Retail workers, in addition to satisfying their job descriptions, have to deal with all different types of crazy customers. If these horror stories of customers who have gone absolutely bananas don't stop you from working in retail, then I don't know what will.
"A lady came to one of the cashiers saying she couldn't make her movie and wanted a refund. However, the coupon that she used to buy the ticket was non-refundable. After apologizing and explaining that to her, the lady flips out at us while demanding for proof and the manager. When the manager comes, he basically, explains/repeats everything we said and apologizes. She starts rambling about how were rude and can't read. When she finally realizes that she cannot get her money back, the lady whips out her phone and says, 'You know what? I'm going to blog about you!! I also have over 5000 friends on twitter and I'm going to tweet about ALL of you!! I am a big deal!' We couldn't help but yell out all twitter names and say, 'ADD ME!' as she was leaving" (source)
"I work at a retailer that sells popular body products. Fragrances come and go, thats just how it is since the store cant keep them all forever. Sometimes people get so upset when I tell them their fragrance is no longer in stores, however most of them ARE online. A lady comes in today and demands a fragrance we don't have in stores. I very politely tell her we do not carry it in stores but she can still find it online. She loses it, starts screaming about how I am incompetent, and how she should be able to buy it in store if it is online. Keep in mind she is YELLING at me, like screaming over a scent of lotion. I tell her most online only products are marked that way and I give her a customer service card, because she is so irate and this company is obsessed with making customers happy. I tell her she can have 20% off her purchase. She screams at me and tells me if I don't give her money to cover shipping she's going to make me sorry. I tell her I can't just take money from the store. She says not from the store, YOU should give it to me. She wanted me to hand her money from my own pocket to cover shipping. She actually said, 'I don't think I'm being unreasonable.' I basically just stared at her. She said she was coming back, and I might want to reconsider my life decisions" (source).
"Many years ago when I was working at Starbucks, a businessman in his forties approaches the cash register. I greeted him with a very normal 'Hey, how's it going?' He then proceeds to get extremely angry: 'How's it going? This isn't a McDonald's, okay? You will address me as sir and take my order like a professional. Do you understand me!?' Having had enough of him, I proceeded to start over: 'Good day to you sir, and welcome to the Starbucks Coffee Corporation, where it is our aim to....' At this point the guy is behind the counter and completely in my face, ready to fight me. I'm laughing, and the manager grabs him and escorts him to the door. Unlike most expelled customers, he thankfully never showed up again" (source).
"A few years ago, I worked as a cashier at a grocery store. This woman comes up to the register one day with a bottle of vitamins and demands that I give her a refund. In order for me to do that, she must have a receipt and I need a manager to clear it. So I ring up the manager, ask for a receipt, and she keeps telling me, 'I bought this yesterday! I forgot my receipt! Just give me my refund!' I keep persisting, telling her I'll need a receipt and by the time the manager gets up to my register, the woman is furious. All of a sudden she screams, 'THESE VITAMINS GIVE YOU HERPES!!! THEY GIVE YOU HERPES!!! ALL YOUR PRODUCTS ARE POISONOUS!!!!' She storms down one aisle and starts tossing all sorts of products from the shelves onto the floor. My manager had to restrain her until security was able to escort her out" (source).
"I had a lady call in to the store and start screaming obscenities at an associate. She was telling us how we were all kinds of horrible people and how she was going to sue us, because she was in the store yesterday, and bought a pack of highlighters. Then, apparently she 'she fell asleep for only 10 minutes' and her dog ate them and was now dying. Yup, she was going to sue the manager, because, according to her, her dog was 'half brain dead' now, and it was only capable of 'running in circles.' The associate finally was able to transfer her to a manager, but she just continued yelling obscenities and threatening to sue. So, of course, the manager countered with 'First of all, that's really nothing you can sue US for, considering we didn't make the product, nor did we feed it to your dog.' AND SECONDLY, "If your dog is sick or dying, the first thing you need to do, is get him to a vet!' The lady, of course, thought nothing of this and threatened to hire a lawyer. But FIRST, she was going to bring the dog INTO the store so we could see what WE had done to him, and so that 'We could feel the guilt of our sin.' And if the dog died first, she actually threatened to throw the dead dog at our manager. I was so disappointed when she never showed up" (source).
"I was working at Sears selling electronics, and we had a customer buy a display model TV. Those were sold with a discount and therefore they were non-returnable. They can only be exchanged for a similar model or a gift card. All of this was clearly explained before hand. So a customer buys this TV then comes after the weekend of a football or hockey night game and wants to return it because he doesn't like the color anymore. When I explain to him that we can't and remind him that was all laid out to him yesterday he threatened me with 'You give me my money back RIGHT NOW, or i am driving my truck into here.'
