Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 14

, , , , , | Right | September 23, 2020

I work for a pretty well-known, somewhat expensive athletic wear store. However, the location I work at is an outlet store, so the price is a lot cheaper for our clothes. A customer came in yesterday, and despite corporate policy, we held several items, all of which were clearance, for her because she was so polite.

Customer: *At the register* “Oh, I remember you. You helped me the other day. I told you I’d come back. Oh, and don’t forget my 10% discount.”

We give three 10% discounts. One is to military and civil service personnel and the second corresponds to a coupon book offered by the mall. We must actually verify these discounts by either checking ID or making sure they do in fact have the “VIP coupon book”. The third discount is tricky; it’s our “team discount”. You have to get at least ten of the same item in all different sizes, AND you must prove it’s for a team. Normally, the team manager calls and talks to our store manager, or even corporate at times, to verify for this particular discount.

Me: “Oh, sure. Are you military?”

Customer: “No, I am not, but I get 10% off.”

Me: “Well, I’d certainly love to give you your discount. Do you have your VIP coupon book with you?”

Customer: “Why would I have that? Just give me the 10% off. I come here almost every month and they always give me a discount for buying so much.”

Me: “Unfortunately, I’ve never seen you in the past two years I’ve worked here and—” *Jokingly* “—you really don’t have all that much here.”

She only has eighteen items, and since they are clearance, the total is a little over $250; really this isn’t all that much by our standards.

Customer: “No! You’re giving me a discount or I’m not buying it.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, they do check the cameras every now and then, and if I’m seen giving you a discount without checking to make sure you are owed it, I could get fired. Since I’d rather not lose my job, I’m sorry, but I can’t give you a discount.”

Customer: “But the managers do it all the time.”

Me: “Oh, really? Which ones?”

Customer: “Your store manager!”

Me: “Let me go grab her real quick, then, but I can tell you, she’s going to say the exact same thing that I’ve said.”

She ignores my offer to grab a manager.

Customer: “Come on. What will it take for you to give me a discount?”

Me: “Well, if you’re an AAA member, I can hold your items while you go get the coupon book, which would be free to you, so you can get the discount. However, if you don’t want to do that, we’re having a promotion for the month of October through the mall and I’ll give you 25% off one item since I have that book that someone left.”

I go ahead and do that discount on her highest-priced item, which was marked $24.97 on clearance. This item was originally $40.

Customer: “That’s not the same, and it won’t save me much.”

Me: “You’re right, but the way I figure it, a little savings is better than nothing. Plus, I did it on your most expensive item: this $25 tank top. that way you got the most savings from it.”

The customer blows up.


I show her on the tag where it says $24.97 and somehow, at this point, I’m still keeping my cool.

Me: “Unfortunately, it is that price. Did you want me to take it off this transaction?”

Customer: “OF COURSE I DO!”

She picks up the tank top and throws it at me.

Customer: “Now, which item will you do the 25% off of now? Or will you finally give me the 10% like you should?”

Me: “None of them. I merely did it out of courtesy. Technically, I could still have gotten in trouble for discounting that item as it wasn’t your coupon book.”

She is now realizing I’m not falling for her pleas.

Customer: “Well, fine! I don’t want it.”

She shoves it all away from her, knocking several items off the counter.

Me: “All right, then. Have a great day and I hope to see you again soon.”

I say this to a lot of customers; it’s just a habit of mine. The customer whirls around.

Customer: “WHAT’S. YOUR. NAME?!”

I write down my name, my boss’s name, and my store number.

Me: “Here’s all the information you’ll need. Now please leave my store.”

Coworker: *Turns to me* “How’d you handle that without blowing up at the customer?”

Me: “Too many years of working retail and dealing with idiots.”

I went and told my store manager what happened; she just laughed and said, “I hope she does report you. I think it’d make the district manager laugh, too.”

Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 13
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 12
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 11
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 10
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 8

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I Have To Follow All The Rules, Including The Scientific Ones

, , , , | Right | September 23, 2020

On a warm summer’s day:

Customer: “Hey! Why aren’t these drinks colder?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I’m afraid this store is subject to the laws of thermodynamics.”

