Every job has its difficult customers. These cashiers share the worst cheapstake customer they've ever had to deal with. Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
“I work at a Chick-Fil-A and we serve mostly college students, but occasionally parents will come in while visiting their kids at college, or they’re touring the college with their soon-to-be college student. We don’t have any problems with the students usually, aside from things like ‘forgetting’ to ask that they wanted a drink until after the payment has gone through. It’s the parents who we worry about. It’s the parents who do things that they often seem to think they can get away with.
One family sticks out in particular.
It was a mom and dad with their two young daughters. Each person got a meal except for the mom who insisted she only wanted a cool wrap with a cup of water. I made sure to double-check on this one because without the fries it wouldn’t be ringing up as being a meal combo.
About ten minutes later, the two girls showed up at the corner of the counter, during a bit of a rush, and said they were supposed to get a large fry and an eight-count nugget when they most certainly were not. We made sure everything was in their bag when ringing them up. I double-checked everything and read them back the order; no problems. Mysteriously, their receipt had disappeared.
We pulled their order back up on the QC screen and the girl who was sending out orders was more than positive that she had put all the food into the bags. It was obvious these girls were a little nervous, we knew that they didn’t order the food. Given that we were busy and really didn’t have the time or the patience, we gave them their food, but everyone behind that counter knew they didn’t actually order the food and the parents were just using their kids to get food for free that they also knew they didn’t order.”
“One Coupon Per Person, Per Day”
“The store I worked at had a 40 percent off on one regular priced item. Now it clearly stated that on the coupon, ‘One coupon per person, per day,’ but sadly we still had many people take advantage of this by going through separate checkouts to get multiple items for 40 percent off. Now, this could sometimes get the cashier in trouble if we didn’t catch this and stop the customer from using the coupon multiple times. If we were able to catch them doing this, then we had to tell the customer that we were unable to process the coupon a second time as they had already used it once today and that they would have to return another day in order to use it. This was actually even backed up by store management as it was one of the things that were checked for during store audits.
Now, most of the time when we caught a customer trying to use a coupon more than once, they would make a fuss but either just decided to get the item without the coupon or leave the item behind. One day, however, I had a lady come through my line with a cart that already had multiple bagged items in it. At first, I thought she might have been about to do a return and maybe just got in the wrong line, so I asked her if she was returning. She informed me that she wasn’t and that she just forgot to get an item. She then handed me the item that she wanted to purchase, now I cannot for the life of me remember what exactly the item was, but I do remember that it was less than $3. I entered the item into the system and then she handed me a coupon. I looked at her basket full of already paid-for items and decided to ask her if she had already used her coupon today, to my surprise she actually admitted she had, and this is the small conversation that followed.
Me: ‘Ma’am, I’m sorry but I can’t use this coupon a second time today. I could get in trouble if I do.’
Her: ‘No, just run it through the item isn’t that expensive.’
Me: ‘Again, I’m very sorry but I can’t put this through. It actually says on the coupon that you’re only allowed to use it once per day, so maybe you could come back tomorrow and use it then.’
Her: ‘Well if you aren’t going to use my coupon then I’m just going to return everything that I already bought.’
She then looked at me for a few seconds as if she was so proud of herself because I would just give in with the threat of her returning all her items. But like I said multiple coupon use was something that was checked on store audits, so I very politely pointed to our return line and told her that if she wanted to return her items, she would have to go to that register. She then proceeded to go to the return line, wait in line for almost 10 minutes (those return lines were always long, and we were unusually busy) and she actually returned her entire previous purchase, just because she couldn’t use a coupon on an item that was less than $3.”
“I was working the graveyard shift at a local convenience store and it was about four a.m. or so. I hadn’t had any customers for about an hour or so when these two guys come in. They both went over to the candy aisle and looked. Then one started getting some and the other went over to the fountain drink section.
Now, this was a typical convenience store in that, as you walk in, to your left was the box containing the register and counter area. Next to it, along that same wall was the fountain drink section. I was standing there looking at the door and the guy in the candy section. He came up and dumped a bunch of two and three-cents candy all over the counter.
