This Behavior Is Almost Mechanical

, , , , | Working | August 23, 2018

(I’m out running errands when I notice my car is making a strange noise, and I feel a scraping when I turn the wheel. I’m pretty sure I know what’s wrong, but I swing into a local chain auto shop just to make sure it’s not something more serious and that I can get home safely. I plan to get the issue fixed a couple days later when my usual mechanic shop is open. To note, I’m a woman, and the experience of being a woman at the mechanic can be pretty unpleasant, ranging from patronization to upselling unnecessary parts and procedures. They take my car into the back to be looked at while I describe the problem to the guy behind the front counter.)

Me: “I’m pretty sure it’s the wheel bearing. I spend most of my day driving the car for work, so they need to be replaced frequently. It sounds and feels just like it did the last time.”

Worker: “Well, we’ve got in the back now. But to me, it sounds like your brakes are going.”

Me: “No, the brakes are fine. I just had the car in to be inspected a couple months ago.”

Worker: “Listen, I’ve worked here for years, and I know a thing or two about cars. Now, we’ll have to charge you [amount] for just looking at the car.”

Me: “I’m aware.”

Worker: “But then, to check the brakes, we’ll have to take the whole tire off and that will be an extra [amount that is more than double]. It’s a more complicated procedure and requires more manpower. And then, to replace the brakes, it’s [amount much more than the last time I replaced them].”

Me: “Let’s see what [Mechanic] says before we do anything.”

Worker: “Fine. But I’m telling you, it’s your brakes.”

(A few minutes later, the mechanic comes in from the garage and hands me my keys.)

Mechanic: “Your right wheel bearing needs to be replaced. You’re good to drive home, but you should get it fixed as soon as you can.”

(I thanked him and suppressed the urge to stick my tongue out at his colleague behind the desk. I paid the consulting fee and had my own mechanic fix it a couple days later. The victory was sweet and one I shared with my female officemates, who also wear out their cars for work and also hate going to the mechanic for this very reason!)

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This Scam Is Reproduced All The Time

, , , , , , | Right | August 22, 2018

(I am a cashier in the express lane. I call the next customer in line to my cash register station. I am of Chinese descent.)

Me: “Hi, sir, how is your day?”

Customer: “Good. I want to price-match all these toothpastes for $2.00 each, and everything else is regular price.”

(He has about ten toothpastes and five other items in the cart.)

Me: “Sure, just let me check the date on the flyer and the toothpaste size.”

(The dates and sizes match the ones he chose.)

Customer: “I have ten coupons for $2 off each of these toothpastes, too.”

Me: “Can I see these coupons, please?”

Customer: “Sure.” *hands it to me*

(I notice the coupons are obviously photocopied and are blurry.)

Me: “Sir, these coupons are photocopies of the original.”

Customer: “Oh. I printed them off my printer.”

Me: “Well, I can obviously tell these coupons are reproductions, and they are invalid. Trying to use photocopied coupons is illegal, and it can be considered fraud, sir.”

Customer: “Well, how do you know they are fake?”

Me: “These are newspaper insert coupons, sir, and plus, they are really blurry.”

Customer: “Well, you know what? I didn’t know cashiers were so smart. I didn’t know you could see so well, because I can tell you are Asian.”

Me: “Well, obviously I proved you wrong, sir.”

Customer: “You know what? F*** you!”

(I don’t say anything. He leaves all his unpaid goods and his cart in front of my till, and I have to clean it up. He also leaves his fake coupons with me.)

Me: *shows coupons to one of my coworkers* “Look what this dumb customer did to me.” *I repeat this story and show her the coupons*

Coworker: “You should have told that dumba** to go f*** himself, too.”

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I Don’t See Race – Or Receipts

, , , , , | Right | August 22, 2018

(I work in a high-end clothing store. On this day a customer I served a few days earlier walks up to my register with an expensive dress.)

Customer: “Hey, I bought this from you and it didn’t fit me. I’ve got the receipt and spoke with the person who served me, and they said you’d give me a full cash refund?”

Me: “Uh, actually, I’m the one who served you, and no, I didn’t say that.”

