The only good thing about these atrocious customers was the karma they immediately received for their awful actions! These retail workers deserve so much better!
"Former Blockbuster employee here.
There was a woman who not only absolutely refused to pay her late fees, but she became so enraged she threw her stack of tapes at me, hitting me in the face. She then marched around the store and knocked every cassette, DVD, and coverbox that she could reach off of the shelves while shouting obscenities. My manager got on the phone and called the police. When 'Angry Lady' finished trashing the store, she demanded to know which cars out on the parking lot my coworker and I drove. When we refused to say, she spit at us and knocked all of the candy/shelf talkers/etc. off of the counters, and began stomping on them.
I don't know if it was divine intervention, or luck, or what, but as Angry Lady was spitting and stomping on the candy, another woman walked into the store. This woman just happened to be my next-door neighbor...and a police officer.
Officer Neighbor Lady approached; Angry Lady and identified herself as a police officer.
As she attempted to ask what the problem was, Angry Lady shouted, 'Where's your freaking badge, huh?!', spat at Officer Neighbor Lady, and attempted to flee.
Officer Neighbor Lady grabbed Angry Lady before she could reach the door and a scuffle ensued. In a blink, Officer Neighbor Lady kicked Angry Lady's legs out from under her and she went down like a sack of bricks. I'll never forget the SMACK sound her face made when it hit the concrete floor (satisfying!). While she held Angry Lady down, Officer Neighbor Lady asked me to go get her purse, out of which she pulled a pair of handcuffs. As the cuffs locked around her wrists, it was then that Angry Lady finally realized what trouble she was in. She began to sob and wail loudly. She promised to make nice, pay her fee, and begged to be let go. Two uniformed officers arrived and hauled Angry Lady away, screaming and crying like a lunatic.
Turned out Angry Lady was actually the mother of a student at my school (I was in high school at the time). He avoided me for the rest of the year (felt terrible for the guy). We found out later that Angry Lady was not under the influence of anything - she was just a volatile, childish idiot. She was banned from every corporate Blockbuster store.
Oh, and the late fee she owed? $12."
"This crazy woman was already a known problem customer in our store. Being one of the managers and a longtime retail veteran, I usually helped her when she came in.
One particular day, she came in wanting to return a clearance item she'd bought 3 MONTHS AGO. I knew she knew our return policy and pointed out the 'Final Sale' note on her crumpled receipt (The day she'd bought the item in question had not been a fun encounter to begin with). She started screaming she should be allowed to return it because she has cancer, and I have no idea how hard that was. I nursed my grandfather through Stage 4 lung cancer, so I had some idea but simply gave her calm reassurances. I did stick to the policy though. Side note: she'd been a nightmare long before she became ill, and probably should have been banned already for some of her antics.
After more back and forth, she asks that I let her just exchange it. As she's giving me a headache, I agree, inform her that the exchanged item WOULD NOT be able to be returned or exchanged and reminded her of how much credit she had. She comes back with another item and slams it onto my counter. Lo and behold, there's a dollar and change difference between her original item and the new one. She's furious, shouting that she shouldn't have to pay it and don't I know she's suffering! I firmly insist she coughs up the difference as THAT'S HOW EXCHANGES WORK.
She responded by pulling a fistful of change out of her purse and throwing it at my face. A nickel bounced off of my glasses. I saw red but calmly counted up the change, slid the excess across the counter (which she threw onto the floor) and she stormed out.
There had been a young couple in line behind her who promptly approached the counter and asked if I was okay. The head manager took over the register and sent me to the back to calm down. When I came out, she told me that the crazy woman had caused a ruckus at our sister store a few doors down and was now, finally, banned from both stores."
"I was the retail worker who was being treated badly at the time. In this case, the customer literally threw the other customer straight out the door. I’m not exaggerating at all.
When I worked at GameStop in high school, it was one of those little strip-mall locations that is located in a plaza with other, larger stores such as Walmart and the like. We were a standalone store (meaning no security like you would have in a mall) and, because the plaza was new and in a location surrounded by subdivisions that were still under construction, it was also an extremely low-traffic store. Therefore, it wasn’t at all unusual for me to be alone in the store because we didn’t make enough sales to justify having two people on staff for most of the day. Plus, we rarely had multiple customers in the store at the same time due to low traffic.
This was the setting in which a short, rotund, middle-aged man came in to return a copy of Scarface for the PC. Now, GameStop’s return policy is pretty terrible at the best of times, but PC games are basically just final sale, excepting defects. This was back before Steam and other such DRM services had really taken off, so we still used CD keys, and if you opened the box, the CD was assumed to be used, which meant absolutely no returns under any circumstances. The only thing we could do was an exchange for another copy of the same game. It was very 'buyer beware.'
