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Category: Money

A Platter Of Misunderstandings

| Canada | Food & Drink, Money, Popular

(It is a very busy morning at our hotel as all of our conference rooms have been booked for meetings. The night before, my employee called me asking if it was still possible to place a catering order for one of the meetings. He said the gentlemen in charge is there to set up the room and realized he hadn’t requested it sooner. I had him put the customer on and I informed him that we could only arrange for a simple dessert platter or soup-and-sandwich menu at this short of notice, and he decided on a dessert platter and two large pitchers of coffee. The next morning I greet him as he comes in.)

Me: “Good morning! So, just to confirm, you wanted the dessert platter and coffee served at 9 am, is that correct?”

Customer #1: “Excellent! Thank you.”

(I go back to the front desk and people start arriving. Around 8:30 a gentlemen approaches the desk.)

Customer #2: “Excuse me, I’m in [same meeting as the first customer] and I’m wondering if we could get the bill for the room in advance. I’m going to prepare a check and drop it off when we step out for lunch.”

Me: “Absolutely. I’ve got everything ready right here. I just need a moment to print it out.”

(I print it and hand it off and he thanks me. A moment later he returns.)

Customer #2: “Excuse me, why are we being charged $24.95 for food and beverage services?”

Me: “Oh! That’s for the dessert platter and the coffee that you ordered from [Local Catering Company].”

Customer #2: “What dessert and coffee? I didn’t order anything from [Catering Company].”

Me: “The gentlemen in charge of the meeting ordered it last night.”

Customer #2: “I’M in charge of this meeting and I didn’t order anything! Who did you speak with?”

Me: “Umm… I spoke with [Customer #1], that gentlemen standing over there. He came in last night to do the set-up and we spoke over the phone. I also confirmed it with him this morning; I confirmed that he wanted it for 9 am.”

Customer #2: “I have no idea where you’re getting this from. We did not order anything. I am in charge of the finances and the decisions. How dare you allow someone to go over my head!”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, sir, but he was the one who booked the room and he is the one with whom I’ve had all communications. I didn’t even know you existed before this morning so I had no way of knowing you were in charge.”

Customer #2: “Well, okay, that is understandable but I do need this taken off the bill, please.”

Me: “Well, the food has just been delivered and paid for maybe 10 minutes ago. It’s non-refundable so we would be taking a financial loss here. Are you certain you don’t want to take it? At a discounted price maybe?”

Customer #2: “I said, TAKE. IT. OFF.”

Me: “Yes, sir. I’m terribly sorry for the mix up.”

(I remove it from his bill and proceed to call the local soup kitchen to tell them we have a donation for them. They come by to pick it up and are very grateful. Around 9:45, the meeting let’s out for a break and about a dozen people flood into our breakfast room. I figure they are going to watch the television and since breakfast is over I don’t mind letting them mingle. Then I hear the familiar sound of our cupboard doors opening and closing and the coffee machine running. I go in to see all 12 people eating muffins and drinking coffee. A few even have yogurts from the fridge. I take a count and prepare a bill and when the group lets out for lunch I present it to Customer #2.)

Customer #2: “What is this? What am I paying $42 for food and beverages for?! I thought we discussed this already!”

Me: “This is a bill for the coffee, muffins, and yogurt your guests took from our breakfast room. Those items are only free to hotels guests and only during breakfast hours. It’s $1.50 per coffee for 12 coffees, $1.35 per muffin at 12 muffins, and $1.50 per yogurt for five yogurts.”

Customer #2: “I don’t understand. It was under $30 a couple hours ago…”

Me: “Yes, for the dessert platter and coffee provided by [Catering Company]. They charge a flat fee which we are not charging you for. Those muffins and coffees come from our personal supply. We charge per item whereas the catering company charges a flat rate.”

Customer #2: “Well, give me the catering platter and stuff, then!”

Me: “Even if I could you would just end up paying for both.”

Customer #2: “I should have kept my big mouth shut.”

(He pulled out his checkbook and cut a check for the food and I later heard him yelling at his guests to “not touch the bloody food!”)

You Are Sew Lying

| Australia | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money, Technology

(I’m 19, but I look at lot younger than what I am so people often mistake me for being school-aged when I work on the weekend. On this particular Saturday I’m working at the counter with my middle-aged coworker. I see a couple deliberately letting people past them in the line, clearly making sure I’m the one that serves them.)

Me: “Hello! How can I help you today?”

Man: “I want to return my wife’s sewing machine.”

(He places an open sewing machine box on the counter.)

Me: “Ok, sir; was there a problem with it?”

Man: “No—”

Woman: “Yes—”

(The man glares at his wife before continuing.)

Man: “No, we just changed our mind.”

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but we only do change-of-mind refunds for sewing machines that haven’t been opened.”

Man: “But it was open when we bought it!”

(I’d been working at this store for a while and knew all the policies; there was no fooling me.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but that’s not possible. All sewing machines are sealed with security tape when they are purchased to prevent theft. You wouldn’t have been allowed to leave the store with an open box like that. I’m afraid I cannot refund you.”

(The man grumbles, and the woman decides to chime in.)

