Instructions Aren’t So Clear

| Chattanooga, TN, USA | Working | December 16, 2014

(While we’re being checked out, an item buzzes. The register clearly displays the error, ‘BUFFER FULL – PRESS CLEAR.’)

Cashier: “Huh. This isn’t working.”

(She slowly reads the message, then ignores it and tries again without pressing clear. Same buzz, same error. So she tries again. And again. And again.)

Wife: “It’s saying, ‘Buffer full – press clear.'”

Cashier: “Yeah, that happens sometimes. Don’t worry, it’ll take.”

(She tries it again. And again. And again.)

Me: “You know, maybe just in case it helps, try pressing clear?”

(She does. The error message goes away. The item rings up just fine.)

Cashier: “Huh. He’s pretty bright, for a gentleman.”

Wife: *under her breath* “Yeah, he’s been reading for years now…”

Lack Of Appliance Compliance

| Round Rock, TX, USA | Right | December 16, 2014

(I work in the appliances department of a popular home improvement store. Occasionally, I go to the customer service desk to help out. On this particular evening, a customer is arguing with my older, Irish coworker. I walk over to help out.)

Me: “What’s the problem?”

Coworker: “Oh, she refused her appliances and wants a refund.”

Me: *to customer* “When were your appliances delivered?”

Customer: “At five-thirty.”

Me: “Today?”

Customer: “Yes.”

(I check the time and see it’s only six-forty pm. The delivery company office closes at five pm and so do our venders.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am. The delivery office is closed, and the notes indicating that you refused your appliances aren’t in the system yet. It won’t be until eight o’clock in the morning.”

Coworker: “Yeah, once the notes are in, there’s a 72-hour wait until we get the identification numbers for the appliances. Then, we can process your refund.”

Me: “We get the identification number from [appliance brand the customer bought from].”

Customer: “No, no, no. I buy from [Store], not [Appliance Brand].”

Coworker: “Yes, but we need those numbers in order to process the refund. The identification numbers let us know that the refused washer and dryer are back with [Appliance Brand]. Once the notes come in tomorrow morning, we’ll get the identification numbers and give you a call.”

Customer: “No. I buy from [Store]. I want my money now!”

Me: “Ma’am, this is our policy with [Appliance Brand]. There is nothing we can do until the notes show up in the system tomorrow morning and—“

(The customer grabs her paperwork and abruptly walks off to the appliance department. A short time later, another coworker calls me back to appliances because a customer wishes to return her appliances and get a refund. Low and behold, it’s the same customer.)

Customer: *freezes upon seeing me* “He call you?”

Me: “Yes, I’m the appliance specialist. What did you need?”

Customer: *points to a stacked washer and dryer* “I want those.”

Me: “Sure! I can set up an order for you.”

Customer: “But I want credit from this to use to that.” *waves her paperwork in front of me*

Me: “Ma’am, like I told you earlier, after the notes show up, it can take up to 72 hours for the identification numbers then—“

Customer: “I don’t understand why you can’t refund me. I want to buy these.”

Me: “And you can.”

Customer: “Then give me my money.”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t. Not until we get the identification numbers from [Appliance Brand].”

Customer: “No, I didn’t buy from [Appliance Brand]. I bought from [Store]. You need to give me my money.”

Me: “Ma’am, the store cannot process any refund until we get the identification numbers from [Appliance Brand]. Once we have those, you’ll get your money back. Without it, we cannot do anything, especially since there aren’t any notes in the system yet.”

Customer: “And what if [Appliance Brand] goes bankrupt?”

Me: “I…I’m sorry?”

Customer: “What if [Appliance Brand] goes bankrupt? What happens to my money then?”

Me: “Believe me, ma’am. [Appliance Brand] will not go bankrupt.”

(Note: this particular appliance brand also makes TVs, laptops, and cellphones. It is practically impossible for them to go bankrupt. Especially in three days.)

Customer: “I said ‘if’. If they go bankrupt. [Another unrelated company] went bankrupt and I lost my money. What do I do if [Appliance Brand] goes bankrupt?”

Me: “Ma’am, that’s not really an issue nor a concern. You’re more than welcome to buy a new washer and dryer set, but you’ll have to wait 72 hours for your refund. I can show you some features this washer has—“

Customer: “But I want my money. If you don’t give me my money, I’ll go broke. I spent $3,000! I’m broke because of you. I’ll complain to your boss!”

Me: “I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can do until tomorrow morning.”

(The customer throws her hands up and promptly leaves the store. I relayed the story to my manager and Irish coworker. My manager laughed.)

Coworker: “Serves her right! Coming in here like the f****** Queen of England. Bleh!”

Not Very Closed Minded, Part 5

| England, UK | Right | December 15, 2014

(I work on Sundays; in the UK, the law states our shop can only be open for six hours. We close at half past four, but the staff stay until 5 pm. It’s quarter to 5, and I notice a woman in our car park, looking at the items we have outside. She looks at the door, and I think she’s seen the sign that says our opening times, so don’t shoo her away until I notice her picking some items up, and moves towards the door, only to find it locked. She rattles the door.)

Me: “We’re closed, sorry!”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “We close at half past four!”

Customer: “What?”

Me & Manager: “We’re closed!”

Customer: *shouting to her little boy* “[Name]! Get here. They’re closed!”

(Thinking that’s the end of it, we go back to what we were doing. Suddenly she bangs on the door.)

Customer: “…does this mean I can’t buy anything?”

 

Being Mis-LED

| Indianapolis, IN, USA | Right | December 12, 2014

Customer: *to small child* “No, honey, get away from those. They have lead in them.”

Me: “Ma’am. They are Christmas lights. They are LED Christmas lights.”

Dozed And Disrobed

| NY, USA | Right | December 12, 2014

(I work at a popular women’s clothing and lingerie chain. It’s around five pm on Christmas Eve, shortly before we close. A middle aged man hurries in and has me direct him to our very diminished bathrobe section.)

Customer: “…you only have four bathrobes? I need a medium for my wife and these are all extra small!”

Me: *trying to joke a little* “Yeah, looks like the elves cleaned out all of the robes, I’m sorry about that. Do you think she would like pajamas instead? We have quite a few flannel sets left in medium—”

Customer: “No, she said she wanted a robe! Don’t you have any more in the back?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’ve checked the back a few times for other customers today, so I know for sure that these are the only few we have left in the store.”

Customer: *raising his voice and throwing his hands in the air now* “I don’t believe this! It’s f****** ridiculous that this is all you have!”

(He storms away from me and out of the store before I can reply. My manager, who had been behind the cash register during this, came over to me, shaking her head.)

Manager: “What’s even more ridiculous is that he waited until CHRISTMAS EVE to go shopping and expected to find the stuff he was looking for…”

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