This Is No Game She’s Playing

, , , | Legal | September 17, 2020

We sell cards for a specific online game, and we always advise people that they are not refundable. Our system does allow the return, as long as the code hasn’t been used, though we only do returns for specific situations. A woman comes in with her son and puts one of the cards down along with a receipt.

Woman: “I bought this and it didn’t work. Your manager said I could return it.”

Me: “Okay, let me go ahead and get that done for you!”

I start the return, but the system won’t allow it since the code has been redeemed.

Me: “It looks like the system won’t allow it, which means you’ll have to contact [Company] for a refund.”

Woman: “No, your manager said you could refund me!”

Me: “She might have, but the system will not allow it. I can’t even force it to refund you.”

Woman: “Fine, I’ll just wait for your manager to come back in.”

I get a weird feeling about the situation and call my manager after the woman leaves.

Manager: “Oh, her? She tried that yesterday, and I told her to get a hold of [Company], since there’s nothing we can do on our end. I have the feeling she might be trying to scam us.”

I’m off the next day, but I work the day after that. The same woman comes in, this time with her husband. She puts the same card and receipt on the counter.

Woman: “Your manager—”

Me: “Nope. Out.”

Woman: “What?!”

Me: “I talked with my manager. She remembers you, and she told you exactly what I told you.”

Woman: “No, she—”

Me: “Our system will not be able to return this card. Period. We cannot override it. No store can return this for you.”

Woman: “But she—”

Me: “My manager has told me, explicitly, that we cannot return this for you. Your only option is to contact [Company].”

Woman: “You can’t throw me out! I want my money back!”

Me: “I cannot give you your money back. The system says this card has been redeemed; therefore, the problem is with [Company], not us.”

Woman: “I’ll have my husband force you!”

Me: “Now you’re threatening me. You are not able to get your refund through us. I am telling you to leave.”

Woman: “You can’t kick me out! I have rights!”

Me: “And so do I and the company. We have the right to ask anyone to leave. I also have the right to call the cops if you don’t leave.”

Woman: “I’ll just stand in the store! You’ll have to drag me out! I’ll sue for assault!”

I call the police. The woman gives me a triumphant look the whole time, as if she’s somehow won by taking up my time. After a bit, a patrol car parks in front of the store.

Officer: “What’s the issue here?”

Me: “I—”

Woman: “This b**** won’t give me my money back! She stole my money with this s*** card and refuses to give it back!”

Officer: *To me* “Okay, can I get your side?”

Me: “My system won’t allow it, since [Company] has marked it as redeemed. I’ve told her to get a hold of them, since we have no way to refund her at this point. She’s also come in several times demanding we do this for her, even after we’ve told her the same thing every time. She also threatened me and refused to leave when I asked her several times.”

Woman: “YOU CAN’T PROVE S***!”

I quietly point to the camera aimed right at my register.

Woman: “Well… I… F*** YOU! I SHOULD HAVE MY HUSBAND—”

Officer: “Ma’am, I wouldn’t finish that if I were you. Step outside.”

They go outside, and I can hear her yelling from inside the store. Eventually, she’s handcuffed and put in the back of his patrol car. The officer comes back in.

Officer: “Is there a way to pull up a purchase history?”

Me: “Yeah, if it’s bought on the same card. I just need some of the info off the card.”

It turns out, she had been running a scam where she bought various online game cards, sold the codes, then would return them, saying the codes didn’t work. She’d gotten away with a few hundred from our company, and because of a similar scheme with another company, had a warrant out for fraud.

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They’re In Denial About Getting A Denial

, , , , | Right | September 16, 2020

I work in a home warranty company, in the authorizations department. I determine if a home repair is or isn’t covered. Our call center is in New Jersey and our after-hours call center is in a South American Country, so even though we have customers on the West Coast, in reality, we “close” around 5 pm local for Texas.

 I’m finishing up my shift but am not allowed to leave until the queue is empty, I’ll spare you the office politics but it’s not supposed to be able to receive incoming calls after 9 pm but in reality, it’s about 9:30 pm and the very last call of the night comes in from Texas.

 The caller is actually the customer’s own technician that they have called in to do a repair on a refrigerator, with the customer on speaker. The authorizations department usually only speaks to technicians, and not customers, so this call is already unorthodox.

