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Seems To Be A Few Fries Short Of A Happy Meal

| Durand, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(I’m working front counter at a fast food restaurant. This was before the apples and other side options were introduced.)

Customer: “Can I please get two hamburger [Children’s Meals]?”

Me: “Okay, and what would you like to drink with those?”

Customer: “I don’t need a drink with those.”

Me: “Well, I have to add a drink if you want the meal.”

Customer: “Okay… just add a fountain drink.”

Me: “Okay, and were those for a boy or girl?”

Customer: *leans close and says quietly* “Oh, I don’t need toys with those.”

Me: *trying hard to not be completely deadpan* “You know, you can just order two hamburgers and two small fries. They’re the same size and it’ll be cheaper.”

Customer: “Really? I didn’t know you could do that!”

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You Cheap What You Sow

| Canada | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(I work in a small town hardware store with a garden center. There’s a city a few kilometers away that brings in a lot of traffic, especially during the spring and summer months. A woman approaches the cash registers with a daisy plant. There are several stalks on the plant but about two or three of them are broken.)

Customer: “I was in here yesterday and you had some really nice plants like this, but this is the only one left. Can I get a discount because it’s broken and ugly?”

Me: “Well, we don’t usually give discounts on plants, and there’s only a few broken stalks. I’m sure it’s perfectly healthy.”

Customer: “I don’t want to pay $6 for such an ugly plant. I think I’ll just go to [Competitor]. I don’t even think the poor thing’ll survive.”

Me: “I can get [Coworker] over here. She works more in that department and maybe she can work something out.”

(I page my coworker to come to the registers. All the while this lady keeps repeating the same stuff about how she’d get a better deal at [Competitor] and is generally acting like she’s doing us a favor by buying the plant. I should mention that this woman’s voice is like the human version of the caps lock key. She isn’t yelling or anything, but she’s talking unnecessarily loudly, and it’s grating on my ears. My coworker shows up a minute later.)

Coworker: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “This plant is ugly and broken and I think I should get a discount on it. If I don’t, I’m going to [Competitor].”

(Since we have a reputation for being one of the friendliest stores in the general area, we decide to give her a dollar off. That’s below our cost by about seventy cents and we’d be losing money, but there’s a bit of a line behind her and we just want her to leave.)

Me: “Okay, we talked it over, and we can give the plant to you for $5, but that’s the lowest we can go.”

Customer: “I’ll take it. You wouldn’t be able to sell this thing for full price anyway.”

(She then proceeded to pay for her $5 purchase with a $100 bill.)

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Working Here Is A Brain Drain

| Bellevue, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Health & Body

(I am sweeping the store when I see one of our regulars standing on a grocery basket to reach a soda bottle on the top shelf.)

Me: “Can I help you get that down?”

Customer: “It’s okay; I’m lightweight.”

Me: “So is the basket’s construction.”

Customer: “Well, if it breaks I’ll buy it.”

(He gets down.)

Me: “I’m more worried you’ll fall and crack your head open… because guess who gets to clean THAT up?”

Customer: *laughs* “Brain cleanup in aisle eleven!”

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Scammers Never Take A Holiday

| VA, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers, Popular

Customer: “Hi, can I get [Popular Holiday Beverage]?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, that’s only available during the holiday season. Can I get you something else?”

Customer: “Well, since you’re out of what I want, can I get some of those free drink coupons you give out?”

Me: “No, sir, literally no one has [Popular Holiday Beverage] right now. It’s April.”

Customer: *scanning menu board* “What about [Item he thinks sounds obscure]?”

Me: “It’s available in half pounds right here, sir.”

Customer: “Oh, no, I don’t want that. I just hoped you’d give me some coupons ’cause you probably didn’t have it.”

(After he leaves:)

Coworker: “That’s like ordering a pony at McDonald’s, and demanding free stuff because they don’t have it. What the h***?”