Half laughing and half surprised, I answered "That still will not change our return policies. Also, we are on the second floor" (source).
"I used to work at an upscale boutique a few years ago and a customer tried to return a $1200 dress that had clearly been worn. It had makeup stains, flecks of wine and significant remnants of whatever she had for dinner. She demanded a refund because the tag was still intact. I pointed out the stains and explained that because she clearly wore the dress we couldn't take it back. Then she asks 'What if I get it dry cleaned?' I shake my head 'No.' Her eye twitches, her face goes red and she begins screaming that she is going to sue me and have her husband shut the store down.The owner of the boutique, a Polish woman who takes crap from no one, comes out of the back, glares at the woman and hisses at her "Peasant!" The woman grits her teeth and stomps out of the store. All I could do was slow clap for my boss" (source).
"I worked at a Burger King when I was 16 where we got crazy amounts of buses. We had this special deal where you could get two fish sandwiches for $3. But you had to get the two. If you got one, or one and a meal, it was like $2.20 or something for the odd sandwich. Anyways, this woman on a greyhound bus came in and was bitching about EVERYTHING. She wanted mustard and tartar sauce on her sandwiches and she told me like a bazillion times to make sure it got it right because "none of you lazy [email protected]&% ever gets them right". Anyways, she orders three of these 'mustard-and-tartarsauce' monstrosities, and I told her that the odd one would be like $2.20, but she told me she didn't care. So obviously after getting her order, she comes up and starts screaming that I cheated her. I told her I had not and offered to ask the store manager to deal with the problem. Anyways, she told me that "the customer is always right" and if I didn't give her money back, she'd 'jump over the counter and [email protected]&% me up.' Being the 16 year old I was, I told her to go ahead and try it. So she actually did. Only she was so fat she couldn't really jump, and so she threw her water bottle at me (and almost missed, even though she was like 5 feet away). Then she sort of rolled over the counter and put up her dukes. At this point, I was laughing my a&% off because it was so funny to see this huge women rolling around on the counter. My boss told someone else to call the cops and then told the woman exactly what would happen if I sued her for assault, since I was a minor, and my boss could prove that I did nothing actionable. Even better, everyone on the bus had to wait for the cops to get there because the bus driver had to stay to report to the cops what had gone happened. It took about an hour for Greyhound to get another bus there to pick up the other passengers, so needless to say, there were plenty of volunteers to tell the cops about this woman's stupidity" (source).
"I worked at a gadget store in a mall that sold pretty neat stuff, but it was overpriced stuff that no one really needed. Most of our clientele were over privileged older white women who had had tons of plastic surgery and thought they were celebrities, and thus should be treated as such. So one day in March, this bleach blonde and tan lady comes in with kid in tow. The kid was holding one of our remote control helicopters, which were really fun but broke super easily and the warranty was dealt with by the company, not us. The warranty was 60 days and our return policy was 30. Anyway, this lady says the helicopter broke and she needs to return it for a refund. It was a popular Christmas gift, which was over 3 months ago, and guess when she had bought it? Not happening. My manager explains this. The lady goes off on her and throws a tantrum. And then blurts out this gem: 'I'M A BIG DEAL! I HAVE FRIENDS IN THE MEDIA!!! AND I'M GOING TO MAKE SURE THIS STORY GETS OUT EVERYWHERE AND I WILL NEVER SHOP HERE AGAIN AND NEITHER WILL ANYONE IMPORTANT' The lady grabbed her kid and stormed out. We laughed about it all day and beyond. I waited for weeks for the breaking headline. 'Store Refuses Refund On Product Two Months Over Warranty - Scandal!' Of course it never came of course. At the store, 'I have friends in the media' and 'Careful, they might have friends in the media' became a hilarious running joke" (source).
"I worked for a store in the warehouse section. I basically was the guy who brought down bicycles, power wheels, and other large items that are purchased from the back of the store, up front to the customer. This one time, this man purchased a large power wheel, the Barbie Jammin' Jeep '08 model. When I brought it out, I see the customer standing next to his car, a small, 2 door Nissan. I immediately inform the man that the box will not fit in his car, and that we can hold it for him if he wished to come back later with a larger vehicle. He said that wouldn't work, he had to get the jeep now because he's been searching for weeks for it. I again tell him how the box is larger than his car and it will not fit. He tells me that's bull and has me attempt to load the car into the trunk, then the front seat. After 20 failed minutes, I tell the man I can no longer spend time on this. I tell him I can write down his information, put the jeep on hold and wait for him to return with a different car. He says he's going to continue to try and put it in his car. I leave him be and resume my work. About a half hour later, I get a call from the customer service desk that I have to bring a returned jeep back to the storage area" (source).
