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!

Bartering Bars At The Bar

| Norway | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Money

(I work as a bouncer in a pub and overhear the following while standing behind the bar.)

Girl: “One beer, please.”

Bartender: “That will be 86 kroner.”

(She puts her card in the terminal.)

Bartender: “The transaction was declined; do you have another card or cash?”

Girl: *pours out five nutria-bars from her purse* “Will this be enough?”

(Not surprisingly, I had to throw her out a few minutes later.)

Has A Pen-chant For Stabbing Motions

| Perth, WA, Australia | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bizarre

(I’m a salesperson in the photography and IT industries. I like to ask questions to make sure I can recommend the right solution. It saves a lot of time for both me and the client and ensures that there are no nasty surprises later on. A man has asked me to provide some advice for a new computer & accessories for his wife.)

Customer: “Here’s a list of all the things my wife wants. Can you do all this?”

Me: “I’m sure we can help, sir. Let me look over the list and ask you a few questions to make sure I’ve covered everything”

(I review the list, which seems straight-forward, and ask a few questions to clarify the requirements. Things are progressing smoothly until we reach the installation part of the checklist.)

Customer: “So can you come out and set it all up?”

Me: “One of our technicians will be able to do that for you, sir, but please be aware that we charge $150/hour for this service.”

Customer: “I don’t care about the price, I just want to know if YOU can do it or not.”

Me: “Well, I personally can’t but one of our techs will definitely be able to provide that service.”

Customer: “What? I didn’t ask if YOU could do it.”

Me: “Sorry, I misunderstood what you meant, but yes, one of our techs can do the install.”

Customer: “I meant YOU as in the company, not YOU as an individual. You DO represent the company, don’t you?”

(During this conversation the client has been gesturing towards my face while holding a biro, emphasising his words with a stabbing motion. He is only standing 1m away from me so the pen is very close to my face.)

Me: “Sir, can you please stop pointing your pen at my face?”

Customer: “What? Don’t be silly. I’m NOT pointing it at you; I’m just talking!”

(He makes a stabbing motion at my face while saying this.)

Me: “Please stop stabbing your pen at me. I don’t like it.”

Customer: “What? Never mind, this is obviously too hard. Don’t worry about it. I’m going elsewhere!”

(I try to clear up the misunderstanding but he has gotten so worked up that he just storms off, muttering under his breath. Another customer, who is a regular, has seen and heard the whole exchange.)

Regular Customer: “I thought you were very polite! I was impressed that you were calm throughout that conversation.”

Me: “Thanks, [Regular Customer]. I appreciate that.”

Regular Customer: “What was his problem, exactly? Strange man.”

Me: “Who knows? Maybe he just doesn’t like being told not to do something.”

She’s Lying/Not Lying

| Calgary, AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Criminal & Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Underaged

(Our store works with another company that offers a card to students that gets them discounts at many places. It is the card company’s policy that if a person looks like they could be 16 or older, they MUST produce student ID. If they don’t, under no circumstance are we allowed to give them the discount. A customer comes up who looks like she’s 16-18 years old.)

Me: “Your total is $15.75.”

Girl: “Oh, I have the [Student Card].”

Me: “Of course. If you could just quickly show me your student ID?”

Girl: “I don’t have it with me.”

Me: “Then unfortunately, I can’t give you the discount.”

Girl: “You’re joking! I’m from another province! I didn’t bring my student ID with me.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I cannot give you the discount. It’s [Card Company]’s policy that anyone who looks like they could be 16 or older must produce student ID.”

Girl: “That’s ridiculous! I’m, like, 12/13.”

(I look over the girl, and she looks way too old to be 13. I’m about to say something when her words suddenly hit me.)

Me: “Wait, you said you’re 12/13?”

Girl: “Yes! I’m 12/13!”

Me: “…So, you don’t know how old you are?”

Girl: “…What was the total again?”

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.”

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