It's part of the job to put up with the demands of customers when you work in retail, but these customers' demands were totally off the chain! After dealing with these nightmare customers, we'd be checking out the "Help Wanted" pages!
"My first job was running a register at Walmart when I was in high school. I messed up a coupon (buy two get three free or something) but was super apologetic. She screamed at me for a solid five minutes before stalking off to Customer Service. Then, she loaded up her car, drove home, and then came BACK to yell at me some more at the end of my shift. I wanted to high-five her in the face."
"I worked at Target's electronics section in 2010 when the Nintendo Wii was all the craze. Right before Christmas time, people would come in RIGHT when we opened, buy our whole stock and sell them online for double what they paid. This obviously prevented families from being able to go to Target and just buy a Wii, so we made a rule that one person could buy two consoles per day. A man came in one morning, smiling like he won the lottery, and said, 'I'm buying all the Wiis you can give me.' There was a long line of people behind him that looked outraged.
I said, 'Sir, the limit per customer is two Wiis.'
Him: 'No. I got here first, so I'm going to buy what I asked for.'
Me: 'Sir, I'm sorry that you feel that way, but I can only sell you two.'
Him: 'Oh you're sorry? No, what you are is deaf because I already told you two times. Call your manager. NOW.' So our manager asked him to leave and he was yelling he was going to file a BBB report. I wanted to dive over the counter, and beat his greedy butt."
"I worked at a bookstore. We sold used and new books.
This lady kept insisting that we were trying to scam her by labeling used books as new. She methodically unshelved two dozen or so books and brought them up to the counter, to argue one-by-one that they were actually used.
None of the books were used. We tried showing her that some were published three days ago, but she wasn't buying it. I explained that the publisher chose to print the book on off-white pages with uneven page sizes, but she wasn't buying it. I said that the dust jacket just got dinged in shipment, but she wasn't buying it.
She'd do this nearly a dozen times over the course of a month. She would come in, pick out about 20 books, bring them all up, and argue that each and every one of them was used. She'd involve other customers in the charade, get loud, and threaten to file complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Eventually, someone would have to give her a coupon or discount to get her to shut up so we could check out the rest of the customers and she'd leave.
This happened for the better part of a month, each time the ownership group declined to kick her out. Problem was, she was actually spending some money, even if she only paid 80% of what everyone else did, we still were making money.
Then she made a new hire cry. The assistant manager was late back from lunch, and discounts have to be approved by a manager. So she was holding up the line for 10 minutes, calling the poor checkout girl all sorts of nasty things and questioning her intelligence. I was never so happy to kick someone out."
"I worked for a Virgin mobile call center when I was in high school. The vast majority of the calls were horrible, but this one was the worst/best.
I can't remember specific details, but this lady called in whining about her bill. I told her what had happened, what could be done to fix it, and even offered her a $50 credit. But that wasn't good enough.
She demanded I take off most of the bill amount, and make it what it 'should' be. I told her that it's not possible. I couldn't give her more than a $50 credit, only a manager could do more than that. She lost it on me, started calling me horrible things, just being a total witch, and eventually hung up after about five minutes of telling me what a horrible human being I am.
So I waited a minute to regain my composure then took my next call. Guess who it was? The exact same lady I'd just had. She told me her problem, then started whining about 'the rude lady' she was just talking to that 'didn't know how to do her job.' I told her the exact same thing I did when I previously talked to her but didn't offer a credit. She was now suddenly so grateful that she was 'finally talking to someone who knows how to do their job.'
The conversation was almost done and I asked her if there was anything else I could do for her, she then said, 'Oh well, the lady I was just talking to offered me a $50 credit and I was wondering, since you're such a big help, if you can do something better.'
I said, 'Yes. Before you hung up on me the first time I did offer you a $50 credit, but I can no longer do so.' She hung up on me again. Thankfully that call was not one that was chosen for quality assurance!"
"I used to work for Walmart at the Customer Service desk. One day, I had a customer bring a drivers license that they found on the floor near the front door. I figured that I should try to page the person using the intercom to the front using the name shown on the license. After 10 minutes or so, nobody had come up to claim it, so I asked a manager to put it in lost and found. At this point, I assumed it was the end of it all and that the person might call later to see if it was left behind.
