It’s Not Raining Rain-Checks

, , , , | Right | February 19, 2018

(Chicken leg quarters are a flyer special this week for 99 cents a pound. We have just opened Monday morning, following a busy weekend, and we ran out of the quarters on Sunday. The store is family-owned, and for whatever reason they don’t offer rain-checks.)

Customer: “Where are the chicken legs for 99 cents?”

Me: “I’m so sorry, but we’re sold out. There should be more in later today, but we don’t know when the truck will get here.”

Customer: “What?! It’s Monday morning! How can you not have it in stock on Monday morning?! That’s when everyone does their shopping!”

(I look around at the empty store and wonder what planet she’s from.)

Me: “Again, I’m sorry, but it does happen, unfortunately. Hopefully it won’t be too long before it arrives, but I don’t know for sure.”

(The woman continues to loudly complain to her friend and to me about how I personally should be ashamed of the fact that we ran out of the featured item. This goes on for several minutes. I continue to try to be sympathetic, but it’s getting difficult.)

Me: “It is disappointing, and I apologize for the inconvenience—”

Customer: “Never mind that; give me a rain-check.”

Me: *deep breath, because I know what’s coming* “I’m so sorry, but the store doesn’t give rain-checks.”

Customer:What?! What do you mean?! You have to! You give me a rain-check right now!”

Me: “I don’t have any rain-checks to give you.”

Customer: “Well, get some!”

Me: “Look, ma’am: it’s not in my power to do that. The store doesn’t give rain-checks.”

Customer: “Why not?!”

(I have actually asked this, and the only answer I ever got was, “Because Mr. [Owner] doesn’t want to.”)

Me: “I don’t know; it’s their business decision. You could try asking at the customer service desk.”

Customer: *preparing to storm off* “I will!”

(I’m breathing a sigh of relief, as I now think she’s somebody else’s problem, but she stops before leaving, and turns back to me.)

Customer: “How much will I be able to get on the rain-check they give me?”

Me: *groans internally* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but they’re not going to give you a rain-check.”

Customer: “WHAT?! You have to give it to me! IT’S MY RIGHT!”

(I wonder where the right to rain-checks appears in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, while the woman berates me at length. I offer to get the manager, but she ignores me. Finally…)

Me: “You are arguing with someone who has absolutely no authority. You can keep yelling at me if it makes you feel better, but it isn’t going to change anything.”

(This finally shuts her up.)

Me: “If you would like to make a complaint about store policy, or about me, the place to do it is at the customer service desk.”

(She walked away, complaining bitterly to her friend the whole time. I heard later that she kicked up a huge fuss at customer service, who called the meat manager over to talk to her. I really wish I could have been there to see that, because he is notorious for being snippy with customers. At any rate, she left without a rain-check, and I never heard a word of complaint from my boss.)

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