Don’t Be A Hay-ter

| VA, USA | Liars & Scammers, Money

(A customer called me over to talk to me about prices for small mammal bedding/hay.)

Customer: “How much is this one?”

Me: *I look at the price tags and can’t find the right barcode* “I’m sorry; I can’t find the price right now. I can take it to the register and scan it there.”

Customer: “So it isn’t $5.99?”

Me: “No.” *I look at the barcodes for that stack of hay, since we have several types in one stack* “It looks like the $5.99 is this one.” *I point to the same type of hay, without the carrots*

Customer: “Well, it should be $5.99, since the price tag is right there.”

Me: “Since we don’t have enough space on the shelf, we have to combine types. Based on [another type and size of hay], I’d say this one will be around $9.99.”

Customer: “You should still give it to me for $5.99.”

Me: “I’m sorry. The only times we can take money off for wrong pricing is if there is an actual slap tag–” *price sticker* –on the product that is the wrong price, since that means it is the employee’s, not the customer’s fault. However, we can’t discount products because either their price tags are missing on the shelf, or another price is underneath them, because a lot of times, either the price tag falls off, or, as I have found, kids will come in and move the tags.”

Customer: “That’s still false advertising. Which one is $5.99?”

(I show her a smaller pack of hay, without carrots. She scoffs and takes it.)

Customer: “You should still give me the bigger one for $5.99.”

Me: “I’m sorry. I’m not able to. I will be sure to reprint this price tag so that it won’t confuse other customers. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.”

(Customer gave me a dirty look and stomped off to the register.)

This Diet Should Bug You More

| IL, USA | Pets & Animals

(I work in the back of the store with the animals and answer questions that customers have about their pets. Part of my job is catching crickets (small or large) for customers to feed to their reptiles. I had just finished talking to them about some of the other animals that we carry as a little bit of chit chat before asking what I could help them with.)

Customer #1: “Yes, I would like…” *she pauses to think for a moment* “…six large crickets, please.”

Customer #2: “Oh, are you getting those for [Lizard]?”

Customer #1: “Yeah, I figure I’m getting treats for all the other animals, I shouldn’t leave him out.” *she then turns to me* “Hey, at what age are bearded dragons too old for crickets?”

(I look at her dumbstruck for a moment but quickly recover and inform her as quickly and thoroughly as I can that they are omnivores which means they NEED both meat and plant matter throughout their entire lives.)

Customer #1: “Oh. Well, what happens when they don’t get crickets?”

Me: “Well, if they don’t receive any sort of insects with their diet they won’t be as healthy because they’re lacking the majority of the protein that they should be eating.”

Customer #1: “Well, he must not be very healthy then, because he hasn’t had crickets in like… six months.”

Customer #2: “Uhh… did you want to get him more than those six then?”

Me: “It might not be a bad idea, just so you have some on hand and can help him start getting the protein levels up.”

Customer #1: “Nah, I think he’ll be fine.”

Like Talking To A Parrot

| NM, USA | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals

(It is a slow day, and there are two people working. I am at the cash register and the owner is checking on all of the animals. A teenage girl walks in, looking confused.)

Me: “Hi, ma’am, is there anything I can help you with today?”

Customer: “I want a parrot.”

Me: “Of course. Do you know what kind of parrot you would like?”

Customer: “One of the fancy ones that can talk.”

Me: “We have several that can talk; if you could perhaps describe it more I might be able to help you find it.”

Customer: “Uh, I dunno; I’ll know it when I see it.”

Me: “These are all of our parrots in these cages.”

Customer: *continues looking, and turns around* “Oh! This is the one!”

Me: “That is an African Gray Parrot—”

Customer: *to the parrot* “Hi! You’re coming home with me!” *looks at price, then to me* “Oh dear, this is very expensive. Can I get a discount?”

Me: “Actually, ma’am, this one has already been paid for and is on reserve for customers who are coming later.”

Customer: “Oh, so it’s already been paid for?”

Me: “Yes, it has. This bird is theirs; we’re just holding it for them.”

Customer: “But, can’t I just take it?”

Me: “I apologize but we can’t just give away somebody else’s bird.”

Customer: “But it’s paid for; I should get it!”

(This continues for a couple of minutes until…)

Customer: “I demand to speak to your manager!”

(I go and get the owner and tell her the problem.)

Owner: “What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “Hey! I said a manager! You’re an owner!”

Owner: “I am in fact a higher ranking than a manager and can help you with anything that a manager could help you with.”

Customer: “No! I was told to speak to a MANAGER if I had any problems, and you aren’t a MANAGER!”

(After a couple minutes of back and forth about managers and owner, the owner gives up and goes into the back room. She comes out with a note taped on to her name badge that says “Manager.”)

Owner: “Hi, I’m the manager. What seems to be the problem here?”

Customer: “Finally! A manager! Anyway, your stupid employee won’t give me this bird. It’s free!”

Owner: “Well, that is because that this bird belongs to somebody else. We are simply watching it until they can come and get it.”

Customer: “Oh, okay then!” *walks out, completely satisfied*

Me: “…”

Owner: “…”

A Scam Not Even Fit For The Dogs

| TN, USA | Liars & Scammers

(Every now and then, we get scammers or thieves trying to return stolen merchandise at my store for cash. However, one scammer tried a different approach.)

Me: *answering the phone* “Thank you for calling [Pet Store]; how can I help you?”

Scammer: “Yeah, uh, I bought a bag of dog food last week, but it was bad, so I threw it out. I talked to a manager last week, and he said he could give me a refund. Let’s see… I can’t remember his name…”

(I recognize the bait immediately; he is waiting for me to list the names of the managers to help him “remember.”)

Me: “Do you have a receipt?”

Scammer: “Uh, no, I don’t. I’m trying to think of that manager…”

Me: “We can still look up your transaction. Do you remember the date that you bought it?”

Scammer: “Uh, I don’t know.”

Me: “Do you have a [Pet Store] account?”

(About 95% of our customers have an account because it gives them the sale prices.)

Scammer: “No, I don’t.”

Me: “Do you remember what food you bought?”

Scammer: “No, I threw it out.”

Me: “Then unfortunately, sir, there’s nothing I can do to help you.”

Scammer: “What? But I talked to a manager!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but if you don’t have a receipt, you don’t have an account, you can’t remember the date you purchased your food, you can’t remember the food you bought, and you don’t have the food with you anymore, then I have no way of proving that you purchased it.”

Scammer: “But why would your manager say I could get a refund if I couldn’t?”

(I realize at this point that he doesn’t realize that I AM a manager, and none of my coworkers have ever mentioned a customer needing a refund for food he threw out.)

Me: “I don’t know, sir. You’ll have to ask him. Every manager here follows the same policy: you need proof of purchase to make a return.”

Scammer: “Well, then, uh, I guess I’ll have to complain to corporate!”

Me: “You are free to do that, sir, or you could come into the store tomorrow to see if you can find that manager you spoke to last week, and we’ll see what we can do for you.”

Scammer: “Yeah, I’ll do that! How many managers will be there? What are their names?”

Me: *still not falling for it* “We have several managers here, sir.”

Scammer: “Well, uh, I’ll be in tomorrow!”

(He never showed up, and we never got a corporate complaint. I’m still flabbergasted that he thought we would give him money when he not only had no food to “return,” but he couldn’t even invent what type of dog food it was!)

This Customer Is A Real Treat

| IL, USA | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals

Customer: “Can you recommend a dog treat?”

Me: *grabbing a container of treats my dogs especially enjoy* “Well, these are good.”

Customer: “Have you tasted them?”

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