Customer: “Well, there’s no need to be a jobsworth!”

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On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 19

, , , , | Right | September 22, 2020

I’m a young woman working the overnight shift in a popular big box store. I’m called to the electronics department to help a customer. He is in his fifties and not especially hygienic.

Me: “How can I help you, sir?”

Customer: “I need an iPod holder.”

Me: “Oh, for when you walk or are at the gym?”

Customer: “No. For when I have sex.”

He tips me a giant wink.

Me: *Taken aback* “Um, well…”

I show him a few armband iPod holders.

Me: “These might work for you.”

Customer: “I’d really like it to be a headband. And I need one of those splitters so both of us can listen at the same time.”

He winks at me again. I am stammering at this point trying to remain professional while being creeped out.

Me: “Uh, well, I guess we can get you some, uh, velcro straps from the fabrics department to hold it on…”

I ended up helping him fashion his headband iPod holder for sexual activities for the next forty-five minutes. From then on until I quit, he always sought me out whenever he was in the store. Yuck!

On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 18
On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 17
On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 16
On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 15
On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 14

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Making A Show Out Of Working There

, , , , | Right | September 22, 2020

It’s a small staff and my boss and coworkers are almost all out of the office, so even though I’m relatively new to the working world, I’m the most senior employee in the back office at the moment. A young man huffs and puffs into my doorway and approaches my desk.

Customer: *Rolling his eyes* “Your box office seller is new. Ugh. He didn’t recognize me, and I need to get my employee discount for tickets for [Upcoming Performance].”

Me: “He’s not new, and I don’t recognize you, either.”

Customer: “How dare you?! I’m an usher!”

Since I work in the back office, I suppose that this guy is on the roster to work an occasional shift and I just haven’t met him yet.

Me: “Um, we don’t actually have an employee discount at the box office. You either work the show or…”

Customer: *Scoffing* “Well, then, put me on the schedule to work the show!”

Me: “The… house manager manages the usher schedule. Not the marketing department.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I can’t believe you won’t help me! Let me talk to [Former Executive Director]!”

My eyebrow shoots up.

Me: “Sir. She resigned three years ago. You say you’re a current employee?”

Customer: “Um, I guess it’s been a little while since I worked a show… Three years? Really?”

Me: “Yup.”

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A Shower Of Complaints

, , , , | Right | September 21, 2020

I work graveyard shift for a statewide chain of convenience stores/truck stops that has an affiliation with a much larger national chain. This larger chain has a rewards program that includes a free shower for every set number of gallons of fuel purchased, and we are able to redeem the showers which are automatically loaded onto the customer’s loyalty card when they pay for the fuel.

Customer: “I would like a shower.”

He hands over his card to be swiped. After swiping the card:

Me: “I am sorry, sir, but you have no showers left on your card.”

Customer: “That is not possible. I fueled in [Other City With National Chain] and had one shower on the card.”

Me: “Sir, our system shows that there are no showers left on the card. Did you use the shower when you fueled at [Prior Location]?”

Customer: “No. I have one shower on the card. I will get the receipt.”

He runs off and comes back a few minutes later with a receipt printed from the national chain’s kiosk. This kiosk can provide receipts up to a week back.

Me: “Sir, have you fueled since four days ago?”

Customer: “No. It says here I have one shower, so give me my shower.”

At this point, one of the assistant managers has come in and overhears the conversation.

Assistant Manager: “Sir, this receipt is from four days ago. You have nothing to prove that you have not redeemed the shower in that time, and our system, which is tied in with [National Chain]’s system, says that there are no showers on your card. If you believe that this is wrong, then call the customer support number on the back of the card, but we can do nothing for you.”

Customer: “No! It says right here!” *Points at the receipt* “I have one shower. I just printed this receipt from the kiosk!”

Assistant Manager: “This receipt is also from four days ago. It shows what you had then but not what you have now.”

The conversation continues like this for several more minutes until the customer finally relents and calls the service number.

Me: “I’m not sure which is worse: him trying to get a free shower, or if he was not lying, him not showering for four days.”

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