A Clearance On Bad Customers

, , , , | Right | March 7, 2018

(In the store where I work, we often have some items of a kind of material on clearance while others are not. We leave the clearance items on the shelf, but the clearance items are clearly marked with red and yellow labels, while the regular items have the usual white labels. This has never been a problem, until one day one of the checkers calls me up to the register to do a price check.)

Customer: “This ribbon is $2.00! You’re trying to charge me $4.99!”

Me: “I’m sorry about the mix-up, ma’am. I’ll go check on that for you.”

(I go and I immediately see the problem. There are no old sale signs left up, and all the merchandise is clearly marked, but okay, people make mistakes. I radio the checker and explain, but when I head back up to the front, the customer is ranting.)

Customer: “That’s not true! It’s clearance! The whole shelf was clearance!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but the ribbon you have is regular price. The ribbon right next to it was on clearance. You may have just looked at the wrong label.”

Customer: “NO! It was the WHOLE SECTION!”

Me: “I can show you what I mean, if you would like.”

Customer: “Fine. Show me.”

(She smiles all smug, like she’s got me, and follows me back to the aisle.)

Me: “See, this yellow ribbon was on clearance, but the orange ribbon you want is right next to it. See how this label is for yellow and this one for orange is regular price?”

Customer: “You expect me to be able to read that?!”

(The labels are two completely different colors, but again, okay, the customer is elderly. Also, I am much taller than she is and closer to eye-level with the labels concerned. However, there are two shelves right below that one with the same kind of ribbon and the same mix of red-and-yellow clearance labels and white labels. I point that out.)

Me: “Fair enough. I’m sorry. See here, how some of this ribbon is clearance and some of it isn’t?”

Customer: “Well… well… There’s nothing there!” *points to a section of the shelf where we’ve sold out of some of the clearance ribbon*

Me: *trying really hard not to snap at her* “Yes, because those were on clearance and now all of them have been bought.”

Customer: “Well, THAT label says clearance! That means the whole shelf is clearance!”

Me: “Um, ma’am, as you can see, all the ribbon colors have their own price listings right underneath each one.”

Customer: “NO! It isn’t clear! That one said clearance and I thought all of this was clearance! It’s misleading!”

Me: “I’m sorry for the confusion. There are different labels here.”

Customer: *clearly just feeling stupid at this point and trying to save face* “IT’S NOT CLEAR!”

Me: *seething inwardly* “I’m very sorry. The orange ribbon is regular price.”

Customer: “Well, I’m going to return it!” *draws herself up and smirks at me like she’s just struck a killing blow and I will grovel and beg her forgiveness*

Me: “All right. You can do that at any open register.” *walks away*

(Sure, lady, our large chain store will never recover from losing the sale of one five-dollar roll of ugly ribbon. The sad thing is, if she had been polite and hadn’t gone to such lengths to blame us for her own mistake, I would’ve been happy to give her her stupid ribbon for the clearance price, just the once. It just goes to show that being an a**hole won’t get you any favors.)

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