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…


Arts And Crafty

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

(I’m the closing manager for a craft store and one of my cashiers calls me to the front. A woman with a baby carriage is attempting to return a collection of high-priced marker sets without a receipt or the original card. I’ve seen this enough to know that she’s stolen these sets and wants the cash. I explain the store policy and refuse most of the return, only allowing about $42. Without a security team, there’s not much else I can do. After following her around the store for about three hours, she comes up to the till.)

Me: “Oh, did you find everything you need? Oops, there’s a marker set on the bottom of the carriage. Let me get that for you.”

Customer: “Oh, thank you! I forgot I put it down there.”

Me: “Of course! Looks like some items slipped under this bag. Let me get this out of the way so you can grab the other items.”

(She purchased about a third of the items, $42 worth, from the carriage and swiftly left the store. The remainder, including what I pulled from under the carriage? About 250 dollars worth of various marker sets and small items. Huh. Glad for the confirmation about that earlier return! I personally thanked all my employees and passed along a note to the head manager.)


Have No Reservations About Stealing Reservations

| Boston, MA, USA | Bad Behavior, Liars & Scammers

(I am working as a host in an upscale restaurant on a busy Friday night. As we have a large number of reservations – including one reservation for 12 people – we are currently not accepting any walk-in customers. Four men approach me.)

Me: “Good evening! Welcome to [Restaurant]. How can I help you?”

Guy #1: “Yeah, Hi. Erm, there’s 15 of us meeting here, so…”

Me: *cringing* “Do you happen to have a reservation?”

Guy #2: “Maybe under [Name]? Probably not, though.”

Me: *checking the system* “Unfortunately, I have no reservation for that name and, as we are pretty busy tonight, I can’t accept any more walk-in customers until at least [two hours later]. I am so sorry!”

Guy #1: “Oh… erm, well, we weren’t the ones organizing this so when the rest arrive we will ask if they made a reservation.”

Me: “Okay, no problem, but I don’t see a reservation for that amount of people in the system… The largest I have is for 12 people.”

Guy #2: “Okay, cool. Let us get back to you on it!”

(The rest of the group arrives around five minutes later and a lady approaches me. She stands behind me as she talks to me, facing the computer which is not completely unusual to do.)

Lady: “Hi. I have a reservation for 12 people but I have 15 here now. We want to be seated now.”

Me: *panicking because the restaurant is nearly at full capacity* “Oh… sure, what was the name on the reservation?”

Lady: “It’s on the screen behind you! [Name]!”

Me: “Perfect! Just give me a minute to set your table up.”

(I sit them down and just about manage to grab another table for the extra people that had arrived. The group has been nothing but rude and dismissive of me the entire time. Ten minutes later another lady approaches the host stand.)

Me: “Good evening and welcome to [Restaurant]!”

Lady #2: “Good evening! I have a reservation for 12 people under the name [Name]. We are ten minutes late and only 10 have made it! Sorry about the inconvenience.”

Me: *gesturing* “Oh! I believe I already sat your group just over there.”

Lady #2: “Um… I don’t think so. I don’t know anyone at that table.”

Me: *paling* “Oh… If you could just give me one moment, I will arrange a table for you.”

Lady #2: *shows me emailed confirmation of reservation and laughing* “Did that table steal our reservation?”

Me: “It appears that a mistake was made. However, it’s no problem as I can seat you also!”

(It turned out the first group did in fact steal the reservation as the server overheard them bragging about their ingenuity. Thankfully, the second group found the whole situation funny and I was able to seat them anyway, even with a busy restaurant!)


A Dent In Your Dentures

| Greece | Bad Behavior, Health & Body, Liars & Scammers

(I am a student in dentistry, and I have patients of my own during university hours. I am fully responsible for their treatment, as well as their financial transactions with the university. I am not capable of giving any kind of discount. Students are expected to pay any debt of their patients in order to graduate. Faculty members make sure that we know this is the case. This is a particularly unpleasant patient, who gradually starts complaining about any work I do, despite my best efforts and faculty members fully approving of the quality of my work. Dealing with her, even over the phone, makes my stomach turn from anxiety.)