Customer: “Hurry up and give us the authorization number! This tech has been on hold for way too long and doesn’t have time for questions.”

Me: “Okay, let’s start with the make model and serial of the unit.”

We use “unit” as a catch-all word for whatever needs to be repaired, washing machine, refrigerator, etc.

Tech: “No, it needs a condensing fan motor, and are you gonna cover it or not?”

Me: “So you are refusing to provide the information on the unit?”

Customer: “I said he doesn’t have time for this, are you gonna cover it or not?”

 Frankly, I don’t have time for this either as I got in the office at 7 am that morning.

Me: “Unfortunately, we cannot make a determination of the claim without the basic information on the unit as part of a diagnostic—”

Tech: “It’s a ten-year-old unit and it needs a condensing fan motor; you gonna cover this or not?”

Fine, I’ll humor him.

Me: “Do you have a part number on the fan that you claim this unit requires to have replaced?”

Tech: “No, I have it in my hand, and are you gonna cover this or not?”

Me: “How many horsepower is it?”

Tech: “1/2hp and it needs a new cap, too.”

Me: “And what’s your price on this motor and the cap?”

Tech: “$650 for the part, $200 labor, and I need another $100 for the hour I was on hold.”

Me: “I cannot authorize a repair without a part number or any details on the unit it is needed for. Furthermore, this typical repair costs no more than $375 parts and labor and we do not reimburse for time on hold. I will need to get all the documentation on the unit before we—”

Customer: “Get your boss on the line right now while you still have a job.”

I go over and get my boss, who looks at the diagnosis that is missing 99% of the needed information – at least I put the prices in and the horsepower! My boss enters the call.

Boss: “Hi, I’m the authorizations manager and I’m looking at this diagnosis and I have a few questions about the unit—”

Tech: “I ain’t answering no more questions; are you gonna cover this or not?”

Customer: “We need to know if it’s covered or not right now!”

Boss: “Without the needed information on the un—”

Customer: “Get your boss on the line now while both of you have a job!”

My boss and I exchange looks, and then he goes to find the VP of Operations, who of course left for the day so we get the next best thing and bring in someone who is technically my boss’s boss, but absolutely does not have time for this.

Boss’s Boss: “Hello, I am the head of operations. If you are unwilling to provide the needed information on the unit we will instead require a picture of the failed component to move forward with the claim and determine coverage.”

We get the picture shortly thereafter and wouldn’t you know it, the old motor was dirty. Not THAT dirty but certainly we were not going to pay this tech close to a thousand dollars for so small a job nor were we interested in accommodating or rewarding this customer/tech hybrid which was doing something shady.

I write up the denial and flag it for a level-two tier worker to deliver in the morning. My boss flags the claim with his own task explaining to anyone who looks at it what is really going on and for any over-night call center reps to inform them to call back during normal business hours.

But it is up to me to end the current call. I am giddy and excited to tell them that the gig is up but my boss puts his hand on my shoulder and says I have to play it by the book.

Me: “Hello. We have received the needed information and will be making a determination shortly. The claim is currently under review and the office is now closed for the evening.”

Customer: “NO, NO, NO! That’s not how this works! We got in before the office closed, this line will continue to remain active until we get the determination and I don’t care how long that takes but you will not leave this call!”

Me: “Unfortunately the office is closed. The system is no longer allowing me to input any new information. Our company is not an emergency service and we are contractually obligated to render a decision within 24-48 hours after the diagnosis is received from the technician.”

Customer: “If you hang up this phone I will get you fired and sue you for everything you’re worth you hear me!”

Me: “Thank you for calling [Home Warranty Company], I advise you to have a good day.”

Click.

As my boss and I walk out to the parking lot (boss’s boss left once we got the picture in) I ask him if they could actually do that or if it was one of the many empty threats we got all day long.

Boss: “What are they gonna sue you for? Hanging up a phone? Let legal handle that. We did it by the book and wrote it up the way we’re supposed to.”

I looked at the claim the next day and they didn’t even dispute the denial when they got it.

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The Amazing World Of Gumball

, , , , , | Right | September 15, 2020

I’ve worked at a video store for years. Many people try to lie to try to get out of late fees, but this was a one-time incident.

