Never Discount The Customer’s Ability To Complain

, , , , , | Right | March 13, 2018

(I’m heading to the checkout of a clothing store with one item. A lady with a full buggy cuts me off. I see that she has one enormous item with a few smaller ones, so I don’t say anything in the hope that she’ll get through quickly. I don’t pay any more attention until I hear the cashier call for a manager.)

Cashier: *to manager* “She has a coupon for a free item when she has [total]. I scanned it, but it won’t go through.”

(I can see the screen from where I’m standing, and see that due to heavy discounting and another coupon, the customer hasn’t made [total]. But I keep quiet.)

Manager: *punches a few buttons and says to cashier* “Because of the percent-off coupon, she didn’t have [total] for the free gift, but I gave it to her, anyway.”

(The cashier nods and goes on with the transaction, but the customer speaks up loudly, ignoring the cashier’s request to swipe her card and sign.)

Customer: “You had [the large item] on sale, a 30% off coupon, and the free gift all in the same flyer. You shouldn’t do that!”

(The cashier asks her to swipe her card; the customer ignores this and keeps going on loudly.)

Customer: “There’s too many discounts! There’s too many discounts!”

(The customer finally completes the transaction and leaves, muttering about too many discounts all the way out the door.)

Me: *to cashier* “I’ve never heard someone complain about paying less!”

Cancer Can Spread In Different Ways

, , , | Right | March 12, 2018

(I used to work in the same store as my mom. It was a small, local store where I usually worked at the checkout. Behind me was a wall of cigarettes which people could buy. Note: My mom was a smoker for most of her life and died of lung cancer. At the time this story takes place, she is still alive but heavily affected by the cigarettes, as am I. I’ve always hated all types of smoking and see no evil in telling people that it is a horrible thing to do. However, as I am working, I have to put on a professional face, which I really try to maintain during this exchange.)

Me: “Hello.”

Customer: “Hi.”

Me: “Will that be all?”

Customer: “I want a pack of cigarettes, as well.”

Me: “Of course. What brand?”

Customer: “I don’t know. Whatever you like.”

Me: “Sorry, sir, but I don’t smoke.”

Customer: “I don’t believe that. Everyone smokes at some point in their lives.”

Me: “Only second-hand smoking, I’m afraid. And I can’t say that I liked it. Now, what brand do you prefer?”

Customer: “You should try a real cig, then. I promise you’ll like it.”

Me: “I doubt that, sir. If you’re looking for the cheapest cigarettes, we have [Cheap Brand], but I sell many of [More Expensive Brand].”

Customer: *completely ignoring me* “I still think you should try a smoke.”

Me: “I’d really rather not. Now, what do you usually smoke, sir?”

Customer: “Oh, well, all types of cigs, of course. I ain’t got no type!”

Me: “In that case, would you like [Cheap Brand]?”

Customer: “Well, I don’t know, do I?”

(I have a long line of customers waiting. I get a bit desperate to get him away, so I say this:)

Me: “Well, my mom smokes [Expensive Brand], so I suppose I can recommend this one?”

Customer: “What does it taste like?”

Me: “Uh, I don’t know, really. But she seems to like it, so…”

Customer: “I’ll take one of those, then.”

Me: “Of course, sir. That’ll be [price].”

Customer: “Nah, those are too expensive. Can you cancel the cigs?”

Me: “Since I’ve already set the payment in motion, I can’t really cancel that particular item unless I cancel the entire thing.”

(I look at his other items, which are numerous. My coworker opens up another till and the rest of the customers rush to it, talking about how slow I was.)

Customer: “Hmm… I don’t know. Maybe you should just cancel it all, then.”

Me: “I can do that for you, if you think that’ll be best.”

Customer: “Nah, I’ll take it, anyway.”

(When he finally completes the payment, he opens the cigarettes and leaves one on my till.)

Customer: “That’s your tip!”

The Mother Of All Cheap Customers

, , , , , , | Right | March 11, 2018

(It is Mother’s Day. We have had lots of deliveries of £1 bunches of daffodils. A lot of them are dated today, so to clear them, we have reduced them down to 40p per bunch and put them on the checkouts for customers to see. We have also been told to offer them to all customers. A young man comes up to my till with a nice bouquet of flowers costing £6.)

Me: “Your mum will love these. Would you like a bunch of daffodils to give to her as well?”

Customer: “They’re only 40p?”

Me: “Indeed. A little extra present for Mum?”

Customer: “Actually, I’ll leave these [the £6 bouquet] and buy a bunch of these [the 40p daffodils], instead! Thanks!”