One went over the edge and he just said, ‘Oops.’
As I started to segregate it enough to count it, the guy who was at the fountain drinks stepped up behind me. I was being robbed. He did wave it in front of me and showed it to me. It was like my dad’s or my granddad’s pocket knife. Almost like a case knife. Anyway, then he stuck it back in my neck. Later it was apparent, I had a little pinprick with very little blood. Seriously, I’ve cut myself worse shaving. However, he could’ve easily cut my throat with it.
While I got the register open to give them the money, I also put my foot under the silent alarm and raised my foot to activate it. I also looked at the guy in front of me very carefully so I could describe him to the police. After they left, I followed standard protocols and shut the pumps down and locked the doors, and called the police. Then I called my manager. I went ahead and printed out the receipts and got it all ready. The police showed up and I described the two men to them and they got out an APB (all-points bulletin) on them. Then my manager showed up and we went through everything. I did get in trouble because I had not made a drop. I had $138 in the register instead of the $90 or less I was supposed to have.
It turned out later on that the alarm had not been reset from the time a cashier activated it by accident several years prior to that. So, that was disappointing to learn. Also, they did catch the two individuals and I was notified that my presence would be required in court. The store actually paid for me to go. However, while I was sitting in the hallway waiting to be called, they came out and told me the two guys took a plea deal and my presence was no longer needed.”
Just Because She Owned Walmart Stock, She Thought She Could Do Whatever
“I worked for Walmart for 12 years, and we had a customer we all hated. She was in her 60s, and her name was something like Miss DeSantos but we called her Miss DeSatan. She always stated, ‘I own Walmart Stocks’ and then proceeded to treat us like vermin, looking down on us like something stuck to the bottom of her shoe. She’d have one of our people assist her for hours shopping, taking her time, picking this, sending it back for something else a bit cheaper, only to get to the front and exclaim that she had changed her mind, and leaving empty-handed.
So one day I checked her out, now keep in mind that with her, a two to three-minute checkout would take 15 to 20 minutes as she’d argue about the price of every single item. We’d have to check it and verify it. She’d try using an expired coupon, all the while stating she couldn’t believe the treatment she was getting as she owned Walmart stock.
So after I checked her out and sent her on her way, the store security officer ran up and shut off my register. There was no one else in line at that moment, so he continued to enter his code and run off a duplicate receipt of her transaction. He looked it over and cracked a big grin look at me.
He said, ‘Got Her! come with me and assist.’
My heart was pounding, and I was starting to feel giddy as I went out the front with him. We spotted her getting ready to load the stuff from her cart into her trunk. He ran up and identified himself, and stated he observed her place two tubes of lipstick into her purse, and according to the receipt (he started to wave his copy in her face) she never paid for it. Now my heart was really pounding and I was getting even giddier.
And out she popped with…yeah, you guessed it, ‘I own Walmart stock.’
He looked her in the eyes and said, ‘That doesn’t give you the right to steal from here ever. That’s not how you get your dividends.’
I barely kept from doubling over with laughter, especially when she tried the ‘Oh poor forgetful me’ routine.
Now Walmart back then had a policy about not prosecuting the elderly no matter how much they took, as it just looked bad for the big mean company to go after the nice old person. But we also had many who may have genuinely forgotten they had taken something, so instead, we’d no-trespass them. So that was what he did to her. We all knew her mean face, but he posted her picture prominently by the service desk for all to see. She tried to come back a month later and we came down on her like a ton of bricks and sent her packing. First, she stated she was there to go to McDonald’s, nope it was on company property, so she had to go to one of the others in town. She left, all while proclaiming, ‘I own Walmart stock.'”
Purse Return Gone Wrong
“One time a woman came in with a purse that didn’t belong to our store. She claimed that it ripped, and she wanted a refund. The customer service clerk and I asked for a receipt, which of course she didn’t have and she couldn’t remember when she bought it. There wasn’t even a tag with the name brand on it, and since I worked in the purse department regularly, I was positive that it didn’t come from our store. Additionally, the hole she was referring to was in the middle of the lining of the bag, and it looked like her car keys must have ripped it, not a manufacturer defect.
