Off Screen And Off Your Mind

, , , , | Right | November 11, 2019

(A customer comes in with her son asking for an anti-virus package. These days, we don’t sell disks anymore, only cards with a license key. You enter that key on the website of the anti-virus software, and you get a subscription for a year.)

Customer: “Hi. I would like to buy a virus software. But can you give the card to me first?”

Colleague: “Uh, sure. But what for, exactly?”

Customer: “I just want to make sure this is a key for 2018, and not the same one that I bought last year.”

Colleague: “Sorry, ma’am, but I can’t do that. I can assure you, however, that every key is unique. And year of production doesn’t matter, they are valid for multiple years.”

Customer: *slightly agitated* “But I want to make sure!”

Colleague: “I understand, but I simply can’t show you the card. That key is basically what you’re buying, but again, it’s unique. Promised.”

Customer: *reluctantly* “Fine, I’ll buy it.”

Colleague: “Excellent! Can I have your name?”

(We need a name to register every purchase.)

Customer: *gives name*

(We usually just enter the first few letters, as our system automatically searches for partial matches as well.)

Colleague: “Right, that was [Customer] on [Address], correct?”

Customer: “Yes, that… Who’s that?” *pointing to the screen*

Colleague: “Hmm? Oh, that’s someone else. I just looked up the first three letters of your name, letters that this person shares with you.”

(At this point, I have to move to the stock to grab a few things, so I miss the rest of the conversation. But I do hear that the customer seems angry. She leaves, and I think that is the end of it. I’m wrong. A coworker gives me the phone, saying it’s likely the customer from before.)

Me: “Hello, [My Name] from [Store]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “There was another name on my screen; I want it gone.”

Me: “Excuse me? What exactl—”

Customer: *agitated* “When I bought the virus from you—” *her exact words* “—there was another name on the screen!”

Me: “Oh, yeah, I remember you. Yeah, the person happened to share your first name, and the first three letters of your last name. What about it?”

Customer: “I want her address!”

Me: “Eh, sorry. I can’t give customer information to someone else.”

Customer: “I SAID I WANT HER ADDRESS!”

Me: *firmly, but slightly ticked off* “And I said I legally can’t give you any information. It’s just a random person that sha—”

Customer: “I DON’T WANT HER NAME ON MY SCREEN!”

(Funny, I thought the screens we have belonged to the store, not to the customers?)

Me: *snarky, because I am losing my patience* “Well, one of you two should change their name, then. There’s nothing I can do otherwise.”

Customer: “THEN DELETE HER!”

Me: “Same problem; can’t do that without permission.”

Customer: *now fully enraged* “I WILL CALL THE GDPR ON YOU! I WANT TO RETRACT MY CONSENT!”

Me: “All right, but you’ll have to contact my boss, I ca—”

Customer: “NOW, D*** IT!”

Me: “Okay, look. I’ve been patient with you, but that’s over with. Unless there is something I can help you with, I’m hanging up.”

Customer: “I WILL NEVER SHOP HERE AGAIN!”

Me: “Good.” *hangs up*

(For those unaware, GDPR is the name of the new privacy laws regarding customer information — General Data Protection Regulation — not the name of an organisation or anything. Good luck calling a law, crazy woman.)

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That Price Is Phone-y

, , , , | Working | November 11, 2019

(The smartphone brand I have has just released a new model. Usually when this happens, my cell phone carrier drops the price of all of the older models. The day before this story, my mom had just gotten one of the older models for herself. I had been interested in the same one she got, and she tells me it is only costing her $15 per month, so I decide I will go get one for myself. I go to the store that is closest to her house, which is, to my knowledge, the store she always goes to.)

Me: “Hi, I’m interested in getting a [phone model]. My phone number is [number].”

Salesperson #1: “Okay, let me pull up your account… Great! It looks like you are eligible for a new phone today. Can I ask you why you are interested in the [phone model] specifically?”

Me: “Honestly, the price is my biggest motivation, and I just found out that it is the same size as my current phone, so I don’t have to buy a new case.”

Salesperson #1: “That’s definitely a bonus; however, I don’t actually have any more [phone model] in stock. They have been on backorder for weeks. I could get you a [newer phone model] for only $5 more per month, though. It has a lot more features and will last you longer before losing software support.”

Me: “Hmm… I’m not really interested in that. Are you sure you don’t have any more? My mom was actually just in here yesterday and got one for herself.”

Salesperson #1: “Yeah, we’re definitely out. She must have gotten it at a different store, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re out now, too. They’re going fast.”

Me: *sigh* “Okay… So, the [newer phone model] is $20 per month?”

Salesperson #1: “No, it’s $25. $5 more than [phone model].”

Me: “What? That’s odd, because my mom said she is paying $15 for hers…”

Salesperson #1: “That’s not possible. The price has been the same for over six months. Unless there was some sort of store-specific promotion at the location she got it, I have no idea how she could have gotten one cheaper.”

Me: “As far as I know, she got it here. This is the closest store to her house and I’ve never heard that she has gone anywhere else.”

Salesperson #1: “It definitely wasn’t here. We have not changed our prices and there is no scheduled price drop coming up, either. What’s her phone number? Let me look up her account…”

(I give her the number)

Salesperson #1: “Oh… She is paying $15 for it. That is very strange and I have no idea how it happened. But I can see it definitely wasn’t here; I have no record for her at all at this location. I guess all I can tell you is to find out which store she went to and see if they still have that sale going on.”

(I leave the store and text my mom.)

Me: “Where did you get your phone?”

Mom: “[Store I am at]. It’s the only one I go to. Why?”

Me: “They told me they have no record of you ever being here and have no idea how you got your phone so cheap because they are supposed to be $20 per month.”