"I worked at a grocery store in high school. One time, a woman and her husband came through my checkout line with a huge order, probably around $200 worth of food. After I finished scanning and bagging everything, she handed me a few coupons. All of them went through fine except one -- 40 cents off feta cheese. When I scanned it, my register beeped and said that the item wasn't in their order. I told the woman that her coupon wasn't going through, and asked her if she was sure she purchased feta cheese today. This sort of thing happened a lot, customers would bring coupons with them but forget to buy everything they planned on; they'd usually take the coupon back for later or they'd run and get what they'd forgotten real quick. Not this woman. She immediately copped an attitude and said "YES, I bought feta cheese today, there's probably just a problem with the coupon." I agreed that that might be the case, so I started checking the receipt line by line. She and her husband looked through their grocery bags. Neither of us found anything resembling feta cheese, but she wouldn't drop it. I told her she could either take the coupon back or go get a package of feta cheese, but she kept insisting that it was in her order, somewhere, and I probably forgot to scan it (in which case, congrats lady you got some feta cheese for FREE instead of 40 cents off). I told her I was sorry, but without proof that it was in her order there was nothing I could do, and that my register couldn't manually give discounts anyway. She rolled her eyes at me and said "Honestly? I think you're being a little bit ridiculous here." I think I just stared at her dumbfounded for a few seconds, reiterated that there was nothing I could do without a physical manifestation of some feta cheese, at which point her poor embarrassed husband finally convinced her to let it go. He shot me a pained look of apology on the way out" (source).
"I used to work at Home Depot over the summer, as a cashier. This woman came up to my line with a cart that had only a single small box of nails. Odd, I thought, but maybe she just didn't find what she needed the cart for. So I ring her up, and she says, "Well what about the rest of my order? I need 800lbs of Quickcrete, 50 10' 2x4s, ten 8' 4x4s..." and starts reading off all of the ingredients she needs to make a massive deck, or a dock, or something. She then asks me sweetly if I'll help her get them while she waits in line, holding up the ten people behind her while I pull an entire back yard's worth of lumber and concrete out for her. I told her we couldn't do that, and gave her the number to call to have her order pulled. She freaked out and then spends about twenty minutes screaming at me. Even after I called the head cashier and had him handle her, she would run over to my lane while I was with other customers to tell me how 'unprofessional' I was being, and that this is why everyone goes to Lowe's nowadays, because there they care about the customer. She was absolutely ridiculous" (source).
"When I was 17, I Worked at Sears in the Home Electronics section. A guy who was in his 60's returned a paper shredder 10 months after he purchased it. A stamp on his receipt said that anything returned after 60 days was charged a 20% restocking fee. He said he refused to pay it because it wasn't opened up. After I tried to be polite for 30 seconds, he started yelling at me loud enough for a manager from a different area to come over. It ended with the customer asking what time I got off, because he would be waiting for me so we could 'finish our discussion.' I thought it was strange because I didn't raise my voice or do anything insulting or threatening at this point. Being a cocky teenager I said, 'I get off at 4:00 pm and I exit the loading dock doors, just outside these doors and down the hill. See you then grandpa.' Good thing the manager was between us because he tried attacking me, but was held back by the manager who lifted weights 5 days a week. When the manager said the word police, the guy grabbed his paper shredder and stormed out. The best part...the restocking fee would have been about $4" (source).
"I worked at Gamestop, and I'm female. That right there should tell you the kinds of awful customers I had to deal with. There were all kinds of the expected creepy guys who hit on me all the time and the snobby customers who would wait around for my male coworkers because they didn't think I could possibly know anything about video games. This happened when Rock Band 3 came out. We'd been taking preorders forever and we offered the usual Rock Band bundle with all the instruments. It turns out that EA later announced that no such bundle would be offered so we called up all the people who preordered that bundle to let them know and to ask if they wanted to either switch to a different Rock Band bundle or get a refund. Fast forward to release day. Some lady comes into the store to ask for her Rock Band bundle. My co-worker got out the only bundle available (just the game and keyboard). She took a look at it and said that it was the wrong bundle. Upon closer inspection of the receipt, my co-worker realized that she had originally ordered the big bundle that was no longer available. According to the computer, she had never come in to either switch her order or get her refund. We explained the situation to her and offered her both the option to get the other bundle or to get a refund. She yelled at him for a good 10 minutes about how he ruined Christmas and failed as a human being because he couldn't sell her a game bundle that doesn't exist. He was very polite and kept telling her that she should wait for a few more minutes to speak to our manager (since he was on lunch at the time). Instead, she demanded that we collect all of the instruments and sell them to her separately at the same price as the given price for the bundle. He explained to her that this was not possible since the prices given for preorders are considered estimates and are not guaranteed to be correct, not to mention the fact that we had already sold out of most of the individual instruments. There were two instruments sitting on the back counter and she said she wanted those, again for the same price as the bundle (note that she's still yelling and cursing at him at this point). He explained that they were both the pro instruments - the guitar alone was priced somewhere around $150. There was no way he would be able to sell those to her for $120 including game. This is where the story gets awesome: she picked up the debit machine and threw it at my co-worker. The only reason he didn't get smoked by a brick of plastic was because it was attached to the counter with a coiled cord and he was standing far enough away that it didn't reach him. He gets this look on his face like he was using all of his willpower to keep from throttling her so I intervened: 'HEY! You know, there's this really important thing that you suddenly need to do in the back room RIGHT NOW!' He went into the back room and called mall security while I smiled at the crazy lady and let her yell at me until they arrived. The icing on the cake was that her kids had been there the entire time and were absolutely mortified by their mother's behavior" (source).
