Category: Liars & Scammers

Ever come across a customer that has made you want to call the police? These ones pretty much ensure it. It goes way beyond the realms of shoplifting or threatening behavior. Some of these customers are too stupid even for those…

Tagged You From The Start

| Delaware, OH, USA | Criminal & Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Non-Dialogue

In the early 1990s I was working my way through college in a national shoe chain known for its inexpensive shoes. The most expensive pair we sold was $50. It wasn’t uncommon for me to be alone on shift. One day I open, which among other things involves marking the weekly sale items with these sticky green cardboard tags that would hang off the edge of the box, displaying the sale price ($5, $10, etc). The original thought with these tags is that they could be reused, so they are almost the stickiness of post-its. I open up, take the old sale tags down, put the new sale tags on, and wait for customers. Half an hour after I finish, the first customer of the day comes in.

She heads directly for the women’s 8 1/2s and after greeting her I let her browse and try on stuff in peace. 10 or so minutes later, she’s brought a pair of shoes up to the register to check out. I immediately notice the $19.99 shoes have a $5 tag on it — and I know I did not put it there, nor has this style ever been on sale (no possibility I missed taking a tag off).

I ring her up; gee, what a surprise. It’s $19.99. She protests, demanding the “sale price.” I shake my head, saying no. She continues to protest but is losing steam over my wall of no. Finally I sigh and let her know I just tagged the items on sale that morning, she was the only one in so far, and I could check the video footage (gesturing towards the wall mounted curved mirror in the corner), but I was pretty sure the tag just happened to fall off and into the box below, right?

She turns pale, pays, and leaves. I go back to the aisle and she’s moved half the tags around, probably in an effort to bolster her story. It mystifies me to this day why anyone would risk a class one misdemeanor for theft, which carries up to $1,000 fine and/or 180 days in jail, to get a cheap pair of shoes.

The company eventually made the glue on the back of the tags too strong for would-be thieves to try this stunt. The real kicker to this: we, as wasn’t unusual at the time, didn’t have a security camera. The mirror was just that — a mirror.

Conditioned For A Law-Suit

| Mumbai, India | Bad Behavior, Liars & Scammers

(I am getting my monthly haircut when a well-dressed young female customer walks in.)

Customer: *to Receptionist, extremely nicely* “I need to get my hair straightened today as well. I have a engagement party to attend. Can the stylist cover me now?”

Receptionist: “We are booked for the next two hours, but if you come by then, we can help you.”

Customer: “Oh, but I need to leave in an hour. Can you accommodate?”

Stylist: *walks over* “It will take three hours for the straightening and two days for the hair to settle.”

Customer: *slightly annoyed* “Oh, can’t you do in some super fast way?”

Stylist: *obviously tired, but politely* “No, ma’am. But tell you what, we should give you a quick conditioning and you can come by in the evening for the treatment.”

Customer: *a little more than slightly annoyed* “How much would that be?”

Receptionist: “200 rupees.” *about $5*

Customer: *suddenly going back to nice mode* “Can you give it to me as complimentary? I promise to be a regular.”

(After a five-minute back-and-forth, the receptionist gives in and assigns a shampoo girl for a free conditioning.)

Customer: *sweetest voice ever* “Thank you. I promise I will be a regular and spend lots of money here.”

(I am just about done and go in for a quick rinse next to the female customer. I have my eyes closed when suddenly:)

Customer: “OWWW. THAT WATER IS TOO HOT!” *gets up splashing water over me, which is obviously not hot*

Shampoo Girl: “Sorry, ma’am. I will adjust it down.”


(This cycle goes on two-three times until…)


(A senior stylist steps in…)

Customer: *eyes rolled up, continuously mumbling to herself* “I will drag these people to court. My dad is a lawyer.”

(I complete my haircut and am waiting for my wife to pick me up.)

Me: *to Shampoo Girl, who is shivering outside* “Don’t worry; she’s crazy.”

(Next month, when I came back, I heard the crazy customer tried to pull off the same stunt in other salons in the area and is effectively banned from all three upscale chains across the country.)

Refill And Rethink Your Scam

| USA | Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers

(I work in a coffee shop in a larger department store. We have a free refill policy on teas and coffees, as long as it was purchased in the store and the customer has not left. Many people abuse this.)

Me: “Hi, what can I get for you tonight?”

Customer: “I’d like a refill.”

Me: “Oh, what was your drink? I don’t remember making it.”

Customer: “Green tea with lemonade. The other girl made it.”

