We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Dog Bowl

, , , , , | Right | February 14, 2019

(This story was relayed to me by my dad, the customer in question. We have a pair of pet goldfish, and I asked him to bring some more food for them on his way home, as we were running out.)

Dad: *approaches pet shop employee* “Excuse me. Do you have any food for dogfish?”

(Dogfish are a kind of shark.)

Employee: “For… what?”

(I think he was thinking of my stepmother’s dog.)

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Groomed For Mental Illness

, , , , , , | Legal | November 17, 2018

(I work at a pet shop as a dog groomer. This exchange happens between me and a unpleasant customer one afternoon.)

Me: “How can I help you, ma’am?”

Customer: “I had my dog groomed here, and you charged $3 extra for her haircut. I want to know why.”

(I look her up.)

Me: “After looking at her info, I see she got a special coat treatment and was charged extra.”

Customer: “I know she got special treatment. What I want to know is why I was charged extra for it. I only wanted it on one part of her body.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, we charge for extras. It even says so on our board, and we just can’t treat just one spot, so the groomer charged you.”

(The customer started screaming about how incompetent we all were and how she wanted a full refund for upsetting her. She grabbed some scissors on the desk and threatened to slash her dog’s throat if we didn’t do as she said. I yelled at my coworkers to call 911 because she had flipped and was scaring everyone in the shop. She ran out the door and drove off before the cops showed up. About two weeks later, I was walking across the parking lot of the vet next door to our shop when I heard a car start up. It was the customer, driving towards me, sticking her head out of the car, and shrieking. She drove right at me, and I had to jump out of the way before I got hit! She was screaming about how I owed her $3! I called the cops and gave them her name. When they entered her home later, they found that she had gutted her home and booby-trapped the inside so that “they couldn’t get to her.” She had binoculars trained at all the windows, watching her neighborhood. And she killed her poor dog. She got locked up for a very long time.)

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Some Customers Never Change

, , , | Right | November 5, 2018

(I work in one of the two local branches of a nationwide pet shop company. About the time I started, they were bringing out a loyalty card, one of the selling points being a discount voucher in the welcome pack, but often people mistake it to mean the card gave them the discount whenever they used it. This story is two instances of the same customer, around two or three years after I began working. The customer in question is a middle-aged, reasonably well-dressed lady. She’s hurriedly tying up one of the clear plastic bags we use to put live aquarium plants in when customers buy them. I notice her hands are wet, which means she’s ignored the various notices saying to ask for help with the plants and asking customers to not put their hands into the water.)

Me: *ignoring the plant thing* “Hi there! Have you found everything you needed?”

(This has been part of my training from day one, to always greet customers coming to the till with a question like this, and our customer feedback suggests that a lot of people appreciate it, and a number of customers will either suddenly remember something, or ask for assistance with something they couldn’t find.)

Customer #1: *suddenly defensive and haughty* “What kind of question is that to ask?!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer #1: “Is that what they train you to ask?! That’s incredibly rude! It’s almost like you’re suggesting we’re incapable of shopping by ourselves! This is horrendous customer service! I wish I could complain to your head office about this!”

(This prompts me to keep very quiet about our online customer surveys.)

Me: *choosing to brush the whole thing off* “Okay, I’m sorry for that. Do you have a [loyalty card] to swipe, please?” *swipes card as it’s presented* “So, that’s three plants? Okay, that’s [amount] altogether, please.”

Customer #1: “What? No, it isn’t; it should be cheaper!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but the multi-buy deal on these plants has always been [amount].”

Customer #1: “No! The card means I get [discount amount] off!”

Me: “Ah, no, sorry. That’s just the one-off voucher you get in your welcome pack. The card itself doesn’t give you a discount; it validates the money off vouchers you’re sent.”

(She then proceeds to huffily pay the full price for the plants, and leaves. I turn to the till next to me, where my coworker and her customer are staring at me, dumbfounded.)

Coworker: “What was her problem? I was embarrassed for you, there! I’ve never heard anyone complain about being asked if they’ve found everything before…”

(A few months go by before the second incident. I’m just beginning to put a customer’s items through the till when the woman from before comes up, moves to the other side of the till from the lady I’m serving, and drops a wet, clear, plastic bag with aquarium plants in on the counter. Once more, her hands are wet.)

Customer #1: “These three plants. They’re [amount]!”

(She places the correct change onto the counter.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m in the middle of serving this lady here.”

Customer #1: “I’ve given you the correct change! Just put it in the till!”

Me: “Sorry, no, I need to put the plants through the tills and give you a receipt.”

Customer #1: “Hmph, you can do that after you’ve finished serving her.”

(I decide that arguing with the woman is going to get me nowhere, so I finish the other woman’s transaction in silence, and put the money for the plants into the till when it opens. The first customer takes her plants and triumphantly scuttles out of the doors. I turn to the customer I was originally serving to pass her the receipt for her items and begin putting the plants into the till, with as apologetic a look as I can manage after that.)

Customer #2: *looking shocked, worrying me into thinking I am about to get chewed out for this* “Well! Wasn’t she rude?”

Me: *exasperated* “Thank you! Not just me that thought it, then?”

(I have never seen [Customer #1] since… fortunately. But, having spoken to my manager, she has confirmed that I can refuse to serve her and call someone else to serve in the tills.)

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That Time When Time Wasn’t A Concept

, , , , , | Right | July 2, 2018

(I work in a pet shop. The days I work, I’m usually alone. I’m one of the only ones who can clip birds’ nails and wings, so people usually call on the days I work. In the morning, I clean all of the bird cages, and around 4:30 pm, I clean the babies’ cages again before we close. Because of this schedule, we usually ask customers to come in sometime between 12:00 pm and 4:30 pm to have their birds clipped, and also to call first so we have a heads up.)

Customer: *on the phone* “Can I bring my bird in to be clipped today?”

Me: “What kind of bird is it?”

(I ask this because larger birds like macaws are hard for me to do alone.)

Customer: “A Quaker.” *a small bird*

Me: “Sure. If you could come in sometime after noon, but before 4:30, that’d be great.”

Customer: “Uh, noon? I need an appointment?”

Me: “I’m the only one here, and I’m cleaning the birds’ cages right now, and I won’t have everything done until probably noon. At 4:30, I start cleaning the babies’ cages again, so it would be best if you could come in before then.”

Customer: “Uh…” *seems really confused* “Come in after 4:30?”

Me: “No, before 4:30. I have to take care of the babies at 4:30, so it’s better if you come in before that.”

Customer: “So, come in before 12:00?”

Me: “No, after. If you could come in sometime between 12:00 and 4:30 that would be best.”

Customer: “So, 4:30…”

Me: “How about 2:00? Why don’t you come in at 2:00?”

Customer: “Yeah, 2:00 would be better for me.”

(I hate talking on the phone.)

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Micro-Brain Questions

, , , , , | Right | May 1, 2018

(My wife and son run an independent pet shop, which also has an online shop. One of the many items for sale is a microchip cat flap, designed to stop cats with unprogrammed chips or no chip from entering a house. They receive an email that reads as follows:)

Customer: “We really like the idea and look of the microchip cat flap; however, our cats have no microchips. Will it still work?”

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