Category: Home Improvement

Stupid customers still have to live somewhere. While we applaud them for sometimes wanting to make the place look nice, please don’t assume flat-pack furniture comes ready out of the box, or that power-tools are named as such because they need power! They make Tim The Toolman Taylor look like Frank Gehry!


Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 6

| CA, USA | Home Improvement, Liars & Scammers, Popular

(I’m the ‘new guy’ on my shift. I’ve spent about 45-50 minutes sorting out a long, complicated lighting setup for a customer, retrofitting his house to use ‘can’ lights with LED inserts. The total is going to be pretty high, admittedly, well over two grand. Through the entire transaction he’s been polite, and we’ve been trading jokes. At the end when I ask if there is anything else I can do, while standing next to the mountain of merchandise, he turns to me and this occurs.)

Customer: “So! I get a discount on this. Make it happen.”

Me: “I’m… sorry?”

Customer: “You need to give me a discount on this. I’m buying a lot. I get a discount.”

(Some items ARE discounted by quantity but not a lot of the stuff he is getting.)

Me: “I’m actually not authorized to give anyone-”

Customer: *suddenly getting irate* “Dammit, this is a LOT of merchandise! I need a discount! My electrician gets a discount when he comes here all the time, so I’m getting one, too! Give me my discount!”

(Flustered, I tell them I’ll talk to my department head as I’m pretty sure I have NO authorization to issue discounts. He’s up on a ladder and looks down at the gentlemen in front of their mountain of merchandise.)

Department Head: “Oh, YOU!”

Customer: *bolts like frightened bunny rabbits, tipping over two carts full of merchandise and scattering it everywhere*

Me: “What the h*** was that?”

Department Head: “Oh, he tries that on all the new guys. We won’t sell to him because he’s a scammer. You just had your baptism.”

Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 5
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 4
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability ToDiscount, Part 3


Giving You His Two Cents… Twice

| USA | Home Improvement, Money

(I am working outside in the garden area. An older gentleman walks up to the counter.)

Me: “Hello! How are you today, sir? How may I help you?”

Customer: *a bit harshly* “I want two of those bags of cheap soil out there. They’re $1.57.”

Me: “The topsoil, sir? The white and brown one?”

Customer: *even more harsh* “Yes. I want two. They’re $1.57.”

Me: *cheerily* “Actually, sir, that sale is $1.55 a bag! You save four pennies!”

Customer: “No. I have purchased some before and they were ONE DOLLAR, FIFTY SEVEN CENTS.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. Perhaps that was a different sale? Or perhaps you had been misinformed? You’ll be saving four pennies today…”

(He continued to argue while I gently kept trying to tell him that he was saving money. Eventually he threw his card at me, paid, and left. Perhaps I should have just let him overpay?)


Glossing Over Your Valid Points

| Ireland | Family & Kids, Home Improvement, Popular

(A customer comes up to me with a five-litre tin of white satin finish paint.)

Customer: “Hey there, is this the right paint for painting wood?”

Me: “It is.”

Customer: “So it’s fine for painting my skirting boards?”

(I ask the woman a few follow up questions and I learn that her skirting boards are already painted with a high-gloss paint. I explain to her that if she wants to go for a satin finish, she would need to sand off the gloss paint entirely and start fresh with the satin finish.)

Customer: “F*** that! I ain’t doing all that work! Hold on, I’ll be back in a moment.”

(The woman goes off with the five-litre tin of paint and comes back with a small one-litre tin of gloss paint.)

Customer: “I’m not going redoing all my skirting boards! This will be fine for topping up the few bangs and scratches from the kids, right?”

Me: “Yep! If you’re happy with the gloss, there’s no reason to go doing all that work.”

(Another woman walks over, the customer’s sister, and slams the original five-litre tin of satin finish paint back onto the counter.)


Customer: “Well, this girl told me that if I wanted to use that paint, I’d need to strip all my skirting boards.”

Customer’s Sister: “Yeah, so, and?”

Customer: “I’m not bothered doing that.”