Roughly 20 minutes after my original page, a very loud woman got in line with a child around the age of 4. She was sitting in one of our electric carts, yelling at her child, who was standing next to her, to sit on the chair in the corner of customer service. I finished up assisting the person in front of her and went to move the items they returned from the desk so I could assist this blaring mother and her child. Before I can even move anything, no, before I could even make eye contact, this woman began screaming at me, asking what I wanted from her. At this point, I had completely forgotten about the license. I was so dumbfounded at the fact that she was screaming at me for what I thought was no reason at all. I maintained my cool as much as I could and explained to her that she waited in line and came up to me, so I needed to know how I could help her. She then claimed that I had been screaming her name over the entire store for almost 10 minutes straight. This is where I remember the license and became relieved that someone was here to claim it. I was under the impression the customer would feel the same way after finding out I had their license as well. But no.
The lady screamed even louder and began to tell me about how I had wasted over 20 minutes of her time. She started throwing her items on my counter, telling me that I was going to check her out and that she refused to wait in line. On top of that, she started to tell me that I wasted so much of her time, that all her frozen food was ruined and said she wants a $50 gift card, and for her grocery trip today to be free. At this point, I was floored. I was ready to jump over the table and cut her license up in front of her face. I somehow managed to maintain my cool and call a manager up to handle everything. A manager came up and she kept screaming, telling my manager that I deserved to be fired. My manager luckily took my side and told the woman that she could replace her frozen items for new ones that have been in the freezer, and lets her know that she won't be getting any gift cards. This lady continued to throw a fit and started screaming at her young 4-year-old daughter to follow her. She left her stuff near the front door and didn't purchase anything. I was given an extra break due to the whole situation and was glad it was all over and done with. But no...
A week or so later, a couple people from corporate showed up and scheduled a meeting with my manager and me. The woman even called Walmart corporate and filed a complaint. She told them all about how I deserved to lose my job, how 'rude' I was, and how I had wasted her time by not sending someone to find her in the store and deliver her license. The meeting started off with corporate making it sound like I was in the wrong. I asked the both of them if this woman ever mentioned that she spoke with a manager, and of course, she didn't. To wrap it up, they pretty much had me explain what happened and then checked with the manager that came up that day. After hearing my side and having my manager back me up, I think they figured out that this lady was just a nutjob looking for free stuff. I didn't hear anything of it after that."
"When I worked at Blockbuster back in 2006, a customer had not returned a DVD rental, just the DVD case. He also had fees, and the boss made it clear we were not allowed to rent to people with late fees or movies not returned (after the due date). He tried to say I was a liar, a thief, and that I had taken the DVD and hidden it. I proceeded, nicely, to tell him that it was store policy. He left the store, came back five minutes later and threw the DVD in a frisbee motion at my head. The customer I was serving offered to go outside and beat the guy up, but I told him that wasn't necessary. I never did see that customer again."
"I worked as a repair technician at Sprint. Here are a few stories:
One woman came in to fix her big Nextel brick (the HUGE ones from 2008). I opened it up and it was nearly rusted through. I let her know it wasn't covered. She got mad, threw the phone at me as I was walking away, and hit her own child square in the face.
One guy came in, handed me a phone, and said it 'just stopped working.' I take out the battery and pee just POURS out of the phone. He admitted that he dropped it in a urinal while he was drinking. The jerk could have been honest and let me put on gloves. I had him tossed from the store."
"I worked at Kohls for two years in the customer service department. The day after Christmas is our WORST day. The lines for returns were halfway around the store.
I was eight-months pregnant, putting on my best happy face that I could when I just wanted to take a break so I could waddle out to my car and let out the farts I had been holding in all day. Right before my break, a woman stomped up to my register and slapped a receipt that was as long as my arm on the counter.
'I didn't get my 15% discount. I brought in a coupon.'
