Unfiltered Story #209650

, | Unfiltered | September 24, 2020

[In our store you have to pay for your rented movies when you return them. The price depends on how long you‘ve had the movie. We automatically send out reminder letters to all customers who have not returned their DVDs after 10 days, and we repeat the process in intervals of 7 days if the customers do not react, adding a fee for all letters after the first.]

An older man enters and hands me a DVD case.
I open it and find not only one, but two of our DVDs, both heavily scratched.

Me: „Uh, what happened to the case of the other DVD?“
Customer: „I got it like this.“

I know this cannot be true, as all of our DVDs have their own specific cases with a barcode glued on the inside, which corresponds to the number written on the DVD itself. We do not and cannot give out DVDs without their cases.
So I set aside the unpackaged DVD and return the regular one first. Usually I would have given the other one back to the customer, asking that he return it with the case. But I can see that he had already had the other one for 21 days, and I‘m glad that he brought them back at all, so I decide to process the return manually.

Me: „Okay, that‘s 44 Euros, please.“
Customer: „No.“ * pulls one of our reminder letters out of his pocket * „You sent me this, and it says only 32 €, I‘m not paying more.“
Me: * points at the date on the letter * „Sir, we sent you this letter on the 5th, and on that day that was the amount you were due. Today is the 11th, which is 6 days later, so you‘ll have to pay for 6 days more.“
Customer: „But I only got that letter yesterday. I didn‘t get it on the fifth!“
Me: „Well, I‘m sorry for that, but that‘s not our fault. You see, we did send it to you on the 5th…“
Customer: „And it also says „2nd reminder“. Where‘s the first? I didn‘t get a first one.“
Me: All I can tell you is that we did send you one automatically and the letter wasn‘t returned to us. So we have to assume that you got it.“
Customer: No I didn‘t. You can‘t charge me for this if you didn‘t send me a first reminder. You could at least have called me. You have my number.“
Me: „No, we don‘t. [Which is true. We don‘t have our customers‘ phone numbers in our files.] And we don‘t call people, we send out letters. Automatically. But that‘s not relevant anyway. You can see here that you rented these films on March 19th, so it‘s counting from that day on…“
Customer: „How much are these DVDs if you buy them?“
Me * slightly confused *: „If we buy them we also have to pay for the permission to rent them, and then they are at about 30 € each.“
Customer * aggressively *: „That‘s not true. You have all these over there for less than 10 €.“ *points to rack with DVDs for sale *
Me: „Sir, those are used DVDs. They have been rented several times already. Of course they are cheaper, but if we have to buy new ones…“
Customer: „You can‘t make me pay this much for these movies! That‘s not what they‘re worth!“

At this point a younger man appears next to the customer. From his looks and demeanor I assume that it‘s the customer‘s son. He silently slides a 50€-bill across the counter at me. The customer stops it.
Customer: „No, I want this sorted out. These DVDs are not worth this much. What if I lost them? What would I have to pay then?“
Me * trying very hard not to lose my patience *: „You would have to pay the rent up to this point plus the cost for buying new ones. Which would be an additional 30 € each.“
Customer: * scoffs *
Me: „As I already explained. You had these DVDs for 21 days. When you rented them you agreed to our terms, which say that you have to pay 1 € for each day you have them. It‘s not about the value of the items, it‘s a service you use and pay for.“

The younger man then takes the bill from the older man‘s hands and gives it to me directly. He still doesn‘t say a word and smiles apologetically.
I gladly finish the transaction, and he leads the older man away, who still grumbles „Service – hah! Rip-off, that‘s what it is.“

Before he‘s out of earshot, I say loudly: „You should be grateful that I didn‘t also charge you for the scratches on the DVDs and the case that you still owe us!“

The Kicker: When my blood pressure had finally normalised, I noticed that the DVDs had been rented under the younger man‘s name! The one who had paid the whole amount without a word.
I wish I knew what exactly the older guy caused this commotion for…

New Ice Cream Flavor: Half-Baked Shoplifting Attempt

, , , | Legal | September 21, 2020

It is 2005 and I am working at a video rental store – remember those? We also sell snacks, sweets and ice cream. All the food items are in view of the counter, and are the only items of value that aren’t stored behind the counter (all the DVD and video game boxes on the shelves are empty).

The location I work in is in a slightly seedy part of town, on a major road leading to the city center, and we are surrounded by a mix of cheap bed-and-breakfasts and bail hostels, so shoplifting is an issue for us. The ice-cream is often targeted since it is the most expensive single food item we sell; one-pint pots cost for about $5 each.

There are always at least two people on shift, and the cleverer shoplifters wait for us to both be busy before swiping the ice-cream, but this guy is far from smart…

While I am sorting a couple of things out behind the counter my colleague watches this guy walk up and get a tub of ice cream and walk out of sight between the aisles. He goes to leave the store a couple minutes later and my colleague pipes up:

Colleague: “Excuse me, sir, are you going to buy that ice cream?”

