Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 14

, , , , , | Right | September 23, 2020

I work for a pretty well-known, somewhat expensive athletic wear store. However, the location I work at is an outlet store, so the price is a lot cheaper for our clothes. A customer came in yesterday, and despite corporate policy, we held several items, all of which were clearance, for her because she was so polite.

Customer: *At the register* “Oh, I remember you. You helped me the other day. I told you I’d come back. Oh, and don’t forget my 10% discount.”

We give three 10% discounts. One is to military and civil service personnel and the second corresponds to a coupon book offered by the mall. We must actually verify these discounts by either checking ID or making sure they do in fact have the “VIP coupon book”. The third discount is tricky; it’s our “team discount”. You have to get at least ten of the same item in all different sizes, AND you must prove it’s for a team. Normally, the team manager calls and talks to our store manager, or even corporate at times, to verify for this particular discount.

Me: “Oh, sure. Are you military?”

Customer: “No, I am not, but I get 10% off.”

Me: “Well, I’d certainly love to give you your discount. Do you have your VIP coupon book with you?”

Customer: “Why would I have that? Just give me the 10% off. I come here almost every month and they always give me a discount for buying so much.”

Me: “Unfortunately, I’ve never seen you in the past two years I’ve worked here and—” *Jokingly* “—you really don’t have all that much here.”

She only has eighteen items, and since they are clearance, the total is a little over $250; really this isn’t all that much by our standards.

Customer: “No! You’re giving me a discount or I’m not buying it.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, they do check the cameras every now and then, and if I’m seen giving you a discount without checking to make sure you are owed it, I could get fired. Since I’d rather not lose my job, I’m sorry, but I can’t give you a discount.”

Customer: “But the managers do it all the time.”

Me: “Oh, really? Which ones?”

Customer: “Your store manager!”

Me: “Let me go grab her real quick, then, but I can tell you, she’s going to say the exact same thing that I’ve said.”

She ignores my offer to grab a manager.

Customer: “Come on. What will it take for you to give me a discount?”

Me: “Well, if you’re an AAA member, I can hold your items while you go get the coupon book, which would be free to you, so you can get the discount. However, if you don’t want to do that, we’re having a promotion for the month of October through the mall and I’ll give you 25% off one item since I have that book that someone left.”

I go ahead and do that discount on her highest-priced item, which was marked $24.97 on clearance. This item was originally $40.

Customer: “That’s not the same, and it won’t save me much.”

Me: “You’re right, but the way I figure it, a little savings is better than nothing. Plus, I did it on your most expensive item: this $25 tank top. that way you got the most savings from it.”

The customer blows up.

Customer: “THIS ISN’T $25; IT’S $15! I GRABBED IT FROM THE CLEARANCE RACK SO YOU MUST HAVE RUNG IT UP WRONG ON PURPOSE!”

I show her on the tag where it says $24.97 and somehow, at this point, I’m still keeping my cool.

Me: “Unfortunately, it is that price. Did you want me to take it off this transaction?”

Customer: “OF COURSE I DO!”

She picks up the tank top and throws it at me.

Customer: “Now, which item will you do the 25% off of now? Or will you finally give me the 10% like you should?”

Me: “None of them. I merely did it out of courtesy. Technically, I could still have gotten in trouble for discounting that item as it wasn’t your coupon book.”

She is now realizing I’m not falling for her pleas.

Customer: “Well, fine! I don’t want it.”

She shoves it all away from her, knocking several items off the counter.

Me: “All right, then. Have a great day and I hope to see you again soon.”

I say this to a lot of customers; it’s just a habit of mine. The customer whirls around.

Customer: “WHAT’S. YOUR. NAME?!”

I write down my name, my boss’s name, and my store number.

Me: “Here’s all the information you’ll need. Now please leave my store.”

Coworker: *Turns to me* “How’d you handle that without blowing up at the customer?”

Me: “Too many years of working retail and dealing with idiots.”

I went and told my store manager what happened; she just laughed and said, “I hope she does report you. I think it’d make the district manager laugh, too.”

Related:
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 13
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 12
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 11
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 10
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 8

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