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To want to hear your stories from customer facing jobs?

(206 Posts)
TillyMint81 Mon 14-Aug-17 23:44:52

I work in retail. Customers are for the most part lovely but there are some absolute idiots out there.
Like the one who brought back a pack of bacon because it said four slices and it had five. Or the one who complained about the oranges on Bogof because she only wanted one pack not two. and, oh, by the way, could she have the free one?
We also had a bloke who would walk round looking for low stock on the buy one get one free lines. If he found one that was down to one item he would ask if we had any in stock. If we did he would walk away but if we didn't he wanted that one for free..

ZaphodBeeblerox Mon 14-Aug-17 23:51:33

You sound v much like a journalist doing some very lazy lifestyle reporting. Not sure what the point is of being outraged that some people behave atrociously some of the time - hardly worth getting het up over! hmm

TillyMint81 Mon 14-Aug-17 23:55:32

Most definitely not a journalist. I've just been reading back through some classics thread and the one from teachers was brilliant. I just wanted to see what other people in a similar line of work had experienced. Feel free to pass on by.

BlurryFace Tue 15-Aug-17 00:19:03

One shop with very can't be arsed customer service people had a bloke who would by a case of wine, then bring back the empty bottles, claiming that they had been corked and he'd had to pour it all away. He'd get the refund, buy another six bottles, rinse and repeat. Someone cottoned on eventually and put a stop to it, I blame the managers who would always get arsey if summoned from their nice warm offices over whatever so supervisors/assistants would just go with the option less likely to get then an earful.

It's also a bit mad how many customers will blatantly try to walk out the shop with say a trolley full of vodka without even trying to make it look like they'd gone through checkout.

I got told I spoke very good language and asked where I was from, I said "here", bloke asks where am I really from "here", no mo where was I born "[local maternity wing]" but he was convinced I was polish or something.

Used to get told all the time how nice it was to be served by a local person for once, it was meant as a compliment but it made me feel awkward as I got on very well with many of my foreign colleagues. I hated being told that.

whyareusernamessodifficult Tue 15-Aug-17 00:31:56

I take it zaphod has never had to work in retail.

I worked in a historic theatre as a tour guide/ front of house staff/ whatever job was needing done when I was a teenager and some of the people we dealt with were incredible.

We had the usual people who let their kids run riot and the people who tried to sneak in to areas that were out of bounds to the public (mostly because they were ridiculously unsafe) but we also had:
A worrying number of regulars that smelt awful and had never heard of personal space.
A group of women in their 30s that we caught smoking and drinking buckfast in our toilets who were adamant that they had every right to be there and we were incredibly unfair when we kicked them out.
One woman who stood about looking lost then told me the place was ugly then stormed out when I asked her for if she needed any help.
Hundreds of pensioners who seemed to think it was their civic duty to impart their political views on me via a long rambling speech 5 minutes before we were meant to be closing up.

HarrietSchulenberg Tue 15-Aug-17 00:47:53

Blurryface I worked in a branch of Sainsburys in west London where a man used to do the same trick with the wine, every single week. The managers couldn't be arsed refusing him a refund as he used to kick off.

I worked in a different branch of the same supermarket a few hundred miles further north. We did pick and mix for a while until the number of families who got their kids massive bags full and told them to "Eat 'em all up before we get to the till" became a joke.

At Boots in large northern city, an old, homeless lady used to use a roll on deodrant every day then put it back on the shelf, complwte with streamers of armpit hair. She used to get aggressive if tackled so the drill wad to make sure we got the used deodorant straight off the shelf and in the bin.

The old man who lectured the teenage me about not "wasting" my life stuck on a supermarket checkout. I told him I was waiting for my A level results and hoping to go to university. He gave me a patronising smile and said, "Ah, we can all dream, love". Hope he missed me when I got the results and fucked off to my first choice university, having earned a wodge of good money and a bagful of life experience on that "wasted" till.