Now, this guy had clearly opened his game and he wanted his money back because he didn’t like it. I apologized and informed him that our return policy didn’t allow that. It was defective exchanges only. Well, then he changed his story and started claiming it was defective. I told him that my only option was to exchange it for another copy of the same game. He didn’t like that either and started getting extremely upset. He was shouting, calling me names, all kinds of horrible things. He was being quite aggressive about it, too. I kept trying to calm him down, and offered everything I could offer without being fired. I told him I could come back tomorrow to see if my manager could override the policy, call customer service, anything. It only seemed to enrage him further. This culminated in him trying to lunge over the counter to physically attack me.
Now, this is why I mentioned earlier that he was short and round– he didn’t get very far in his lunge and just kinda bounced off the counter without coming all that close to me. Still, his intent was very clear. It’s not like the counter was an unassailable fortress - all he had to do was walk around it to try again. So, I’m left standing there wondering if punching a customer in self-defense would get me fired because I really, honestly had no idea what I was going to do if he tried again to any greater success.
Now, this is when another customer entered the store. I should note that the front of the store was just a set of basically floor-to-ceiling windows and this was pretty late in the day, if I recall, so this other customer saw the whole thing play out through the windows while he was on his way inside. This other customer was enormous. I realize my memory has probably exaggerated his size a little, but he really was genuinely built like a football player– tall and very broad in the shoulders and obviously quite strong. So here he was, walking into the video game store on time to see a middle-aged man try to physically assault the teenage girl behind the counter. I’m sure I looked quite distressed.
Without a single word, he walked straight up to the counter from the door, literally lifted the angry customer off his feet, carried him back to the door and tossed him out onto the sidewalk.
"Once when I worked in the airport at a kiosk for Brookstone, a man came through for earbuds. He was rude from the start, in a hurry and acting like I was wasting his time for ringing him up for a purchase he wanted to make. So I skip the upsales just to get him away from me.
He comes back ten minutes later with earbuds he broke by ripping them out of the package too roughly. Instead of even pretending to be apologetic about it, he throws the package at me. Literally throws it across the counter at me, and demands a refund. It's like 6am and it's too early to deal with arguing with this guy about why I don't have to return an item he clearly broke, so I ask him for the card he put it on.
Unsurprisingly, he argues with me before having to exert untold amount of energy to just reach into his wallet to give me his stupid card. He tosses it to the counter despite my outstretched hand, and I'm coming close to my limit. What seals it is when I ask for his ID and he loses it at me, arguing that I don't need it.
I literally could not process a return without customer information and tell him as such, going back and forth with him until he throws that at me. He then mutters under his breath 'freaking brat.'
I don't know how this was the straw that broke the camel's back when having things thrown at me wasn't, but it was.
I don't think he expected me to call him on it because when I said 'Excuse me?' he looked surprised.
Before he could say anything, I cancelled the return, put his cards and the receipt on top of the box, and slid it back over to him.
I said, with so much satisfaction, 'Sorry, I can't process this return for you, but maybe the local store in your arrival city can.'
I was the only employee there at the time and a manager, so arguing with me didn't help his case much, especially not with a Metro police podium right next to my store. As much as I wanted to lose my mind at him, the satisfaction of forcing him to either eat the cost and throw the busted earbuds out or hold onto them to try to return later and purchase another pair for his flight made up for a lot.
The second is both my favorite story and when I knew I was running out of cares to give. Same company, but at a mall location before I moved to the airport. It's about 20 minutes past opening time, the mall is mostly dead, and this older woman walks in.
Per company policy, I greet her with the customary 'Good morning, how are you today?'
She whirls on me immediately, snapping at me 'I'd be better if people stopped asking me that question.'
I looked her dead in the eye, smiled, and just told her 'That's what online shopping is for,' before walking away.
The outrage on her face before she spun around and stomped out warmed the dying embers of my cold heart the rest of the day. It was better than losing it on her ever could be."
"Back when I took a semester off from college to work, I worked at a local discount grocery store as a cashier.
This store is located in the central/downtown area of my city. Believe me when I say that when you work retail, you see a special kind of crazy and stupid from certain customers that you never even knew existed. In this area, customers like this were a dime a dozen.
I was cashing out customers on a slow day when a woman runs up to my checkout lane and throws a 20 pound bag of dog food on me. I had to lean against my counter to catch my breath while she berated me. Everything from 'Hurry up, I’m in a rush!' to 'They couldn’t find anyone slower than you to employ?' all while she was drumming her fingers on the counter and huffing at me.
Unbeknownst to me (due to the large bag of dog food LITERALLY covering my face and torso, blocking my view), another woman was in line now behind this Jezebel. After I rang her purchase through to the debit machine, the woman behind her looks me dead in the eye, winks at me, and remarks sarcastically, 'Hurry up! Can’t you see she’s in a rush to pay for her dinner and leave?'
I almost put my head in a grocery bag to muffle my laughter, but I couldn’t help it. That woman cursed at both of us as she left, but oh my was it worth the look on her face!"