Disproportionately Cents-less

, , , , | Right | April 11, 2018

(I am the manager of a chain bookstore location. Customers who purchase items on our website can return online purchases to any store location; we simply enter the order number into the register and the computer takes care of the rest by processing the refund amount to the original method of payment — credit card, gift card, etc. The customer gets a print-out to show that the return has been processed. On this particular day, I am on the floor when a cashier at the cash desk has just processed an online return for a customer.)

Cashier: “[My Name], can you help out with this?”

(I approach the cash desk.)

Me: “What can I help with?”

Customer: “I returned this online order, but the computer isn’t refunding the correct amount!”

(I look at the return print-out and see that the original purchase was $53.21, and the refund amount processed is $53.20. Starting to wonder if the customer is really upset over a difference of ONE CENT, I speak with the customer.)

Me: “I apologize. The computer must have rounded off the tax differently when it did the original purchase to when it calculated the refund amount.”

Customer: “So? It charged the one cent to my credit card! What are you going to do about it?!”

(Canada stopped using pennies a few years ago, so now our lowest coin in circulation is five cents. Realizing it’s pointless to even begin to argue with a customer over ONE CENT, I open the till and give the customer a nickel.)

Me: “Here’s five cents.”

Customer: *suddenly happy* “Thank you!” *she walks off*

(Over 15 years in retail and over five years as a manager, and that was the first time I ever had somebody upset over ONE PENNY!)

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