Self Checkout Fallout

, , , , , | Right | March 3, 2019

(I am currently manning the self-check when a customer comes up with two fifty-gallon storage totes FILLED to the brim with assorted meats, produce, and the like. This raises a flag, so I instantly use the “head register” to try to flag down a manager while keeping an eye on her screen as best as I can. In addition, I approach her, trying to our “passive-aggressive” tactics to try to stall them as long as I can.)

Me: “Excuse me. Would you like some help with these tubs?”

Customer: “Oh, it’s okay. I got it under control; I use these all the time since your manned registers are so long.”

(Normally I would agree with the customer, as it seems like when we have half the store filled with customers we only have a few cashiers. However, in this case, it is the opposite; we have WAY too many cashiers when there are maybe a few customers an hour going through the registers. This, of course, raises another flag, so I go back to the head register and ping the manager again.)

Monitor Station: “Kool-Aid, Kool-Aid, Kool-Aid, Ramen, Ramen, Ramen…”

(I’m sure you get the picture and, even while assisting other customers that trickle my way, I see her doing SCO trickery.)

Customer: *as I’m walking past her* “These pickle-pops are just wonderful, aren’t they?”

Me: *trying to feign obliviousness* “Yeah, they are wonderful, but I just use the leftover juices in my ice cube trays.”

(Once again, I head back trying to get a manager again… still no luck. Suddenly, the customer comes up to me.)

Customer: “Uh… I, umm… forgot my wallet in the car. Can you hold my items for me, please?”

(I glance at her screen and see what I expected to see: she wants to void the whole transaction. At this point, I know I cannot keep her in the store, but at least the store gets a minor victory and she leaves without being able to complete the scam.)

Me: “Sure…” *thinking: please, manager, hurry up and get here… NOW*

(As she was trying to leave, I really started to pound the h*** out of the code to get the manager over there, doing my best to “forget” how to run it. However, she did start to leave, and maybe a minute after she did so, the manager came over and I explained what had happened. I later learned that while she did get away, the LP team got her face on the video and she was turned into the police and HQ. The total potential loss: almost half a grand! At least I got recognized for the situation and got a store gift card for roughly 10% of the would-be scammed items.)

That’s Not How Not Working Works

, , , , | Healthy | March 3, 2019

(I work at a multi-doctor cardiology office as a receptionist. This story comes directly from my coworker, who sits beside my station.)

Coworker: “Thank you for calling [Clinic]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah, I have a return-to-work form that needs to be filled out. Can your doctor get it done for me today?”

Coworker: “Which doctor do you see at our office?”

Caller: “I don’t see anyone up there.”

Coworker: “You would have to be a patient up here for any of the doctors to fill out.”

Caller: “So, they can’t fill it out for me?”

Coworker: “No, you’re not a patient here. They wouldn’t know if you can return to work or not.”

Caller: “Well, can I see one of the doctors today?”

Coworker: “They wouldn’t be able to see you today, no. What do you need the signature for, anyway?”

Caller: “I hurt my leg.”

Coworker: “I don’t think a cardiologist can sign on a leg injury unless it’s vein related. You may need your primary doctor to sign it.”Caller: “I don’t have a doctor. I just wanted someone to sign my letter so I don’t have to work.”

You’ve Run That Scam Dry

, , , , | Legal Right | February 27, 2019

(I work as a cashier at a big department store.)

Customer: “I’d like to return this hairdryer.”

Me: “Sure. Do you have a receipt?”

Customer: “No, I don’t.”

Me: “Okay, in that case—“

Customer: “I bought this hair dryer for my son. He’s got a terrible illness, and the hairdryer was meant to cheer him up, but he developed an awful rash when he tried to use it.”

Me: “Um—“

Customer: “That’s why I need to return it, see? The poor guy has been through enough; he doesn’t need a rash on top of everything else. His life is so hard. He lost his job recently, and money’s tight, so we can’t afford to waste money on hair dryers that give him a rash, and—“

(The customer keeps talking and talking while I keep trying to interrupt her so that she can start the refund process. During that time, I suddenly realize that I recognize the customer from my last job as a cashier at another big department store.)

Me: “Will you excuse me a moment?” *goes to find manager* “Hey, [Manager]? I’m pretty sure that customer is trying to pull a fast one. I recognize her from my last job. She was notorious for trying to return stolen items for cash.”

Manager: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. She’s got this tell: she always talks too much and gives a lot of unnecessary details about why she’s trying to return something.”

Manager: “Nice catch. I’ll call the loss prevention guys.”

(The LPs hauled the woman out of the store while she loudly screamed that she needed the money for the hair dryer because of her poor, sick son. The funny thing is that if she hadn’t been such a chatterbox, I might have just processed the return without looking at her too closely.)

Doing Some Damage With That Deposit

, , , , , | Friendly | February 25, 2019

(I get my first apartment when I am 22 and am pretty naïve about how the world works. I expect that my landlord will be a nice, honest guy that will do his job. This turns out to be untrue. For example, after we have a massive blizzard — Google “Winnipeg Snowstorm 1986” for more details — he keeps making excuses about digging out the parking lot, which means that my car is unusable for more than a week. He doesn’t live in the building himself, so he doesn’t care. After a few more experiences like that, I finally have enough and decide to move. I contact the landlord to conduct the apartment inspection so that I can get my damage deposit back. He calls me a few days later.)

Landlord: “I did the inspection, and you’re not getting your deposit back.”

Me: “What? Why not?”

Landlord: “You left a lot of damage in that place.”

Me: “Like what?”

Landlord: “Well, for starters, you stole the plastic hallway runner.”

Me: “That runner was mine. My parents bought it for me.”

Landlord: “No, it was mine!”

Me: “They have the receipt. Want to see it?”

