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It’s His Parenting That Really Stings

, , , , , | Right | May 4, 2022

I work as a supervisor for city beach parking lots. I am responsible for two lots about a half-hour away from the main resort area. They’re usually used by locals or people who want to hang out at the beach without the traffic and tourists. The downside is that there aren’t really any shops or anything to do besides the beach.

Management is VERY strict. The accounting is simple: the customer pays for parking, we give them a ticket and keep the stub, and at the end of the day, the total cash has to equal the value of the stubs. The only cause for a refund is if we have taken someone’s money but there are actually no spaces in the lot. The “no refunds” policy is printed on the back of every ticket. Sometimes we will cheat if the excuse is good enough and we think we can resell the ticket.

We are not associated with the lifeguards or any other city employee, so if the beach is red-flagged for some reason, we won’t know until we see the mass exodus of people. When that happens, I will ask someone leaving what happened and then tell my cashiers to warn people wanting to park while I find a lifeguard and verify that this was actually the case.

Today, departing beachgoers say that the water has been red-flagged due to jellyfish. I tell my cashiers, find a lifeguard who verifies that this is correct, and return to find a man with his young son arguing with the cashier.

Me: “What seems to be the problem?”

Driver: “Your cashier didn’t tell us the beach was red-flagged before we parked!”

Cashier: “I’m really sorry, but you parked right before we found out.”

Driver: “I want a refund!”

Me: “I do apologize, but I am not allowed to issue you a refund. We don’t sell beach access, only places to park, which you were able to do.”

It’s also about an hour before it’s time for us to leave, so there is no way we can resell the ticket.

Driver: “But the beach is red-flagged and my son is allergic to jellyfish!”

Me: “Again, I apologize, but my boss is very strict on refunds.”

Driver: “I demand to talk to your boss!”

I call my boss, who I know will not be happy to have to deal with this. I give him a brief explanation of the situation and then hand the phone to the customer.

Driver: “I demand a refund! The beach—”

My boss cuts him off and, I assume, gives him the “no refunds at any time” lecture. After a minute, the man hangs up the phone and hands it back to me.

Driver: “Well then, since we have to pay, we will go to the beach anyway! And when my son has to be taken away in an ambulance, know that it is all your fault!”

The man stormed away with the boy in tow, and I was just left in shock that a $5 parking ticket was worth more to the man than his son’s health. No ambulance had arrived by the time the cashiers and I left, though!

The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 23

, , , , , , | Right | April 29, 2022

At this point in Germany, only people who were vaccinated or had recently overcome an infection (and could prove it) were allowed to go shopping. Shops that primarily sold goods necessary for everyday life were exempt, like supermarkets or drugstores, but also bookshops. Now, people did not take it well, especially anti-vaxxers, and of course, retail employees were blamed.

I worked at a bookshop located in a small but popular shopping center at the time, and Christmas shopping was in full swing. Early one Saturday afternoon (the new regulation taking effect the following Monday), during a rare quiet moment, a man walked in, headed straight for the cash register, and slammed down a receipt.

Man: “I was here earlier today and bought this gift card for 10€, but my wife does not support the new rules and will not submit to the tyranny against the unvaccinated. She is subsequently boycotting retail and does not want to gift the card. I’ve already destroyed the gift card, and I want a refund. Now.”

My coworker and I calmly tried to explain that we could not give him a refund since he did not bring the gift card and could be trying to scam us (without actually accusing him of scamming, because of customer service and such) and gift cards are non-refundable either way (general practice everywhere — it states it on the gift card just in case, as well). Furthermore, we were exempt from the new rule and would “love” to welcome his wife in the shop.

He grew more and more agitated.

Man: “But I brought the receipt! The gift card is already in the trash. And I always shop here!”

After a few minutes of back and forth, my manager came over to see what the commotion was.

She finally shut him up, explaining how he would not be able to return a book without actually bringing it, either. If he’d brought the torn-up gift card, we’d gladly issue him a new one. She reminded him of the exemption of bookshops, as well, and how boycotting a place where you’re not welcome in the first place is not very effective. He visibly shrunk and admitted defeat.

Man: “I’ll go home and look for the scraps… and have it out with my wife.”

