icon_checkout

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!

I Decline To Comment

| Yorkshire, England, UK | At The Checkout, Money, Technology

(I’ve just scanned the shopping of a customer and he is paying with his card. However, the transaction doesn’t go through. This usually means that the customer’s card has been declined, although occasionally we have brief connection issues with our system, so we always give it a second try.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. The transaction hasn’t gone through.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Well, sometimes it’s a brief problem with our connection rather than your card. We’ll give it another go and see.”

Customer: “Hmmm… okay.”

(We go through the process again, however it doesn’t go through. My card machine is still functioning normally, and my colleagues are still able to use their card machines, meaning that the system is not down. It is definitely a problem with his card.)

Me: “I’m really sorry, sir, but your card isn’t working. Do you have any other method of payment?”

Customer: “What? What’s wrong with your machines?”

Me: “There doesn’t appear to be any issue with our system, sir. I’m afraid it’s very likely to be a problem with your card.”

Customer: “It can’t be. Try again.”

(We try again, but it doesn’t work. However, he insists the problem is on our end. I move him onto my colleague’s till, but it isn’t accepted again.)

Colleague: “I’m really sorry, sir, but your card has been declined again.”

Customer: “Why is it being declined?”

Me: “It could be any number of reasons, sir. You’d have to contact your bank.”

Customer: “No! I want you to tell me! Why won’t you take my card?!”

Me: “Sorry, sir?”

Customer: “Tell me what it says on your screen! Tell me why you won’t take my card!”

Me: “All it tells me is that your card is declined, sir, I don’t know the reason. You’d have to contact your bank.”

Customer: “That’s crap! I’m not leaving until you tell me why my card is declined! I’m flying out to Afghanistan tomorrow! I’ve had this all day, I don’t need this, and I’m sick of it!”

Me: “Sorry, sir, did you say you’d had this all day?”

Customer: “Yes! Every shop I go into, they won’t take my card and they won’t tell me why! I’m flying to Afghanistan in twelve hours! I don’t need this!”

Me: “…Ok, sir, you really need to contact your bank.”

(He eventually left  to go and talk to his bank, still muttering that we “must know why; it will say on the screens.” We spotted him in store just a couple of days later, so I’m not sure why he insisted he was going to Afghanistan.)

Sandwiched Between Pizza Slices

, | VA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(I’m answering phones at a local pizza joint that happens to have the word “Pizza” in its name.)

Me: “Thanks for calling [Restaurant]; what can I do for you tonight?

Customer: “Well, OBVIOUSLY I want to order a pizza! Why else would I be calling [Restaurant]? Idiot…”

Me: “Right, so what size do you want?”

Customer: *silence* “…I’m not sure.”

Me: “Okay, what kind of crust?”

Customer: “Uhmmm…”

Me: “How about toppings? What toppings do you want?”

Customer: “I… I don’t know.”

Me: “We also sell sandwiches.”

Customer: “Yeah, screw it. Let me get a sandwich.”

Should Have Checked Before

| Yorba Linda, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers, Money

(Working as a cashier at a teen clothing store on a busy night.)

Customer: *hands me a check to pay for her clothes*

Me: *inspecting the check* “I’m sorry, I can’t accept this check.”

Customer: *already becoming angry* “And why not?”

Me: “Your address and the bank address are not on the check.”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “There is no way for me to verify that this check is linked to your account. It’s like a credit card, we need to be able to check your ID to the check to make sure it’s yours.”

Customer: “But is mine. I got it from the bank.”

Me: “I understand that, but there is no way for ME to know. Policy is that I need to check your ID against the name and address on the check, and the bank address needs to be present.”

Customer: *starts yelling* “What do you mean? I’ve got $100 worth of clothes here. I’m a paying customer!”

Me: “I understand. Do you have another form of payment you can use?”

Customer: “Another form of payment? No! I just gave you my form of payment! Get me your manager!”

Me: *using the headset to ask for a manager while she continues yelling at me*

Manager: “I’m sorry, but we can’t accept this check.”

Customer: “Why? It’s mine.”

Manager: “How can I tell?

Customer: “Because I gave it to you.”

Manager: “But how can I tell you aren’t giving me someone else’s check? There is no name anywhere. If you look at this sign right here, you’ll see that this is a form of payment we can’t accept. I’m sorry.”

Customer: “I’m standing here giving it to you. It’s money! Take my money! This is ridiculous!”

Manager: “No, YOU’RE being ridiculous. If you’re going to stand here and yell at me because I won’t take a clearly fraudulent check, you can take your business elsewhere.”

Customer: “FINE.” *takes her fake check and leaves*

Manager: *looks at me, shrugs, laughs, and goes about his business*

Rise Of The Machines

| Peterborough, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Technology

(One of our local hardware stores has just installed self checkouts. I’m in line waiting to use one myself. I watch one gentleman get through ringing everything in just fine, and then he goes to pay. I guess he selected debit or credit.)

Machine: *quite audible* “Please use the pin-pad on the side to complete your transaction.”

(The screen also had a diagram and an arrow. The customer stuck his card in the bill slot, then tried the coin slot, then tried the receipt slot, then tried to swipe card on the scanner. He managed to try everywhere but the actual debit terminal, all while the machine was giving clear prompts along with a picture. He eventually cancelled everything and went to a regular cashier.)

Needs A Medium To Understand This Order

| Detroit, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(I’m order-taker at the drive-thru.)

Customer: “I’d like a small-medium [Drink].”

Me: *puzzled* “A small-medium [Drink]?”

Customer: *getting really irritated* “YES. A small-medium [Drink]!”

Me: “What size would you like? Small, or medium?”

Customer: “Yes.”

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