This Sale Is No Reward

, , , , | Right | December 20, 2017

(This happened on a very busy day around Christmas, with the lines winding from the front down several aisles. Mostly people have been waiting in line patiently, when a woman comes barreling through the line and sets her items at my counter.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am, I’ll be happy to help you but these other customers have been waiting longer.”

Woman: *who I now notice reeks of urine* “THERE IS NO LINE! IT’S MY TURN!”

Next Customer: “Just let her go through. We can wait.”

Me: “Okay, do you have a rewards card with us?”

Woman: “A what? What are you asking me?”

(I hold up a card to show her what it looks like, and she nods and starts rummaging through her purse as I bag her two items and wait as patiently as I can while eyeing the large queue behind her. She finds it, and I scan the rewards card. She grabs her bag and tries to leave.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry but we’re not quite finished yet. I still need payment.”

Woman: “I JUST PAID YOU! What are you talking about?”

Me: “No, that was just our rewards card. I still need a payment card or cash for the items.”

Woman: “I don’t have a card! My husband has it!”

(At this point she just walks away, so I void off the sale and start helping the other customers. 10 minutes later however…)

Woman: “I got the card!”

Me: “Okay, great!” *rings items in again* “Go ahead and slide the card for debit, or insert the chip for credit.”

Woman: *stares* “What? What do you want me to do?”

Me: “Erm… is it debit or credit?”


Me: *trying not to laugh at this being too many choices* “Slide your card, and put in your PIN.”

Woman: “Why is it asking if I want cash? I don’t want cash! Why is it doing this?”

Me: “Just hit ‘no’ and you’ll be fine.”

Woman: *muttering*  “…too many choices…”

(The card got declined, which was fun to explain, and the best part was it turned out she had cash on her the whole time and ended up paying that way. What should have been a one minute transaction took nearly 20 minutes total overall, all while trying to politely ignore the overwhelming smell of urine. Who knew debit cards were so complicated?)

Being Fairly Mathematical

, , , , , | Right | December 18, 2017

(I’m a manager at a store and I answer the phone one day.)

Me: “Thanks for calling [Store]! [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I was in earlier today and have a question about my receipt. You guys are having a sale on your shorts now, right?”

Me: “Yes, we are. They are buy one, get one half-off.”

Customer: “Okay, I bought a pair of shorts for [amount] and another pair for [cheaper amount].”

Me: “All right, you should have gotten the [cheaper amount] one for half-off.”

Customer: “Right, I should have gotten [half the cheaper amount] off. But my receipt only says I got [different amount] off.”

Me: “Oh, well, we ring in our buy-one-get-one-half-off a little different. Instead of ringing it through as half off one pair, we take the amount you would get off, divide it in half, and take that off each item.”

Customer: “Well, that isn’t fair. The deal said, ‘buy one, get one half-off!’”

Me: “You are paying the same price as if you had half off one; we just ring it in differently.”

Customer: “That’s not fair.”

Me: “If you bought a pair of shorts for $30 and a pair for $20, you would get $10 off the one pair. We take the $10 and instead take $5 off each item. It is the same price you would pay if we just took half off one.”

Customer: “That isn’t fair. It said half off one, not 25% off!”

Me: “And you are getting half off one. If you add the two amounts you got off, it would be the same price as if you got half off. We just have to ring it through this way because too many people were returning the full price pair and keeping the half-off one. So now we have to take the half off amount off each.”

Customer: “It isn’t fair.”

Me: *sighs* “I’m sorry, but it will be the same price. Our associates rang it through correctly. If you have a problem with how it is done, contact customer service. They can help you more.”

Customer: “I don’t have a complaint.”

Me: *confused*

Customer: “It just isn’t fair.”

(After going in a circle for ten more minutes, I told her I would not be able to help her further and ended the call.)

Baht Nothing

, , , , , , , | Right | December 15, 2017

(I am at a cafe at the departure lounge of the airport, queueing up behind some tourists heading home. Note: All the notes and coins are clearly marked.)

Tourist: “How much is this bottled water?”

Cashier: “It’s [amount], ma’am.”

Tourist: *shoving some change at the cashier* “Here.”

Cashier: “So sorry, but you are short by [amount].”

Tourist: *gives a note* “Fine. Here. I don’t understand your currency. I want my change in [Home Country’s currency].”

Cashier: “I’m sorry; I can only give you change in Thai Baht.”

Tourist: “This is outrageous! What kind of place is this that you can’t give me change in [Home Country’s currency]?!”

Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 8

, , , , , | Right | December 15, 2017

(I work in a major wireless retail store. A customer comes in with a newer smartphone that he recently purchased. It is no longer working after being dropped in a pool. After going over multiple options, including insurance which ships overnight, the customer opts to buy out his current phone agreement in order to get a new device in store.)

Me: “Today you’ll have to pay the remaining amount of your current device, which is $450, plus the tax on the new phone, and then your monthly payments will start over on the new phone.”

Customer: “But you said I’m buying out of my agreement? I don’t want to have a payment.”

Me: “Yes, sir. You’re buying out your broken device that you still owe on, but then you said you would like to purchase a new phone today in the store instead of going with the insurance.”

Customer: “You mean because I broke my phone, you’re going to charge me for a new one?”

Me: “Yes, sir, electronics do cost money. Again, if you do insurance, you’ll just pay a small deductible and you’ll get a new phone tomorrow; that would be cheaper.”

Customer: “I told you I don’t want to do the God**** insurance, but it’s poor business to charge me for a new phone just because I destroyed my other one.”

Me: “If I go out and wreck my car, and want a brand new one, I still have to pay off the old loan, and then I’d start a fresh loan on a new car. I don’t get a free one.”

Customer: “Well, no one would do that. That’s why you have insurance!”

Me: “…”

Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 7
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 6
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 5

Cents-less Prints-iples

, , , , , | Right | December 14, 2017

Customer: “I’d like to pick up my printed photos.”

Me: “Sure.”

Customer: “Thank you.”

(Another customer requests their photos while the lady begins scribbling on the envelope. After helping the customer I offer to help the lady.)

Me: “Was there anything else I could help you with?”

Customer: “Yes, I wanted to know what the price per print was.”

Me: “Oh, looks like you ordered 4×6 prints, so the price is 32 cents per print.”

Customer: “Yes, but she said she’d make it 25 cents per photo.”

Me: “All right, once I help this customer, I’ll get the calculator to help you.”

(After taking the other customer’s photo, I return with the calculator.)

Me: “All right, it looks like the $3 discount covered one set of the prints, leaving your total, before tax, at $12.54 for 49 prints.”

(Customer punches numbers into the calculator.)

Customer: “But this says 29 cents per print.”

Me: *after reviewing the calculations* “Oh, you divided the full cost of the order before applying the discount.”

Customer: “No, let me show you.”

(The customer carries out calculation again and shows that her total should be $13.07 after tax, then calculates without the discount applied to the total.)

Customer: “See!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it looks like the discount was applied; the total you were charged after tax was $13.07, which is only slightly above the 25 cents per print promised.”

Customer: “But I was charged 29 cents per photo! This is why I stopped coming here years ago. You people can’t even spare a cent to be generous.”

(Choosing to give up explaining, I allowed her to leave after a short apology to her. While taking a passport photograph for the next customer, I thought about how obsessive one must be to concern themselves about a single dollar’s difference, if we had actually neglected to apply the discount.)

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