(He pays his 40p and walks off. I realise that instead of getting an extra 40p from him, I’ve lost £5.60 from the sale! As I mull over this…)

Next Customer: “I feel sorry for his mum!”

The Couponator 4: Deadly Discounts

, , , , , | Right | March 9, 2018

(I’ve worked part-time at this location of a nation-wide department store for several years, and by now I am the most senior employee in the women’s clothing department. I’m good at customer service, and a lot of our customers know and like me, which has its upsides and downsides. I am serving [Customer #1], a woman in her 60s who talks about all the trips she takes abroad, and the souvenirs she buys for hundreds to thousands of dollars, while she won’t buy anything from us that runs over $15. She is also incredibly picky about her purchases and the way they’re folded and bagged, and she refuses to ring up with anybody but me, since I’m the only one who “does it right.” Standing in line behind her is [Customer #2], a woman in her 40s for whom I once tracked down a $20-off coupon, who has also insisted I be the one to ring her up ever since. She has a habit of coming to me to check prices on everything she finds, walking right past the price scanner, and several times has asked me to wait in the middle of a transaction so she can grab more of a cheap item, even if the item is on the second floor and there are several people in line behind her. This is the first time I’ve had to deal with these two customers one after the other.)

Customer #1: “Hi, my dear. How are you?” *she sets six clearance shirts on the register* “These should all be $9.99.”

(I smile even while dreading this transaction, because that’s the classic line customers give when they KNOW that stuff isn’t the price they think it “should” be. This customer acts like a sweet grandmother when kept happy, but turns instantly mean when she doesn’t get what she wants.)

Me: “Let’s see… Oh, it looks like these two that say $9.99 on the tag are okay, but these four that say, ‘75% off,’ are from the clearance rack next to it.”

Customer #1: *suddenly scowls* “That’s it. Get me your manager. I’ve told them time and time again: I won’t put up with this here. This is ridiculous; nothing is ever in its proper place—”

Me: “I apologize for that; we just had our big sale yesterday, and unfortunately, we haven’t been able to finish putting back everything that was misplaced. Let me go ahead and adjust those for you.”

Customer #1: *smiling again* “Oh, thank you, my dear. You’re always so kind.”

(She talks about her last expensive trip while I ring her up, changing all the clearance items that were already only $10 to $17 to $9.99.)

Me: “All right, ma’am, your total is $58. Do you have your coupons with you?”

Customer #1: “Can I use a $20-off coupon?”

Me: “Sure!”

(I wait for her to hand me the coupon.)

Customer #1: “Don’t you have one with you?”

(We usually don’t, as those are mailed directly to the customer, but I check around the register, anyway.)

Me: “I’m afraid not. I have an extra 20%-off I can use, though.”

Customer #1: *gesturing to the customer being rung up at the register behind me* “Well, does she have one?”

(I pause for a moment, but manage to keep my smile up as I politely ask two other customers waiting in line if they have a coupon I can scan. No one does, and [Customer 1#] decides to put her things on hold until she can get a $20-off coupon. [Customer #2] comes up to the register, rolling her eyes and shaking her head.)

Customer #2: “I’ve done her nails before. She’s always like that. So, do you have a $20-off coupon?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry. I just looked for one a minute ago.”

(I start ringing up her items.)

Customer #2: “Wait. All these pants should be $4.99!”

Me: “…”

(I look down at her pants, one of which has a $4.99 tag, while all the rest have 75%-off tags.)

Me: “You know what? I’ll just adjust those for you.”

(I finish ringing her up, and after she leaves, I turn to one of my managers who came to stand by me a few minutes ago, still smiling brightly.)

Me: “Shoot me.”

Manager: “What? Why? They’re both really nice women…”

Me: “…”

Manager: “…most of the time.”

([Customer #1] comes running back to the register, waving a coupon above her head.)

Customer #1: “I got a $20-off one!”

The Couponator 3: Rise Of The Coupons

Funnier On Second Billing

, , , | Right | March 7, 2018

(In retail, there are a few “jokes” that everyone overuses and aren’t funny anymore, but being a cashier means you fake a laugh and send the customers on their way. And then, there’s this.)

Me: “Okay, sir. Your total is [total].”

Customer: *hands me a hundred-dollar bill, and I start to check if it’s real* “Don’t worry; it’s real! Made it myself!”

Me: *fake laughs*

Customer: *pauses, suddenly serious* “They didn’t laugh when I said that at the bank this morning.”

Me: *bursts into actual laughter*

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