Ethically Entitled

, , , , , | Right | October 24, 2017

(A woman has come up to my register with a handful of clothes, including a $100 dress. As I’m ringing her up:)

Customer: “Wait, that dress should be $19.99.”

Me: “It’s coming up the full price, ma’am. I don’t see a sale sticker on it, either. Was there a sign on the floor you saw?”

Customer: “No, it’s right here.”

(She points to the bottom of the tag, where someone has written, “$19.99,” with a pen.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but that’s not a legitimate price. We always print out price reductions on stickers; we don’t write them on the tag. It was probably another customer who did that.”

Customer: *snippy* “So, you’re not going to honor it, then?”

Me: “No, ma’am; I can’t. However, this dress is a brand our location doesn’t normally carry, so I can give you a discount of 50% off.”

Customer: “I don’t want it unless you’re going to give it to me for the price on the tag.”

Me: “Sorry, the best discount I can give you is 50%.”

(The customer huffs while I ring up the rest of her items. She pulls out a handful of coupons that you can use with our store card.)

Me: “Do you have your [Store Credit Card]?”

Customer: “No, I don’t have one. Just tell me the total, and I’ll buy a gift card for that amount and use that for the purchase.”

(I pause. We have coupons that everyone can use with any form of payment, but the ones she has are specifically mailed to our store cardholders, and have to be used with a store card. The only other form of payment that works with them is a gift card, but you still have to be a cardholder to use those coupons. If I did what she asked, knowing that she didn’t have one, I could get into serious trouble.)

Me: “You don’t have a [Store Card]?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but you have to have a [Store Card] to use those coupons.”

Customer: “But they’ll work if you put my cash on a gift card, and ring it up with that. I’ve done that before.”

Me: “Sorry, but those coupons are only meant for [Store Card] holders. You can apply right now if you like, and if you get approved I can use them on this transaction. You would get a discount for having a new card, too.”

Customer: “I don’t want a [Store Card]! My friend who works at [Other Location] does this for me all the time! So, you’re not going to give me this discount, either?!”

Me: “No, ma’am. Ethically, I can’t.”

Customer: “Well, ethically, you should be keeping your customers happy. Ethically, the customer is always right.”

(She gives me a superior look, and then takes her items and starts walking towards the register in the next department. I grab my phone and have the extension dialed before she’s halfway there.)

Me: “There’s a woman coming your way who wants a $100 dress for $19.99, and wants to use [Store Card] coupons without a [Store Card]. Don’t do it.”

(I called every other register on the first floor, just to be safe. In retrospect, I wish I had asked for the name of the “friend” who was committing fraud against the company, and warned her that our bosses can look through our transactions to find out who it is. She might be more inclined to be ETHICAL if she understood her actions could get people fired.)

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