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!

Can’t Vouch For You On Sundays

| England, UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(Please note I am a young worker, whilst the patron is an elderly lady with her daughter; both appear angry. It is a sunny Sunday afternoon.)

Customer: “Coffee, and this voucher.”

(Hands over a voucher for a free cup of coffee, not valid on Sundays, which is clearly stated on the back.)

Myself: “I’m awfully sorry, ma’am, but this voucher isn’t available on Sundays.”

Customer: “Well, then, you are breaking the law!”

Myself: *unsure how to respond* “I’m sorry?”

Customer: *points to dates that voucher is available, next to where it states not on Sundays* “YOU have put the dates here and YOU are breaking the law by not allowing it!”

Myself: “Sorry that you feel that way. Anything else for you?”

Customer: “This is illegal! BREAKING THE LAW!”

(The customer then proceeded through the transaction with a death-stare at me the whole time whilst I smiled back!)

With Every Extra Comes Extra Problems

| Derbyshire, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

(We were clamping down on giving people extra things for free, including the sauces in our special drinks. I was working drive-thru when this happened.)

Me: “Welcome to [Restaurant] drive-thru. May I take your order, please?”

Customer: “Yes, I’d like [Special Drink] but with extra bits and chocolate sauce.”

(My manager nods at me and tells me to charge extra.)

Me: “Okay, that’s fine, sir; however, I will have to charge you for the extra sauce and bits.”

Customer: “What?! They’ve never done that before!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we’re clamping down on giving away things for free. It was against our policy to do it in the first place.”

Customer: “But I shouldn’t be charged for it! I’m the customer. If I wanted extra I should get it for free! Why should I have to pay for extra?!”

(The customer drives off with his drink, having paid for the extras begrudgingly, promising to complain about us.)

Manager: “I never understood where people get the idea that ‘extra’ secretly means ‘free.'”

Customers Bellow Louder Than Nature

| Madison, WI, USA | At The Checkout

(I work in a department store at one of the local malls. My area is having some bad weather, leading to several tornado warnings. The store continues its normal operations between them each day, and this day we are also running a rather hefty coupon. One of the tornado warnings interrupts my shift and a customer approaches me with some clothing he wants to buy as the store announces that we will be closing temporarily due to the weather. The announcement clearly states that all customers should evacuate the store.)

Customer: “Could you tell me how much these are?”

Me: “Sir, I’m afraid with the weather getting as bad as it is, for your own safety I have to ask you to leave the store.”

Customer: “But I got this fifty dollar coupon in the mail and it expires tomorrow!”

(I reluctantly agree and ring up his purchase. The coupon has a minimum spending limit of $100 to get the discount. His purchase only comes up to $78.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but the coupon will not work on this purchase.”

Customer: “Well, why not?!”

Me: “If you look here, the coupon says that you must have a purchase of ‘$100 or more.’ Otherwise, I can’t apply the discount to your purchase. That’s not my call; it’s something the system won’t let me do. Now, I’m afraid I really have to ask you to leave, for your own safety.”

Customer: “Well, will they let me use the coupon tomorrow?”

(By this point, you can’t even see the parking lot through the glass doors of the store not far from my register. I don’t want to argue with the customer over the value of his life, so I take a pen and scribble an extension onto the coupon, sign it, and put down my associate number.)

Me: “There. Now, for your own safety, please leave the store.”

Customer: *sigh* “All right…”

(The customer ended up not leaving the store in time and had to come back with us to our store’s “safe area.” After the weather passed and the store resumed operations, he got another shirt and completed his purchase with the coupon anyway.)

Flirt, Camera, Action

| USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Love/Romance, Popular, Rude & Risque, Technology

(I am filling in at a different branch on this particular day. A guy who looks old enough to be my dad walks up to my window.)

Me: “What can I help you with?”

Customer: “Yeah, I need to get a money order today.”

Me: “Sure thing. Do you have an account with us?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Okay, no problem, I’ll just need your ID and a few other pieces of information to get that done for you.”

Customer: “Ask away. I do this every month!”

(I quickly complete the transaction, as the customer is staring at me, and I am extremely uncomfortable. After I hand him the money order…)

Me: “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Customer: “I was also lookin’ for a cute girl…” *grins at me and leans in closer*

(I take a small step backward and try not to let my expression change.)

Me: “Is there anything else BANKING-related that I can help you with today?”

Customer: *visibly disappointed* “Well, no. That didn’t work, huh?”

Me: “Er… no.”

Customer: “Oh, well. At least that wasn’t on tape or anything. That would be really embarrassing.”

(Without saying a word, I point to the security camera above my head.)

Customer: *looks up, expression goes from disappointment to horror* “THOSE THINGS ACTUALLY WORK?!”

Me: “Yes, sir, they sure do.”

Customer: “NOW IT’S ON TAPE?!” *runs out the door*

Coworker: “What was THAT?!”

Me: *puts head down on counter* “I think it’s time for a break…”

In Receipt Of New Information

| Brisbane, QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(A customer has finished paying for her order.)

Me: “Would you like a receipt?”

Customer: “Do you get money for offering receipts?”

Me: “No, they print automatically. Some people use them for tax or to keep to a budget.”

Customer: “Oh, I thought the banks must pay you to offer receipts. Why does everyone offer me a receipt?”

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