Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 10

, , , , , | Right | December 15, 2018

(It’s getting close to closing time, and the store is mostly empty except for one customer in the fitting rooms. She’s a middle-aged regular who is known to be high-maintenance, but she’s also generally been friendly about it, so it’s not too awful. At this point, however, she’s been here for ages, and we’re starting to hope she leaves soon so we can begin our closing procedures. My coworker goes back to tell her that we close soon, only to return several minutes later visibly frustrated.)

Coworker: “She wants an extra discount on her stuff, because apparently [Manager] always gives her one, but everything she picked out is on clearance.”

Me: “What?!”

Coworker: “I know! I tried to tell her we can’t do that, but she won’t listen.”

Me: “Ugh, well, I guess we’ll deal with it when she gets up here?”

([Coworker] and I agree to just deal with it at the counter, and we resume waiting for the customer to get out. And waiting. And waiting. Despite several reminders that we’re closing, she doesn’t come out until it’s basically exactly time to close. Both my coworker and I are beyond done at this point; we’re tired, we want to go home, and we don’t want to get in trouble for staying too late past closing. The mall makes our store pay more rent if we stay after hours, which the owners of the store don’t want, but we still are both trying to keep a polite facade as we ring her up as quickly as possible.)

Me: “Your total is [price].”

Customer: “Oh, I’m from Canada; the lady always gives me a discount — 20% off.”

(True, we have been giving discounts to customers from across the border — we live less than an hour away – -because their dollar has been down and we want to encourage business, but…)

Me: *internally sighing* “Yes, we can do that on regular-price items, but these are already 60 to 70% off, so we use the higher discount.”

Customer: “But I always get an extra discount; I come here every weekend.”

Me: “And I’d give you the discount on a regular-priced item, but as I said, these are already significantly marked down, so I can’t lower them anymore.”

Customer: “Please? Just ten percent.”

(This goes back and forth for some time, with both me and my coworker telling her the same thing over and over, and trying to explain that we can’t lower the prices because we’ll lose money. It’s now five minutes past closing. We’re still being as polite as we can, but quickly running out of patience. And then:)

Customer: *literally pouting* “Please? Just a little bit? Please? Please?”

([Coworker] and I look at each other, dumbfounded, in between saying no to each beg and plead. It’s five minutes past closing and she’s begging for an extra discount on something that’s already 70% off.)

Me: *patience completely gone* “Look. I’m very sorry, but I can’t make it any less than it already is. If my manager were here, she could possibly give you the extra discount, but since she’s not here and I don’t have her explicit permission, I can’t do it. I could get fired.”

(That’s a lie; I would get a reprimand, at most, but both my coworker and I have had it up to here with her and I’m willing to try anything. [Coworker] goes along with it and corroborates my story. It finally does the trick. The customer grudgingly accepts the prices, and we finish ringing her up. She leaves, we lower the grate, and start cleaning up and closing the till… and guess who didn’t properly hang up all the clothes she tried on and didn’t want?)

Coworker: “Seriously?! Who does this?! We could be done by now if she had just accepted the prices! And who begs like that, anyway? That’s just embarrassing!”

Me: “Right?! And if you need the discount so bad, maybe don’t drive down to the states every weekend! It might help save your money!”

Coworker: “We don’t even get new stock every week, so what’s the point?”

Me: “Exactly!”

(We’ve seen her a few times since then; she still comes in pretty regularly, often during my shift with this same coworker. She’s been a lot more polite lately, though. I think she realized that she can talk her way into a bigger discount with the manager, but not with me and my coworker, and has thankfully stopped trying.)

Related:
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 9
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 8
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 7

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