Landlord: “Okay, never mind. You left a huge mess in the oven.”

Me: “That’s not possible.”

Landlord: “What do you mean?”

Me: “I never used the oven.”

Landlord: “What are you talking about? You lived there for a year.”

Me: “Yes, and I never cooked in the oven. I either used my microwave or got takeout.”

Landlord: “Well, regardless, that place was pristine when you moved in!”

Me: “Is that so? I found mushrooms growing on the bathroom carpet, and the shower curtain was covered in slimy mildew.”

Landlord: “You spilled something sticky on the living room carpet!”

Me: “Yes. I did do that, and I’m more than willing to pay for the carpet to be cleaned.”

Landlord: “You’re not getting your damage deposit back.” *click*

(I ended up having to contact the Better Business Bureau, who ordered him to give me my damage deposit, less the amount that it would cost to clean the living room carpet. He very reluctantly agreed to do so but he insisted that I come over to his house to get my cheque. When I got there at the agreed-upon time, he was wearing nothing but a bathrobe. Yuck. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.)

Trying To Brush That Scam Under The Rug

, , , | Right | February 20, 2019

(The plaza my store is in is almost directly beside a motel, which would be fine, except there’s a family of about thirty people who, without fail, steal or try to scam every time they come in, which is at least once a day, usually more. We’ve caught on to most of their tricks, and managed to ban a few, but without evidence on camera, there’s not much we can do except make it difficult for them to actually get away with anything. I run the service desk from the afternoon until close — their favorite time to come to the store — and although I’m usually very patient with most customers, I’ve had about enough of this group, and it’s starting to show. Yesterday, one of the men in the group rented a rug machine from me. I was tempted to refuse, because they live in the motel, so I couldn’t figure why they’d be renting a rug machine unless they were planning to sell it, but I went through with it. I did mark down the exact time of the transaction, as well as when they left, in case we need to look at the cameras later, and let my manager know about my concerns. At the very least, I was expecting some kind of issue if they do return it, so I was covering my behind. I’m working today when they bring it back. Important to note: they have had it the full 24 hours, and the prices for rentals are set by the company that owns the machines, not us, so we cannot alter them.)

Woman: “I’m just bringing this back.”

Me: “Sure. You’ve got your slip, right?”

(They get a paper with the return time and date on it, which we usually just look at to confirm it’s not late, rather than find our copy in our book.)

Woman: “Yeah.” *hands me the slip; they’re exactly on time* “I think it’s broken, though. My daughter-in-law was pushing it with all her weight and it barely moved. And it wasn’t sucking up the water or nothing.”

(I know it’s not broken, and I already know what she’s about to say.)

Woman: “Can you give me a refund or something?”

Me: “No. All I can do is call a tech to come to look at it in a few days.”

Woman: “Well, can I get the other one to use since that one didn’t work?”

Me: “If you pay to rent it, yes.”

(We have a second, larger one also for rent that costs a little more.)

Woman: “But it left my carpets all wet. My daughter-in-law almost broke her arms trying to push it. I can’t just pay the difference?”

(Normally, I would be sympathetic, but this is a very common ploy this woman — and her group — have used before, and I’m not having this nonsense.)

Me: “I might have been able to get my manager to approve that if you had brought it back yesterday afternoon. You’ve kept it the full 24 hours, so your rental time is up, regardless.”

Woman: “And you won’t give me a refund, either?”

Me: “Your husband asked if we do refunds yesterday, and I told him the same thing I’m telling you. We cannot do refunds on these machines. We don’t own them; we just rent them out for [Rug Machine Company]. They set the prices and the rules, and we have to follow them.”

Woman: “Fine, then. Can you just write in your books that it’s been returned? I don’t want to get charged by mistake.”

(I take out the book and find her slip, write, “Returned”, and pray I’m done, but since she’s still staring at me, I know it’s not over yet.)

Woman: “Can I get a discount if I come back for the other one?”

Me: “No.”

Woman: “I should get a discount for the inconvenience. The machine you gave me was broken.”

Me: “Ma’am, the machine worked just fine before you rented it; we wouldn’t have had it for rental if it was broken. The only reason that machine wouldn’t work properly is if it was used incorrectly, or damaged in transit from your car to your home, and in that case, we aren’t liable for that.”

Woman: “You really can’t even give me a discount next time?”

Me: “No, I can’t. As I said, all I can do is call a tech. If it’s clogged or jammed, they have it on record that it wasn’t prior to this rental. If something did break — which is rare, but it does happen — I still can’t give you a refund until their company approves it.”

Woman: “That doesn’t mean you can’t give me a discount. I’m telling you it didn’t work. I should be getting a refund, but if you’re going to be so pigheaded about it, I should at least get a discount next time, so I can fix my carpets.”

Me: “Again, we don’t own the machines. They aren’t maintained by us, they aren’t owned by us, and we have no more control over the prices than we do the rules for renting them. A tech would still have to come out to verify the machine you say is broken wasn’t working properly for me to be authorized to give you a discount.”

Woman: “That’s ridiculous. I’m going to call and complain about this. What’s [Rug Machine Company]’s number? I should be getting a refund. And you bet I’m going to call [Store Manager] about this, too. It’s ridiculous I can’t get a refund when you rented me a broken machine.”

(She leaves. I go into the office and tell [Manager she threatened to call] what happened, as she was watching on camera the whole time, and she says I was exactly right to refuse a refund and not to worry about it. Someone rents the machine the next day, and I am there when they bring it back. Out of curiosity, I ask if it was broken.)

Customer: “No, it worked fine.”

(The woman came through my line about a week later when I was on register. I was happy to tell her the machine was rented out several times and worked just fine. She makes five members of that group who now avoid me like the plague, since I’ve caught them out in a scam. Tragic.)

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