I told the lady that I couldn’t accept the return and that I was sorry. She got upset and demanded to talk to someone else. I told her the manager would be in tomorrow and she could talk to the manager tomorrow if she wanted to come back. This made her more upset, and she went to leave. She almost forgot the purse on her way out, so I gave it back to her.
As she was leaving, I said, ‘Have a nice day.’
She turned abruptly and said, ‘What did you say to me?’
I was much younger than her and kind of afraid, so as I stood frozen wide-eyed.
The customer service clerk standing with me explained, ‘She said, ‘Have a nice day’’ in a firm and calm manner.
The woman looked me in the eye sternly, pointed her finger forcefully, and said, ‘Don’t you talk back to me,’ and walked away.
I literally crouched behind the desk after that so I wouldn’t have to see her anymore. She was in the wrong but felt the need to make me feel like I was in the wrong just for telling her no. She never came back at least.”
Five Dollar Tomato
“There was this guy who came into the grocery store every single morning. And every single morning, he grabbed a shopping cart and read the small list in his hand. The list always had the same stuff on it, including a head of iceberg lettuce, tomato, potato, newspaper, and a gallon of water. Occasionally his list would include things like ‘dessert,’ or ‘hamburger.’ He would leave his list in the bottom of his shopping cart when he finished purchasing his groceries and left the store — that was how I knew what his lists entailed, but I digressed.
Now, this part is important. Every single day he bought a single plum tomato.
During the summers, our store would purchase local produce from local farmers, including tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, squash, and so on. These local tomatoes were usually massive and shaped more like a traditional tomato, and nothing like a plum tomato.
This guy went through my co-worker’s line to check out. She also knew the difference between the two tomatoes. He had put the produced tag from the plum tomato, which was less expensive ($1.29 per pound), onto the local tomato, which was much more expensive ($4.99 per pound).
My co-worker rang it up under ‘local tomato,’ and this was where things went south.
‘That’s a plum tomato,’ he said.
‘No sir, this is a New Hampshire tomato,’ my co-worker said.
‘It has a tag on it for a plum tomato,’ he said.
At this point, my manager, Lydia was poking her eyes over the office door. It wasn’t maybe eight in the morning and there wasn’t much much action in the store at that hour.
‘Hey, Lydia,’ my co-worker said.
Lydia opened the door and made her way to the cash register. She asked them what was going on. He tried to argue that my co-worker was trying to overcharge him for a tomato when in reality, she was charging him the correct price for the tomato.
He huffed and puffed and walked back to the produce section to find a plum tomato, and bought that instead of the local tomato. There was no doubt in my mind that he switched the tags. Plum tomatoes came into our store with produce tags already on them. Our produce department workers put tags onto the local tomatoes as we got them in by the box.
The man really tried to buy a $5 tomato for $1.29 by switching the stickers, and then putting up a fuss when we called him out on what he did.”
Was The Food Good Or Not?
“Talk about C-H-E-A-P. Working in the food industry, you are paid at a bare minimum including your tips. Those tips are split between you and the back kitchen. The kitchen makes 15 percent off tips and the waitress keeps the rest. The thing is, tips are a privilege. Your boss has the right to give it to you or not. This one day a woman came to the restaurant wanting to buy a poutine. Having not been there in a while, the lady took her time to know exactly what she wanted.
As I started typing down her order on the system, I saw through the corner of my eye that the woman was putting five cents in the tip jar. Being as kind as possible, I thanked her and continued to proceed with her payment. Little did I know that when I was giving the woman her poutine, she took her five cents back. At that moment I wasn’t anything but confused. But I was too tired to even care. Twenty minutes went by and this lady was devouring her meal like it was her last. Every bite she moaned and secretly I laughed. People love the poutines we made, evidently, she did.