ZaphodBeeblerox Tue 15-Aug-17 01:02:16

No haven't worked in retail. Have worked other jobs where I have encountered a range of people, some of whom are atrociously entitled and/or odd.

I guess this just felt like it would devolve into a laundry list of the worst of human behaviour, and perhaps I'm just in a crotchety mood simply from reading newspaper top stories today.

Anyway, don't mean to derail thread, carry on!

GetOutOfMYGarden Tue 15-Aug-17 01:24:39

Used to work on a till in a large supermarket during university. Had a mum head over with her brood and I got on with scanning. She took the opportunity to explain to her DC that they'd end up in my spot if they didn't work very hard in school. Then her card got declined and she had to wait for her DH to turn up to pay (luckily during a quiet period!), and the coworker behind me started chatting to me rather loudly asking how my uni course was going while we both gave this woman a good glare.

Not many of the rest are funny though. Plenty of short change scam artists. Plenty of people getting angry because they were too drunk to legally sell alcohol to. Plenty of people trying to run with their shopping without paying.

raspberryblush23 Tue 15-Aug-17 01:32:27

In my current workplace we have 'onion ring guy'- a guy that insists he's missing 1 ring every single visit. He's now barred, thankfully.

Katyazamo Tue 15-Aug-17 01:41:55

I work in a bowling alley.
This happened around the time the three girls drama (grooming) was being shown on the BBC.
A group of teenage Asian males came in to bowl and I sent them to their lane - all very polite young men.
The woman on the lane next to them stormed over to me and demanded to know how I dared put these boys so close to her teenage daughters after 'everything in the news'. Still makes me angry to think about it.

WhatToDoAboutThis2017 Tue 15-Aug-17 01:49:05

We'll sell milkshakes. Sometimes the machine breaks and I end up spending the day having his conversation repeatedly:

"Can I have a chocolate milkshake?"

"I'm sorry, we have no milkshakes at the moment, the machine is broken. Would you like something else?"

"Can I have a strawberry milkshake?

"... No, the machine is broken."

"What, so there's no milkshakes at all?

"hmm No! The machine is broken!"

Also the person who bought a peri-peri wrap, ate it, went home, then came back five days later to say it was too spicy and she wanted a refund confused

TillyMint81 Tue 15-Aug-17 09:56:35

I was once threatened when I couldn't produce a red nose at 7pm on Red Nose Day. It was my fault that he had promised his daughter one and not bought one in the two months previous to Red Nose Day!
He then offered me a tenner for the one I had in my locker. I didn't have one. I had to get the manager to come over and convince him that I wasn't hiding them all!

MalmseyWhine Tue 15-Aug-17 10:03:42

I work in a theatre. We had an email from a customer a few days ago asking for a refund for their tickets because they hadn't enjoyed the play.

Hortonlovesahoo Tue 15-Aug-17 10:04:05

I used to work in a store similar to boots and the number of people who used to come in and do their make up with the testers then walk out was unbelievable.

You couldn't say anything as they were just testers but there were an awful lot of repeat offenders

BlurryFace Tue 15-Aug-17 10:09:32

DH works retail, they recently had to eject a man who came in blind drunk and wearing only a towel and sandals, but didn't notice when the towel fell off then got stroppy with the staff trying to make him put it back on.blush

Sorry for errors in my previous post, I was really tired but being kept up late by earache.

karalime Tue 15-Aug-17 10:10:43

I've worked in online retail and we had lots of customers claim that something was faulty and they wanted a refund, but when we asked for a photo or for them to return it apparently they had thrown it away.

They would then complain when we refused to give them a refund.

Similarly, people that return soiled clothes and expect a refund. No.

