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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!

Owning The Conversation

| USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers

(The customer is in her early 20s.)

Customer: “Why can’t you sell me what I want?”

Me: “Because we ran out of muffins.”

Customer: “That’s not good enough. Make some more.”

Me: “We cannot do that as we’re closing in an hour. You can come in tomorrow”.

Customer: “I’m the owner’s daughter. Call him.”

(The original owner is a 60 year old man who has just transferred his business to one of his daughters. He has a second daughter, Sarah, who I never met and don’t know what she looks like.)

Me: “You mean the last owner?”

Customer: “No, the current one.”

Me: “Then it’s not possible.”

Customer: “What are you talking about?”

Me: “Well, the current owner is 27 years old.”

Customer: “Oh, then I’m her sister.”

Me: “You’re Sarah?”

Customer: “Who?”

Me: “Okay, I don’t think so. You’re not related. Come back tomorrow for muffins.”

Customer: “D***. This worked at one store at least. That was a year ago..”

Me: “…”

Refuses To Walk A Mile In Full Price Shoes

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | At The Checkout, Money, Spouses & Partners

(We are currently having a shoe sale which is ‘buy two and get a third pair half price.’ The sign also states they have to be purchased in the one transaction. A woman comes in; her English is not very good so communication is a little difficult. She has bought two pairs on a previous day and now wants a third pair half price. I try to explain to her about the one transaction rule, but she looks very confused. She is very nice and I feel bad for her. She leaves looking confused and disappointed. Only after do I think of returning the two pairs she previously bought and then selling them back to her together with the discount. A little while later she comes back with her husband, who speaks better English. I’m happy to see her since figuring out a solution, until her husband opens his mouth and is extremely rude.)

Husband: “You need to sell these to my wife at half price like your sign says.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. I tried to explain that the deal is—”

Husband: “—I don’t care what the ‘deeeaaalll’  is. My wife bought two shoes so she gets a third pair half price.”

Me: “Okay, I understand. Like I was saying they have to be bought in the same transaction but—”

Husband: “I. DON’T. CARE. You refused to serve my wife. Now you will give them to her half price or I want to see a manager!”

Me: “I’m sorry if I have upset your wife, and I’m happy to help. Just let me just explain first. I can’t override the system but what I can do is—”

Husband: “NO! This is ridiculous.” *he rants for a while longer, then smiles weirdly* “You know what, I just want to return these two shoes for a full refund.” *he then turns and murmurs to his wife* “Then we’ll just buy them back and get the half price.” *sniggers*

Me: *inwardly sighing* “Okay, I can refund them if you like.”

(As I’m doing the refund he is murmuring nasty things under his breath and I’m tempted to refuse service, but I feel bad for his wife so just keep smiling and decide to kill him with kindness. I finish the refund and then straight away put the sale back through with all three items, with the half price included.)

Me: “Sir, the refund is all done.”

Husband: *talking down to me very smugly* “Excellent. Now here is what we’re going to do. I’m going to buy all three of these back, with the half price. What do you think of that?”

Me: “That’s a very good idea, sir. I did try to tell you I could do that for you before. In fact, I’ve already put the sale through for you, I just need you to sign here for your card and I can print the receipt for you.”

(The shock on his face was priceless. I sincerely hope his wife enjoyed those shoes… and found a better husband.)

Unable To Make-Up

| Concord, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I have recently quit my job and am working the cash register on my last scheduled day. I’ve made it to my last half hour without incident. At the time, the shift supervisor and I are the only people on the floor as our coworker is on lunch. A middle-aged customer walks up to my register, cuts in front of a regular customer, and throws a plastic bag onto the counter.)

Customer: “This makeup I bought is terrible. I hate it. It doesn’t bring out my eyelashes like it should and I want you to do something about it.”

Me: “Err, I can definitely give you a refund if you’re unhappy with the product.”

(I open the plastic bag to find that not only does she not have a receipt, but she also doesn’t have the original packing, which means the product doesn’t have the necessary bar code.)

Me: “Ma’am, I do require both the receipt and the original packaging. Do you happen to have either of those?”

Customer: “No, I don’t! I want my money back!”

Me: “I can give you a store gift card with the amount of the refund, but without the bar code I can’t go any further with this. I’ll call my supervisor and have her find the product packaging.”

(I call my supervisor who leaves to find the product on the shelf. We have a large cosmetics section, so this takes a few minutes. The line is growing longer and people are beginning to stare at me expectantly.)

Me: “Ma’am, would it be okay if I helped the customers in line behind you? It will take a few minutes for my supervisor to find the correct product.”

Customer: *completely ignoring the fact that she had cut to the front of the line* “I was here first and you will help me first!”

(My regular customer, an older woman, gives me a knowing nod. Just then my supervisor returns and hands me the product.)

Customer: “I can’t believe your store is so unorganized!” *continues ranting as I complete the return*

(I try my best to ignore the rudeness spilling from her mouth, but it becomes increasingly difficult. I finish her return as best I can.)

Me: “If I could just have you sign the return slip ma’am.” *hands her a pen*

Customer: “I am NOT signing anything! It’s YOUR fault, anyway! Your customer service skills are terrible, your products are terrible, and I’m never shopping here again!”

(At this point the customer throws the pen at me and hits me directly in my eye. I lose my cool, but before I can act my regular customer steps up.)

Regular: “Listen here, lady. I’ve watched you mistreat this young man for the last 5 minutes. Verbal assault is one thing, but now you’ve physically assaulted him. I have half a mind to call the police, but you’re a special case and should be dealt with accordingly.”

(To my complete surprise, my regular begins beating the customer with her purse and runs her out of the store. As the rude woman leaves, my regular follows her out and calls after her.)

Regular: “Make-up can’t fix ugly like yours, honey!”