I stared at her receipt. I knew what I would have to do. The manager at the register beside me sighed and nodded. I had to return every item on that receipt by typing in each individual UPC code. There were about 65 of them. I typed them all in, checked three times to see if I had them right, and rang up her discounted money. She snatched it from my hands and said that I was taking way too long. I then had to tell her that she wasn't done. We had to ring it all back up and give her discount to her. She rolled her eyes. I typed back in the entire receipt, applied her discount, and let out the best fart I've ever had in my life. I don't know how it was silent, but it was.
My manager was laughing at her register. I gave the woman her discount (can't even remember how much it was) and she curled her nose up, looking around her at the customers behind her as if they had farted. At that point, I just didn't care.
She wasn't the worst, but the one that ticked me off the most."
"I worked at a Staples as a tech back in 2009. A guy came in and, in a thick accent, explained that his computer wouldn't boot. I checked it out and found out the hard drive was corrupt. Corporate policy was to suggest a backup/restore. Guy said he didn't want the backup, so I explained that he'd lose all his documents. He didn't care, so I did the system restore. He came back the next day raging that all his, 'family photos,' are gone. His dead grandma's photos were gone and he didn't have another copy. My manager caved and told me to try to recover the files. After letting it run for a few hours, I checked and the only things I could recover were his two MASSIVE 'adult entertainment' folders. Unless his dead grandma was the one doing that unspeakable act to that horse, there were no family photos. When I told my manager I wanted hazard pay, she watched a few seconds of one video and told me, 'Delete it all. You couldn't recover anything, understand?' He came in and screamed at my manager for a few minutes until she quietly told him, 'We both know what was on there, and you're lucky I don't call the police.' Never saw him again."
"I've had some bad ones, but the most baffling was a self-righteously angry French primary teacher.
I worked in a gift shop at a tourist site that saw a lot of school groups visit. These school groups would usually spend all day in the museum, and let the kids browse and buy souvenirs in the gift shop for the last 15 minutes. Then they have to get on the bus and drive home. So there were two cashiers processing on average 50 to 75 kids in 10 minutes. If we didn't get a kid in time, they would cry and be sad about not getting their souvenir. We would get a bad Yelp review from mom and an angry manager because we missed out on a potential sale.
Oftentimes, kids would make an impulsive purchase within a minute or two of showing up at the gift shop, regret it within three minutes once they see something cooler, and ask us to do a return or exchange. Some kids would do this four or five times in the span of the 15 minutes. Because of this, my manager implemented a 'No Refunds' policy for large school and tour groups, due to time constraints. We posted signs warning about this policy on the front door, behind the tills, and on the front counter. Most teachers understood that it was there to make sure the group moved through smoothly and every kid got served. We used discretion and allowed refunds in cases where we had the time or they seemed like a nice kid who wasn't going to do it repeatedly.
One day, we got a group of about 100 schoolchildren from Québec. They each had about $5 to $10 to spend. As such, most of them bought a postcard or pencil, and some chips and candy to share with their friends. A second teacher came in and started chastising each kid for making 'bad' purchases and telling them to buy more meaningful souvenirs. Lady, you can't buy artisan goods for $5 at a museum gift shop. She marched them all up to the counter at once, bypassing the line of little children, and demanded I refund all of their purchases. With 50 kids served already, that would have taken at least 15-20 minutes, and they had five minutes left. I apologized and pointed to one of the five or six signs we had posted around the shop. Half of the kids had already started eating their chips and candy, I definitely couldn't refund that. She was absolutely apoplectic with rage, and I literally did not have time for her tantrum. I kept apologizing to her in French while trying to process the transactions of the little kids behind her, waving them forward, while they're all scared by the mean, yelling teacher. About 20 of the kids leave weepy-eyed because they didn't get to buy their postcards and Kit Kats."
"When I worked at Nordstrom selling Men's shoes in 2006, a woman came in with shoe trees from the late '80s or early '90s, based on the old school Nordstrom logo on the boxes. For those unaware, Nordstrom has a very lax return policy, but it doesn't mean they'll always return anything and everything even though they can.
Anyway, she came in and placed about 12 of these old shoe trees on the counter and asked for a refund. I asked for a receipt, but she didn't have one. Asked for her info to look up the transaction, nothing came up. I could tell she was going to be a giant pain in the rear, so rather than completely reject her, I offered her sale price ($15 each) in return rather than regular price ($20). This was a typical way of doing things when you couldn't figure out how much the customer bought them for initially.