Customer: *pauses* “Uh… Really?”

Me: “If you look at the top of your receipt, it says who served you.” *points out where* “See? my name’s right there.”

Customer: “Really? That was you?”

(I tap my name tag.)

Me: “I am, indeed, the one who served you, and I’m afraid that, no, we can’t give you cash back for this, as you purchased the item with a gift card. If you want to return it, we’ll have to give you your money back the same way.”

Customer: “Uh… Well… You know… You guys all look the same to me, so I thought… uh… I mean… D***, guess that’s dead in the water now.”

(She slunk out in defeat. For the record, I have olive skin and black hair from my Italian heritage, and my coworkers include a pale redhead, two Asians, and an African American. Still not sure whether it’s good or bad that a customer apparently deemed us all to be no different from each other.)

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Covers A Fraud Definition

, , , | Right | August 21, 2018

(I work in a call center for a manufacturer that ships products all over the country. If a customer specifies a preferred freight company, we’ll send their products that way. If not, we’ll use one of ours. If we use a customer’s method, they are responsible for any damages that may be incurred.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I’m calling to let you know that I received my order, but there was damage to one item.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Can I have your invoice number?”

Customer: “Yes, it’s [Number].”

(I look up her invoice.)

Me: “Okay, I see it here. Which item was damaged?”

Customer: “It was one of the [products]. It looks like something was dropped on it.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. If you like, we can have another item sent out, or you can order a replacement on your next purchase order. But it looks like we used your shipping company on this order. You will need to contact them to file a claim for damages. We won’t be able to refund you the cost directly.”

Customer: “I know that. I don’t need a refund from you.”

Me: “Then how can I help you today?”

Customer: “I need a replacement right away, and I don’t have time to wait for you to send me another. I’m going to have to get one from one of my competitors. They have one available, but they will charge me more than you do.”

Me: “That makes sense. They do have to charge you more for their mark-up.”

Customer: “Right, so, I need a letter from your company stating that the one I bought from you was the same price I will have to pay from my competitor so that my shipping company will pay me the replacement cost on my claim.”

Me: “I’m not sure I’m following you. You only paid us [price], so that’s the value of the product. Your shipper will only compensate you for the actual cost of the item they brought to you.”

Customer: “But I have to buy another one from someone else, so I need more money to cover it.”

Me: “So, let me make sure that I understand. You want me to write a letter to you stating that you paid [higher cost], so that your shipping company will give you more money, so that you can re-buy the item from a competitor?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Me: “Ma’am, that’s called fraud, and I can’t help you with that.”

Customer: “What? Why would you say that? That’s not what I’m doing! How dare you say that?! Let me speak to your manager right now! I can’t believe you would accuse me like that.”

(I transferred her to my manager after giving a brief summary of our conversation. My manager called me back later saying that she told the customer that I might have been a little harsh in my use of the word “fraud,” but completely agreed with me, saying I was right. I don’t know what the customer did, but we certainly didn’t write her that letter.)

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Boris Need No Warranty; Boris IS Warranty!

, , , , | Working | August 20, 2018

(I’m on medical leave from work for a while, so I have time to answer all those scam phone calls I usually ignore. Once I get through the recording, unless it sounds like a legitimate business, I like to have a little fun with the scammers.)

Me: *in a fake Russian accent* “Yes, hallo! You are calling me about my car?”

Scammer: “Yes, do you know that your car’s warranty has expired, sir? It is very important to have a good warranty on your car, sir, in case anything breaks.”

Me: “You are saying something is broken in my car?”

Scammer: “Not broken, sir. Expired. Your warranty has expired.”

Me: “Oh. Uh… maybe you can help me understand. I am not knowing too much about cars. What is this ‘warranty’ device? Is part of engine, or what?”

Scammer: “No, it’s not part of your car, sir, it’s… It’s a service that protects your car. It can cover damage from breakdowns or bad weather.”

Me: “Ah, yes! Understand! But I am not thinking I need warranty to cover my car. I already have garage. Is good enough, I think, yeah?”

Scammer: *click*

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