Shoplifter: “What ice cream?”

Colleague: “The tub of cookies and cream that you have in your carrier bag.”

There’s a pause and the shoplifter looks like a deer in headlights, then my colleague points at the bag, which is obviously bulging and semi-translucent, so you can clearly see the tub of ice-cream, which is how he can tell the flavour.

It was priceless watching him sheepishly put it back and slouching off like a scolded child.

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The Amazing World Of Gumball

, , , , , | Right | September 15, 2020

I’ve worked at a video store for years. Many people try to lie to try to get out of late fees, but this was a one-time incident.

We have a gumball machine in the store. Like in many convenience or video stores, a certain-colored gumball — in our case, white — yields something free: a movie rental, for our store.

A kid, about twelve, who I know has stolen games from us and therefore won’t be allowed to rent anyway, walks up to the gumball machine. After casting a furtive glance at me over his shoulder — I pretty much death-glare into his soul — he pretends, very blatantly, to put a quarter in the machine and turns the knob. He waits about two seconds before turning to me.

Customer: “Yes! I got a white gum! I’m gonna go pick out my movie, okay? Can you put the credit on my account?

Me: “That’s fine, but where’s the gumball? I just need to see it for a moment before you chew it.”

Customer: “I already ate it, see?”

He opens his mouth; he has a well-chewed and very small piece of gum in his mouth.

Me: “Yeah, I can say with some certainty that you already had that gum. Nice try, though.”

Customer: “What? I just put it in my mouth! This store is such a rip-off. You should take that sign down about winning a free rental since it’s a lie. I’m gonna get my mom to call and tell the boss about you!”

My patience has evaporated.

Me: “Your mom’s account is under [Customer]. You have two XBox 360 games rented a year ago that never came back. I have a really good memory, but even if I didn’t, it would show when you tried to rent, so I can’t rent to you anyway.”

Customer: “Oh, yeah, we took [Game #1] and [Game #2] from here. What if I bring them back? I live like two minutes away and they’re in my room.”

Me: “So, you’re admitting you still have the games, and apparently, you have willfully held onto them after dozens of phone calls about them being late. I’m fairly certain you should leave now.”

The customer took off running, full-speed. That was two years ago; he hasn’t shown his face since.

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Unfiltered Story #206178

, , | Unfiltered | August 24, 2020

This was a few years ago, and I was working at a video rental place. I’d worked there for about three years at this point and have had many interesting customer interactions. This was one of the best.

One day a Hispanic looking family walks into the video store. The family consists of a mother, father, teenage daughter, and a son that looks around 9 or 10 years old.

Me: Can I help you with anything today?

Young Boy: No it’s okay. We’re just looking.

His family (in Spanish) stared conversing with him, asking what I said before walking off to do their shopping. It was very clear at that point that the only person in the family that spoke English was the son.

I periodically checked with them a couple of times in the half hour they were there, but each time after a conversation in Spanish, the son said they were good.

After they make their purchases and I start ringing them up, the wife turns to the husband.

Wife: (In Spanish) Why doesn’t anyone around here speak Spanish?

Husband: (In Spanish) It’s because they’re stupid.

The whole family laughs like it’s the best joke they’ve ever heard.

Unbeknownst to them, the entire time they’ve been there I’ve understood everything they’ve said due to four years of high school Spanish, and the fact that my sister married a Costa Rican man who spoke mostly Spanish as well.

I ignore the slight and continue to ring them up. However, as they are leaving I turn to them and say in perfect Spanish…

Me: (In Spanish) Thank you! Have a wonderful day and enjoy your movies!

I’ve never seen anyone scoot out of the door so fast.

A Fine In Wolf’s Clothing

, , , , | Right | July 22, 2020

I am a clerk at a video rental store. One of my jobs is to follow up on late fees and charge them to the credit card on file. A known trouble-customer owes us over $200 and I finally get his card to charge. We also keep notes in the computer system for every customer. Sometimes we write funny observations about customers. This particular customer has “WOLF MAN” in his notes due to his copious amount of unkempt facial hair. He comes in to dispute the charge and is yelling at our manager.

Customer: “How the h*** do you even get $200 in late fees? It’s a ripoff!”

Manager: “Well, Mr. Wolfman, you didn’t even return three videos and—”

Customer: “THAT’S NOT EVEN MY NAME! You have the wrong account! I knew you stupid a**holes screwed up! Cancel the charge!”

The other clerks and I run to the back, about to lose it.

Manager: “Sorry, Mr. [Customer’s Real Name], my mistake. The charges are real. If you return the DVDs, we can waive the replacement fees, but you’ll still owe us $60 in late fees.”

Customer: “F****** scammers! I’m never f****** coming here again! F*** ALL OF YOU!”

He leaves the store.

Me: “Must be a full moon tonight!”

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