Since these were about 15 to 20 years old and used, I figured I was giving her a deal. Boy, was I wrong! She started yelling at me telling me that her family is 'not a sale family' and would never have bought them on sale, so she should get back full price and in cash. In addition, her husband was on his deathbed and would no longer be needing any of these, and that she needed the money. However, she came in with a nice designer bag and one of the biggest rocks I've ever seen on her finger.
I was so disgusted with this woman and her attitude that I had to call the manager on duty to come down and deal with her. It's still the only time a person made me so angry and feel so disgusted in her lack of decency that I had to walk away from the whole situation and go on break."
"I was a floor worker at American Eagle for a summer in high school. One day while my friend, we'll call her S, was working cashier, this lady came in already whining and moaning about something. Well, it turns out she had come in like a week before and bought four pairs of jeans.
She didn't try them on in store and even though our sizes were slightly different than other companies, she had assumed that if she got size 8 jeans they would fit her. They didn't. This was apparently our fault, even though we always encouraged people to try them on first. So she started screaming at my friend S about how we were scum and that it's our fault our size 8 jeans didn't fit her, even though S was telling her we could refund her or just switch them out for a bigger size. The final straw for me was when she told S her parents ought to have just not had her so they wouldn't have to live with such a disappointment.
Quick background: S lost her father, a very kind, sweet man, 11 days prior.
I lost it and told the lady to 'get out of my store and don't come back.' She did but filed complaints against me. The next day, my manager called me in and asked what happened, and I told him. He was not angry at all and just told me if I see her come in again, to just go into the backroom and do inventory until I was told she was gone."
"This lady came in with her daughter and purchased $70 worth of makeup. They were lovely, and everything was fine until about five minutes later when she came back and said that she hadn't purchased something that I had scanned. Someone must have left it on the till, and I must have scanned it through. I explained this and told her I'd give her a refund. She was nice and agreed. Then I told her to give us some information and sign the form that you have to sign if you're getting a refund. She flipped, 'Why should I have to if it's your fault?' 'I don't have time for this,' 'I need to speak to your manager.' I called my manager and she asked that she just sign the paper. The lady said, 'It's not my fault that the girl did that, no, I'm not signing it, it's her fault.' We just let her leave because it was too much trouble.
I understand it from her perspective, but I'm just a worker, I don't set policy. And it's not my fault that I assumed that the Maybelline foundation on the counter was yours when you had bought quite a bit of make-up. People are unbelievable."
"When I was young, I'd come into my dad's work some days and clean up for a little money. At the time, he was the manager at a car repair/tire shop. One day, a woman came in, and she was furious. I was maybe 11 years old and cleaning the front desk, so I got to hear it all. She was very rude. Screaming and yelling because of the 'crap service.' The so-called 'crap service' was her waiting maybe two minutes behind people who had already been there. When she got to the counter, she voiced how displeased she was with the service she had been provided previously. What could a car repair place possibly do to make someone so furious about fixing a car? Well, she didn't originally know what was wrong, so the employees had to test drive the car to figure it out. She was ticked off because someone trying to figure out what was wrong with her car used the air conditioning on a day where it was humid and over 100 degrees. She left after yelling for a while. I still have no idea what she hoped to accomplish with this.
The other one is more recent. Same position, different company. An older lady came in to leave a box of doughnuts because she was so pleased with her service the previous day. That's so nice of her, what could possibly go wrong? Well, my dad hadn't been working on the day she got the service and the people from the previous day were off now. So, Dad saw a box of doughnuts, having not eaten anything at all, he took one. Halfway through it, the lady noticed this and started complaining. Basically saying he didn't deserve it, the ones who helped her did, blah blah blah. He explained they weren't working that day, but she was still very displeased. When you're halfway through a doughnut, do you put it back? Of course not, he finished it. The next day, he got a call from his boss saying that a complaint was filed and asked what happened. They both laughed it off, what did she expect to happen? Firing someone over eating a doughnut that was left for people who helped her?"
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