The Customer is Not Always Right

I’ve begun to have an obsession with watching Youtube videos about people telling their customer service “horror” stories. As someone who’s worked in the retail industry since I was 16, I had many hashtag-relatable moments when watching these videos. I currently work at a store that is notorious for providing service to the wacky and rude; there is even a website that is dedicated to documenting these one-of-a-kind people: http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/ .

 

Now, I like my jobI love the people I work with, the time goes by quickly, and most of the customers are nicebut there are a handful each day that really test my patience. During my orientation, the store manager made sure to let the our 11-person group that the customer is not always right, that we must do everything in our power to help them out, but, again, they are not always right.

 

I’ve had many conversations with my friends where we exchanged numerous customer service stories, and it got me thinking about how I wanted to know all of your stories as well! I created a survey and posted it on my Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, in the hopes that I would get a plethora of responses. Of my almost 850 combined friends and followers, I only got 16 responses, which makes me a lil salty because, obviously, no one looks at my profile (but that’s besides the point). Luckily, I have enough stories to make up for that. Story Time is my all time favorite, so let’s jump in!

 

Please Note: The following is taken directly from the survey I sent out on social media. Content is edited for clarity and censorship.

 

1. I need to change my job.

“A guy paid for his $32.75 worth of groceries with quarters in the middle of a rush and then yelled at me because he didn't have enough.”

-Kira N.       

2. You need to calm down.

“One time a customer yelled at me because I charged her for a tomato instead of an onion. Keep in mind this was my first day of work, and I had no idea what I was doing. Anyway, that’s honestly probably my worst customer service experience because I learned my sh*t, and I’m a sweetheart so nobody else ever get mad at me again.

-Kimmy C.    

3.  “If you don’t want to see it, don’t look.” Yeah, okay.

“I used to work at rue21 (see header picture) and all of the employees had keys to the dressing rooms. Our job was to unlock the door for customers, set items aside that were over the limit (which was 6 clothing items at a time), and check up on customers to see if they were doing okay. One day, I unlocked a room for a woman and she asked me if I could get her a specific shirt in the next size up, so I ran and got it super quick. When I get back, not even two minutes later, the woman walks out of her dressing room, IN JUST A BRA AND PANTIES, and asks me if I like the bra because she think she will purchase it. This woman was older than my mom, and the bra was too small. Minimum wage was not enough at that point.”

-Allie W.    

4. The shovel was a groundbreaking invention.

“Some guy was complaining about a shovel he broke a year ago. He wanted it replaced. I told him I couldn’t replace it because there was no receipt, therefore there was no record of it being purchased. He kept getting angrier and more and more persistent. He then started to go on a tangent about his wife and tires at Sam’s Club. He was comparing it to his situation, and trying to convey that the customer is always right. His wife apparently worked at Sam’s Club in the tire section, and he somehow thought it was relevant. I had enough of the guy and his crap, so I called my manager. She talked to this guy for 2 hours over a shovel being replaced. It wasn’t the company’s brand, so it didn’t have a lifetime warranty that Menards could handle without a receipt. The guy also started to complain about his health problems and how he couldn’t return the shovel in time. Somehow he, or someone else in his family, couldn’t replace a shovel. So he wasted time arguing that the shovel need to be replaced.”

-Big Mike   

5. Well, I’ll be hammed!

“I got screamed at for not having bruschetta and not having ham salad spread by an older man, who then screamed at me for not getting my manager... he didn't even give me a chance to talk and walked away.”

-Skylar Y.    

6. IDGAF if I waited too long to use it… Your fault!

“I was helping a customer and I couldn’t scan an expired coupon because the machine wouldn’t accept it which made them antsy. They got mad at the scale because it wasn’t scanning right and got all verbal with me because it rang up incorrectly. They told me to change the price and then got mad because I had to have a price check for them since I didn’t know the real price. This customer wasn’t exactly the best but I’ve had worse…”

-Anonymous   

7. Aunt Flo? Hell No.

“At the salon I worked at, a woman brought her dog. We technically have a “no pets allowed unless it’s a service dog” policy but everyone that worked there loved dogs, so they let it slide. After the woman’s haircut, she always needs to go to the bathroom and she leaves her dog in the lobby. He literally just sits there, looking cute and waiting for his human to come out and get him. She gets done in the bathroom and pays and leaves. I, coincidentally, am the next to use the bathroom, and when I open the door, I could not believe it. There was blood EVERYWHERE. On the toilet, in the toilet, on the toilet handle, on the toilet paper, on the wall, the sink, and the door. This woman was super old, so I really don’t think it was period blood. I was the one who had to clean it up, and there wasn’t enough gloves nor soap in the world to make me feel clean.”

