Unpaid And Unafraid

, , , | Right | June 27, 2018

(My friend and I are both female, and we work at a store that sells fruit arrangements with the popular option of adding chocolate-dipped fruits to the order. While most orders are called in days ahead of time, we do occasionally have orders from people who want to pick up or have their purchase delivered the very same day. On this day, a man calls in two hours before the closing time and asks for a pricier arrangement that is almost completely full of chocolate strawberries and wants to pick it up and pay for it at the store. My friend informs him of the store hours, and he agrees to pick it up an hour before closing. We build the arrangement and wait for the customer while cleaning up the kitchen area for the night. After thirty minutes past his pick-up time, my friend calls the customer but gets his voicemail, and she leaves him a message reminding him of his purchase and of the store hours. The time passes until it’s official closing time for the store, and the customer still has not arrived to pick up his order. Since it’s just the two of us left, we decide to keep the shop open for a bit longer in case he was held up by traffic or some sudden emergency. We wait for twenty minutes and decide to finally close up when the customer comes in.)

Customer: “I’m here for my [Arrangement]. It should be under [Customer].”

Me: *annoyed that he has kept us waiting past the store hours without an apology, but trying to remain professional* “Of course, yours is the only one left. Let me get that for you.”

(I leave my friend to ring him up as I go to the back to get his order. When I return a minute later, the customer seems to be aggravated.)

Me: “Here it is, sir, one [Arrangement]. If you have paid with my coworker here, I’ll just ask you to sign the receipt and we can all be on our way home!”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “This is bulls***! I already paid for this overpriced crap; you’re not getting more money out of me!”

Me: “Oh, I thought your order was listed as ‘Unpaid.'”

Customer: “That’s complete bulls***! I already paid for this!”

Me: “Sir, please lower your voice and refrain from swearing. Do you remember how you paid for your purchase? Did you call back after you ordered?”

Customer: “Of course not! I paid over the phone and gave some girl my card number when I made the order! If she’s saying I didn’t pay for this, then she screwed up and you’re trying to scam me out of more money!”

Me: *suspicious* “Just to be clear, sir, you’re saying that you gave the worker your card information in order to pay for your item, on the phone, when you first made your purchase that you agreed to pick up at six. You did not call our store back at any time between then and now?

Customer: “No, of course not! That b**** clearly can’t do her job properly.”

Friend: “Well, sir, I frankly have to disagree with you.”

Customer: *livid* “EXCUSE ME?!”

Friend: *smiles* “Perhaps you don’t recognize my voice, sir, but I am the one who took your order over the phone a few hours ago. I specifically recall you saying that you didn’t trust giving your information over the phone and wanted to know if you could pay for your item when you picked it up.”

Customer: *becoming red with fury* “How dare—”

Me: “Since you’ve confirmed that you never called back to make a payment or even contacted our store to inform us you would be arriving later than scheduled, there is no way that another of our coworkers could have botched your payment process. And even if she did, the payment wouldn’t have gone through, so your card wouldn’t have been charged and you would still have paid nothing for your order.”

Customer: *sputtering*

Friend: “In addition, sir, I informed you of our hours twice in that phone call and you chose to pick it up at six. I even confirmed with you that you would be able to pick it up at the designated time, and reminded you of our closing time, which you will notice is long past. We tried contacting you half an hour past the pick-up time and left a reminder when we could not reach you, and even generously stayed open long past the closing time.”

Me: “Sir, as explained, your order has been listed as unpaid because you specifically asked to pay for it when you were supposed to pick it up over two hours ago. Until you give us some form of payment, we can not allow you to walk out of this store with [Arrangement].”

Customer: *yelling* “You little s***s, I refuse to give you any more of my money! This is outrageous; you cannot talk to me this way! I am the customer! I am not giving you my card so you can rip me off!”

Friend: *calmly* “Very well, sir. Without payment, I will have to end the transaction. [My Name], can you put [Arrangement] in the back again?”

Customer: “You can’t do that! It’s mine!”

Me: “Well, sir, unless you pay for it, it is not actually your order, so the store is allowed to resell it to someone else willing to actually pay for it.”

Customer: *smacks the counter and leans over threateningly* “You stupid s***s don’t know who you’re messing with; I will have you both fired for this! You are going to give me my order and you have no right to stop me!”

Friend: *doesn’t back down from his obvious threats* “Unless you pay for it, sir, it’s no longer your purchase. Also, I should inform you that if you decide to take the arrangement by force without paying for it, we will be authorized to contact the police for theft. We have security cameras around the store recording this entire conversation.”

(The customer looks up and seems to realize the cameras for the first time. He grows pale quickly.)

Me: “I’m sure the police would be very interested in this conversation, in addition to throwing in a harassment charge.”

(He seems to realize his position and, still fuming, pulls out his wallet and pays for his item. The transaction goes through without a problem and he signs the receipt, cursing and mumbling under his breath the entire time. Finally, he roughly grabs his order and stalks off.)

Friend & Me: *as sweetly as possible* “Have a great night, sir!”

(He glared at us and cussed before heading out. A few weeks later, he attempted to harass another female employee at the store and managed to make his way without paying for his item. We contacted the police and, thanks to his last purchase, were able to give them his identification! They promptly arrested him and charged him for both occurrences!)

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