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9 TIMES THE CUSTOMER WAS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT

1


You don’t have to have worked in the service industry to know that customers can be real shit bags at times. Yeah, I’ve heard that whole, “the customer is always right” thing too. After working at Drug Emporium as a 16-year-old, however, I can tell you that is 100% Grade-A certified bullshit. Don’t even get me started on the entitled shmucks I served as a bartender. Anyway, enough of my bullshit. Here are some stories from other people who, unlike my timid ass, told customers how they really felt.

2


“A customer wanted to return a computer that was about a year old when I worked in retail. I asked him what was wrong.

‘It just don’t work.’
I powered it on, gets into the computer, connects to the wireless network, goes online. I open an application, everything seems to be working properly. I show it to him, ask him what’s wrong.

‘It just don’t work.’
I asked him what was actually wrong with the machine.

‘It just don’t work. Are you saying if a car don’t start, it works fine?’

At this point I had enough of the guy:

‘No sir, I’m saying if there was a car and everyone could start it except one person, I wouldn’t blame the car.”

3


“I used to be a low level manager in a call center, it paid the bills. Anyway, a customer had called us and been perfectly pleasant, giving us his account details, and business got underway. At the end of the call, he asked for one more thing that we couldn’t have done, and was informed of this. He immediately got extremely aggressive with my member of staff.

At this point her hand shot up in the air (cue me) and she handed over the headset and chair so I could view the details. I was called various other names and then we got down to the grand finale: the threat. I’m paraphrasing but here’s how it went:

Him ‘Listen, I can see your company’s address on your website, I’m going to come down there and mess you up.’

Me: ‘Good you gave my colleague your name and address details first then, I’ll make sure to hand them over to the police somewhere in the few hours it’s going to take you to drive down here. We’ll be waiting.’ “

4


“I used to work at a place, in England, as a team leader. Basically doing a manager’s job, on a bit more than checkout operators wage. Anyway, at Christmas time, for some reason, we were quite busy. We had a good 35 checkouts in the store, and 35 of those 35 checkouts were open. Yet they were still queues. Ultimately, if thousands of people decide to do their Christmas shopping terribly late, and you have every single till open, what can you do?

Anyway, this woman comes over to complain that she had to wait. I explained that the checkouts were all in use, and we could do nothing. She asked why I wasn’t on a checkout (something often asked – simple answer being that if I’m the one who has to sort out any problem in case any of the 35 checkouts break, or needs something, or a customer can’t walk the five paces to change their broken packet of biscuits – and I’m on a checkout – nothing would be done), and demanded that everyone should be on the checkouts. Which they were.

‘I want to see the store manager!’ she demanded, ‘You need to have more people working on the checkouts. Where can I see the store manager?’

‘Well,’ I replied, ‘He’s currently sat on that checkout there, because we are so busy.’

She shut up- I really don’t know what she wanted us to do.”

5


“I used to work for a grocery store in high school as a cashier. One busy Saturday, an older lady came through my long line with about $150 worth of groceries. Among her items was a prepackaged piece of meat from our deli department that is normally priced by weight. Her meat did not have a printed sticker on the package and I would’ve needed to find a bag boy or manager to run to the deli to get it priced. Because we were super busy, I decided to wing it, and set it on my scale.

‘It looks like it’s almost a pound, so…let’s say…$2.77? Does that sound fair?’ I began to ring it as a miscellaneous item.

‘No! it does NOT sound fair!’ she yelled. ‘You need to get that priced!’
Groans from the line began behind her, as I found a bag boy to run to get the price sticker. A manager came by to see what the commotion was about and the lady explained the situation. I explained why I had made the decision I made. The manager of course stuck up for the lady (which we laughed about later) and she accepted the apology. We then waited for what seemed like an eternity of eye-contact avoidance and thumb twiddling.

The bag boy came back and handed me the pork. I smirked and showed her the price.

‘$2.78. Huh, I would’ve saved you a penny!’ The man behind her chortled- Never saw her again.”

6


“I work at a furniture store in Customer Service. On a daily basis we have customers come in with items that have been used, broken, old, without their receipt, some even not Ikea products and they are DEMANDING a refund. But the couple that really takes the cake tried to return to me a broken and rusty ironing board. It was obviously used and without a receipt I’m limited with my options.