Patient: “[My Name], the dentures you made me are no good. When I press on the side like that, they come off!” *the patient proceeds to press with her finger in a way that can by no means occurs while chewing*

Me: “The dentures have to come off one way or another, like a shoe. If they didn’t come off at all they wouldn’t be dentures, after all.”

(The patient frowns and obviously does not believe me, despite faculty members backing me up.)

Patient: “[My Name], the dentures you made me are clicking. That’s unacceptable!”

(After I examine her, it turns out it was a natural sound from her TMJ. After I explain this, and show her that her clicking continued with no dentures on, she still looks really upset.)

Patient: “Well, my mouth still tastes terrible when I wake up! It’s because of these bridges! You made them so I can’t clean between my teeth!”

(The patient’s main concern when she first came was the bitter taste in her mouth. The patient has insisted for two years that her blood sugar, a prime cause of bad taste, is on regular levels. A faculty member has me order some blood tests, including blood sugar levels. Despite her adamantly denying it, they turned out to be high enough to explain the symptoms. I book a last appointment for her, to get the remaining amount of money to pay the school and our dental technician. I explain over the phone I need [Amount #1] for school, and [Amount #2] for the technician. Because of a wrong addition, I had underestimated the amount of money when I had to inform her about the total cost of the treatment. I have made clear I volunteered to pay this amount myself, knowing she had financial difficulties. I also gave her the dentures before she paid the full amount, just to get her to stop bugging me, which was a mistake. When she comes for the appointment:)

Me: “Your blood sugar levels are probably the reason for the bad taste you have, not the bridges or dentures.”

(The patient looks at a loss, as she has no grounds to blame me further for anything.)

Me: “So, now I would like to discuss the financial part—”

Patient: “I have no money for you.”

Me: “But, I told you how we need to pay off the university [Amount #1] euros, and the technician [Amount #2] euros! It’s the end of the year, so I can’t postpone it any longer for you.”

Patient: “What? You only said [Amount #3] euros over the phone! This is unacceptable! I am not paying anything. The work you gave me is unacceptable.”

Me: “Please leave now.”

Patient: “What? And what am I to do if I have any problems?”

Me: “I do not care. Please leave now. I don’t care about the money. I’ll pay myself if it means I get to graduate and never see you again. So, leave, because I have to tend to other patients.”

(Her look of disbelief and the sight of her leaving was worth every euro… and it was a few hundred of them, too. The technician was understanding and was already partially paid, so he let it slide and assured me I could do nothing more, as he had met her and saw how rude and suspicious she was.)


Needs To Change Your Change Tactics

| Cheshire, England, UK | At The Checkout, Criminal & Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Money

(I’m volunteering at a charity shop. Most of our customers are elderly or middle-aged. On this particular day I’m helping another volunteer put a picture up when a man in his early twenties comes in. He looks around for just a minute or so and grabs a card from the stand at the front of the shop.)

Man: “Just this card, please.”

Me: “Of course. Do you want a bag to put it in?”

Man: “Whatever.”

Me: “Just £1.00 then please.”

(The man takes a note out of his pocket. I take it and start to sort out the change and pass it over to the man.)

Man: “Wait a minute, love. I’ve got some right change here if it’ll help you out. If I give you some coins back can you give me a note?”

Me: *feeling a little confused* “Erm, okay. That won’t be a problem.” *I count the change; I realise he’s left me short* “Sorry, I need another £1 coin.”

Man: “Really? Okay. Tell you what. I’ll give you some coins to make that right. You just give me my money back and we’ll be even, right?”

Me: “Okay.”

(I feel uneasy but give him the money, and he starts to rifle through the notes he has again.)

Man: “Actually can you change this for me instead?”

(He’s leaning over the counter, is quite intimidating, and I am starting to realise something isn’t quite right.)

Man: “I just want my change!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I’ve given you the money you need.” *I close the till*

Man: “But you still owe me change!”

Me: “I can call my manager down to deal with your request if you like?”