We have a gumball machine in the store. Like in many convenience or video stores, a certain-colored gumball — in our case, white — yields something free: a movie rental, for our store.

A kid, about twelve, who I know has stolen games from us and therefore won’t be allowed to rent anyway, walks up to the gumball machine. After casting a furtive glance at me over his shoulder — I pretty much death-glare into his soul — he pretends, very blatantly, to put a quarter in the machine and turns the knob. He waits about two seconds before turning to me.

Customer: “Yes! I got a white gum! I’m gonna go pick out my movie, okay? Can you put the credit on my account?

Me: “That’s fine, but where’s the gumball? I just need to see it for a moment before you chew it.”

Customer: “I already ate it, see?”

He opens his mouth; he has a well-chewed and very small piece of gum in his mouth.

Me: “Yeah, I can say with some certainty that you already had that gum. Nice try, though.”

Customer: “What? I just put it in my mouth! This store is such a rip-off. You should take that sign down about winning a free rental since it’s a lie. I’m gonna get my mom to call and tell the boss about you!”

My patience has evaporated.

Me: “Your mom’s account is under [Customer]. You have two XBox 360 games rented a year ago that never came back. I have a really good memory, but even if I didn’t, it would show when you tried to rent, so I can’t rent to you anyway.”

Customer: “Oh, yeah, we took [Game #1] and [Game #2] from here. What if I bring them back? I live like two minutes away and they’re in my room.”

Me: “So, you’re admitting you still have the games, and apparently, you have willfully held onto them after dozens of phone calls about them being late. I’m fairly certain you should leave now.”

The customer took off running, full-speed. That was two years ago; he hasn’t shown his face since.

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We Hope She Likes Walking Home

, , , , , , | Right | September 15, 2020

A customer brings an item to the till. It comes to about $16, and when she opens her wallet I clearly see a $20 bill. She puts down $2.

Customer: *Whining* “That’s all I have! Is that okay? Can I take it?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I need the full amount.”

I don’t mention that I saw a twenty in her wallet. She puts down a few dollars more.

Me: “I still need the full amount.”

Customer: *Still whining* “But I need money for the bus!”

This continued for quite a while until she finally paid the actual amount for the item and left.

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He Didn’t Manage To Get Away With This One

, , , , | Working | September 13, 2020

I work at a family-run department store in a mid-sized city. We take layaways and orders from our loyal customer base. In mid-October, the owners — a lovely couple — hired a new manager that we grew to dislike fairly quickly because he always takes shortcuts.

It’s a couple of weeks before Christmas and the owners have been out of town for a week due to a family emergency. I’m helping a gentleman to try and find his order and have had no luck.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t find it here in the system. Is it at all possible that you put it under a different name?”

Customer #1: “No, I’m sure that I put it down under my name. I paid a lot of money for this gift.”

Me: “Let me call my manager and see if he can find it.”

I call up the manager.

Manager: “It must not have been ordered. [Coworker #1] is in charge of putting in our orders; I’ll deal with her.”

After the customer leaves, I ask the manager about this.

Me: “I didn’t know that [Coworker #1] had the authority to use the ordering system.”

Manager: “Oh, she doesn’t; I just told him that so he’d leave. Don’t mention it to her, okay? What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.”

I’m shocked at first and resolve to tell the coworker about it the next day. Before I can find her, the returning owners call me, her, and about three other employees into the office.

Owner: “I’m very disappointed in you all. I’ve had lots of calls from our customers while we were away, all complaining about you all not doing your jobs. You guys know that as soon as you take the order, you have to put it on the system for [Manager] to order the item up.”

Coworker #1: “I did log it in after they made the payment! [Manager] told me that [Coworker #3] didn’t put in the order.”

Coworker #2: “He told me that it was [My Name]’s job to put in the order.”

Me: “He told me that he just forgot and to blame [Coworker #1].”

We told the owner everything the manager had been telling us and he seemed shocked. He told us to go back to our stations in the store and called up [Manager]. From what we heard from the owner’s wife later, the manager had been taking the payments for himself and just blaming the rest of us. Police were called and the court case is currently pending.

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