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I Don’t Have The Energy To Explain The Energy

| Hampshire, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Criminal & Illegal, Extra Stupid, Money, Popular

(I work for a major energy supplier in the department that deals with accounts where the customer hasn’t paid for at least 18 months. Most people we talk to haven’t paid for two to three years and we are in the process of taking legal action.)

Customer: “Yeah, I have a letter saying you’re going to court. How do I stop it?”

(I tell the customer all her options and she decides she’d like to arrange a payment plan where she pays for her usage and her debt every month. I tell her that the amount she must pay is £100 which includes her monthly usage and her debt, which is two years worth of unpaid gas and electric bills.)

Customer: “That’s a lot. Are you sure that’s right? I’m hardly ever home. I think your meter is broken.”

Me: “No, your usage is only £50, but you have to also pay the debt on your account, so your usage is £50 but in order to pay back what you owe over the period of a year, your plan will be set to £100. This is £50 for what you use every month and £50 to clear your balance.”

Customer: “But you just said I only use £50. Why are you charging me double? You can’t do that.”

Me: “We’re not charging you double, ma’am. Like I explained, your usage is £50, but you haven’t paid anything for two years. You have to also clear that balance off, too.”

Customer: “I understand I have to clear my balance but why are you charging me double?”

Me: “If you just paid your usage, you wouldn’t clear your outstanding balance.”

Customer: “But surely just paying something would bring my balance down.”

Me: “Well, no, because as you pay, you would continue using gas and electric which, of course, you have to pay for, so you need to pay enough money for that as well as a little extra to cover your outstanding balance.”

Customer: “But I told you, I’m hardly home! I work lots of hours.”

Me: “Do you have a fridge?”

Customer: “Well, of course I have a fridge and a freezer.”

Me: “Do you turn them off when you go to work?”

Customer: “No, that’s stupid. They wouldn’t work and all my food would be ruined.”

Me: “Okay, do you cook your own meals when you get back from work?”

Customer: “Yes. Most days.”

Me: “Do you do your own laundry or do you go to a launderette?”

Customer: “I do my washing at home; I have a washer and a dryer and a dishwasher, too.”

Me: “So what you are telling me is that even while you are working, you are using energy because your fridge and freezer are on while you are out and when you get back, you use your gas and electric. Whether you use a little or a lot of energy, you still have to pay for it. For the past two years, you haven’t been paying for any of it, so you have built up a debt on your account, so not only do you have to pay for your usage going forwards, but also for the energy you haven’t been paying for the past two years. This is why the minimum you have to pay for the next 12 months is £100. After that, your payments should go down to £50 because you will have cleared your outstanding balance and then only have to pay for what you are using.”

Customer: “…but I still don’t understand why you are charging me double; if I only use £50 worth of gas and electric, why do I have to pay £100? Is this a fee for not paying for two years?”

Me: *really wanting to bash my head against the table* “I can send this to you in writing if you like.”

Customer: “Okay, but I want to set up the payment plan today before it goes to court.”

Me: “Okay.” *I take down all her details and then confirm the amount*

Customer: “Wait! I said £50, not £100! Stop trying to take all my money! That’s illegal – it’s theft. Maybe I will go to court after all and tell them that you are trying to rob me!”

(At this point I have zero patience left. I have been on the phone explaining the same thing over and over for what feels like forever.)

Me: “Actually, ma’am, it is you who have been stealing from us. We have been providing you with energy that you have not paid for. If you go to court, you will have court fees added to your account as well. The judge will not rule in your favour because you haven’t paid a penny in two years, despite our regular communications, and now that you are calling today, you are still refusing to pay for your outstanding balance.”

Customer: “Fine. I’ll go to court. See you there. We’ll see what the judge thinks of your sneaky extra charges!” *click*

(Customer called up several times after, trying to get a different agent, and they all told her the same thing, so she asked to speak to a manager. In the end she decided she would go to court. The court ordered her to pay, and she had to also pay court costs on top of it all just like I warned her, so her payment plan ended up being more. Last I heard she was writing to the ombudsman saying we were operating illegally. Y’know, because asking customers to pay for the electric and gas they used is illegal.)

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