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Taking Their Sweet Time

, , , , | Right | August 1, 2010

Customer: “I’m looking for a book called Like Watery Chocolate For Chocolately Water or something.”

Me:Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel?”

Customer: “Um… no… it’s by this Mexican author.”

Me: “Yes, Laura Esquivel. The book is Like Water For Chocolate.”

Customer: “No, it has all these recipes in it.”

Me: “Yes. Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel.’

Customer: “No, it has, like, this blue cover.”

Me: “Yes. Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. I can take you right to it, ma’am.”

Customer: “No, that’s not it! They’re making a movie out of it!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. The book is Like Water For Chocolate.”

Customer: “No! Oh, you’re just no help at all!” *stomps off*


This story is part of our Bad-Listener Customers roundup!

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Salvation Barmy

, , , , | Right | July 13, 2010

(We take electronics and recycle them for people.)

Me: “Thank you for calling! How may I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, do you recycle clothes?”

Me: “Clothes? No, we only take electronics. You should try the homeless charity across the street.”

Caller: “I don’t want to give them to homeless people. I just want to recycle them!”


This story is part of our Customers Who Dislike Charity roundup!

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Blood Must Run Thick In Their Family

, , , , , | Right | July 5, 2010

(I am calling a mother about her three-year-old son, who is exhibiting signs of pink-eye.)

Me: “I’m calling from [Camp] about your son.”

Customer: “Oh, no, is he all right?”

Me: “There seems to be something wrong with his eye. It’s swollen and he hasn’t been able to stop itching it, and it’s very red and inflamed.”

Customer: “Is he bleeding?”

Me: “Well, no. But I think it might be a good idea to pick him up and maybe take him to your family doctor.”

Customer: “So he’s not bleeding?”

Me: *pause* “No. But these symptoms can sometimes be indicators of something serious and often contagious. I really think you should come get him.”

Customer: “Why are you calling me if he’s not bleeding?”


This story is part of our dangerous parents roundup!

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Putting The Dumb In Random

, , , , | Right | June 23, 2010

(I am checking out a customer and realize that one of the shirts he’s buying doesn’t have a barcode, so I ask a coworker to find a similar shirt.)

Me: “Do you remember where you found this shirt?”

Customer: “It was on the clearance rack in the men’s department.”

Me: “All right, my coworker is looking for it, but it could take a while.”

Customer: “I don’t have time for that.”

Me: “Sorry, do you not want the shirt, then?”

Customer: “I want the shirt; I just don’t have time for her to find the dumb thing.”

Me: “Well, there’s really nothing I can do without a number.”

Customer: “Just type some random numbers in.”

Me: “That won’t work.”

Customer: “How do you know? You didn’t even try it.”

Me: “Because I know it won’t work.”

Customer: “Just try.”

(I type in twelve random numbers and press enter, then turn the screen toward him to show a bright red “not a valid number” message.)

Customer: “That’s because you didn’t type the right numbers!”


This story is part of our Weird Checkout Encounters roundup!

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Avoid A Soft Touch With Bad Customers

, , , , | Right | June 9, 2010

(We sell a line of massage chairs. For two days, a man has come in, sat in one chair for 20 minutes, and left without looking at any other item. On the third day, my boss asks me to confront him.)

Me: “Hi, sir! I’ve noticed your interest in this massage chair. Are you interested in making a purchase?”

Customer: “Um… um… no…”

Me: “Sir, we can’t allow you to sit in the chair for this long three days in a row if you don’t even have the slightest interest in buying it. Other customers who are interested would like to try it, too.”

Customer: “What are you talking about, man? There isn’t anyone else here right now!  And who would pay $1,500 for a chair?!”

Me: “Plenty of people. This is one of our most popular items.”

Customer: “Idiots! Why would they pay for the chair when they can just come here and use it for free?!”