-Anonymous   

8. Only in Mini-soda (Minnesota)

“I was a cashier at Target, and they very frequently have sales on 12-packs and 2 liters of soda. This middle-aged couple came through my lane with a cart filled to the brim with 2 liters and four 12-packs. They requested that the 2 liters be rung up separately so they could use a different card. They were on sale as 2 for $7, and they all came up fine. Then, we rang up the 12-packs which were on sale as 4 for $12, however the 12-packs were a different soda company than the 2 liters, so they were taxed and rang up as $12.42. After this couple had just spent over $100 on 2 liters, they got so upset that the 12-packs didn't ring up as $12 even. They started yelling at me, insisting that Target was lying to their guests about sales prices, and that I personally needed to go around the store and change the sale signs to say $12.42.”

-Heather D.   

9. Calling for a Call Girl

“I work at Walmart as a cashier and had one man go through my line. I’m sure he didn’t intend for what he said to me to come out weird, but it sure did when he told me what he used to call girls. He looked all 6 feet, 1 inch of me up and down and said, “Do you ou know what we used to say about tall girls back in the day when short skirts first came out?” And of course my initial reaction was like, “What in the Hell is he gonna say? Is it gonna be mean or sexual?” I had had enough experiences with sexual comments during my time working as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), so I would have handled it fine. But instead I said, “What is that, sir?”, and he continued to say that they said tall girls with short skirts were sent from Heaven and that’s the reason he took only tall girls to a dance with him: because he had the hopes these tall girls would wear something short, so he could stare at their legs. My initial reaction was, “Thank God I’m required to wear jeans so my legs were covered, but that’s not all. He continued to add that he loved it even more when they also wore high heels; he then continued to tell me not to be afraid to wear heels, nice dresses, or skirts because doing so would make it easy to find a man. I told him that I had a boyfriend, so I didn’t have to find one and he said, ‘That’s not what I mean, I mean a husband. Don’t worry, you have plenty of time to find one. My daughter didn’t get a husband until she was 46’. He smiled and walked away.”

-Stacy A.    

10. Too big for your britches

“Two girls came into the store with a pair of pants they had gotten from a different company in a different town; they still had the security tag on it, and they asked if we could take it off for them. The tag was the different than the ones we had in our store, so although we tried to take it off for them, we were just unable to do so. My manager recommended that they bring the pants back to the store they got them from but to bring the receipt so the employees wouldn't think they had stolen them (because... um... if you were working in a clothing store and someone came up to you and asked you to take off a security tag off a pair of brand new jeans, you might be a little suspicious). One of these woman lost her cool and told us that we were racist for thinking that they stole. She went on and on and on while her friend looked super embarrassed about it. The first woman stormed out of the store while the second one apologized before leaving too.”

 

-Anonymous    

11. Egg-celent customer service

“The other day, I had a woman come to my lane with a few groceries. She interrupted my cheery “Hello!” and told me that, first off, I need to check the price of the carton of 12 eggs because it had two prices again. So I do a price inquiry of them and they’re $0.98. When I tell her this, she says that I personally need to go take the other price tag that says $1.96 down because it could confuse people.

“That’s the price of a 24 carton of eggs,” I tell her. “It said ‘jumbo eggs’.” “Yes, that’s the price for 24 count jumbo eggs.”

She points to the eggs that I had just scanned and told me that the price tag for that specific carton also said ‘jumbo eggs’, so I told her that we have a jumbo egg 12-count carton and a jumbo egg 24-count, which is double the price of the 12.

“Well, there weren’t any 24-count right there. It was just the 12.” It took everything in my power not to roll my eyes.

“That’s because we’re sold out of the Jumbo 24 count. There are two separate prices for two separate items.”

Sometimes it amazes me how stupid people can be.

-Krista G   

12. These pun-inis are getting hard to think of

“I had a man order his food with a side salad. I explained to him that we don’t upgrade to side salads, and that we can only do carrots on the side. He laughed in my faceI was training the girl ringing in his orderand said, “I literally couldn’t care less about what you’re saying. Just make it happen”

Then another girl walked up to the register because there was 20 people standing there, and he said to her, “We’re all paying together, so make yourself useful and do something”. He then proceeded to get angry when all the food came out before his because his gluten-free panini was going to take an extra minute and told us how ridiculous it is that we couldn’t have more prompt service. As if we can put the gluten free panini on the same grill as all the other 20 paninis without heavy cleaning of it (LMFAO). They also didn’t bring their food to the bus tubs and instead left it on the table, so that was lovely to clean.”

-Anonymous   

13. Fire Me, I dare you.

“I was working as a barista at Caribou Coffee and a woman walked in. She immediately came to the front and asked to speak to a manager saying that Caribou stole all her recipes and that she "invented coffee." She wanted to sue Caribou and demanded we "give all her coffee back." The manager was not in at the time, so I calmly told her to contact HR if she had an issue and that I couldn't do anything else to help her. She just kept yelling that she invented coffee and how Caribou Coffee was lying to us all. I finally told her she needed to leave because she was disturbing the stores customers, and she told me I would be fired and stormed off. I was never fired and I have not seen her again to this day. I've been at Caribou going on 3 years now.”

