Your Explanation Has Been Declined

| Colorado Springs, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

(We are in the middle of a huge rush where all of the lines are full. We were trying to get customers out as quickly as possible. This customer has only a few items and her total is about $12. She slides her card, and it is declined. I always try to be polite and couth about it when this happens.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. It didn’t like your card. Would you like to try it again?”

Customer: “What do you mean?”

Me: “The register didn’t want to take your card. You can try running it again, though, if you want.”

Customer: “Does this happen a lot?”

Me: “It happens sometimes.”

Customer: *suddenly angry and much louder* “This is ridiculous! You need to fix this! It’s such an inconvenience! This always happens to me at this store! You need to fix your card reader!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but it’s not the reader. It read your card just fine but the purchase didn’t go through.”

Customer: “No! This is terrible customer service! Type it in on your machine!”

Me: “I can’t do that, ma’am. Our system won’t let us and we aren’t allowed. It read your card just fine. It just wasn’t approved.”

Customer: “Why not?! I know I have money on this card! It’s your fault and you have to do something about this!”

Me: “It really isn’t an issue with the card reader or with our system at all. If you want I can suspend this and you can contact your bank to find out what’s going on.”

Customer: “H***, no! I’m not waiting in line again!” *starts fishing money out of her wallet* “This is ridiculous! Get me your manager! You need to fix your machine!”

Me: “Ma’am, it really isn’t mine or the machine’s fault. The problem lies with your card.”

Customer: “No, it doesn’t! I know I have money in this account!”

Me: “I’m sorry. I don’t know what the issue is. You can try contacting your ba—”

Customer: “No! What does your screen say?”

Me: “It says it was declined, ma’am.”

(The customer then turned beet red and threw money at me, then gathered up her things and went over to the manager. She yelled at him about how I was rude and embarrassed her by saying her card was declined in front of other customers. My manager never talked to me about it, though, and the next three customers in line all told me to keep my chin up and hang on, and hoped that my shift was almost over. It was, thankfully.)

Bust A Gut Laughing

| OK, USA | Language & Words, Technology

(I do a lot of support for products I sell online via direct chat in text. Often google translate is used by customers. Unfortunately, my customer doesn’t know I speak Spanish and begins to rely on the translator. Please note that ‘tenía’ is past tense for ‘I have’ and ‘tenia’ means ‘tapeworm.’)

Me. “Ah, it appears that you unlinked the product. That’s okay; I’ll send you a new one.”

Customer: “Ah, tapeworm is my culpa!”

(My friends and I now use that for ‘my bad.’)

Free KiWiFi

| Australia | Criminal & Illegal, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(As we fill the bunks in the fresh produce department off loaded trolleys, we often get customers asking if they can take items directly off the trolley instead of the display. Of course, we tell them yes.)

Me: *cheerfully filling kiwi fruit*

Customer: *takes one off the trolley* “Can I take this?”

Me: “Of course.”

Customer: *kiwi fruit in hand, strolls out of the store*

Me: *stunned*

(Now I always remember to say ‘only if you pay for it.’ Thanks, random customer, for making me sound like a b**** to all the paying customers.)

The American Way Is Closed

| Portland, OR, USA | Bizarre, Politics

(It’s store policy to have employees in the store 30 minutes before opening and 45 – 60 minutes after close to prep, clean, etc. We closed about 10 minutes ago and I am mopping the eating area. A customer bangs on the door. We’re required to interact with customers, even after close, so I go and crack the door open.)

Customer: “What the h***? I need a coffee. Let me in.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. We closed 10 minutes ago. All of our coffee has been dumped and the machines are going through a cleaning cycle.”

Customer: “What? What are you doing here then?”

Me: “We have to clean the store and set up for tomorrow morning after close every night.”

Customer: “Seriously? They make you stay after close?”

Me: “Well, yes. We can’t clean the equipment while serving customers.”

Customer: “That’s monstrous! That’s slave labor!! I’m writing corporate about this!”

Me: “Sir, they still pay us… it’s standard procedure.”

Customer: “It’s horrible! I’m so sorry! This isn’t the American way!”

(He leaves, then, still mumbling about the ‘atrocity’ of our situation.)

Unhappy Customers Can Sour The Milk

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month

(A customer walks up to my cash register with a big carton of goat’s milk. He slams it down on my conveyor belt, looking angry and puffy.)

Customer: “Do you know the person that milked these goats?”

Me: *completely stunned* “Uh… no. I’m sorry, I don’t know who milked them. But I’m sure if you call the company that produces the milk and give them the batch number, they could put you in touch with the farmer, and HE OR SHE might know the person who operated the machine that milked the goats for that particular batch.”

Customer: “Machine?! The goats are milked with machines?!”

Me: “Probably… that IS how they do it most of the time. But I don’t know for sure. Like I said, if you contact the company they’ll be able to give you more information.”

Customer: “THIS IS RIDICULOUS. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A STORE TO KNOW WHO HANDLES THE FOOD YOU SELL!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but there’s really nothing more I can do to help you, aside from suggesting you call the company. If I may, why do you want to know who milks the goats?”

Customer: “BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW IF THEY’RE KEEPING THE GOATS HAPPY. IF A GOAT IS UNHAPPY WHILE IT’S BEING MILKED, THEN THE MILK WILL BE SOUR. IT’S TRUE! I SAW IT ON A TV PROGRAM!”

(He then paid for his milk and left with it anyway, while I tried very hard not to burst out laughing.)

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