We can only offer store credit if the item can be returned to stock in original packaging. Obviously, it wasn’t. With a receipt you have 90 days to return your item in any condition. After I refused the return they asked for my manager. My manager offered to look up their receipt, couldn’t find it so we couldn’t take it back. They then asked for her manager. Every time they got a ‘no’ they asked for the manager above. Eventually it got to our store manager. He came on down to the belligerent couple who were causing a scene because our customer service was apparently SO poor.

After inspecting the item and removing their iron cover (which none of us did before, the item was that appalling we really didn’t want to touch it) he finds the date stamp. It was from 2002. The couple got real silent because the entire time they said they’ve had it for less than 3 months. Our store manager said in the calmest voice I have ever heard in my life, ‘I think it’s about time you leave my store’.”

7


“I work in a shoe shop. One of the services we supply is to check how well school shoes fit on our younger customers. Once a staff member has signed to say they are a good fit, the customer is able to bring them back if there are any problems.

This one time, a mother came back in with her son a week after being fitted with a pair loudly mouthing off that the shoes were too tight and causing blisters, so we offered to get her a new pair.

Once back in the kids department she spotted the girl who fitted the original shoes and went completely crazy at her, demanding that the girl should be there whilst a better pair was fitted so she wouldn’t make the same mistake again.

Despite the mum saying some pretty degrading stuff about the her, the girl agreed to sit in on the re-fit in an attempt to help out.
She remembered the customer, even to the point of remembering the child’s name, and was visibly upset about doing a bad job. Returning to the till, the fitter offered to put the exchange through as a final gesture of goodwill, and then froze, with an evil grin on her face.

‘These aren’t your sons shoes; she said to the customer. They have a name tag inside saying Tommy, and your son’s name is Billy.”

Turns out kid had swapped his shoes with another boy in his class. Laughed her out of the shop.”

8


“I worked at a photo printing lab, and we got people in all the time who claimed we were stupid and had messed up their pictures.

One woman had us print 800 vacation pictures. They were bad quality, dark, and out of focus. When she came to pick them up, she insisted that we had ruined them, that they were perfect in her camera, and that she had a very expensive camera and so there was no way the pictures could be dark or out of focus. We finally gave her her money back, even though we had done nothing wrong and were out a lot of time and paper.

She called us 30 minutes later and told us she was at a store across town, and they had reprinted all of her pictures and they were beautiful, in focus, and nice and bright. I had to tell her that the same person who owned our store also owned the store across town, and that not only would it have taken that store several hours to reprint 800 pictures, but their printer was down that day, so they couldn’t have printed anything. She hung up on me.”

9


“One of my favorite stories from my brief time in customer service was when a man who called up the night after a minor hurricane screaming that his service didn’t work, that he had complained multiple times and this was the last straw. Clearly our service sucked, and it was our fault his cable was out.

He kept cutting me off, and calling me rude names when finally I just interjected:

“Sir, your cable isn’t out because of an issue with our service, your cable is out because a tree branch fell across the cable line. What’s that? How do I know? Because you live at 78 Fakename road and I live at 75 Fakename road. I saw the branch fall. I’m the one who went out in the rain last night to get the branch out of the street. In fact, I know you know it’s a branch, because I could see you looking out your window at me moving the branch that fell on your property. Not only that, but when I was done I went inside and called into work on my day off to arrange a bucket truck to come out and rerun the cable so you could beat the rush of calls that came in all across the island due to the storm. You didn’t even have to call. A truck is already on route.” Well, that shut him up.”

10


“While visiting my family in Germany with my brother who did not grow up there and therefore did not know German. We went to a fast food place to order food during one of the days, as we get up I ordered in English since my brother would get jealous when I spoke German. Anyways, the cashier takes the order, as most Germans know basic English but when my brother tries to order it gets really complicated because of misunderstandings.

The teenage cashier becomes enraged the likes of which the world has never seen from a German [Editors note: Really?!] and stars snarling off remarks in German on how ‘Americans are lazy jerks who couldn’t possible learn a second language if even needed’. Everyone is looking at this kid, all understanding them, but don’t say anything.

As the kid finished, I calmly look at him and ask to speak with his manager in German. If you guys have ever seen Casper the friendly ghost, you’ve seen this kid. The kid is white as snow and turns around to get his manager. The kid, my brother and I all walked out around the same time, all three of us without a job at the place.”

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