-Ava F.

14. At first if you don’t succeed, chai chai again

“So, I'm a barista at Caribou and a middle-aged lady came through the drive through and ordered a hot chai latte. I had only been working there for about two weeks, but I was familiar enough with the drinks to be able to make them without the cheat sheets. So I made the drink like a good drink-slave and handed it out to the lady. A good 7 minutes pass and I see the same lady out of the corner of my eye. She came back into Caribou and said there was something wrong with her drink. Being the good employee I was, I made the drink again. This time I made sure to follow the cheat sheet (turns out I made it correctly the first damn time). Anyways, I made the drink again and handed it to her with a pleasant, "I'm so sorry about that, have a nice day". Nailed it, I thought.... I was wrong. About five minutes later, the lady comes in and demands to see the manager because her drink "doesn't taste like the ones she orders at Starbucks" (side note: Starbucks makes their chai with water, Caribou makes the chai with milk and chai flavor). So, my manager comes out and makes the drink himself. I hope to God this is the last encounter I have with this lady. 45 seconds after she leaves the store, she comes in AGAIN budging in front of an old couple (almost knocking them over) and screams "This is so disgusting, I am never coming here ever again. What is wrong with this horrible drink? I want a refund". My manager walks over to the customer and says "Okay". Nothing else but an "Okay". She gets her money back and storms out of Caribou. I guess she likes her watery chai lattes.”

-Taylor S.

15. Time’s up.

You know those middle-aged people who like to pretend they’re still in their twenties? The (old) wanna-be-hipsters? A customer that fits into that category walked into the Great Clips I receptioned at wearing a black leather jacket over a plain white shirt, black sweatpants with a white stripe down the side, flip flops, and black hipster glasses while running his hand through his long-on-top-buzzed-on-the-sides hair (keep in mind, this guy is like 45-50 years old). I greet him, and he tells me he wants a specific person to cut his hair. I inform him that she has transferred to the other store in our town, so he said he’ll just take anyone. That morning, there was only one stylist working until the other stylist came in, which was about 20 minutes after this guy came in, so it would be about a 10-minute wait. He seems content and sits down, knowing there’s only one person to do the job. I’ve already done my cleaning duties for the morning, so I sit down in the back of the salon and wait for people to come in so I can check them into the computer. At exactly ten minutes, the man stands up, goes to the front of the podium, and throws his hands up, demanding an answer as to why no one has cut his hair yet. I tell him that I said about ten minutes and that he was informed before checking in that there was only one stylist cutting hair right now and that I was only a receptionist. My manager, who was the one cutting, tells him that she was cutting as fast as she could so he lost his ‘tude and became a gentleman again. I left shortly after, but the stylist who came in a few minutes later and ended up cutting his hair said he was a complete dick.”

-Allie W.

16. Last but not least

“Last week, I had just gotten off of an 8 and a half hour shift and was making my way to the back of the store to clock out so I could get to a meeting. My coworker has already taken my position at self-checkout, but as I pass a woman on my way out, she tells me that the pencil case that she wants is supposed to be on sale for $7. I tell her that it’s not a problem and I could change it because I had walked passed those cases earlier and knew that they were on sale. As I scan my barcode that gives me access to change the price, the woman says, “Here, while you’re at it, change the price of this as well because I have a feeling it won’t ring up as what the sign said”, as she pulls a toy from the very back of the belt. I know she’s trying to take advantage of my ability to change the price of things so I reply that I can’t just change the price of everything, and I’ll need a manager to do a price check before I can change it. She gives me the worst attitude and tells me, “I didn’t ask for you to change the price of everything. I just asked if you could change the price of these two things.” At this point, I have twenty minutes to deal with this lady, clock out, pick up my friend, and drive across town to get to a meeting, so I have absolutely no patience left. I match her attitude and tell her that that’s exactly what I’m saying, and that I can’t just change a price because she asks me to.

“Fine, then do a price check. I don’t care.”

I grab the toy and go to the self-checkout podium to do a price inquiry where my coworker is standing and looking confused because I should have been out of the store by now. “There’s a b*tch on register 50,” I tell her quietly. The computer tells me that this toy is $29.84, and when I go back and tell the woman, she waves her hand in my face and says, “I don’t want it then. The sign said it was $20, and I don’t want it even if it was $20.”

Then why did you grab it in the first place?! I snatched the toy, put it in the ‘go back’ bucket, and practically run to clock out. Miraculously, I was on time to my meeting.”

-Anonymous

I’m sure many people have a multitude of stories just like these, and it’s good to know that there a few that I can trade mine with! If you’re like those customers in the tellings above: just know that we will remember you. Forever and ever. And we’ll exchange experiences with all of our friends years later, and maybe even publish an article about you on the internet so the world can know how insane you really are! But, just as a precaution, maybe, just maybe, treat the people with respect who willingly get paid minimum wage to deal with you.