Laptop Flop, Part 11

| Right | February 27, 2015

(Because we are an office supply store, many identity thieves and money launderers try to buy laptops from us because they assume we’ll be less vigilant than some other, more popular electronics stores. On this day, a customer we’ve seen many times before, who always uses questionable payment methods – like cards with important info scratched off, expiration dates that don’t match, etc. – comes in. Somehow he thinks we won’t recognize him, despite the fact that he comes in every two weeks. As always, he heads straight for the cooler, to buy an orange soda – which is the same thing he’s always done every time he’s come in. According to policy, we can’t refuse a customer service even if we know he’s been trying to scam us.)

Coworker: “Oh, hey, [Customer]! Good to see you again!”

Customer: “Hey! I— what? I’ve never been in here before!”

Me: “You really like that orange soda, don’t you? You get one every time you’re here! I have to admit, it IS pretty good.”

(The customer grabs a bag of chips, too, you know, because that will throw us off!)

Me: “What brings you in today?”

Customer: “I wanna buy a laptop. Just give me the cheapest laptop you have.”

(Honest customers browse the selection, ask questions about features, and pick a laptop that will work for the tasks they have planned for it. Not this guy! But I decide I’m not going to play the game of pulling a laptop from lockup, dealing with this guy’s fraudulent card, or watch him try to make a grab for the items we’re keeping behind the counter.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. We’re out of that one. It’s on sale this week, so it’s pretty popular.”

Customer: “Well, then how about the next cheapest one?”

Me: “Let me check.”

(I wander around the store for a minute, and then come back up.)

Me: “Well, we had one of those, but it got returned because it’s damaged. I can’t sell it.”

Customer: “Well… how about [Brand]? Just give me any laptop you have! I don’t care what it is. Just give me one. It’s for my little brother for school.”

Me: “Yeah, you know? All these models are being cleared out for next year’s models. It doesn’t look like we have ANY in stock! But, hey! I’m pretty sure by the time you come back next week, we’ll have some. Did you want to leave us your name and phone so we can call you when we have more in stock?”

Customer: “Err, no. I’ll go somewhere else.”

(He tried to play it cool and leave the store, but we saw he had someone idling in the parking lot right outside the door. We were able to get a license plate number, make, and model, to report to the police. We bet he was going to try to make a grab for the laptop and run with it. But once he realized we all knew his face, he stopped coming in. Thank goodness!)

 

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