Mom: “What the f***?”

(The next day I call the next closest store I can find)

Me: “Hi. I was wondering if you have any [phone model] in stock.”

Salesperson #2: “Yes, we have quite a few! Which color were you looking for?”

Me: “Oh, that doesn’t really matter to me. But, before I go further, can I confirm with you the price for that one?”

Salesperson #2: “The [phone model] is currently $15 per month.”

Me: “Great! That’s what I thought, but…”

(I tell him about my interaction at the other store the day before)

Salesperson #2: “Well, she was right in saying that the price was that much for the past few months, but the [newest phone model] just came out, so of course, the price of all the older phones dropped! That is what always happens. I have no idea how she didn’t know that.”

(To her credit, the first salesperson didn’t feel overly pushy or like she was lying to me just to get me to buy a more expensive phone, but I didn’t think she was particularly new or inexperienced, either. The fact that she was so adamant about not only the wrong price, but also about my mom never having been in the store, is what baffles me! I am now enjoying my new phone just fine, and my mom has decided to start doing business with the store slightly further away.)

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Cash Back Attack, Part 9

, , , , , | Right | November 11, 2019

(On a lazy Saturday afternoon, I’m on register duty when a couple comes in. The woman makes a beeline for me with a very angry look on her face.)

Woman: “You! Where’s the nearest ATM? I’ve been through this whole plaza and not one of them has an ATM!”

(The plaza I work in has four different restaurants and about five different shops. The bank we used to have closed years ago and the ATM went with it.)

Me: “I’m sorry to hear your troubles, ma’am, but the closest ATM is going to be across the street at [Gas Station #1] or [Gas Station #2]. Personally, I prefer [Gas Station #2] as they don’t charge withdrawal fees.”

Woman: “I don’t want to go across the street! That’ll take too long!”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry again, ma’am, but those are the only options I can think of.”

(The woman glares at me a minute and wanders back to her compatriot. They discuss something for a minute and she walks back to me, now with a smug look on her face.)

Woman: “You guys do cashback here, right?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. The options for cashback are $10, $20, or $40.”

Woman: “Any minimum I gotta pay?”

Me: “No, ma’am.”

(She nods and wordlessly grabs a candy bar and slams it onto my table. I ring her up and she goes through the cashback steps, selecting $40. The transaction finishes, the drawer opens, and as I’m grabbing her money, she says the following:)

Woman: “Give me $200.”

(I’m stunned for a moment, but I get the $40, close my drawer, and hand the money to her.)

Me: “No, ma’am. I’m not giving any money out that isn’t counted for on my till. You told it $40; you get $40.”

Woman: “But it’s my money! Just fix it when you count it later!”

Me: “I don’t know how you think cashback works, but that is certainly not how it operates here. Like I said a minute ago, you can head to one of the ATMs across the street if you need more cash.”

Woman: “You’re really gonna make me do this, aren’t you?”

(Before I can ask what she means, she grabs another candy bar and again slams it on my table. I check her out again and again, she gets $40. She proceeded to do five total transactions, totaling about $10 for candy, to pull out $200.)

Woman:That ought to teach you a thing or two.” 

(She then flounced out the door with her companion and candy bars. I just stared after her in silent rage and confusion.)

Related:
Cash Back Attack, Part 8
Cash Back Attack, Part 7
Cash Back Attack, Part 6

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This Is An Ex-Lawn!

, , , | Right | November 11, 2019

(We sell a lot of gardening products, among a wide variety of other things. Europe is currently experiencing a record-breaking heatwave and drought. The heat is sweltering, it has not rained in two months, and the media is blanketing the population with fire hazard warnings. Around noon, the phone rings.)

Me: “How can I help you today?”

Caller: “Yeah, I was trying to get rid of the weeds in my lawn today. But when I used my weed burner…”

(Internally, I’m already cringing, because I know where this is going.)

Caller: “…my lawn caught fire for some reason.”

(Okay, so, I know this guy’s an utter idiot, but I can help him.)

Me: “That’s… too bad, sir, but no problem. We have plenty of supplies here to help you seed or plant a new lawn after the drought ends. I just need to know how big of an area you—”

Caller: *cutting me off impatiently* “No, no, I just want to buy something to make the grass green again. It’s become black, you see.”

Me: “Uhm, I don’t think that’s possible, sir. It won’t become green again; your lawn is dead.”

Caller: *confused* “What do you mean? Dead? It only burned for a little while. The fire department put it out, like, within fifteen minutes.”

(I’m literally rubbing my temples at this guy’s lack of intelligence by now.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but yes, I’m afraid that your grass is very dead. The only thing you can do at this point is either reseed or replant but, while I can sell you everything you need for that, I still recommend you wait until after the drought. Current water restrictions prohibit watering lawns at the moment. Without that, nothing will grow, anyway, and sod will just turn brown and die in days, anyway.”

(Silence.)

Caller: “Grass can die? I never heard of that. Is that why it caught fire so quickly? Are you sure you don’t have anything that’ll make it alive and green again?”

(Some people shouldn’t be allowed near open flames.)

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MURICA! Guns And Manly Men!

, , , , , | Right | November 10, 2019

(I’m straightening up some shelves near the front of the store during Christmastime when a guy comes in open-carrying a gun on his hip. I’m alarmed at the gun, but I remain professional.)

Customer: “Where are your dolls located?”

Me: “Oh, back of the store. Go down the middle there, turn right, and it’ll be a couple of aisles in.”

Customer: “Don’t worry; it’s not for me.”

(I wonder briefly if he is talking about the gun, and then I realize he is commenting about buying a doll. He starts to walk away.)

Me: “I wouldn’t judge even if it was for you.”

Customer: “You should!”

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