By the end of her meal, the woman glanced over to me. She got up with her poutine box (which had like three fries in it) and she started complaining about how ‘the fries were too cold’ when really they came out sizzling from the fryer. She continued to make excuses for why she didn’t like the poutine and that she wanted a refund.
So, our policy was that if the food doesn’t look or live up to the expectations we hold then we can reimburse you either in food or money, which is the amount you paid. This woman was trying to get another poutine for free and sadly our policy was something we had to follow especially when the customer is very unhappy and wants to speak to the manager. Also, I needed to remember that our reviews online really mattered and one bad review can cost us customers.
I’ve been in situations where people are being cheap and it’s only fair to say that’s it’s a tough world out there. But come on, writing a bad review on google, that’s a little too cheap of you to jeopardize someone’s life and career. I’m not saying one bad review can stop the restaurant from running but it can trigger a lot of people to not want to come. Being cheap is fine when it doesn’t involve a negative outcome on the other person’s behalf.”
“Something About His Expression Just Didn’t Seem Quite Right”
“After seven years as a cashier in convenience stores, there were a handful of completely crazy people who were regulars in my store. And I mean card-carrying, ‘certified’ crazy. Like, spend a portion of their year at Ranch Relaxo, complete with padded walls, crazy. But there was one customer that was a legitimate nut case. I’ll call him, ‘Johnny.’ He was really just a fully-grown three-year-old whose biggest annoyance was loitering outside the store and asking people for money or cigs. I know I could have called the cops on him for doing this, and some cashiers did, but most other customers already knew Johnny, and either ignored him or handed him a few coins or cigs. He was annoying but harmless.
One busy night, as I was steadily ringing up customers, Johnny walked in and went straight to the bathroom in the back. I saw him do this and did not think much of it. I was so preoccupied with handling customers that I completely forgot that I had seen him go back there. I was only reminded of this when I saw him slowly walking out of the store about 45 minutes later, with a child-like, sheepish grin on his face.
Something about his expression just didn’t seem quite right, so after the store got quiet, I went over to check out the bathroom. Brace yourselves, folks.
Johnny had drawn all over the walls, door, mirror, sink, and toilet with his own feces. Yup, our very own fun, lovable man-child had left me a gift of his artwork. By him, from him. And it smelled very bad. Being the only person working that night, I ended up cleaning the bathroom.
By the way, the next time I saw Johnny, I tore into him like he was my own child. I yelled and called him a freaking weirdo, whatever I could think of to get through to him. He had no idea what I was talking about, which was a big let-down to me for some reason.”
The 40 Cent Increase Made This Woman Go Nuts
“This happened many years ago when I was in high school. My family had moved from a small Pennsylvania town to Long Island, which is right out of New York City. I hadn’t yet acclimated to the New York culture when this happened.
I was a cashier in a grocery store. The price of milk increased by 40 cents per gallon. I can’t recall why. The woman I was checking out was getting very agitated about the price increase. She was yelling that prices don’t increase so quickly, that we were taking food out of her children’s mouths, corporate greed was taking over, and etc. A woman in line offered to buy the milk for her. The kind gesture made her scream louder. She insisted that I charge her less. I explained that I couldn’t change the price as she requested. She then grabbed the gallon of milk, opened it, and poured it all over me. I found another job the next week.
A few weeks later, I went to a classmate’s house to study and recognized her mom. It was the same lady from the grocery store. Fortunately, she didn’t recognize me.”
All To Save Nine Cents
“I was a cashier in the largest grocery store chain in the United States. I was ringing a customer’s groceries, and I looked down the aisle and saw a customer take an 18 cent can of beans and bang it on the store shelf. About 15 minutes later, as she was taking her groceries out of the cart, she handed me the dented can of beans.
She said, ‘This can is damaged.’
I said, ‘OK, I’ll take care of it.’
I ran down the aisle and got another one. She asked me to give her the dented can for half price. I explained that the guy that marks down prices on damaged merchandise works at night, so she could come back at an opening time tomorrow. All that to save nine cents.”