(I called upstairs to the manager and told her to double-check the change I had given the man. She came down to confront him and he looked shifty and decided to just leave, despite me “owing him change.” I told the manager everything that happened and she checked the till – he had somehow taken £10 from us, and had tried to take more. We reported him to the police and found out he had tried this on in a few other shops, including a well-known supermarket where he’d threatened the cashier. I later found out that this was a short-change scam or change-raising scam, where the scam artist confuses the cashier to get their money back plus extra. I printed out a warning and left it in the staff room. A few months later another man came in and tried the exact same thing. I said no, closed the till, they caught him on camera leaving the shop, and he was taken in by the police.)


Animal Control Out Of Control

| CA, USA | Liars & Scammers, Pets & Animals

(A woman whose dog adoption I handled a few days prior is coming back to return the dog. Our return policy allows for refund or exchange within two weeks only if the animal has a life-threatening illness. This policy is covered, in detail, with every adopter. As I’m helping another customer on the next workstation, I hear my coworker struggling to maintain composure with an increasingly irate customer. I finish the transaction I’m on and hear the magic words:)

Customer: “Let me speak to your supervisor.”

(I turn and address the customer.)

Me: “Hi, I’m the Adoptions Lead. How can I help you?”

(She explains the same thing she’s been telling my coworker.)

Customer: “I have four dogs at home already and did not know that was the legal limit for the area. The police came to my home for something unrelated and told me I had to get rid of my new dog. I want a refund for my adoption fee!”

(She even breaks down into hysterical crying, which she’d also done with my coworker.)

Me: “Ma’am, what my coworker here has already told you is correct. This does not fall within the refund policy. It is your responsibility as a pet owner to know the laws before taking a new pet into your home.”

Customer: “But YOU PEOPLE sell the animals! I told you how many dogs I had at home and you still adopted one out to me anyway. You should have known better! You should know the animal regulations!”

Me: “Ma’am, first off, it is not our responsibility to know all the animal regulations of all the various cities and regions around here. It is always the consumer’s responsibility to make sure they are legal. We have adopters who come here from all over the state. I’ve had adopters from as much as four hours away, as well as out-of-state adopters. We couldn’t possibly know the regulations for all these areas. Secondly, we do contract with [City where the shelter is located] for animal control services, so we do know the guidelines for [City]. However, you do not live in [City].”

Customer: “But I’m just in [Town next to ours]! You should know the regulations for [Town]! You should have a book listing each nearby town and their animal regulations!”

Me: “Ma’am, that’s never going to happen. It is always the consumer’s responsibility and not ours.”

(She continued to argue with me over seller’s responsibility versus buyer’s, until I tell her:)

Me: “Look, we’re not going to agree on this, but we really don’t have to. All I can do for you right now is submit your request to the manager in charge of financials, who is off for the next two days, and see what he decides. Until then, you need to GO HOME, and wait for a response on his decision.”

Customer: “I’m not going to go home; I’m going to go to my lawyer!”

Me: “That’s your prerogative, ma’am. Have a great day.”

(She blows up a few more times over the wording of the request we sent to the manager.)

Customer: “This makes it sound like it’s my fault!”

Me: “Ma’am, this has been written out exactly the way you told it to us”

Customer: “Well, I want you to put in there that the police came out and said I had to return the dog”

Me: “It does say that”

Customer: “But it doesn’t say they gave me a written warning!”.

(Then she started crying at the desk for a few minutes. I was worried we’d have to call the police to remove her, but she finally left. After she left, a coworker told me she knew the lady’s ex-husband. The ex said she’d adopted the dog in an attempt to get her teenage son to spend more time with her instead of at his dad’s house. When that didn’t work, she called her ex and told him to come get “his son’s dog.” He replied that it was her dog and she’d have to take care of it. She threatened to set the dog loose on the street. He told her no, she had to either care for the dog, or take it back to the shelter. He said the police were never involved, which had never made any sense anyway, since police don’t really know enough about animal codes to enforce animal limit — they leave that to animal control.)

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