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…


| Pittsburgh PA, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers

(While waiting to clock in, I notice a warning to employees about a fraudulent coupon that people have been trying to use. It says $70 off anything in the store which is frankly ridiculous and I comment something to my other coworkers.)

Me: “What dumb-a** customer would ever think this was real?! The most we ever have is $10 off and you usually have to spend $30 or more.”

Coworker: “My dumb-a** customer! I had a lady argue with me earlier asking how I knew it wasn’t real. I had to point out that ‘back,’ ‘discount,’ and ‘redeemed’ were spelled wrong. Even then she kept trying to use it.”

A Sticker Sticking Point

| IL, USA | Liars & Scammers

(I work as a cashier in a well-known chain. We have a customer who likes to remove clearance stickers off cheap items and attach them to full-price items, then go to the newest cashiers who won’t argue it much. She comes up to my register when I am still fairly new, but have been working long enough to recognize her. I scan an expensive children’s toy that rings up at $49.99)

Customer: “Excuse me? The sticker says it’s on clearance for $2.44.”

(I look at the register where it says $49.99, and then look at the clearance sticker. I immediately realize what’s going on, but since we aren’t allowed to accuse anyone of something, I play along. I type in the product number on the sticker and it comes up as a decorative herb container from home decor, not even remotely close to anything resembling a toy.)

Me: “Huh, that’s strange. Oh, I see. Another customer must have put the sticker on this one for some reason. This wouldn’t have been something we did, it’s from a completely different department. Sorry, but the actual price is $49.99. See the sticker? It’s originally for a $5 item. I can take 10% off for your troubles.”

Customer: *being nice, but uncooperative* “Uh, no. The sticker says it’s on clearance. This is for my son’s birthday and I can’t spend fifty bucks on some toy. I found it on the shelf like this. You need to honor it.”

Me: “I can get my manager and see what she says, but I doubt we can give it to you for less than $3.” *I turn on my light and wait for my manager to arrive*

Manager: “How can I help?”

(The customer jumps in to explain the situation before I can. My manager takes a look and enters the product number like I did while listening to the customer.)

Manager: “Unfortunately, I can’t honor this. Likely a customer put this on here intending to get it for cheap, but never came back for it. I can offer you 10% off.”

Customer: “Like I told her, I can’t do that. I really think you should honor it.”

Manager: “I’m sorry; we can’t do that.”

Customer: “Is there someone else you can ask?”

Manager: “I’ll see what I can do and be right back.”

(My manager goes into her office and the woman, who has been mostly friendly at this point, tries to chat me up, saying “This always happens to me every time, blah blah.” Finally my manager returns.)

Manager: “I spoke to the store manager himself and he said we can do 50% off since the sticker was for 50% off the intended item, but we cannot do the $2.44. You can have it for $24.49 instead, which is still a great deal for such a popular toy.”

Customer: *giving my manager a nasty look and getting angry* “Seriously? Ugh. Fine, never mind, then. I don’t want it if you won’t honor your own prices. Take it off and finish it up.”

(My manager took the item back to the service desk where she took the sticker off and threw it away. The customer didn’t even acknowledge me after that. Later on, my manager came back up with the item the sticker was intended for, and you could see where a sticker had been removed.)

You Shall Not Pass

| OR, USA | Liars & Scammers

(I work in an office on my college’s campus. Among other things, we handle transit passes for students and staff. The student pass is a sticker that cannot be refunded unless under very specific circumstances, which are rules we don’t set. This happens on the phone with someone who is clearly faking an accent, since I’ve dealt with her in person before.)

Customer: “I need to return my pass. I didn’t know what it was and was charged too much for it.”

Me: “Ma’am, we quit selling those passes over two months ago. At this point, they’re actually expired. Why didn’t you contact us before now?”

Customer: “I didn’t know I would be charged. No one told me.”

Me: “I find that really unlikely. We train our staff quite well and they would have told you. Plus, we had you sign a form after reading the terms.”

Customer: “I signed nothing! I can’t read English!”

Me: “You should have told us that. We keep the literature in over 20 languages for your convenience. And why did you sign something you knew nothing about?”

Customer: “I didn’t sign anything!”

Me: “Then you wouldn’t have the pass. We require a signature for all passes.”

Customer: “Your employees are incompetent! I want my money back!”

Me: “I find it hard to believe that the person who sold you this wasn’t doing their job right. I know for a fact they’re quite good at it.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Because it was the head of our department who’s been working here for over 20 years.”

Customer: *hangs up*

Unable To Table This Discussion

| WI, USA | Liars & Scammers, Non-Dialogue

I work in a chain-operated sit down restaurant in a small, midwestern city. We are very busy on weekends. We are also attached to a hotel with a bar and banquet facility inside. There are a lot of weddings that take place there, usually on Saturday nights, so Sunday mornings can be especially busy for breakfast.

One Sunday morning we are getting a lot of large groups, most of who did not make reservations. We have a lot of smaller tables in the front of the restaurant and then large tables in the back. We have just seated a group at the last available large table. There are a few smaller tables open, but they are not even close to adjacent. A woman comes in and asks for a table for 12. I tell her that I can’t seat a 12 right now as we don’t have any open tables. She asks if we can push some smaller tables together. I point out that the smaller tables that are open are scattered, with occupied tables between them, and if she would like she can sit in the lobby and we’ll let her know when something opens up.

She starts fuming and demands to speak to the owner. I tell her that he isn’t in at the moment and ask if she would like to leave her number so he can contact her later. She says “No, God-d*** it! Just seat my family! We’re f****** hungry!” I explain to her (again!) that there is no place to seat her and she can wait until something becomes available or she can go elsewhere.

Then she starts in that she knows the owner and they’re good friends and if he were here he would find her a table, he would find a way to make his regular customers happy.

I’ve worked there for six years and had never seen this woman before, so I doubt she’s a regular and I doubt she knows the owner. So, I ask her “Oh, you know Bill?” She says “Yes! I told you, we’re old friends. I went to school with his wife!” I took great pleasure in bursting this hag’s bubble. I said “Ma’am, the owner’s name is Brian, not Bill, and Brian doesn’t have a wife, he has a husband.”

Honestly, even if she DID know the owner, what did she expect? Was he supposed to magically pull a 12-top out of his butt?

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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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