Category: Crazy Requests

Some customers can be demanding, but within reason. These customers however make some requests that go beyond demanding, beyond reasonable, beyond possible! These requests, like the customers, are crazy!

A Sad Depiction Of Eviction

| NJ, USA | Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal, Hotels & Lodging

(I work second shift front desk at an extended stay [Brand] hotel. Of 140+ rooms we have only a couple of two bedroom suites, the largest of our [Brand]’s suites.)

Caller: “Are you owned or managed by [Some Company]?”

Me: “No we are owned by [Company #1] and managed by [Company #2].”

(I never get asked this.)

Caller: “I’m interesting in seeing the two bedroom suite.”

Me: “Sure, if you can come by tomorrow I can have someone show you the room.”

Caller: “Could I see it tonight? I want to stay for three months. I’ll have [Related Brand] hotel shuttle drop me off.”

Me: “The room hasn’t been cleaned yet…”

Caller: “That is okay.”

(It being a Sunday night with only a few check-ins left, I figure it would be okay if I took 15 minutes to land a three-month stay in our most expensive room.)

Me: “Great, I’ll show you the room when you arrive.”

(The shuttle drops them off.)

Me: “Welcome to [Hotel].”

Caller: “You aren’t owned or operated by [Company #3], are you?”

Me: “Nope!”

(I’m getting a bit worried about this; nobody asks this question or is so interested. I show them the room and they tell me about how they need more chairs, a desk for their son, etc. They come across as very needy. This does not bode well.)

Caller: “We will be living here until our house is ready, and we will need to use the van to pick up our son from school and to do errands.”

(Red flag: They have a house under construction but they don’t own a car!)

Me: “For all these things especially the extra furniture and preferential van scheduling will need management approval.”

Caller: “Okay, let’s book this and your manager can get back to us.”

Me: “Great, I just need a [Loyalty Card] number and a credit card.”

Caller: “Okay here is the [Loyalty Card] number and let me read you the CC number.”

(With confirmation number in hand they called Related Brand hotel and got the shuttle back. At this point I checked their Loyalty Card history. They had been in two hotels for 12 months. I wanted to know why they are changing hotels and what is going on and what they aren’t telling me. I left a note for my manager to call Related Brand hotel and find out why they are leaving. My manager called the other hotel. No sooner did she say the guest’s name, the other manager burst into tears. In New Jersey, if you live in a hotel long enough, you are entitled to protection under the eviction laws. That means the hotel has to take you to court if you haven’t paid your bill. For the first 60 days they paid on time and in full but as soon as the eviction rules kicked in they stopped paying. As a result the hotel had impounded their car. The hotel, having had them evicted, was in the process of extracting money owed for the room, totalling something like $80k. The family was also being investigated by the FBI for committing wire fraud from the hotel’s business center. Naturally my manager cancelled their reservation and I got a $20 gift card to Olive Garden for saving us tens of thousands of dollars of pain. If they hadn’t been so d*** needy we wouldn’t have known until it was too late!)

Sunglass And Hit Station

| USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal

Me: “Hey there, what can I get you?”

Woman: “Oh, I’ll have [Lottery Game] and two packs of [Cigarettes].”

(As I get her items and ring them in, I notice her staring intently at some sunglasses that a regular had left behind.)

Woman: “Those sunglasses are so cute. What’s the deal with them?”

Me: “Oh, another customer left them behind. We’re keeping them up front in case she comes back today.”

Woman: “What if she doesn’t come back?”

Me: “Then it gets moved to the lost and found.”

Woman: “What if she never comes back for them?”

Me: “Uh, well, I think [Store Owner] either throws lost items away after a period of time or donates them.”

Woman: “So they’re just gonna get thrown away?”

Me: “Not necessarily. Most people who leave stuff behind come back for them, and this woman is in here all the time, so I’m sure—”

Woman: “I want them.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Woman: “I want those sunglasses.”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry, but I can’t give them to you. However, we have many styles of sunglasses on display just around the corner from the desk, so if you’d like—”

Woman: “No. I want those ones.”

Me: “Ma’am, they belong to someone else.”

Woman: “Well, what if I said that they’re my sunglasses and I forgot them?”

Me: “Okay, except we just had a conversation about how they’re NOT yours and how the person who DOES own them left them behind. So, no, you can’t have them.”

Woman: “But I don’t understand why I can’t have them.”

(This circular argument goes on for a while. Eventually my manager comes over because he’s noticed a three-item transaction has gone on for almost five minutes.)

Manager: “Is there something wrong, ma’am?”

Woman: “Yes, this little girl won’t give me my sunglasses.”

Manager: *looks at me* “[My Name]?”

Me: “Well, they’re not her sunglasses. [Regular] was here earlier and left them at register one.”

Woman: “No, she wasn’t. She didn’t! They’re mine!”

Me: “Ma’am, you just all but told me these aren’t your sunglasses and I saw

[Regular] set them down on register one when she was here earlier.”

Woman: *shrilly* “No! They’re mine!”

(She suddenly lunges forward and throws herself across the counter, trying to reach the sunglasses. My manager pushes me behind him and snatches the woman’s arm.)

Manager: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but you have to leave! You can’t assault the employees or steal from other customers.”

Woman: “I’m not stealing! They’re mine! THEY’RE MINE!”

(My manager had to forcibly remove her from the store. The true owner of the sunglasses came in the next morning and my manager regaled the story to her. She just laughed and told him to tell me she was sorry I had to go through that. All that fuss over a pair of $5 sunglasses!)

