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!

Paying Attention Is Not In The Cards

| Colorado Springs, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Money, Popular

(At our store, if a customer swipes a food stamps card that doesn’t have enough to cover the entire purchase, the POS will decline the transaction and then print out a slip with the available balance. We then have to type in the amount the customer would like to use and process the card again.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am, your total is [total].”

Customer: *swipes EBT card and the purchase is declined*

Me: *hitting ‘OK’ so the slip prints out* “Okay ma’am, it’s telling me that you don’t have enough to cover the whole tr—”

Customer: *cutting me off* “I know.” *swipes her VISA card*

Me: “So it printed out a slip telling me yo—”

Customer: “Yes, yes. I know.” *swipes VISA card again*

Me: “So now I have to type in the amount and run your card again.”

Customer: “I. KNOW.” *swipes VISA card*

Me: “Ma’am, if you want me to use the available balance on your EBT card I need to run it again.”

Customer: *getting angry* “I kn— Wait, you need to run it again?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Customer: “Oh…” *swipes EBT card*

(She’s lucky I was paying attention to which card she was swiping and was trying to help! I could easily have just hit the card button on my screen and the entire purchase would have been charged to her VISA instead.)

The Mother Of All Bad Customers

, | Salt Lake City, UT, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Popular

(I work at a very popular fast food place. It’s Friday night, so we’re incredibly packed. I’m on front register, which I rarely do; I usually always make the food. Despite this, I have no affiliation with the drive-thru, as I’m trying to take care of all my customers by myself. A woman comes up almost behind the counter and starts SCREAMING at me, interrupting the customer’s order I’m currently taking.)

Customer: “THIS IS A F****ING JOKE! I HAVE BEEN IN THE DRIVE-THRU FOR 20 F****ING MINUTES AND NO ONE HAS TAKEN MY ORDER!”

(The store goes silent as this woman is almost yelling bloody murder.)

Me: “I apologize, ma’am! I am currently serving customers up front but I can grab my manager for you!”

Customer: “BULL****! I USED TO WORK AT THIS F***ING DUMP AND WE USED TO STAND OUTSIDE IN THE RAIN AND TAKE ORDERS BY HAND! YOU’RE ALL A BUNCH OF LAZY MOTHERF***ERS! GET OUTSIDE AND TAKE MY ORDER!”

Me: *dumbfounded*, but trying to get my line back in order as she storms out*

Next Customer: “What a f****** b****. I’m sorry. I can’t believe people get off on screaming at hard workers over food. I’ve always loved how well you guys work here, and I don’t mind waiting for good food.”

Coworker: *head down, in shame* “That was my mom. She’s so embarrassing.”

(I later found out she cut in line and screamed at a manager of mine until she cried. I still boil remembering this transaction, but I still feel awful for my coworker. I heard he went home and told her off royal and she hasn’t tried it again.)

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.)

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