Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 10

, , , , , | Right | December 15, 2018

(It’s getting close to closing time, and the store is mostly empty except for one customer in the fitting rooms. She’s a middle-aged regular who is known to be high-maintenance, but she’s also generally been friendly about it, so it’s not too awful. At this point, however, she’s been here for ages, and we’re starting to hope she leaves soon so we can begin our closing procedures. My coworker goes back to tell her that we close soon, only to return several minutes later visibly frustrated.)

Coworker: “She wants an extra discount on her stuff, because apparently [Manager] always gives her one, but everything she picked out is on clearance.”

Me: “What?!”

Coworker: “I know! I tried to tell her we can’t do that, but she won’t listen.”

Me: “Ugh, well, I guess we’ll deal with it when she gets up here?”

([Coworker] and I agree to just deal with it at the counter, and we resume waiting for the customer to get out. And waiting. And waiting. Despite several reminders that we’re closing, she doesn’t come out until it’s basically exactly time to close. Both my coworker and I are beyond done at this point; we’re tired, we want to go home, and we don’t want to get in trouble for staying too late past closing. The mall makes our store pay more rent if we stay after hours, which the owners of the store don’t want, but we still are both trying to keep a polite facade as we ring her up as quickly as possible.)

Me: “Your total is [price].”

Customer: “Oh, I’m from Canada; the lady always gives me a discount — 20% off.”

(True, we have been giving discounts to customers from across the border — we live less than an hour away – -because their dollar has been down and we want to encourage business, but…)

Me: *internally sighing* “Yes, we can do that on regular-price items, but these are already 60 to 70% off, so we use the higher discount.”

Customer: “But I always get an extra discount; I come here every weekend.”

Me: “And I’d give you the discount on a regular-priced item, but as I said, these are already significantly marked down, so I can’t lower them anymore.”

Customer: “Please? Just ten percent.”

(This goes back and forth for some time, with both me and my coworker telling her the same thing over and over, and trying to explain that we can’t lower the prices because we’ll lose money. It’s now five minutes past closing. We’re still being as polite as we can, but quickly running out of patience. And then:)

Customer: *literally pouting* “Please? Just a little bit? Please? Please?”

([Coworker] and I look at each other, dumbfounded, in between saying no to each beg and plead. It’s five minutes past closing and she’s begging for an extra discount on something that’s already 70% off.)

Me: *patience completely gone* “Look. I’m very sorry, but I can’t make it any less than it already is. If my manager were here, she could possibly give you the extra discount, but since she’s not here and I don’t have her explicit permission, I can’t do it. I could get fired.”

(That’s a lie; I would get a reprimand, at most, but both my coworker and I have had it up to here with her and I’m willing to try anything. [Coworker] goes along with it and corroborates my story. It finally does the trick. The customer grudgingly accepts the prices, and we finish ringing her up. She leaves, we lower the grate, and start cleaning up and closing the till… and guess who didn’t properly hang up all the clothes she tried on and didn’t want?)

Coworker: “Seriously?! Who does this?! We could be done by now if she had just accepted the prices! And who begs like that, anyway? That’s just embarrassing!”

Me: “Right?! And if you need the discount so bad, maybe don’t drive down to the states every weekend! It might help save your money!”

Coworker: “We don’t even get new stock every week, so what’s the point?”

Me: “Exactly!”

(We’ve seen her a few times since then; she still comes in pretty regularly, often during my shift with this same coworker. She’s been a lot more polite lately, though. I think she realized that she can talk her way into a bigger discount with the manager, but not with me and my coworker, and has thankfully stopped trying.)

Related:
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 9
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 8
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 7

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That Was A Noteworthy Transaction

, , , , | Right | December 14, 2018

(I work the checkout. It’s almost nine pm when a customer comes through my till. We go through the hi-how-are-you’s and how-is-your-days. He speaks perfect English and is very obviously from Australia.)

Customer: *scans through products*

Me: “That will be $12.50.”

Customer: *hands me a ten-dollar note and looks at me expectantly*

Me: “That will be $12.50, sir.”

Customer: *blinks at me for a few seconds*

Me: *a little more slowly* “12… 50… sir.”

(He then starts looking back in his wallet; I am still holding the note in my outstretched hand. Then he grabs the ten dollars and puts it on the counter and hands me a different ten dollar note, as well as a five.)

Me: *pretending like nothing happened* “Thank you, sir.” *hands back change*

Customer: *finally catching up to what he did* “That really didn’t make much sense, did it? What can I say; it’s been a really long day.”

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Keeping These Customers At Injured Arm’s Length

, , , , , , | Right | December 12, 2018

(I’m cashing out a lady whose arm is in a sort of sling. I assume it’s sore or injured, but she seems to be managing fine otherwise, if a little slower than average. At first, she’s polite, but becomes increasingly difficult as the transaction goes on.)

Customer: “Can you check the price of this, please? The ticket says a dollar, but I’m not sure.”

