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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…

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Running Shoes Blues

, | Chicago Ridge, IL, USA | Liars & Scammers

(I’m working at the customer service desk.)

Customer: “I purchased a some clothing and shoes. When I went to get the shoes out of the bag today the cashier never gave them to me! I want you to replace them; they were very expensive running shoes!”

(While this is rare, since we have sensors on our shoes, sometimes cashiers set them aside to take the sensors off and might forget to bag them.)

Me: “I’m so sorry that’s happened. Do have your receipt on you?”

Customer: “No, I didn’t keep it. I want a pair of replacement shoes; I know exactly which ones I purchased.”

Me: “I understand. Do you remember which register this took place at and the time? We have notes for when items are left behind and I can get you a replacement pair.”

Customer: “Do you expect me to remember what happened back in March?”

(It takes me a minute to understand what she had just said. It’s October and March was seven months ago.)

Me: “I’m sorry; did you say you purchased these shoes in March? How did you not notice they were gone before then?”

Customer: *with a look that indicates to me she thinks I’m stupid* “I threw the whole bag of things in my closet and just got to them now! It shouldn’t matter when I purchased them. I want them now!”

Me: “Um, well, honestly, we don’t keep items that get left behind that long. Did you use [Store Charge Card] or any other type of credit card? If you can provide me with some sort of proof of purchase, I can attempt to return the shoes for an in-store credit.”

Customer: “I paid cash and I don’t want a credit; I want a new pair of shoes! Exactly like the ones I purchased and I want them RIGHT NOW!”

(Seeing as if this woman doesn’t seem to want to reason with me, I page for a manager to talk to her. The manager arrives and the woman explains the whole story again, this time saying she purchased the shoes only in July. I attempt to let the manager know she told me something different, but the manager doesn’t care to listen. They disappear off towards shoes and return about ten minutes later with a shoe box.)

Manager: “Ring these up as a return and put the total on an in-store credit. After that, you can use the in-store credit to purchase these shoes to replace the ones we lost.”

(I start to return the shoes but since they are without a receipt, it asks me to provide the person’s ID number.)

Me: “Can I please have your license?”

Customer: “No way in h*** am I giving you my license! First you refuse to believe me and now you want to take my license from me?”

Manager: “Go ahead and override the license.”

(I’m hesitant because the corporation keeps track of how many overrides on licenses that we do. I do not want to get in trouble, but the manager once again tells me to just override it. After I do, I unwillingly go ahead and purchase the brand new $160 shoes for the customer. She takes them from me, thanks the manager, and basically runs out of the store.)

Me: “You realize those shoes are brand new and there’s no way she purchased them back in July right? And she first told me she purchased them back in March. I highly doubt her story was remotely real.”

Manager: “I don’t care. The customer is always right.”

(The manager walked away and I stood there completely dumbfounded and amazed that this woman spent only 30 minutes in the store and she managed to get a free pair of $160 name-brand running shoes on such a horribly contrived story!)

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Three Thinking

| Long Island, NY, USA | Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers

(The aquarium that I work at offers daily passes as well as yearly passes. You have the option to upgrade from a daily pass to a yearly pass at the end of your visit with a copy of your receipt. Also, we do not charge for children that are two and under.)

Customer: “I would like to upgrade to the yearly pass.”

Me: “Sure, we have a couple of options. Here is a form with the types of memberships we offer.”

(I go over the various types we have and we find a plan that suits her family.)

Me: “Okay, I just need you to fill out the bottom half with your name as well as the children’s names and their dates of births.”

Customer: “Uh… why do you need their birthdays? That’s not important.”

Me: *confused* “Well, we need it to make sure we don’t charge you for an extra child because I see on your receipt here that you have a child that is under three.”

Customer: “To be honest, I lied about that. He’s three, but I didn’t want to pay for him.”

Me: “…”

Coworker: “…”

Customer: “I’m sure people do this all the time…”

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Checkout This Scam

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers, Money, Non-Dialogue

A man buys a pack of cigarettes with a $50 bill. As I count his change back to him, he asks what he’d paid with, and I tell him it was a $50. He asks to buy it back, and counts out $49 in smaller bills and lays out 99 cents on the counter. I hand him the $50 for the $49 while he fishes for the last coin he needs. He comes up with a $1, which he gives me, along with the $50 and asks for a $100 instead.

We don’t have any $100s, nor other $50s. While I’m trying to figure out how to give him his money back, the fact that this is a scam occurs to me. I tell him, politely, that $50 of the money in my hands is mine, and he can either have the $50 bill or the small bills. He chooses the small bills. He then asks if he can buy the $50 back, and I let him.

Surprise, surprise, he tries the scam again, but this time I’m watching to see how it works, what he’s doing, and what I need to watch for in the future. Once he hands me the $50 back to ask for $100 again, I tell him he’s scamming me and is no longer welcome in the store. He grumbles a bit as he gathers up the change, but goes.

The next morning I come up $50 long. Apparently when I was kicking him out I forgot to give him his $50 back. So, to recap, I learned how to spot this kind of thing AND he ended up losing $50 on the deal. And if he hadn’t been greedy, and done the same kind of thing using a $10 to get $20, I wouldn’t have had the momentary confusion and he might have gotten away with it.

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Grandma Hates Football

| Ann Arbor, MI, USA | Health & Body, Liars & Scammers

(I work in an assisted living home. We only offer our restrooms to those visiting residents, employees, and visiting staff, not to the general public. It should be noted that we are near a large football stadium and people tend to park near us on game days. A person wearing the home team’s jersey, hat, etc. walks in the building and comes up to me at the front desk.)

Person: “Hello, can I use the restroom?”

Me: Are you here visiting someone?”

Person: *thinking they’ve got me* “Yes, my grandma.”

Me: “Oh? What’s her name? And I’ll need you to sign in, please.”

Person: *turning red* “Look, I just need to use the bathroom before the game.”

Me: “Yes, and they have facilities at the stadium for that.”

Person: “But there are lines! I don’t want to miss kickoff!”

Me: *shrugs* “Sorry, but the answer’s still no.”

Person: “UGH, you just hate football!” *stomps out in a huff*

(I actually like football, just not a**-hole fans. Some variation of this conversation happens every single game day with multiple people.)

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Not Chickening Out Or Shrimping Away

| USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers

(I work in a Chinese restaurant. For any of the curries you can get vegetable, chicken, beef, or shrimp. Shrimp is the most expensive option.)

Customer: “Hi, can I get the red curry with chicken?”

Me: “No problem!”

Customer: “But can you substitute the shrimp for the chicken?”

Me: “So you want red curry with shrimp?”

Customer: “No, I want red curry with chicken but I want the chicken substituted with shrimp. That way I get shrimp for the price of chicken. Get it?”

Me: “Um, it doesn’t work like that, sir.”

Customer: “Oh, please… There’s a reason I’m sitting here and you’re serving me.”

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