These Boots Weren’t Made For Refunding

, , , | Right | June 11, 2018

(We sell hiking equipment and outdoor clothing. We have an online shop, also. A customer calls, trying to return a pair of hiking boots he bought online.)

Caller: “I would like to return shoes I bought last week.”

Me: “No problem. May I ask what’s wrong with them?”

Caller: “They’re too small!”

Me: “Well, you just need—”

Caller: *quickly interrupts* “—and I only walked a few kilometers wearing them!”

(I glare at my coworker in disbelief.)

Me: “In that case, we cannot accept this return.”

Caller: “What? They are not damaged or anything!”

Me: “Sir, our return policy states that you can return items only if they are in the same condition as when you bought them.”

Caller: “This is outrageous! How am I supposed to try them out?”

Me: “You can try them in the store or at home, in a clean environment.”

Caller: “But… they are just as new! It was just a few steps outside!”

Me: “Sir, I really cannot accept this return.”

Caller: “Well, I’m sending the boots to you, anyway! And I expect you to give me a full refund!”

Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t do this, either.”

(This goes for a few minutes and then someone — wife or mother of the caller — shouts behind his back.)

Voice: “You bought too-small boots, wore them on hiking trip, and now you want to return them?! You idiot!”

Caller: *click*

Looking For An Opening

, , , , , , | Healthy | June 10, 2018

(I work for a doctor’s office that will work some Saturdays. However, on the Saturdays that we are open, only one doctor, the dermatologist, is there. The phones go straight to the answering service because we do not have the majority of the front office working. I am working phones this day. A patient calls in on February 4th.)

Patient: “Was [Doctor] working on January 23rd?”

Me: *after checking schedule* “Yes, ma’am, he was here that Saturday.”

Patient: “I tried to call and didn’t get an answer.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, our phones are never open on Saturdays.”

Patient: “Why didn’t someone call to tell me he was open?!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Patient: “There was a threat of snow!” *which didn’t happen* “No one called me and we—” *her and her two daughters* “—missed our appointments!”

Me: “We have a system in place where we call the patients if the office is closing due to inclement weather, but we remained open.”


Me: “Because we remained open, ma’am. Would you like to reschedule your appointments?”

Patient: “What are you going to do about this?”

Me: “I can reschedule your appointments, but there is not much else I can do.”

Patient: “You aren’t going to tell the doctor? Don’t you think he would want to know?”

(This eventually had to be transferred to my manager, who informed her the doctor was quite aware he remained open and even though “HALF OF ATLANTA” was apparently closed, the other half was not.)

Settling On A Time

, , , , | Right | June 8, 2018

(I work at a loan office that requires appointments. It is 1:15 pm, and a client is due in at 1:30. I get a phone call.)

Customer: “Hi, I’ve got an appointment at 1:30. What happens if I am late?”

Me: “We allow ten minutes leeway, but if you are any later than 1:40, we will have to rebook your appointment.” *thinking she is stuck in traffic* “How long do you think you are going to be?”

Customer: “Oh, I’m in town already, but I’m sitting in [Fast Food Place] and wanted to let my food settle before I come in.”

Me: *long pause* “Okay. See you at 1:30.”

Requests So Outrageous You Have A Delayed Reaction

, , , | Right | June 7, 2018

(We have a repeat international customer and, naturally, his orders often get delayed at the airport as they have go through customs first. His newest order has just been posted, and he just has one request for his order.)

Customer: “I really need this order as soon as possible. Can you send it through a different airport this time to avoid the delay?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we have no control over which airport it is sent through; it depends how Royal Mail sorts it when they receive it. The delays are caused by customs, and going to a different airport wouldn’t change that.”

Customer: “I want to try a different airport, anyway. Can you ask them to send it somewhere else this time?”

(I explain how our packages to the US are probably less than 1% of what Royal Mail has to send there every day, and that we really have no influence over which airport it goes to, especially as the airport his previous orders have gone to are based in the same state as him.)

Customer: “Can’t you call Royal Mail and ask them to find my parcel and make sure it is sent elsewhere this time? It is a tracked delivery; they can just find it by the tracking number.”

Me: “Again, [Customer], our packages are just a very small percentage of what they receive and have to sort through. They will not delay hundreds of packages and waste so many man-hours just to find one package and to send it to another airport.”

Customer: “Hmm.” *he takes a few seconds to think, and I am hoping that the message has sunk in and he will just accept it* “Can you call British Airways?”

Me: “Sorry? What do you mean?”

Customer: “British Airways. Your plane company. Can you call them?”

Me: “Um… Why?”

Customer: “To ask them to redirect the plane to New York or somewhere.”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “Because they will have hundreds of people on the plane expecting to go to a particular airport. The airport they are flying to is expecting them and has space for them to land. If they were to suddenly redirect to another airport, they might not be able to land, the people on the plane would be very annoyed at landing in a different part of the country, and their customs team would suddenly have several thousand more packages to sort through which they would be unprepared for. This would cause even more delays for both you and the other people whose packages are on the plane.”

Customer: “Are you sure? My packages are usually delayed for about a week. The delay wouldn’t be that long, surely?”

Me: “I am absolutely certain. Furthermore, I cannot, and will not, make any attempt to inconvenience what will literally be hundreds of people to try to save you an unavoidable delay. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

(Thankfully, the answer was no.)

Needs A Timeout With Her Juice

, , , , , | Right | June 4, 2018

(I am serving a plate to a customer. Before I can even set it down on her table, she reaches out to grab it and knocks over her glass bottle of juice. Note that the juice is from a grocery store across the street.)

Customer: “My juice!”

Me: “Uh-oh! Let me sweep that up before someone gets hurt. Don’t worry; accidents happen!”

Customer: “That was $6!”

Me: “Oh, no! How about I get you a cup of whatever drink you’d like?”

Customer: “I only drank half of it!”

Me: “Aw… Well, like I said, I’ll get you a free cup as soon as I sweep up this glass.”

Customer: *starts crying* “I don’t want a free cup; I want my juice!

Me: “I understand; however, your juice is from [Grocery Store] and is not something we sell here. Therefore, I’m afraid I can’t give you an exact replacement.”

Customer: “I know that! I want some sort of compensation!”

Me: “What would you like, if not the cup, ma’am?”

Customer: “Money! At least give me back what I spent on my juice! It was $6! I didn’t even finish it! It was $6!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t have $6 to give you.”

Customer: “You knocked it over on purpose!” *screaming* “I WANT TO SPEAK TO A MANAGER!”

Me: “Sure thing. I’ll go get him.”

(I pull my manager aside and explain how my customer accidentally knocked over her drink. We go over to the customer.)

Manager: “Hi, ma’am. What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “This b**** knocked over my drink! I want compensation!”

Manager: *explains what I already told her*


Manager: “All right, ma’am. Wait here.”

(As he turns away, one of my other tables calls him over for a moment. My manager performs the refund, then returns to the customer.)

Manager: “All right, here’s your change for the refund.”

Customer: *counts change* “YOU STILL OWE ME $6 FOR MY JUICE!”

Manager: “Ma’am, I have eyewitnesses that confirm that you, in fact, knocked your own drink over. I gave you your money back, regardless. Now, stop harassing my employee and me, or I will have you removed from the building.”

Customer: *falls silent*

(She finished her food. She actually had the nerve to later ask me for a nickel in exchange for five pennies. That nickel ended up being my tip. Luckily, the customers from my other table complimented my customer service after she left, and they left me a 50% tip!)

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