Woman: “I did open it! I tried to use the machine but it was broken! I want a refund!”

(Despite the fact that they just changed their story, I decide to follow company policy and treat the machine as if it was indeed ‘faulty.’ We are encouraged to test all machines that customers claim are broken, mostly because the majority of the time the customers aren’t using it correctly, or there’s a really small problem that we can fix ourselves without having to send it away under warranty.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am, I’ll just have to test the machine to see if I can fix the problem myself. Most of the time we don’t have to send it back to the manufacturer.”

(I remove the machine from the packaging and set it up. I’ve been sewing for years so I know exactly what I’m doing, and I can see the woman getting increasingly panicked as I thread up the machine and find some fabric to test it with. I try all of the functions and they work perfectly.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, it seems your machine is fine after all. Are you sure you set it up correctly?”

Woman: “Yes, I did exactly what you did, but it didn’t work! I want a refund!”

(Even though I’m allowed to turn them away, I can see the machine is still brand new so I go and talk to my manager about giving a refund. She says not to give them any money back, instead they can exchange it for a more expensive machine and pay the difference. The couple don’t take this news so well.)

Man: “Bull-s***! You have to refund us! It’s the law!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but Australian consumer law requires we refund you only if the product is faulty, wrongly described or doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. We have established that the sewing machine sews perfectly and looks exactly the same as the photo on the box, so I do not have to offer you a refund or exchange at all. I am, however, willing to let you exchange it for another machine of equal or higher value.”

(All of a sudden the couple turns to look each other and starts arguing in a foreign language. They eventually turn back to me.)

Man: “So, which machines can we exchange it for?”

Me: “Well, it depends how much you paid for your original one. May I see your receipt?”

Man: “We don’t have one. Only a credit card statement.”

(I had to go back to my manager and ask if I could still do the transaction without a receipt. It is a good five minutes before I get back to the counter.)

Me: “Okay, sir, the bank statement should be fine, but we’ll need extra time to find the receipt in our system.”

Man: “Actually, we’ve decided to keep our original machine.”

(Before I could stop him, he took the machine off the counter and walked off. I had to run to the front of the store and explain to my coworker at the door that someone was about to leave the store with an open sewing machine box and no receipt. The customers waiting in line were not impressed.)

These Customers Have Totally Checked Out

| Fargo, ND, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

(The customer returns $680 worth of purses.)

Me: “Okay… so that will be $680 going back onto your Visa card.”

Customer: “I can’t have cash?”

Me: “No, we can only do returns in the way that you made the purchase and it says here that you used your Visa card.”

Customer: “I just want the cash.”

Me: “I can only give you your money back in the way you paid. So $680 will be going back onto your Visa card.”

Customer: *looks at me like I’m stupid and calls her husband over*

Husband: “She just wants cash.”

Me: “Yes, well, if she had paid in cash I would be able to do that, but since she used her Visa card the money will be transferred back onto that account.”

Customer: “So, they are going to send me a check?”

Me: “No, the money just gets transferred back into your account.”

Husband: “But she already paid that.”

Me: “Exactly, and now that we are doing the return she will be getting that money back on her account.”

Husband: “So, they are going to be sending her a check.”

Me: “No, it will be transferred onto her Visa card.”

Husband: *looks at wife* “They will just send you a check.”

Me: “Okay… here’s your receipt. Thank you.”

Eventually Had A Bulb Moment

| Australia | Crazy Requests, Money

(One quiet afternoon a friendly looking lady approaches the counter:)

Customer: “Good afternoon, I’m looking for a new bulb for my sewing machine.”

Me: “Sure, we sell a few different bulbs here. What model is your machine?”

(She states the model, which has been discontinued for several years.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am, but as that is an older machine we don’t stock parts for it.”

(My coworker overhears the conversation and chimes in.)

Coworker: “I was at [Other Location] the other day. I know they have them.”

(Our other store is a lot bigger and around 30 minutes away. The customer’s face suddenly turns dark.)

Customer: “I WOULDN’T DRIVE TO [OTHER LOCATION] WITH A GUN TO MY HEAD.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am—”

Customer: “YOU GUYS SELL POTS AND PANS AND BALLOONS AND OTHER CRAFT S*** BUT YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE THINGS TO DO BASIC SEWING.”

Me: “With all due respect, ma’am, we are as much a craft, party, and home decorating store as we are a fabric and sewing store. Now if you like I can call [Other Location] and have them send the bulb here, but it may take several weeks.”

Customer: “BULLS***. I’m going to [Competitor] and getting the bulb off them! See if I ever come back to your store again!”

(She dumps her basket on the counter and stomps off.)

Next Customer In Line: “She’d really rather get shot than drive 30 minutes up the road?”

Bartering Bars At The Bar

| Norway | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Money

(I work as a bouncer in a pub and overhear the following while standing behind the bar.)

Girl: “One beer, please.”

Bartender: “That will be 86 kroner.”

(She puts her card in the terminal.)

Bartender: “The transaction was declined; do you have another card or cash?”

Girl: *pours out five nutria-bars from her purse* “Will this be enough?”

(Not surprisingly, I had to throw her out a few minutes later.)

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