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I Watch TV, Give Me A Discount

, , , | Right | February 27, 2020

When I work in promotions, I am paid to go to random stores and promote certain electrical goods. I am not sales-based, just there to inform customers on certain choices, etc. This month I am working on printers. I was a printer technician in a previous job, so this is easy.

“Hello, sir and madam, how can I help you today?”

The customer explains what they want. I show them a range of different machines that fit their needs and which have reasonable costs in replacement inks in the store. The customer picks the desired item and I begin to carry it to the till for them.

“Do I get a discount?”

“Unfortunately, no.”

I point to the big sign in front of us, which I showed them five minutes ago.

“However, as the big display says, the item is discounted already from its original price as it is on a promotional offer. We are currently cheaper than [Major Online Retailer] and other local retailers.”

They are just buying a £50 printer, nothing else. I know the manager and I know his store policy. If they were buying a lot more, then yes, he would give a discount.

“Go ask your manager.”

“Sure, no problem.”

I carry the item to the service information desk, where the manager is standing.

“[Manager], a customer wants to know if there is a discount on this item. I have told them, unfortunately, there is not one available as it is heavily discounted already as it is on promotion.”

“Yup, you’re correct.”

I return to the customer.

“I have spoken to the manager and he has said sorry, but unfortunately, there is not an added discount to this item due to the fact it is already on a promotional offer.”

“Well… I do not think that is acceptable. On the TV show Don’t Get Done, Get Dom he gets discounts all the time; why can’t I?”

“Quoting a TV show that deals with retail does not entitle you to a discount.”

The customer stormed off. Don’t Get Done, Get Dom is a TV show on the BBC where a man called Dominic Littlewood takes on some of the biggest names in town to sort out the domestic disasters of frustrated homeowners.

An Unwarranted Reaction

, , , | Right | January 26, 2020

(I work in the technology department in my store selling and repairing computers. All the computers we sell come with some kind of manufacturer warranty, usually for one year, but we also sell extended warranties for what the manufacturer doesn’t cover, and we have a 30-day return policy. One day, a lady comes in with a laptop she bought.)

Customer: “I bought this laptop from you guys eight months ago and now the screen isn’t working. It’s still under the warranty.”

(I put the laptop on the counter and start diagnosing it.)

Me: *after checking it out* “Yes, it does look like this would be covered by the manufacturer, so they should be to either repair it or get you a new one.”

Customer: “Good, now do you have this in stock to exchange?”

Me: “Uh, we do, but you’d have to go through the manufacturer to use your warranty.”

(Suddenly, her mood turns sour.)

Customer: “What do you mean? I bought it here and the price tag said it came with a warranty! You should take care of this here! Do you not stand by your products?!” 

Me: “Well, the price tag says it comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, meaning the manufacturer will repair any defects or such. [Store] can only cover the repair or replacement if you got our protection plan or if it’s within our return policy which is 30 days. We can sometimes stretch this out to 90 days, but eight months is too far out, I’m afraid.”

Customer: “Are you telling me this laptop is just junk now? How could you advertise a warranty and not back up your products?!”

Me: ” I’m not saying that; I’m just trying to explain the laptop came with a manufacturer’s warranty that has to be done through the manufacturer. The manufacturer would repair your laptop and send it back good as new. You would just have to give them a call and they would take care of everything for you. “

Customer: “This is outrageous! I will never shop here again and will buy my computers somewhere else from now on!”

(She then left in a huff while I was standing there thinking that wherever she buys her next computer, it’s going to come with the same warranty.)

I Use Office For Office  

, , , , | Right | January 15, 2020

(I recently started working for the tech department of an office supply chain store, and I quickly started to learn that the customers who need to buy software and hardware for their computers aren’t always the brightest bulbs of the bunch.)

Customer: “I am looking for MS Office.”

Me: “Sure, right this way.”

(I start to lead the customer toward the software section.)

Me: “Just out of curiosity, what are you going to be using it for? For work, or for college…?”

Customer: “HP.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Customer: “On an HP laptop.”

Me: “Oh, sorry. My mistake. I was actually wondering what you were going to be using it for?”

