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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!

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.”

Won’t Accept The Heavy Responsibility

| UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(I work in a retail establishment where the government has enforced a carrier bag charge at a very low price, just to help you remember about your bags. It has been in place for a year already.)

Customer: “Just put all the stuff in the same bag there.”

Me: “Are you sure? It’s quite a lot of stuff; not sure the bag will hold.”

Customer: “It’ll be okay; I’m not paying any more.”

Me: “Are you sure you don’t want another bag? It seems about ready to burst.”

Customer: “Stop trying to sell me bags I don’t need!”

(After using some great Tetris skills I finished packing and I hand the bag over while holding the bottom of the bag.)

Me: “Now be careful while lifting it; it’s very heavy and about ready to burst.”

(The bag broke as soon as it was lifted. Customer went on a rant about how I should’ve warned him that the bag was heavy, and that I should’ve known better than to pack it that heavy, and stormed off leaving all his stuff behind him.)

Bags Of Common Sense

| USA | At The Checkout, Books & Reading, Family & Kids

(The bookstore where I work has recently switched bag printers, and there has been a delay getting the new bags. As a result we have run out of plastic bags to put purchases in. We have signs on the front door letting customers know. An older man and his son come up to the counter with a stack of about six books. I ring them up.)

Customer: “Where’s my bag?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we are out of bags.”

Customer: “How the h*** am I supposed to get my books out to the car?!”

Customer’s Son: “Dad, you carried them all over the store and up here to the register. You can carry them ten feet to the car.”

(I was so glad he said it so I didn’t have to!)

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