"I used to work at Geek Squad, served 3 years there in fact. I have countless stories of ridiculous clients. One day on the front counter we had myself and one other Agent up front. A woman and her husband approached the counter with a dirty, grimy desktop. They had the usual complaint "It doesn't work" with no further description. The husband did none of the talking and seemed to mind his own business in the background. He seemed old school, he had one of those slicked back haircuts from the 20s-30s era. All seemed to be going fairly normally until a black installer in plain clothes walked behind the precinct (what we call our section of the store). Suddenly the husband sprung into action speaking in exclusively German. He seemed to be addressing me. Suddenly he gave a 'Heil Hitler' complete with salute and boot click. I was flabbergasted and stunned. The whole thing was caught on camera. I had to tell the two of them that I could not continue helping them with their computer as I did not feel safe. The woman just kind of went off on the husband for doing this in public. I was so shocked. Our security teams reviewed the camera footage several times just in case the couple felt like throwing a lawsuit for refusal of service. I had serviced a real life Nazi that day..." (source).
"Back when I used to be a bagger for a store, a lady told me not to make each bag too heavy. I thought I did a good job at bagging her groceries nicely. She picks up a bag and says that its to heavy. Now most of the time if someone told me to re-bag it, I would have. However in this situation, it was very different. There was only one object in the bag, and it was a gallon of milk" (source).
"I used to work at Circuit City a few years ago, and one holiday season a woman came in looking for an Xbox 360. This was about a couple weeks before christmas, so they were actually pretty hard to come by. I tell her we don't have the system by itself, but actually have some bundles that came with it. She originally wanted the system with an extra controller, and we had bundles like that which included a game. The whole bundle was 40 dollars more than the xbox by itself, which was a good deal since a single controllers alone was $50. So basically, the bundles was $10 cheaper and came with a free game. I'm trying to explain to her that it's cheaper this way and she can remove the plastic to separate the controller from the xbox, but she won't have it. She wants the xbox alone. After 5 or 6 minutes, she turns to her husband and says in Spanish 'this idiot doesn't understand that I just want the xbox alone." I looked at her and replied without missing a beat in Spanish ' Then you can go ahead and find someone else to help you.' and walked away. The husband apologized profusely as she turned bright red. They returned the next day to buy the bundle. We were sold out. Karma's a bi*, but I do feel bad for their kid who missed out on a 360" (source).
"I used to work at the fish department in a pet store. It never ceases to amaze me how people figure they can put as many fish as they want into even the smallest aquarium. One day a lady came in with her small child, found the cheapest 1-gallon aquarium in the store, and proceeded to find me and insisted that I bag and sell her half a dozen 3-4 inch sized fantail goldfish. There were two problems here: the first is, obviously, six goldfish (of any size, let alone medium sized ones) can not fit into a 1-gallon aquarium. The other is, we were not supposed to sell fish with a warranty to someone planning on going home directly and setting up the aquarium, because they will most likely die (you are supposed to set up the aquarium for a few days to a week at least before adding fish). When I told her that I couldn't sell her the fish for these reasons, she completely lost her mind! She started screaming at me, "What do you mean I can't put 6 fish in there? They will fit won't they? Sell me the damn fish!" To which I replied, "I'm sure they might physically fit into the tank- but they won't be able to live comfortably in there. I'm sure you could fit 15 people into a 1-bedroom apartment too, but would they be able to live there?" She became very red in the face and insisted that it was not my job to tell her how to set up her tank, and insisted on speaking with a manager. I was only too happy to oblige, and was even happier when the manager told her exactly the same thing that I did. Apparently the manager was able to have a more productive conversation than I did, because about an hour later I was incredibly satisfied when the woman came back to me and begrudgingly asked, "Well what kind of fish can I put in here then?" The satisfaction of a rogue customer having to swallow her pride and come back to me for help almost made up for having to deal with her in the first place"(source).