KatharinaRosalie Tue 15-Aug-17 10:12:46

I used to work on a cruise ship and you would not believe how many people would come and complain that the wind is too strong, the ship is rocking, and what am I planning to do about it?!?!

peachgreen Tue 15-Aug-17 10:14:22

I had a customer lean over the counter, take me by the shoulders, shake me hard and scream in my face because I wouldn't let him return two of his 3 for 2 books, get a full refund and still keep the free one. grin

I also had a customer who sent a complaint letter that was so insane you wouldn't believe me if I told you what it said. But let's just say it mentioned brothels.

peachgreen Tue 15-Aug-17 10:16:18

Ooh, also a woman who bought a book, gave it to her toddler son to hold, watched him immediately and deliberately rip it (right in front of us) and then asked for a refund. I might have done an exchange, because I'm nice that way, but she demanded a refund as he was "obviously too young for it" and was quite insistent that I was unreasonable not to give her one.

StumpyScot92 Tue 15-Aug-17 10:17:05

I used to work in furniture sales. When a sale was put through you picked your delivery day then a couple days before delivery you got an approximate time (4 hour slot).

We had a really bad unpredicted dump of snow which made the roads a nightmare, it took me 3 hours to make a usually 45 minute commute. A man in his 60s came storming in to the shop at 1pm raging because his bed hasn't been delivered. It transpired he lived about 10 minutes away but it had taken him an hour to get to the shop because of the snow so he had left his house at 12pm which was the end of the delivery slot. When I phoned the delivery company it had been delivered at quarter past 12 and his wife had accepted delivery. Explained to him but he demanded a full refund and to have it collected because it was late (15 minutes) and he also wanted compensated for the fact he had had to drive out in that weather (he hadn't tried to phone...). When I explained we didn't carry cash in store of that value so I couldn't refund, customer services would have to send a cheque and I couldn't have the bed collected that day as the runs were full he got violent and trying to smash the store windows.

I was the only person on (i.e stupid enough to make the journey in the weather) and ended up having to call the police to remove him...

I also had a man try to make his toddler pee on the carpet because we didn't have a headboard in stock in the colour he wanted and to have it made up would take 2-3 weeks but he had promised it for his wife's birthday which was tomorrow so could I not 'sort something'. When I couldn't, he stripped his child and told him to pee on the floor... Thankfully others were in that day lol.

peachgreen Tue 15-Aug-17 10:17:26

ooh, AND I worked in a clothes shop around the time when leather trousers had just come into fashion, and you would not believe the number of times people (men and women!) would try them on, masturbate in them and then leave them in the changing rooms, visibly soiled.

Mesgegra Tue 15-Aug-17 10:17:27

man complaining about staff [me] on the company's fb page even though I was trying my best to remain polite and help him, in the face of his overt rudeness. Then the management doing a witch hunt to find out who was 'clueless woman' and then firing mefor being rude, all based on the fb review of a man with a chip on his shoulder.

GrumpyGoose Tue 15-Aug-17 10:17:32

I once had a customer come into the cafe I worked in and order a chocolate milkshake and a strawberry milkshake for her kids. She then proceeded to complain that "they didn't taste the same"... no shit lady.

OliviaStabler Tue 15-Aug-17 10:27:42

Had a woman come up to me on the shop floor, hand me a packet of tights and asked for a refund. I looked at them and said 'I am sorry, I am not able to give you a refund ...' And before I could say anymore she went off on one. Shouting about her refund, how dare I refuse etc. I just stood there until she finally stopped. I then said 'I am not able to give you a refund as you didn't buy that item here. If you look at the price label, that says it is from House Of Fraser down the road.' She snatched the tights off me and stormed off.

I worked in a supermarket for a few years. My most memorable WTF moment was probably the time a customer assaulted me with a lettuce and stapler at me because I advised him I was unable to check him out at the customer service desk (no till). The queues at actual tills were too long for him to wait apparently.

Another customer aggressively demanded a refund on his 'bag for life ' as the handle was broken. He ranted for ages about false advertising and his right to a replacement or refund without letting me get a word in. He did apologise and slink off sharpish when I was finally able to point out said bag was actually a promotional freebie from a competitor.

Oh, and I just had to laugh at the lady who returned 1 slice of a rhubarb pie, for a full refund despite having eaten the rest because she had intended to purchase an apple pie.

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