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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!

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Making Unwarranted Comments

| KY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Liars & Scammers, Popular, Wild & Unruly

(I am the longest-working employee at a locally-owned business. The store sells batteries in any shape and size, so here I am manning the front, when a customer I recognize comes in with a particular brand battery. The battery in question is obviously beat up, and half the labels on it are gone.)

Customer: “I need to get a new one of these.”

Me: “All right, well, a new one of those runs [amount].”

Customer: “No, this is under warranty.”

Me: “Fair enough; do you have the receipt?”

Customer: “No, I bought it here.”

Me: “Okay, hang on just a second.” *I check our system and find no receipt for the customer for an item of this brand* “I’m sorry, but we haven’t ever sold one of this brand to you before.”

Customer: “Yeah, you did.”

Me: “I have no record of it here.”

Customer: “It’s when you were at the old location. I bought it new there.”

Me: “No, sir. I’m sorry, but we didn’t sell those new at the old location.”

Customer: “Yeah, you did. How would you know? I bought a new one there.”

Me: “I’d know because I was at the old location and we didn’t start selling that brand until about a year after we moved here.”

Customer: “I want you to give me a new one.”

Me: “I can’t do that. I don’t have any receipt on one of these for you.”

(At this point, with a line of customers behind him, he starts cussing me out. I’m a big dude, 6’3” and tip the scales at about 280, as well as knowing how to handle myself, so I’m just standing there, letting him yell at me in full view of other customers and our security cameras.)

Me: “All right, listen. We didn’t sell those new at the old location, I don’t have a receipt so I’m not going to warranty that out for you, and stop talking to me like that.”

Customer: “I’m going to tell your f***ing boss about this!”

Me: “Go right ahead; tell me how it turns out.”

Customer: “I ought to f***ing make you do this.”

Me: “I wouldn’t recommend that.”

(The customer storms out, still cussing me out. The next customer in line watches him go while I lean on the counter and take a few deep breaths.)

Me: “I’m sorry, I need just a second.”

Next Customer: “I’m impressed, I expected a big guy like you to come around the counter and beat the h*** out of him for talking to you like that.”

Me: “Nah, we’ve got cameras. What can I do for you?”

(And that’s how you impress a big company buyer and make a thousand dollar sale.)

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That Will Not Be All

| Norman, OK, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(I am working drive-thru one night when we serve partial breakfast and lunch. Customer shows up in my camera and my sensor.)

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

(Customer ignores me but I’m used to this by now.)

Customer: “Hello?!”

Me: “Hello! Can I help you?”

Customer: “I want a biscuit and a hash brown.”

Me: “Is that gonna be all for you today?”

Customer: “Actually make it two biscuits.”

Me: “All right, will that be all?”

Customer: “Yeah!”

(She pulls around after I tell her the total and hands me her card. I swipe it and it runs through just fine.)

Customer: “Hey, don’t you have a special going on for a biscuit and a hash brown?

Me: *handing back her card and receipt* “Yes, ma’am, we are. I took the liberty of giving you that special, along with the second biscuit you wanted.”

Customer: “Can you add a second hash brown and get me the food for cheaper?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you’re order has already been paid for. If you want the second hash brown, it’d have to be at full price as I’d have to make a whole new order.”

(Her boyfriend in the car gets my attention, trying to speak over her.)

Customer #2: “Why don’t you give us a refund in the biscuit, and then ring up the special that way?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t do that. I’m not supposed to give out refunds.”

Customer #1: “Well, why didn’t you tell me at the speaker that if I got a second hash brown, I’d be getting it cheaper?!”

Me: “That’s not what you told me you wanted…”

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Didn’t Study The Deal Hard Enough

| Newcastle, England, UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Money, School

(I work in a popular fast food restaurant in the city centre. I am working a morning shift and a customer comes up to my till just after nine am and orders two breakfast meals. I ask her how she would like to pay and she informs me she will be paying by card.)

Me: “Not a problem. Please just insert your card into that machine there.”

(I indicate the correct machine and turn around to begin assembling the order, but am distracted by her shout.)

Customer: “Excuse me! This machine isn’t working!”

Me: “I’m ever so sorry. Please just try again. Sometimes our system is a little temperamental. It should work this time.”

(After several more attempts the card has not worked and the food is ready so I ask to see the card; although she is speaking with a local accent some foreign cards don’t work with our system and I think it best to check. On observing, I see that she has been trying to use a student ID card.)

Me: “Uh, excuse me, but you’ve been trying to use a student card. You need to use a debit or credit card, or pay by cash if you’d prefer.”

Customer: “But you can use these!”

Me: “I’m afraid you can’t, madam; there is no way of paying with a student card.”

Customer: “But I want my meal for free!”

(My company runs a promotion where if you buy a meal and present student ID you are entitled to a free cheeseburger or ice cream, but this is only available after 10:30 am when main menu is being served, and does not entitle you to your whole meal for free, which I endeavour to explain to the now irate customer.)

Customer: “So you mean I can’t have my meals for free?”

Me: “No. Like I said, that promotion doesn’t run during breakfast, and even if it did you don’t get your whole meal free. You have to buy it and you get a free cheeseburger or ice cream after.”

Customer: “Well, they’ve been lying to us then! F***this!”

(The customer then left the store, leaving the food on the counter which had to be recorded as waste. I never found out who ‘they’ were.)

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Getting Shirty With The Buttons

| Portland, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Popular

(I work in a fast paced retail environment. It is worth noting this happens on a busy Saturday, I have a line of 6 people, and am the only person at the register until my back up returns from a break. Luckily I am fast and the line is moving very quickly. An older gentleman has an unbuttoned $15 shirt that he has rolled into a ball and comes up to pay.)

Me: “All righty, you’re grand total is $14.99 today.” *quickly folds shirt*

Customer: *pays* “Can you refold that? I don’t want it to get wrinkled.”

Me: “Okay.” *I refold the shirt slightly nicer, and in a way it will not get wrinkled, but still quickly as I see my line getting longer again*

Customer: “No, you are doing it wrong. You need to button it first!”

Me: “Sir, if I didn’t have a line I would happily button the shirt, but I do not have time to button every shirt brought up to the register without making the lines very long. If you want to refold it yourself you can do so over here.” *I gesture towards the space at the empty next register*

(The customer proceeds to slowly button the shirt and take up the space for both registers so no one can proceed.)

Me: “I can’t help the next guest. Sir, please move over.”

(He ignores me so I gently slide his shirt over so that I can help my next customer who is awkwardly standing behind him trying to get to the register.)

Customer: “Wow. Can I talk to a manager? This is ridiculous you will not fold my shirt the right way. That is what you get paid to do!”

Me: “Sir, I folded the shirt fine. My main priority right now is to make sure I don’t have anyone waiting too long. I can definitely get you a manager but they will tell you the same thing.”

(I call for a manager and my manager comes down and talks to the customer.)

Customer #2: *loudly and sarcastically* “I know it is a busy Saturday but can you spend five minutes buttoning my pile of shirts because my convenience is more important than everyone’s time!”

(Customer #2 winks at me and my manager promptly bursts out laughing while the first customer storms out.)

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Zodiac Whack

| Rockville, MD, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Crazy Requests

(I work in a market that tends to draw some crazies. This particular incident actually happened to a coworker who was bagging groceries)

Customer: “Can you please provide me with a different bagger? I get the feeling that you’re a Gemini and I just can’t have that type of energy around me right now.”

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