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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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Caught Red-Cupped

| Portland, OR, USA | Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers

(I’m a food cart cashier on my last day of work, and have just returned from my lunch break with my helper. Our zoo had stopped all sales of a popular souvenir cup several days earlier, but returning visitors can bring the cups back with them to take advantage of our $1.00 refill deal for all souvenir cups, continued or discontinued. Almost ten minutes after returning, a group of five people cuts in front, and one of them angrily points at me.)

Customer: “We bought seven different drinks, and four of them were in the [Popular Souvenir Cup], twenty minutes ago! We left them at our table for just a minute, and they all got stolen! We want new cups for everything, for free! Or give us our money back!”

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but I can’t refund you on those cups.”

Customer: “This is bull-s***! Why can’t you do your job and give us our money’s worth?!”

Me: “Well, considering we haven’t sold these cups in days, I doubt you bought them from here in the last twenty minutes.”

Customer: “Oh, uh, I just forgot; we bought them over at the food cart near the—”

Me: “No location in the zoo is selling these cups anymore. We discontinued them last week while we wait for the new souvenir cup design to be shipped in.”

(The customer and their whole gaggle of a family then try to stutter out new drink orders, but my helper sharply tells them they’ve cut in the line and that they’ll need to wait, and they leave looking incredibly embarrassed. Apparently, according to the workers who covered for me and my helper, they’d been waiting for us to come back from lunch break, and had been watching other people carry cups around. Before they were out of earshot, I called out to them.)

Me: “Next time you want to scam someone, at least be smart about it!”

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The Phone Crashed

| Moscow, ID, USA | Criminal & Illegal, Liars & Scammers

(It’s about five minutes to closing, and I am monitoring the entrance door to my store when a girl rushes in, waving at me.)

Girl: “I’ll be just a minute! I promise! I need one thing!”

(She dashes off into the store and I go back to waiting for the clock to hit ten when I hear, over the loudspeaker:)

Coworker: “Harry in Hardware, if you’re in the store, you’re needed in Electronics.”

(Knowing that this is the code name for our loss-prevention agent, I go on alert just as the manager is locking up the doors to the store. Not thirty seconds later, the girl from earlier runs full tilt towards the doors with her arms cradling something to her chest, and smashes right into them, face first. The manager, who is ten feet away, approaches.)

Manager: “I need to see what’s in your coat, please.”

Girl: “Oh, but…”

(She opens her jacket and there’s a pre-paid cellphone. A look of exaggerated amazement appears on her face.)

Girl: “But… I don’t know how that got there…”

(I missed the rest of the show because it was time to clock out, but it was really hard not to just topple over laughing.)

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Watered Down Justice

| Spokane, WA, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers

(It is Saturday, so the store is very busy, and the dining room attendant is expected to help take orders when the line gets long. I am helping at the cash register when a large family comes in. The mother has instructed everyone in the family to request water, but I am still required to ask each person what they would like to drink. I have taken all of the kids’ orders, and the mother’s, and have come at last to the father. Our soda fountain is self-serve, and often times people will order water for free, then put soda in their water cups.)

Me: “What would you like, sir?”

Father: “I’d like to have [order].”

Me: “And what would you like to drink?”

Father: “Oh, I’ll take a soda.”

Mother: “Hey! Everyone is getting water. Come on, get a water. Please?”

(The younger children all chime in that he needs to get water, too.)

Oldest Son: “Daaaaad! We’re all going to get ‘special waters!’” *he emphasizes this, clearly indicating they’re going to be putting soda in the water cups*

(The mother and the father both shoot guilty glances in my direction, but the father does agree to order water. I finish their order, and as the line is clear, go back to emptying the bus station and washing tables. I happen to be at the drink station when the family gets their order, and they approach to get their cups.)

Mother: *on seeing me* “Come on, everyone! It looks like we really are drinking water!”

(She filled all their cups with water. It’s nice to see justice happen, sometimes.)

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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.)

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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!)

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