That’s Going To Be A Big Dirty NEIGH To That Return

, , , , , | Right | July 26, 2021

A customer comes in with a small digital thermometer, the kind that generally goes under the armpit or in your mouth. As such, they’re designed to be resistant to fluids, although they’re not entirely waterproof because, hey, they are cheap.

Customer: “I bought this a few days ago and took a couple of readings, and now it’s stopped working. I think maybe it’s the battery. Can I have a refund or an exchange?”

Coworker: “Let’s have a look and see if we can change the battery first.”

My coworker opens the battery case of the thermometer and finds it rather brown inside. As she’s new and unsure of what to do, she asks my opinion.

I take note of the brown and then notice that the outside of the thermometer is damp.

Me: “It looks wet. Could it be water damage?”

My coworker tilts the thermometer to try to see the battery better, and suddenly, about two teaspoons of very brown, very murky water run out of the battery compartment and onto our bench.

Customer: “Oh, no, it’s not water damage. I mean, I did wash it, but it was broken before that. I used it on my horse because he’s sick and I didn’t think you’d want to handle it unless I washed it first.”

Yep. We now had horse poo water on our bench and on my coworker’s hands. From the condition of the battery compartment, I strongly suspect that this may not have been the first time the customer had washed the thermometer.

Despite my misgivings, my manager gave the customer the exchange anyway. My coworker disposed of the used thermometer and scrubbed the bench and her hands very thoroughly.

Ah, the joys of working retail.

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A Warped Sense Of Retail Ethics

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: HistoryGal47 | July 19, 2021

Back in the mid-1980s, I work at a chain record store that sells records, tapes, T-shirts, and other music-related items. One day, I am standing at the front register waiting for customers to check out, and in walks a very angry-looking man.

He tosses two 45 RPM records on the counter.

Customer: “I want to return these.”

I look down at the two 45s and notice that they are warped. And when I say, “warped,” I mean that they have more waves than Farrah Fawcett’s hair. These 45s put Shirley Temple to shame. It is summer, so it is pretty obvious that these records were left in the man’s car all day.

Me: “Sir, we can’t take these back; they’ve obviously been damaged by the sun.”

I kid you not, he looks me square in the eyes and says:

Customer: “I didn’t do a thing to them. They were this way when I bought them! Now I want a refund!”

Me: *Dumbfounded* “You actually bought them like that?”

He has the presence of mind to look embarrassed but recovers quickly and asks to speak to our manager. I call over to the assistant manager on duty and start to explain the issue. The customer interrupts.

Customer: “I want to return these, but your employee here won’t help me.”

The assistant manager is an imposing guy with a no-nonsense attitude. I fully expect him to kick this poor, delusional soul out of the store, but he surprises me.

Assistant Manager: “Okay.”

Honestly, to say I am surprised is an understatement; I am shocked! [Assistant Manager] comes around the counter to the register, processes the return, and throws the 45s in our return box.

Assistant Manager: “Will there be anything else, sir?”

Customer: *Smiling smugly* “I don’t know if I’ll be back here anymore if y’all hire people like her.”

Assistant Manager: “That will be fine, sir. We don’t want to deal with any more warped records, either.”

The man just huffs and walks out of the store.

Assistant Manager: *To me* “Better to return $2 worth of merchandise than to lose a good customer, but I think in this case we got the short end of the deal.”

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Gauging The Temperature Of This Return

, , , , | Right | July 16, 2021

I got automatically entered into a contest at work and ended up winning a fancy programmable thermostat that wouldn’t interface with my house’s older heating system, so I had no use for it. I tried asking around at work, but nobody wanted it.

I knew that the local home improvement store sold these exact systems, and the one I’d been given was still shrink-wrapped, exactly like they came on the shelves, so I decided to take a chance. I went into the store and told the employee at the customer service desk that I had received this as a gift with no receipt and I wasn’t sure where it had been purchased. I knew it was a long shot but was there anything they could do for me?

The employee checked a few things on her computer, consulted with her manager, and a few minutes later, I handed over the thermostat in exchange for a gift card loaded with its full retail price in store credit. 

Not sure if any policies were broken or bent, but apparently, being polite really will get you everywhere sometimes!

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Refunder Blunder, Part 55

, , , , , , | Right | July 16, 2021

I work in a small delicatessen that serves a variety of sandwiches, pasta, and salads, as well as a small selection of tea and coffee. We have a few regulars who will come in the morning to get coffee and something for lunch, who the long-term staff all recognize on sight.

One day, a woman came in who none of us had seen before, and she ordered a couple of sandwiches. There was nothing out of the ordinary. The only thing that stuck out about her was that she was wearing a riotously colored shirt with a fairly famous acronym on it. She paid, got the sandwiches bagged up, and left.

Six hours later, as I am finishing up my shift and preparing to leave, the same lady comes back in, holding her bag with a big muddy boot print on it. She drops it on the counter, splattering bits of mud everywhere.

Customer: “I don’t want this anymore. Refund me.”

Our cashier, who is only on her second week in the store, stares at the bag, wide-eyed, before shaking her head.

Cashier: “We don’t want it, either, lady.”

I had to turn away to hide my giggles, as the woman puffed up and started shouting at the top of her lungs about how she was “in here all the time” (a lie), “couldn’t believe the disrespect” (technically true), “would see her fired” (another lie), etc. Our manager basically sprinted out of the back to take over and try to calm down the woman, but when the lady ended up trying to push our manager aside so she could spit at the cashier, our manager told her to get out, which she eventually did.

As I said, all of us know our regulars, and she wasn’t one, and thank goodness for that. We didn’t see her again after that.

Refunder Blunder, Part 54
Refunder Blunder, Part 53
Refunder Blunder, Part 52
Refunder Blunder, Part 51
Refunder Blunder, Part 50

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Crime Doesn’t Pay (You Back)

, , , , | Right | July 12, 2021

I work for a concert venue. I spot a ticket holder trying to sneak his friend into the venue. I call security, who catch them kick them off the premises without a refund.

Later I get a call; it’s the kid.

Kid: “Can I get you to refund my half of the ticket? My buddy won’t pay me back…”

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