She’s Got Some Balls To Discount

, , , , | Right | December 31, 2020

I work for a discount store while I am in university. It’s the thirtieth of December; a lot of people come in to buy our cheap fireworks and we are pretty short-staffed because some coworkers have called in sick.

Usually, there are at least five people for the cash registers and another three who put away items that get spread all over the place by customers who don’t want that particular article anymore. But it’s only my boss — who should be placing new orders — a coworker, and me. All of us are working at the checkout to get people out as fast as possible.

I’m working at the register that also handles returns when a lady comes strolling in, carrying two of our cheapest bags. I speak to her while serving other customers in line.

Me: “Good afternoon. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’d like to return these plush balls because those are on sale right now, and also this powdered sugar dispenser. The handle is broken, so I can’t use it properly.”

Me: “Certainly, do you have your receipts? Would you like to go in and get your items? That way I can do a one-on-one return and you won’t have to wait as long.”

The company wants us to ask the customers this to make sure they come back and the company gets to keep the money. The return policies are printed on every receipt, which is eight days for non-electronic items that aren’t broken but the customer didn’t want anymore.

I am looking over the receipts and the items.

Me: “Ma’am, it looks like you bought these plush balls a whole month ago, and your kids must have played with them, by the looks of them. I can’t guarantee that I will be able to return these, but I’ll make sure to ask my boss once he has a minute to spare. As for the powdered sugar dispenser, I am more than happy to let you get a new one. Why don’t you just go in and get your items while I check with my boss about the toys?”

Customer: “Oh, well, my kids did play with the plush balls, but they’re on sale right now! I’ll go in and see what I can find.”

Me: “Very well. Just make sure to come to my register because I am the only one who handles returns at the moment.”

The customer walks off onto the sales floor and I radio my boss. He comes over, looks at the receipts and the items, and decides that I am only allowed to return the sugar dispenser because it’s broken, but not the toys since they have clearly been used and were bought well over eight days ago.

The customer finally comes back. It’s my break time but I decide to do her return before clocking out.

Me: “Hello again! Found everything you were looking for? I talked to my boss and I am sorry to say that we’re not able to return the toys, only your broken sugar dispenser.”

Customer: *Already getting huffy* “You said you’d return all these so I can get the sales price on them!”

Me: “Ma’am, I said I will see what I can do for you, but I never made a promise to that. You could still buy the plush balls right now and only pay the sales price, which is 0.42€ each. What do you want to do?”

Customer: “I want to return these and get them for the sales price!”

Me: *Seeing where this is going* “Let me radio in my boss so you can sort this out with him.”

My boss comes over and sends me on my break so that my other coworker won’t have to wait too long for their break. I clock back in fifteen minutes later and the customer is still arguing with my boss, while he’s trying to cash out other people to keep the line down.

Me: “Hey, boss, I’m back. Why don’t you let me work at the register so that you can handle this lady?”

My boss shoots me a pained look while the lady screams:

Customer: “This is her! This is the girl who told me she’ll do all my returns!”

This is followed by a smug look on her face.

Me: “I did not say that; I said that I’d see what I could do.”

Customer: “I have rights in this country! You’re supposed to make me happy! You’re supposed to take all this back and honor the sales price!”

Me: “Ma’am, there is no law that says that.”

An idea comes to my mind. I check with my boss and he likes it and tells me to give it a go.

Me: “Look, there’s another way. We will return the plush balls and resell them to you for the sales price. You won’t get new toys but we will honor the price.”

Customer: *Screeching* “I don’t want these dirty ones! Give me new ones!”

Me: “Ma’am, you’re free to get new ones—”

Customer: *Interrupting* ” Ha! I knew you’d see reason!”

Me: “—if you pay for them.”

Customer: “Give me the cell number of your regional manager!”

Me: “I will nor can do that. You’re free to call the service line, though.”

My boss gives the regional manager a call to make sure we’re not to return her plush toys, which the regional manager confirms. He also tells us to call the police if she won’t leave soon. My boss is a mess at this point because he is a nice and cheerful person and wants to make everybody happy.

Me: “Ma’am, we just talked to regional management and it’s either take it or leave at this point, or we will have to call the police.”

The customer just engages in unintelligible screaming.

Boss: “I’m calling the cops right now. Leave us alone!” 

Customer: *On her way out* “I have rights in this country! I’m going to file a lawsuit against all of you!”

Boss: “Fine! You do that! But don’t forget to mention you acted like a total b****.”

The regional manager called in an hour later or so and said that he rewatched everything on the security tapes. None of us is in trouble and the company will pay for a lawyer if that lady really decides to file a lawsuit against us.

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