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The Couponator 29: A Cents-less Tragedy

, , , , , , | Working | August 13, 2021

I am a manager at a resale shop that is donation-focused for the items we sell. The shop has a rewards card; for every dollar you spend, you get a point. When you get 100 points, you get a virtual coupon that you can use for $5 off a future purchase. The coupon takes a certain amount off of each item to total up to $5.

We have a no returns or exchanges policy in effect. I can do returns, but only if the reason is the fault of the store. This story does not count as a fault of the store. We do have signs that say, “Items may have faults that are not apparent at time of purchase.”

I’m cashiering as there is a long line.

Customer: “I want to return this CD. The disc inside does not match the case.”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, but all sales are final. We do not do returns or exchanges anymore.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous. I do not want this. Give me my money back!”

Me: “Sir, again, I’m sorry, but that’s not possible. All sales are final. The only option for you if you do not want the CD anymore is to donate it. You can use that as a tax deduction.”

Customer: “No. I want my money back! I want the manager!”

Me: “I am the manager tonight.”

Customer: “Get your supervisor, now!”

I page for the production manager, who also happened to be the store manager, to call the wireless phone I have. Not even two minutes pass while we wait.

Customer: “What’s taking so long?!”

Me: “I’m sorry. He must be on a phone call or in a meeting.”

A minute later, the phone rings and I answer. It’s the production manager.

Production Manager: “What’s up?”

Me: “I have a customer who wants to return a CD because the disc doesn’t match the cover. I already explained about the policy that all sales are final. He does not accept that.”

Production Manager: “Okay, do a return, but only for store credit.”

Me: “Okay.” *To the customer* “I spoke with the other manager, and they approved a return, but only for store credit. Do you have your receipt?”

The customer thrusts the receipt at me.

I scan the receipt and go through the process of the return. Before I print the receipt, I always tell the customer the total.

Me: “Your total return will be sixty-five cents.”

Customer: “Why is it sixty-five cents?! It cost ninety-nine cents!”

Me: “On the purchase, you used your rewards coupon, which took $5 off your entire purchase. The way the system does that is it takes a certain percentage off of each item to add up to $5, so that is why your total is only sixty-five cents.”

Customer: “No. I paid ninety-nine cents for this, and I want my full amount back!”

Me: “Sir, there is no way for me to return this item for full value when you used the coupon.”

Customer: “Cancel this and get that supervisor up here!”

I cancel the return and page for the production manager to come to my register. We are waiting for maybe twenty seconds before this exchange.

Customer: “You know what?! Forget it! I’ll just keep it.”

I return his purchase receipt to him while we wait maybe another twenty seconds for the manager.

Customer: “Ugh! I don’t have time for this! Just give me the d*** store credit!”

Me: “Of course. May I see your receipt one more time?”

I process the return and hand him back all his receipts. He says he’s never going to come back and leaves. After he leaves, I head to the office to talk with the manager.

Production Manager: “Sorry I couldn’t come up. I was on a phone call. What was that all about?”

Me: “He was mad that he only got sixty-five cents back since he used a coupon, didn’t accept my explanation as to why, and then didn’t want to wait for you. Can I take a five-minute break?

Production Manager: “Sure. You deserve it after that guy. I can cover for you.”

Good thing that was near the end of my shift! I haven’t seen him since.

The Couponator 28: Panic Attack!
The Couponator 27: Red Friday
The Couponator 26: Father’s Day
The Couponator 25: The Cheese Explosion
The Couponator 24: My Funds, My Rules

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