Customer: “MS Office.”

(I almost facepalm and rub my eyes as I sigh, trying to hide my frustration.)

Their Argument Is Week

, , , , | Right | January 7, 2020

(I’m a manager in an office supply store. I see a customer come in and speak to one of my associates, and he ends up calling me over after the customer complains.)

Customer: “This desk is supposed to be on sale! I have the ad right here and it says $99.99!”

Me: “May I see the ad, ma’am?”

(The customer throws the ad on the counter.)

Me: “Ma’am, this ad was for the ninth through the sixteenth. Today is the seventeenth. That means that the sale price in the ad is no longer valid.”

Customer: *angry* “Then why do you still have the ad on display?!

(She marches over to the stand where we keep the ad on the display and pulls one from the stack.)

Customer: “SEE!”

Me: “Ma’am, that’s this week’s ad.”


Me: “Yes. And yesterday was the last day for that ad’s sales. Today is a new ad. They get changed every Sunday.”

Customer: “Fine. Just give me the sale price on my desk so I can leave.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but that sale price is no longer valid. The sale signs are no longer displayed on the desk, and that sale was a two-day-only offer which was for Sunday and Monday.”


Me: “Ma’am, the ad price was for last Sunday and Monday — the Sunday and Monday which fell within the dates which are listed on the front of the ad.”

Customer: “I know it’s printed on the front of the ad, but this desk is on the back of the ad! That means they don’t apply!”

Me: “The dates apply to the entire ad, ma’am.”

Customer: “But today is Sunday, and this ad says Sunday, and that means you have to give me this sale price! Come on, I’m paying to have this thing shipped, too!”

Me: “Ma’am, why would the store put a sale price in this circular that is only good on days outside of the ad’s validity dates? And not only that, but you’d actually be getting free shipping for spending over $50, so we’re actually helping you there.”

Customer: “So, you’re not going to give me the sale price?”

Me: “No. If it was only a difference of twenty or so dollars, I could make an exception. But you’re asking me to give you a week-old deal which discounts the desk by more than half. I could lose my job for discounting that item so steeply.”

Customer: “FINE! I’ll find it cheaper somewhere else and buy it from them!”

(Considering that desk was one made exclusively by my company, I wish her luck finding it printed somewhere else!)

The Customer Is Not Always “Not Right”

, , , | Right | November 9, 2019

A lady comes up to my register with a 16-gig flash-drive. It rings up for about $14, at which she balks, because the display she picked it up from marked it as about $6. Given that I know well that the display marks its items as 40% off, I explain to her that the flash-drive had likely been put there by a customer who couldn’t find its original place, but that I’d be happy to give her the 40% off that the display where she found it promised. At my place of work, we’re encouraged to do so with issues like this, though usually for a 20% discount, so I am already being generous to someone who was acting rather rudely, even at this early stage in the encounter. She seems troubled, but agrees to finish the transaction with minimal fuss and ends up paying about $8 for it. 

Three minutes later, she walks in and says to me, “I’ve been thinking about those two dollars, and, you know, I just don’t think it’s right.” She is dead serious. She emphasizes the word “right” in a way that implies it is some sort of moral issue that she get something for 60% off for no other reason than that she feels entitled to it. It would be sad if it weren’t annoyingly self-righteous and entitled.

At this point, I have another coworker covering the registers and am able to walk her to where the thing originally came from. Lo and behold, it is marked for the price that originally popped up. She just keeps repeating, “It’s not right,” and when I give her a helpless look that says, “There’s nothing else I really feel like doing for you after I already gave you this for a massive discount,” she asks to speak to a manager. 

Eventually, a more senior coworker who was the one to point her to the display in the first place actually returns it for her and lets her re-purchase it at a 60% markdown. She leaves with a grin so smug it should be illegal, with one more adamant statement of, “Thank you. I just didn’t think that this was right.” 

Some people need government-mandated lessons in perspective. I hope she promptly lost the wretched thing and ended up having to buy a new one. Could I have just refunded her transaction and given her the extra 20%? Yes. But I felt as a matter of principle that it… Well, to put it in terms she might understand, it wouldn’t be right.