Gives New Meaning To Troubleshooting

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Technology

(This is an old story. I am working Vista tech support right around the release, as a level 2 tech. This exchange happens right as the call is escalated.)

Me: “How can I help you today?”

Customer: “I’ve got my 22-gauge pointed at my desktop. Do you think that’s going to be a better solution than what you got?”

Me: “Uh…”

(The sad part is that he had to replace all the hardware, so the gun would have been a faster solution.)

Trying To Get Through Her Thick Helmet

| UK | Crazy Requests, Health & Body, Tourists/Travel

(I worked in a chain of high-end ski and mountain sports stores. On this occasion, I was standing at the till whilst my assistant manager was moving some items nearby. A lady in her mid-60s comes storming into the store with a ski helmet in her hand; it’s obvious it’s taken a heavy hit on the back and there’s a big dent in it.)

Me: “Hi there, madam. How can I help?”

Customer: “You sold me a faulty product. I demand to see the manager.”

Me: “Sorry to hear that, madam. Our manager’s just on a conference call with our head office at the moment, but our assistant manager’s over the—”

(She stormed over to my assistant manager before I could finish, and I listened to the rest of the conversation whilst I carried on with my work.)

Customer: “You sold me a faulty product. I bought this [ski helmet] for my grandson last month, and it broke on his first trip. I want a refund and compensation.”

Assistant Manager: “Okay, madam, may I take a look at the helmet and see what’s wrong with it?” *the lady hands over the helmet*

Assistant Manager: “Madam, could I ask if your grandson took a fall at any point during his trip?”

Customer: “What? Yes, of course he did. He was on a school trip and they were learning. He told me they did some off-piste skiing on their last day and he fell and hit his head on one of the chair lift pylons. What’s this got to do with anything, though? The helmet’s clearly failed and is faulty, I want a refund!”

Assistant Manager: “Madam, I understand your frustration considering you only just bought this, but company policy is that we don’t refund damaged helmets in any way. Essentially, the helmet’s done its job by protecting your grandson’s head.”

Customer: “HOW DARE YOU TRY AND BRUSH THIS OFF! YOU WON’T GET AWAY WITH THIS! I DON’T CARE IF YOUR MANAGER’S ON THE PHONE TO THE SULTAN OF BRUNEI, I WANT HIM OUT HERE, WITH MY MONEY, NOW!!!”

(My assistant manager goes to the office where my manager’s just finished the call. She’s a rather petite woman, but has a very strong personality and is not known for backing down easily.)

Manager: “Hello, Madam. My name is [Manager] and I’m the store manager here. What seems to be the issue?

(The customer re-rants her story and the manager stands there looking at the helmet briefly.)

Manager: “So, what you’re saying is, your grandson took a tumble, hit his head on a ski lift pylon, and the helmet suffered damage as a result of this?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Manager: “So your grandson’s still alive then?”

Customer: “I… What?”

Manager: “Madam, if your grandson had gone off piste without the helmet on and hit the pylon, he wouldn’t have come back at all. The helmet did its job in protecting his head from the impact. I appreciate the fact you’ve spent money on a protective device and it has become damaged so quickly, but that’s what it’s for: protection. I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do.”

Customer: *practically bellowing* “THIS IS DISGUSTING! I’VE SPENT THOUSANDS IN YOUR STORE SINCE IT WAS OPENED AND I’VE NEVER BEEN TREATED LIKE THIS BEFORE! THIS PIECE OF C*** IS BROKEN, AND YOU’RE TELLING ME YOU WON’T REFUND IT?! WHAT THE H** CAN I DO WITH IT NOW, USE IT AS A PAPERWEIGHT?! I’LL TAKE THIS TO HEAD OFFICE AND GET TREATED CORRECTLY AND HAVE YOU FIRED FOR YOUR IDIOCY!”

(My manager doesn’t like being shouted at by anyone, and looks directly at the customer.)

Manager: “Madam, I’m sorry, but your outburst has just cost you a store credit I was considering offering by way of a goodwill gesture. I’ve been manager since this store has been open and I have never seen you here before, let alone on regular occurrences. Please feel free to contact our head office to discuss this further; their details are on our website. But for now I would like you to leave, please.”

(The customer stormed out without another word. Later that week, we heard from head office that she’d managed to get the contact details for the CEO who then proceeded to provide a replacement helmet, free of charge, plus about £100 worth of vouchers to use at any store as compensation “for the utter humiliation” she suffered in our store. Nice to know that despite standing by what you believe is right, the customer can still get what they want if they go high up and moan loudly enough.)

TARDIS Rental Services

| Portland, OR, USA | Crazy Requests, Math & Science, Money, Transportation

(I work in a travel agency and we handle a lot of rental car bookings. Note: if you book a car early, and want to change something about the booking, the rate for the car will change. This exchange takes place with a customer who has booked a car about three months prior:)

Customer: “I’d like to change my booking to pick the car up a day earlier.”

Me: “I’d be happy to take care of that.” *pulls up new booking info* “Your new rate is going to be  [several hundred dollars more].”

Customer: “For that much, I could just go buy a car. The new rate is supposed to only be $30 dollars more for an extra day.”

Me: “That’s not how it works. You booked this three months ago and that rate isn’t available anymore. That extra day rate is if you return it a day later, not if you pick it up a day earlier.”

Customer: “Can’t you just go back to then and re-book it for me?”

Me: “You want me to travel back to March and book this for you again?”

Customer:“Yes.”

Me: “I can’t travel through time to re-book this for you. I’m sorry. If you want to change it—”

Customer: “—well never mind. I’ll just take care of it myself.” *storms out of the office*