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The Only Thing Smelling Funny Is This Scam

, , , | Right | June 9, 2020

I work for a pet food manufacturer as a customer care agent. Basically, if anyone has a problem with a product, I can replace it. Sometimes, though, people try to scam the system to get free product, so I am usually very wary.

Me: “[My Name] speaking, how can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I bought your three-kg [Brand] cat food, but it smells different to me. I want it replaced.”

Smell complaints are usually a red flag for me, as it’s not something I can confirm by images or that I can get proof of. Collecting it to get proof also costs more than it does to just replace it. It’s the easiest way to get free food.

Me: “All right, no problem. I will just need the batch details and manufacturing date, and then I can replace that bag for you.”

Customer: “Great! I actually bought thirty bags, though, so I’ll need them all replaced.”

Second red flag: I don’t know about everyone else, but a single bag of cat food lasts me almost a month. This is basically two years’ worth of food that will expire before she manages to use it all. She hasn’t mentioned that she is from an Animal Charity, which would maybe explain the quantity. Perhaps she has ten cats? In any case, it’s a very high volume for us to replace.

Me: “Ah, that’s quite a lot of product that you have there. Unfortunately, due to the volume of product you have mentioned, I would recommend having the remaining product returned to the store instead for a monetary refund, and I can replace your opened bag. You cannot be certain that the other bags have a strange smell, so this option may work best.”

Customer: “No, I know they have a strange smell! I, uh… I opened all of them, so I could smell all of them, and they all smell!”

Me: “You opened all of them? All 100 kg of food — you opened all of it?”

Customer: “Yes! I had to check, so now they are all opened and I can’t return them, so you have to replace them now.”

Me: *Pause* “All right. Well, due to the volume of product, I am going to need to email you to request the batch details of every bag, as well as your till slip, to confirm you have purchased that quantity.”

Customer: “Oh… all right.”

She never replied.

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