They’ll Be Back, Mark Your Calendar

, , , , | Right | June 2, 2017

(I’m working as a cashier after the holidays and a woman with three young kids and a basket full of stuff comes up to me to check out.)

Customer: “Um, excuse me, but I would just like to mention that this will be the last time I will ever come into your store. I have been treated terribly by the staff here and considering I’m spending a lot of my hard-earned money here today I find that unacceptable.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, but that’s of course entirely up to you.” *I start to ring her out*

Customer: “It’s the stupidest thing… I ordered a calendar here six weeks ago and never received a call that it came in. Now today when I came to pick it up it isn’t here!”

Me: “Well, we don’t hold onto orders for more than two weeks for customers that haven’t pre-paid, unfortunately.”

Customer: “I know THAT, but I also would’ve known if it was in if someone had bothered to call me! The person who I asked even had the nerve to check that the phone number on my account was correct, as if I would ever give you clowns false information!”

Me: “I’m sorry you weren’t able to get it. I understand the inconvenience.”

Customer: “And then that jerk wouldn’t even check in the system to see if my calendar had been shelved and was still available in the store! She went and helped someone else. How dare she brush me off like that!”

Me: “Well, since it’s already into the new year and most of our holiday stock is gone, we no longer have any calendars in the store.”

Customer: “But she wouldn’t even CHECK!”

Me: “I get that you’re frustrated.”

Customer: “I think I’d better receive a discount!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “I deserve to at least not have to pay so much after the way I was treated.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I’m unable to authorize any sort of discount.”

Customer: “Ugh, I knew you’d say that. Well, how about on these?”

(She waves a bunch of colored pencils she’s buying in my face.)

Customer: “At least discount these; the tips are all broken off of these.”

Me: “Erm… okay. I’ll discount them 10% on account of them being damaged.”

Customer: “Only 10%? Wait, that only covers the tax on these!”

Me: “Well, seeing as how they can be sharpened and repaired all I can really do is the 10%.”

Customer: “Ugh, fine. Just finish ringing me up; I’m so done with this terrible place.”

(She ended up paying with three gift cards and only ended up spending about $10 of her “hard-earned” money. I never found out which coworker had treated her with such contempt, but I did try to learn who it was so I could hug them.)

They’re Acting Bitter About The Sweet

, , , , , | Right | May 31, 2017

(I work for a high quality chocolatier in England. Our products are pricey due to the amount of cocoa we use, which is the most expensive ingredient. The shop is in central London so our clientele don’t tend to notice the prices. I’m at the till when I’m approached by a man who looks like every other client. He has a few reasonably priced items so I scan them through:)

Me: “That will be £35.50, please.”

Customer: “£35! For that!?”

Me: “Yes, sir, is that a problem?”

Customer: “But it’s just chocolate!”

Me: “You’re not wrong, sir, but prices for cocoa are very high and we use more in our products than any other chocolatier.”

Customer: “Surely you have discounts you could give me?”

Me: “I’m afraid not, sir. I can’t discount perfectly good products. You wouldn’t happen to work for the NHS or the police?”

Customer: “YES!”

Me: “Great! That entitles you to a 20% discount. Can I see your work pass?”

Customer: “Oh… I don’t have one… I thought you’d just believe me.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t include a discount without a reason.”

Customer: “You can’t reject my sale! This store is so quiet. You need my business.”

Me: “Actually, sir—” *I bring up our sales tracker* “—we’re £200 over our budget today. It’s only quiet because it’s night time. And I’m not rejecting your sale; you’re rejecting our prices. Would you like me to help you find some cheaper alternatives?”

(He just grumbles and pays for his items, storming out past another customer who had been waiting patiently behind him.)

Customer #2: “Some people are just miserable, aren’t they?”

(I total their order up.)

Me: *to next guest* “That’ll be £15.”

Customer #2: *confused* “But the price says £30?”

Me: “I know, but you didn’t ask for a discount so I gave you my 50% off. Have a great day!”

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The Only Option Left Is To Complain

, , , , | Right | May 31, 2017

(I am a bank teller in 2001. It’s important to note that this is a small grocery store branch so in that setting your coworkers are literally standing right next to you most of the time. A man approaches my window.)

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Bank]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “I lost my debit card and had to cancel it. What can I do to get a new one?”

Me: “That’s no problem. I can print out a form for us to fill out here and send it in for you. It can take up to 7-10 business days to process and it will be mailed to your address.”

Customer: “What?! That’s too long. I don’t want to do that.”

Me: “Okay. Another option is here in the branch we can make you an ‘instant’ ATM card today but unfortunately they only work at ATMs. You would not be able to use it to make purchases but you can still get one of those in the meantime while you wait for the new debit card.”

Customer: “No, I don’t want to do that.”

Me: “Okay. Another option is you can cash a check here with us to get money. I can even print a counter check for you if you don’t have any checks.”

Customer: “No, I don’t want to do that.”

Me: “Okay. Another option is if you have a credit card you can make your daily purchases with that and then pay the balance daily to avoid any interest.”

Customer: “No, I don’t want to do that.”

Me: *dumbfounded and out of ideas; those really are all the options* “Okay… well… I’m… sorry?”

Customer: *says nothing, walks off*

(I found out later that he had come back and complained about my “attitude” to my branch manager who was not there at the time. My coworker, who was standing right next to me during the entire exchange, backed me up. She said I was nothing but polite and helpful and the man simply wasn’t interested in working with us to get his problem resolved. She saved me from possibly getting written up.)

How To Deal With People Who Want Deals

, , , , | Right | May 29, 2017

(I work at the jewelry counter. A man approaches with an ad.)

Customer: *points at some opal jewelry in the ad* “Where are these?”

Me: *walks him over* “They are right here. It looks like we only have the ring and earrings. The necklace has been sold. We do have a similar, slightly cheaper opal with necklace and earrings though right here.”

Customer: *points to the ones in the ad again* “Where are these ones?”

Me: “Right here, sir.”

Customer: “And how much would they be for both pieces?”

Me: “It would be $210 plus tax for the both of them?”

Customer: “Okay, make me a deal.”

Me: “Um… it’s $210 plus tax.”

Customer: “No, I mean, what can you do for me? I want a deal.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. They’re already 60% off. They are $210 plus tax.”

Customer: “Call over a manager. I want you to make me a deal. You say $200 even and I’ll take both.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but the price is firm. There are no more discounts.”

Customer: “Make it $200 even and you got a deal. [Company] needs to empower its employees to make deals.”

Me: “I’m sorry. The price is firm. I don’t know any retail environment that we can negotiate. I’ve worked retail for six years now.”

Customer: “Well, I’ve been doing this for 50 years.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. The price is $210 plus tax.”

Customer: “Ok, I’ll take the earrings. You just lost a sale.”

(I rang him up and he left. I’m really curious what stores he goes to that he can get away with that. If it was marked wrong or there was any good reason he should get a discount, I could have easily adjusted for him. It may have only been a small difference, but it’s the principal. You’re already getting a good deal. Take it and be happy. No need to be difficult and demand more than anyone else.)

Eliminate The Checking Process

, , | NY, USA | Working | April 9, 2017

Back in the 1970s, I remember reading a catalog from an electronics company. On the last page, next to the order form, they had this note:

“Make ordering easy! Just send us a signed check made out to us. Don’t fill in the amount. Let us add it all up, including shipping, and calculate the total, then we’ll write it on your check for you.”

My thought was, “yeah, it will also eliminate that unsightly balance in my checking account.”

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