(She hands me a two-litre bottle of soft drink, one I know for a fact is not $1, nor have we ever sold it for that price.)

Me: “The [soft drink] should be $1.69.” *scans item* “Yes, it’s $1.69.”

Customer: “No, the ticket says one dollar.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but it is actually $1.69. The ticket should say that [soft drink] is $1.69, also. I know, because I put the ticket there myself, actually.”

Customer: “NO! You’re wrong! It says one dollar.”

Me: “Sorry, but [soft drink] is $1.69. It was previously $1.50, but we have never once sold it for $1. If you want, I’ll call for a price check.”

(She agrees, so I call my coworker for a price check. Surprise, surprise, they confirm that the ticket does say $1.69. The customer decides to leave [soft drink], and I continue scanning the rest of her items, with her occasionally asking the prices of other items. Finally, we get to the end, and it’s time for her to pay.)

Me: “Okay, your total comes to [total]. Was that cash or card?”

Customer: “Oh, I better transfer some money. Just wait one second, please.”

(A queue has built up, so I call for another cashier. A few minutes pass, and the customer is still transferring her money, meanwhile rambling to me about how she needs to go to [Health Insurance] to get a refund, and that’s why she doesn’t have enough money in her account. I’m nodding along politely, but the line is building, so I try to politely hurry her along)

Me: “Sorry, but would you mind if I put your items to one side while you wait for your transfer? We just have a few people in line.”

Customer: “No, I’m nearly done! You have to be patient with me; I’ve only got one working arm!”

(She happens to tilt her phone and I get a look at the screen. She is using the same banking app that I have myself, and I know a transfer takes only a few seconds. She has been standing at my register for almost ten minutes TRANSFERRING money. I have no idea what she could be possibly doing, but finally, she tells me the money has transferred and she pays.)

Customer: “Thank you for waiting.” *goes to grab items* “Oh, you need to double-bag these. I’ve only got one working arm!”

Me: “Oh, sorry, ma’am, it’s just that we’ve got customers waiting…”

Customer: “I don’t care! You have to be patient with me! I’ve only got one working arm, and I’m not supposed to be using this one; it’s injured! My doctor is going to be mad at me!”

(Finally, after a nearly twenty-minute transaction, she leaves.)

Coworker: “First of all, you were stuck with her for over ten minutes; how much more patient can you be?! And second, how is it your fault that her arm is injured? If doctor’s orders say she shouldn’t be using it, she shouldn’t be using it! Some people!”

(I mentioned the ordeal to my manager. He said I should have kicked her out of the store when she refused to move aside so I could serve others!)

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Cents-less Not To Help

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | December 12, 2018

A few months ago, I took my little sister grocery shopping at a place we’d known since our childhood. I was on a tight budget, but I was happy to spend time with her, so we added a few more items than I could really afford. When we got to the register, I realized I was over a few dollars. Removing a few items got me down to where I was only a few cents over budget, and as I paid, I searched for those extra cents that would cover the rest.

Not finding them, I grabbed my card, only to be presented with the receipt and a smile. The cashier had covered it out of her own pocket. Thinking about it now brings a lump to my throat, and thanks to her generous spirit, I recovered my dwindling faith in humanity.

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Giving You Banana Drama About The Toilet Rolls

, , , , | Right | December 12, 2018

(I’m shopping for groceries in a supermarket near home. While waiting in line, I overhear two cashiers talking to each other about misbehaving customers.)

Cashier #1: “I had a mother wanting to buy a banana that had already been eaten! I told her that I couldn’t add that to her purchase just like that; I’d have to weigh it. She said her son had eaten it and he was only a few months old, and why shouldn’t he have eaten it; he’s just a child! Mind you, he actually looked quite a bit older, and anyway, I don’t see why he couldn’t wait. I told her she would have to get a banana from the fruit section so I could weigh that one, instead. But seriously, why couldn’t she just have had him wait some three minutes?!”

Cashier #2: “I know what you mean; that happened to me, as well! I also asked them to get a banana that I could weigh, instead.”

Cashier #1: “Why can’t people just wait? I don’t mind it that much if it’s chocolate; at least you can still scan the packaging. But, you know, my mother would never have allowed me to eat something before it’s been purchased! She would have told me that she’d need to buy it first! Why do people let their children do that?”

Cashier #2: “I had something even stranger happen. Once, a customer wanted to buy three separate rolls of toilet paper!”

Cashier #1: “What, removed from the packaging?”

Cashier #2: “Yes! Just three separate rolls. He said he only needed those three and didn’t want to buy more.”

Cashier #1: “Why would you even do that? Sooner or later you’d be out of toilet paper and need more, wouldn’t you? Who on earth has no use for more than three rolls?”

Cashier #2: “I don’t know! I told him he’d have to buy an entire package of toilet paper or none at all. I don’t know where he got the idea!”

(I left the store somewhat confused — with the cashiers on that one. What kind of person needs JUST three rolls so desperately that they open a package in the store for that? And what kind of person wants toilet paper that’s touched a conveyor belt?)

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