Getting A Leg-Up On Cheating Charities

, , , | Right | June 18, 2020

I volunteer at a charity shop that acts as a discount store for the other shops the charity runs. Basically, anything that doesn’t sell eventually comes to our store where we sell them for £1. 

Per UK law, shops do not have to give money back for unwanted items. The law only insists on returns for faulty goods, but many stores have a returns policy for unwanted items. We, however, do not.

Customer: “Hi. I bought these trousers the other day, and they are the wrong size. I’d like to exchange them.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t do exchanges.”

Customer: “What? But they are the wrong size, they are not a thirty-two leg!”

I look at the trousers and check.

Me: “It does say here, and here—” *Points* “—that they are a thirty-two leg. However, they’re three-quarter-length trousers; maybe that’s why you’re having problems with them?”

Customer: “They’re not a  thirty-two leg!”

At this point, I take out a tape measure and check.

Me: “Yes, they’re a thirty-two. I’m sorry, but I can’t return these.”

He glares at me and goes to the men’s section. He returns with another pair of trousers.

Customer: “Can I exchange them for these?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but no. If you’d like those, they are £1.”

Customer: “So, you’re cheating me out of £2?!”

Me: “No, sir, but that is the price. Did you try them on before you bought them? We do have a changing room.”

Customer: “I shouldn’t need to try them on!”

He takes £1 from his pocket and slams it on the counter.

Customer: “I know you’re a charity, but I can’t believe you’re cheating me! I won’t come back here again!”

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Unfiltered Story #194391

, | Unfiltered | May 17, 2020

(I manage a charity shop in the UK. We have longer opening hours than most charity shops in our area, which is good because we tend to gain stock donations in the hours when we’re the only ones open. I’m fairly lenient – if I’ve locked up but I’m still in the back room finishing up, I’ll still accept donations from latecomers.)

Ten minutes after closing, lights are off in the main shop, I’m finishing some paperwork in the back … cue the knock on the door. I look out see a man in the doorway. I go to see what he wants.

Customer: (shouting over his shoulder) “It’s okay! They’re still open!”

Me: What. (unlocks door, puts foot firmly behind it) Yes?

Customer: I just want to buy some sweets.

Me: I’m afraid we’re closed. We close at five.

Customer: Just some [Name] sweets! They’re on the stand.

Me: Yes, I know they are, but I’m afraid we’re closed. I can’t serve you.

Customer: Ah come on! I just want to buy them!

Me: I’m sorry, we’re closed. The till is shut down. I can’t serve you. Good evening. (closes door and locks it firmly, with an appropriately sympathetic look at his downtrodden expression through the glass)

Next evening, frantically trying to clear the massive pile of donations we’d received, I hear something out back. I go to look, and find two men rifling through our bin. This happens almost every night, but I rarely catch the culprits in the act. Presumably they’re searching for the gold bullion we store there.

Me: Get the **** out of that bin before I call the police! (Both men look at me, I recognise both … and one of them is the guy from the previous night.) Oh … YOU!

(He didn’t come back in for several months!)

Unfiltered Story #193969

, , , | Unfiltered | May 13, 2020

Customer: *hands me a dress with the price tag on top* How much is this?
Me: *looks at price tag* …[price].
Customer: Oh, is that the right one?
The price tags are clearly labelled with the charity name.

Unfiltered Story #193797

, , | Unfiltered | May 5, 2020

So I volunteer at a charity store, that is actually really big. We sell furniture, brick a brack and clothes etc. At the rear of the store is a set of big red doors clearly marked: staff only (with multiple large and obvious signs).

For the third time in one day, a customer came out the back, and started browsing through plastic bags and bins of unpriced goods as if she didn’t have a care in the world.

My manager for the day had had enough. So when the woman noticed us sorting merchandise, she started to say “hey-”

And my manager just pointed and said, “get the f**k out.”

Both their expressions were priceless!

Unfiltered Story #192297

, | Unfiltered | April 22, 2020

I volunteered at a local charity shop, it was in the building of a relief agency but completely run by volunteers.
We took donations in the form of clothes, shoes and house ware but NO furniture, as most of our customers didn’t own cars and wouldn’t have had any means of getting furniture home using the bus/tram. (Plus, we had no room for that.)
We also checked all donations before accepting them, because we had way too many people who just wanted to get rid of their garbage. We always reserved the right to not accept a donation.
Our customers were people in dire financial situations who received a authorizationcard after providing prove of that. They could buy as much as they needed for 2€ per visit to the shop.
I’m talking to a very posh looking woman who is bringing in donations. I’m suspicious because she pulled up with a van; we’re usually given a call before bigger donations are brought in.

Me: Hi! Are you here to drop off donations?
Woman: Yes. I don’t have much time, so please take this stuff quickly!
Me: I understand, we’ll do this as fast as possible. What are you bringing in today?
Woman: Here are a bunch of coats, they are all in pristine condition, so people should love them.
Me: That’s great, our customers are starting to look for winter clothes now!
Before I can check the bag she’s shoves a huge carton at me.
Woman: Here is a box of shoes. They are all as good as new.
Me: Thank you! *puts box on a nearby table and turns to check it*

Woman: And then there’s the table.
At that point, I get very suspicious.

Me: Did you call the office about the table, Ma’am? We usually don’t accept furniture donations, as we don’t have enough storage room.
Woman: Yes, they said it’s okay. You have to help me with the table and chairs now.
Me: Um… I’m sorry, but I’ll need a moment to check with the office.
Woman: *huffs and taps her foot while glaring at me* I’m BUSY. Hurry with that call.

Sure enough, she didn’t call ahead. I’m told to not accept the table and chairs.
Me: I’m very sorry, Ma’am, but we can’t take the donation. We have no room for the table. I’m sorry you leave it here, please call the office before bringing in donations next time and we’ll make sure you won’t have to take anything back.

Woman: *angrily points into the van* This is OUTRAGEOUS! If your “customers” are too well off to take my table, why do they need donations at all? This is a high quality table, they should be LUCKY to get it!
I take a look at the table…it’s old, scratched and would need to be sanded down before it could be sold to anyone. The chairs have clearly seen better days, they are also scratched and the padding looks worn.
The furniture is bulk garbage and nothing we would ever offer to our customers.

Me: I’m sorry, Ma’am, but we really can’t take this. We don’t have enough storage room and our customers wouldn’t be able to transport the table and chairs to their home. Most don’t have a car or enough funds to rent one or get a taxi.
Woman: *on her way back into the van* Well, apparently your “customers” are too good for my furniture. I’ll remember that. Too poor to buy their own clothes but too rich to take my table! They could always let their 20 f*cking brats carry it home! Might teach them some manners! Donations needed, my ass!

She drove off in a hurry.
I proceeded to check the stuff she left with me…and then threw most of it away. Apparently her definition of charity is giving your garbage to people and expect them to be grateful for that.

When I came in next time, I was told the woman called the managing committee and complained. She apparently knew some higher-ups in the town’s social welfare department and told them that we are “incredibly rude” and “stuck-up”.
The table ended up in our hallway at the insistence of the managing committee and had to be cleared out with the next bulk garbage collection.


After multiple instances like this within last year, with the managing committee of the relief agency chastising volunteers for upholding the policies and basically back-stabbing those who work in the charity shop, it closed its doors after 35 years.