Me: “Actually, it will eventually. Gloss finishes will yellow faster than satin finishes but, after a while, all those all oil based paints will start to yellow. I can show you our ‘Stay White’ range of wood paint if you like?”

Customer’s Sister: *to me* “YOU HAVEN’T A CLUE.” *turns to her sister* “DO YOU WANT MY HELP OR NOT?”

Customer: “Are you going to paint it for me?”

Customer’s Sister: “No! Of course not! I only told you that your skirting boards are yellow and that you need to repaint them! I put satin finish on my skirting boards six months ago and they still haven’t yellowed!”

Me: “Well, six months isn’t actually that long. It would take a lot longer than that for it to start to yellow.”

Customer’s Sister: *to me* “BE QUIET!” *to sister* “AM I WANTED HERE OR NOT?!”

Customer: “No, I’m fine with the paint I have here. Thanks, sis.”

(The woman’s sister stomps out of the shop muttering.)

Customer: “Don’t mind her; she gets a bit upset when people don’t take her advice, but she’s daft as f***. I don’t think my skirting boards look yellow anyway.”

Me: “Um… okay.”

(We finish the transaction as normal, the woman thanks me and leaves. My manager pokes her head out of the office.)

Manager: “What was all that about?”

Me: “I think I just started a family fight.”

(The strangest part came half-an-hour later when, after the shop had closed, I was sitting in my car, rooting through my bag and when I looked up, the woman’s sister was standing there giving me the finger!)


Her Items Cannot Be Fabricated

| AR, USA | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement, Popular

(A woman was looking very disoriented in the crafting aisle, and so I went to approach her.)

Customer: “Do you have paint for a sign? I need a bucket.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we don’t carry paint in buckets. We have fabric glue, but not a bucket of it.”

Customer: “Oh.” *holds up her hands to approximate a huge sign* “I need paint for a sign this big.”

Me: “I’m afraid that we don’t carry paint for signs, ma’am. Any paint that we have in stock is intended for fabrics and is in small bottles. We are a crafts store, but we specialize in fabric.”

Customer: “That’s okay! I’ll just buy your paint and then a paintbrush, please.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m afraid that we don’t carry paintbrushes either. We are a crafts store, but we specialize in fabric. Have you tried going across the street to [Department Store]?”

(At this point the woman drops what she is carrying as if I offended her terribly.)

Customer: “No, I came HERE for crafts. Are you telling me that this fabric store can’t have someone go across the street and special order those paintbrushes here for me right now!?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am…”


Me: “One that specializes in fabric, ma’am.”


Trying To Drill The Point Home

| BC, Canada | Home Improvement, Popular

(I work for a hardware retail chain, and we deal with a large volume of returns daily. This is one of my more interesting returns.)

Customer: “I want to return this drill. I didn’t use it.” *places drill on counter*

Me: “All right, let me just take a look here…”

(I open the re-sealed box and find a heavily used, abused drill, covered in dents, scratches, and drywall dust.)

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t return this. It’s clearly been used.”

Customer: “Well, it didn’t work well for me. I don’t want it.”

Me: “How can I return that if nothing is wrong with it? It can’t be resold or returned to the supplier.”

Customer: “It shouldn’t damage as easily as it did.”

Me: “It looks like it’s been dropped a few times from a good height.”

Customer: “Never. It’s never been dropped. Just give me my money back so I can go. I’m a busy man.”

(I can see where this is going, so I reach below the desk and pull out the same brand drill that was written off a year ago for store use.)

Me: “This is our store drill, and it’s been used every day for the last year. You’ve had yours for two weeks. There is no justifying that amount of damage. I can’t return it. I’m sorry.”

Customer: *clearly upset* “This is stupid. You’re an idiot who clearly doesn’t understand power tools.”

Me: “I work in a hardware store selling drills, and I also work as a contractor. I know drills, sir.”

(After more of the same back and forth, the customer finally leaves, purposely leaving the drill behind because “it’s of no use now.” When I told them, all my managers could do was laugh.)

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