Me: *still smiling away* “Really? Wow, that’s a long time to be shopping!”

Customer: “Yeah, I’ve been here almost an hour.”

Me: “Nope. My last coworker left at three. It’s now eight. I have to charge you for this drink.”

(Cue grumpy stomping off!)

Don’t Be A Hay-ter

| VA, USA | Liars & Scammers, Money

(A customer called me over to talk to me about prices for small mammal bedding/hay.)

Customer: “How much is this one?”

Me: *I look at the price tags and can’t find the right barcode* “I’m sorry; I can’t find the price right now. I can take it to the register and scan it there.”

Customer: “So it isn’t $5.99?”

Me: “No.” *I look at the barcodes for that stack of hay, since we have several types in one stack* “It looks like the $5.99 is this one.” *I point to the same type of hay, without the carrots*

Customer: “Well, it should be $5.99, since the price tag is right there.”

Me: “Since we don’t have enough space on the shelf, we have to combine types. Based on [another type and size of hay], I’d say this one will be around $9.99.”

Customer: “You should still give it to me for $5.99.”

Me: “I’m sorry. The only times we can take money off for wrong pricing is if there is an actual slap tag–” *price sticker* –on the product that is the wrong price, since that means it is the employee’s, not the customer’s fault. However, we can’t discount products because either their price tags are missing on the shelf, or another price is underneath them, because a lot of times, either the price tag falls off, or, as I have found, kids will come in and move the tags.”

Customer: “That’s still false advertising. Which one is $5.99?”

(I show her a smaller pack of hay, without carrots. She scoffs and takes it.)

Customer: “You should still give me the bigger one for $5.99.”

Me: “I’m sorry. I’m not able to. I will be sure to reprint this price tag so that it won’t confuse other customers. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.”

(Customer gave me a dirty look and stomped off to the register.)

The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 5

| FL, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers

(I work in at my store’s customer service desk dealing with returns, voids, complaints, and other issues. Sometimes our cashiers will ring up a second of an item by accident and not know about it; therefore, I have to refund the product’s cost. However, this lady has a special case, and she isn’t going to take no for an answer easily.)

Me: “Hi there, what can I do for you today?”

Customer: “Yes. I came here a few days ago and purchased, among other things, two gift cards for these restaurants. I was charged for three, though, and only purchased two.”

(Every gift card is different, like a bank card, and each one has a different number. It is impossible to accidentally ring up two of the same gift card, as our register will show an error saying the card has already been activated. By habit, our cashiers also put all gift cards into a little paper bag to keep them together.)

Me: “Are you sure you didn’t misplace the card or lose it?”

Customer: “No. I only purchased two, and was charged for three. I want my money back.”

Me: “I’m sorry, miss, but a gift card can’t be accidentally charged to an order twice. The only was this would have been rung up was if you handed her a third gift card.”

(I proceed to show her on the receipt where the third gift card is and that the last four digits are completely different, as a receipt shows the last four of the card number.)

Customer: “I don’t think you’re understanding me. I didn’t purchase three cards, and I want my money back! That’s fifty dollars of mine!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t give you a refund. This card was purchased on this date with this debit card.”

(After more of this back and forth, I leave them to go and check the camera footage from that day with my manager. We see the cashier ring up three separate cards and put them in said paper bag. I go back out to the customer. My manager is with me this time.)

Me: “Ma’am, we just checked the camera footage from that day and see the cashier ringing up three separate cards on the order, put into a bag, and handed directly to you. After which, you put the bag in your purse and leave.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous. I don’t have the card! I want my money back, and I want to see this footage.”

Manager: “Certainly, follow me.”

(I stay at the desk to take care of other customers, but when all is said and done, twenty minutes later and the customer is gone, my manager comes back to me.)

Me: “How’d that turn out? She didn’t come back here to get a refund.”

Manager: “We showed her the footage, and she admitted that the cashier rang up three cards, but denied receiving them all. She said she wanted her money back again, and when I said no, she stated that she couldn’t afford to lose $50. I stated that we couldn’t just give her the $50, or afford it either. Her response was, ‘Well, you can afford to lose it a lot more than me.’ She said she was gonna call corporate.”

Me: “Maybe, but I don’t think she could be that ignorant….”

(We heard word the next week she called and tried to coerce them to fire me and get a refund. My manager and I had nice laugh at this.)

The Gift Card That Keeps Giving, Part 4
The Gift Card That Keeps Giving, Part 3
The Gift Card That Keeps Giving, Part 2

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