?”

Coworker: “Yes, sir, I can ring you out now.”

Elderly Customer: “But you can ring me out here?”

Coworker: *clearly getting annoyed* “Yes, I am free to help ring you out right HERE.”

Elderly Customer: “Okay, but this is really a register? You looked busy folding those clothes, I assumed you were putting them away. I’m so happy you can accommodate me and ring me out here. It would be too hard finding the actual registers!”

(All the while, one of our supervisors overhears the conversation and walks over to me.)

Supervisor: *whispers* “Because clearly the area marked ‘Check Out Here’ is not a register! We should have told him these were the dressing rooms!”

Getting It All In Español, Part 3

| San Marcos, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Language & Words

(I work for a popular clothing retailer, and we have an ongoing issue of persons reselling our merchandise after purchasing.)

Customer: “I would like to return these items. Here is my receipt.”

(After examining the receipt and items, I notice that there are different prices written on the back of the tags.)

Me: “I can’t return these items. They have been resold.”

Customer: “That’s impossible. I bought them for my family, and I demand a refund.”

Me: “I can’t return any of them; they have alternate prices on the back.”

(Her husband walks in and they begin to converse in Spanish. I am fluent.)

Customer: *in Spanish* “This a**-hole won’t do the return. I guess we will take them back to the shop.”

Me: *in Spanish* “So sorry I can’t do the return. Anything else I can do for you?”

(They left in a hurry, but I got a call from another store in another town asking about the same couple. Needless to say, they didn’t get what they wanted there either.)

Getting It All In Español, Part 2
Getting It All In Español

Has Been Given “Alternative Facts” About Climate Change

| PA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

(A woman approaches my register and hands me four reusable grocery bags she has brought with her. I scan her groceries and start bagging them into the reusable bags.)

Woman: “What are you doing! Don’t put stuff directly in the bags! They’ll get dirty!”

(I stand confused for a moment, but she comes around and starts bagging items individually into plastic bags, then putting the plastic bags into the reusable bags. I follow her lead.)

Woman: “Honestly! You’d think they would have you better trained. EVERYONE uses cloth bags nowadays!”

Me: “I apologize. Most people use them because they are better for the environment.”

Woman: *smiling at me now* “Oh, I know. That’s why I bought them!”

That Question Is On Thin Ice

, | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink

(I work in the cafe of a national chain bookstore, where customers can help themselves to free ice water at the condiments counter.)

Me: *tidying up the condiments*

Customer: “Excuse me. Is this real ice?”

Me: “…what’s fake ice?”

Keeping The Card Is Not In The Cards

, | UK | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

(I work in the restaurant in a large chain of department stores that have their own store credit card. I am making coffee and my coworker is next to me on the till. Very few of these store credit cards are under the branding of the old store which closed down 10 years ago but is still fondly remembered by the locals. Usually the holders of these cards consider is a sort of status symbol but these old cards have recently been phased out.)

Coworker: “That will be [price], please.”

(The customer hands her an old branded store card.)

Coworker: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t accept this card. Do you have another form of payment?”

Customer: “Why can’t you accept it? There’s never been a problem before.”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, sir, but we have been given instructions from head office to not accept these cards anymore. I don’t know anymore than that, I’m afraid.”

Customer: “Why? There’s never been a problem before!”

(I decide to step in as I know a little more information.)

Me: “[Company] has decided to phase out the old cards and replace them with new ones. The old cards have now been deactivated and will no longer work with our tills.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I won’t be able to use my card anymore? What am I supposed to do?”

Me: “You should have been issued with a new card by now. It would have been sent through the post.”

Customer: “I was but I don’t want a new card; I want to use my old one!”

(My coworker and I sigh internally.)

Coworker: “If you like I can get a manger for you but I suggest you take this up with customer services; they will be able to give you better assistance.”

(He insisted on speaking with a manager who told him the same as we did. The manager, however, told him to enjoy his coffee and cakes and return later to pay when he can arrange another form of payment. Of course, he didn’t come back.)

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