I don’t think we saw him again. He seemed to have enough of his wife’s drama, though.

The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 22
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 21
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 20
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 19
The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving, Part 18

Swimming In Audacity

, , , | Right | CREDIT: smallof2pieces | April 24, 2022

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was the assistant to the retail manager of a swimming pool store. We sold, as you might guess, swimming pools and swimming pool supplies. Anyone that has the misfortune of owning a pool or working in the industry knows that pool chemicals are a big part of pool maintenance and sales, and every shop has its own line of products and they are always better than every other shop’s line of products, despite it really all being the same stuff.

One day, I was manning the store on the closing shift. It was toward the end of the season and things had slowed down that evening. A few minutes before closing time, I get a customer.

Customer: “Oh, good! You’re still open!”

I internally roll my eyes. We all know that line. It’s five minutes before quitting time, but I put on my best customer service smile.

Me: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “I’d like to return these chemicals.”

Me: “Hmm, okay. It’s actually store policy that we cannot accept returns on chemicals.”

This was true; there were signs up everywhere and it was written on receipts, as well. Customers in the past would purchase chemicals, use them, and then return them after filling them with water or other substitute materials. We had stopped accepting returns years and years ago.

Customer: “Oh… Well, can you make an exception? My pool just fell down and I don’t have any use for them now. I’m just trying to recoup my losses.”

I was feeling sorry for her like the sucker I was.

Me: “Okay… Do you have your receipt?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Well, let me see what you have.”

She plops several canisters of various pool chemicals on the table

Me: “These… are all open. And half-used. And they aren’t my brand of chemicals. You didn’t even buy them from me!”

Customer: “Can you give me anything for them?”

I fought the urge to get rude.

Me: “Sorry, can’t help you.”

This must have been ten years ago. I’ve moved on to a different industry and thankfully blocked out many of the painful memories of that awful job, but I’ll never forget the audacity of that customer, trying to return half-used chemicals that she didn’t even buy from me!

This Refund Isn’t Ripe For The Taking

, , | Right | April 24, 2022

I’m working at customer service and a lady comes to the desk with a fruit tray. At least half of the fruit has been eaten.

Customer: “Do you have new people back there? This fruit isn’t ripe enough. Can I get my money back?”

Me: “Ma’am, the people in the back have zero control over the ripeness of the fruit. Either we cut what we’re sent, or we don’t have anything on the shelf… and corporate would rather us cut what we have.”

Our policy didn’t allow us to give her a refund. And frankly, if the fruit wasn’t “ripe enough,” why did she eat nearly all of it?

Returns Making You Sweat

, , | Right | CREDIT: Tailsfangirl1 | April 22, 2022

I am working returns for a large US retail chain when this older customer comes up to my register. I go through all the formalities and greetings — all the stuff you have to say to the customer even though all you want to do is process their return as fast as possible with as little talking as possible. The customer wants to return a light green sweater from one of the more pricey brands we have in the store.

I scan the receipt and scan the tag on the item. One of the things the system requires us to ask is if anything is wrong with the item or not. If we hit no, it goes through; if we hit yes, we have to figure out if we can put it in salvage or if we have to defect it.

Me: “Is there anything wrong with this item?”

Customer: “Yes, it’s very cold.”

Me: *Pauses* “Excuse me?”

Customer: “The fabric is very cold, feel it? I got it because I wanted it to keep me warm, but it just made me cold, instead!”

I’m currently holding the slowly warming sweater in my hands.

Me: “Yes, I feel it, but ma’am, it’s a sweater that you’ve only tried once. Of course, the fabric is going to be cool until you wear it long enough.”

Customer: “But it’s still cold. It didn’t keep me warm when I went outside.”

I’m currently regretting all of my life choices.

Me: “Well, ma’am, unfortunately, sweaters don’t keep you as warm as jackets do, but I will be happy to return this for you.”

Store policy is that customers can return items for any reason as long as they have proof of purchase and the items are still in good condition or were broken within the thirty-day return period. I go through the rest of the transaction and hand her the receipt confirming the return was successful.

Customer: “Oh, thank you so much! Maybe I’ll go see if I can find another sweater here that will actually keep me warm.”