What We’re Going To Do Is Not What You Were Expecting

| Right | December 28, 2016

(We’ve been having issues with a customer who has been bringing in gift-cards for small amounts of money — usually $5-$10 — and claiming that they were supposed to have higher amounts. We let it slide the first time since sometimes mistakes do happen. But it’s become a trend with him and we’re starting to suspect he’s been scamming us. Today is the day after Christmas and it’s the third time he’s coming in claiming that his gift-cards are missing money. He’s just ordered popcorn and drinks for himself and his young daughter.)

Me: “All right, your total is $20.”

(He hands me a gift-card. I scan it and it takes $5 off his orders.)

Me: “So, after that you’ll owe $15.”

Customer: “Then we’re going to have a problem…”

Me: “I’m sorry, why?”

Customer: “That’s a $25 gift-card. See?”

(He presents me what appears to be a printed-out piece of paper with our theater’s name and “$25 Gift Card” printed on it. The sort that come with online-ordered gift-cards.)

Me: “Hmm, let me try it again.”

(I try it twice more. Same result.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. The computer says there’s exactly $5 on this card.”

Customer: “Come on! You’re supposed to make the customer happy, right? Make me a happy customer! It’s only $15! And this was a Christmas gift for $25! Just give me my order for free and we’ll call it square… sound good? $15 isn’t a huge loss with the crowds you’re bringing in.”

Me: “Unfortunately sir, I cannot just give you free items. $15 may not be much, but I cannot just give out free items without authorization and have my register short by $15. Do you have any way of verifying how much was on the card? Like a receipt?”

Customer: “Nope. This is a problem, then. And how are we going to resolve it?”

(I flag down a manager who checks the card on another register. Sure enough, EXACTLY $5.)

Manager: *blunt* “There’s $5 on this card. That’s all we can give you towards your order unless you can give us some way to verify that there was supposed to be more on it.”

Customer: “My uncle gave me this gift-card for Christmas. He didn’t give me the receipt. Come on! We don’t hang onto receipts.”

Manager: “Then there’s nothing else we can do. If you can bring in proof to verify your claims, we can give you a refund in the future.”

Customer: “But there’s supposed to be $25 on it! I have a print-out!”

(I’m now 100% sure he’s trying to scam us. I’ve just noticed it was an in-store purchased gift-card. Those don’t come with print-outs like the one he’s presenting, meaning that either he or his “uncle” printed it out themselves.)

Manager: *stern* “There’s nothing more we can do. We can honor the $5 on the card at this time, but that’s it.”

Customer: *very smarmy* “You’re supposed to make the customer happy! Make me a happy customer! What can we do?”

Manager: *VERY stern* “I. Just. Told. You. What. We. Can. Do.”

Customer: “But it’s only $5 off! You don’t even offer gift cards for $5! Who buys a $5 gift-card! So you KNOW that I’m telling the truth.”

Manager: “We do indeed offer $5 gift-cards. So that tells me nothing.”

Customer: “So you’re not going to give me my $25 that I got as a Christmas present?”

Manager: “No!”

(The customer SLAMS his wallet onto the counter and thus thrusts his fist forward about six inches from my manager’s face, flipping him off. I cringe, trying to contain myself from both laughing and from telling him off.)

Manager: *shocked, but still very stern* “Sir, do NOT do that. There are FAMILIES here.”

(The customer mutters a weak apology, pays, and doesn’t say one word. In a last ditch attempt to calm him down, I humor him.)

Me: *handing him his now-empty gift-card* “If you can find a receipt, bring it in.”

Customer: *snatching it from my hand; to his daughter:* “And that’s what you call a lesson in highway-robbery! Let’s get out of here.”

(He wanders away whining and complaining.)

Me: *to a coworker who witnessed the whole thing* “Yeah, says the guy who just tried to scam me and get away with $15 in free merchandise…”

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