The customer is not always right! Here are just a few examples of customers who were completely in the wrong and the worker called them out on it. These stories are for anyone who has everyone worked in the customer service field, whether it be retail or in a restaurant. All posts have been edited for clarity.
Choice Is Yours
“I work at a bar and a customer came in without his ID. I told him he’d have to leave. He messed around for about 20 minutes pretending to leave and slinking back in with his friends. I got fed up after a while, and confronted him in front of his friends, telling him that if he didn’t leave, his entire party would be kicked out.
He finally left… and returned about half an hour later, with his ID. He’d gone all the way home to get it.
I checked it, thanked him, and said, ‘What can I get for you?’
He said, ‘Bud Light.’ I handed him the Bud Light. He mumbled, ‘You didn’t have to be such a rude, thoughtless little pig earlier.’
I looked him in the eye and said, ‘Pardon?’
He repeated himself, louder: ‘You didn’t have to be such a rude thoughtless little pig earlier.’ I grabbed the bottle out of his hand and held it up in front of his face.
I said calmly, but somewhat loudly, ‘Look – you can call me that or you can order a Bud Light. BUT YOU CAN’T DO BOTH. What’s it gonna be?’ He looked around at everyone staring at him, mumbled that he’d like the Bud Light, and tipped me $5 on that one drink. He never sassed me again”
About Your Cable
“One of my favorite stories from my brief time in customer service was when a man who called up the night after a minor hurricane screaming that his service didn’t work, that he had complained multiple times, and this was the last straw. Clearly our service sucked, and it was our fault his cable was out. He kept cutting me off, and calling me rude names when finally I just interjected:
‘Sir, your cable isn’t out because of an issue with our service, your cable is out because a tree branch fell across the cable line. What’s that? How do I know? Because you live at 78 Fakename Road and I live at 75 Fakename Road. I saw the branch fall. I’m the one who went out in the rain last night to get the branch out of the street. In fact, I know you know it’s a branch, because I could see you looking out your window at me moving the branch that fell on your property. Not only that, but when I was done, I went inside and called into work on my day off to arrange a bucket truck to come out and rerun the cable so you could beat the rush of calls that came in all across the island due to the storm. You didn’t even have to call. A truck is already on route.’
Well, that shut him up.”
Burn Level: Nuclear
“I used to work for a independent coffee shop and one xmas eve, 15 minutes after we closed, a cantankerous old lady started banging on the door. You see, she needed coffee beans and though we had cashed out and she was being a total witch, I decided, ’tis the season and let her in.
While I was weighing out the beans, she noticed my sleeve (tattoos) and said, ‘How are you going to explain that to your grandchildren?’ in the most obnoxious way possible.
My reply: ‘Actually I was just diagnosed with cervical cancer, so I’ll never be able to have children.’
The look on her face was AMAZING! I didn’t get an apology but the shame I saw was enough to make me happy”
This Is Why Blockbuster Closed
“I used to work at Blockbuster. I am competent enough to not choke on my own drool so they quickly promoted me to a manager position. I got to deal with complaints after the customer service rep (READ: cashier) called for backup.
The best I ever got was a guy who had a movie charged to his account because he never returned it. He got furious at the cash register and demanded to see a manager. I greeted the customer with a smile and said through my gritting teeth, ‘How may I help you sir?’
He proceeded to go on a tirade about how he returned the movie in question and demanded a refund.
Now, as you might imagine, Blockbuster doesn’t treat/pay their employees very well so the quality of employee is close to bottom barrel. More of Blockbuster’s fault, a few extra dollars an hour and they would have gotten a much better calibre of employee and probably wouldn’t be bankrupt right now.
So I went through the returned movies as well as the movies that were on the shelf to see if he had indeed returned the movie but one of the customer reps forgot to scan it in. 90% of the time, the movie is on the shelf and all I have to do is scan it in and the system automatically refunds the customer the money. If another customer tries to rent a movie that hasn’t been scanned in, at the point of sale the computer will check in the movie and check it out to zero out the inventory. My point is that if I didn’t find the movie, then there was very little chance this guy had actually returned the movie.
I didn’t find the movie on the shelf.
I returned back to the front of the store and told the angry customer that he, in fact, did not return the movie as it was not in the store. The reaction was priceless. A small line had formed as a result of this incident so there were people watching my every move (and giving me ‘the eye’ to speed things up so they could get their movies and go home)
I can still remember almost word for word what he said, in his best condescending loud voice:
‘Do you know who I am?!? I am the chairman of the board of education for [local high school]!! How dare you accuse me of not returning this movie if I said I returned it!’
I very calmly looked him in the eye and said, ‘Sir, I don’t care who you are. But I’ll tell you what. I’m going to refund you your money so I can get these other people through so they can go home and enjoy their night. But let’s make a deal. If I find the movie, I will call you up and apologize personally and give you a free rental. If you find the movie, you return it to me personally and apologize.’
He was taken aback and nodded his head. Not to be outdone, he looked over at his shoulder and said in a loud voice, ‘That sounds like a deal.’
The next day, the movie was in the drop box. The guy never entered the store again. He would instead send his wife into the store to rent his movies for him.
The kicker? I saw a BMW car key on his keychain. The guy was loaded.”
Small Town Smackdown
“My folks used to own a Tastee Freez in South Carolina and I worked in it most summers as a teenager.
Since it was a small town, everyone knew each other and most went to the same church. One Sunday night, one of the ladies from church called in at about five minutes after ten and tried to order a 20 piece chicken nugget (never even mind that she called them McNuggets,). I informed her that we closed at ten and the grill and fryers were already cleaned and closed for the night, she got irate with me and started yelling in my ear about how she knew the owners of the place and she was going to get me fired and did she know who I was talking to.
I calmly replied that yes, Mrs. Greene, I knew exactly who I was talking to, since my parents and I lived right across the street from her and she had asked us in church that morning what time we closed for the night.
We were never on speaking terms again.”
This Guy Just Didn’t Want To Listen
“I was working at a gas station in a very rich part of town. During a nice summer day, a prime example of the jerk variety of the human species drove his super-expensive Lamborghini in, and in that haughty, I’m-rich-so-you-must-do-what-I-say voice, demanded that it be filled with premium. When the attendant started to do so, the guy immediately snatched the nozzle from him and screamed, ‘You’re too stupid to do this on your own.’
(We’re in Oregon, where you can’t pump your own gas. State fire law.)
Well, being that he’s a jerk and an idiot, gas spills out from the nozzle all over his sparkly Lambo. At this point, he truly flips out, and storms into the store where I’m working as the cashier and de facto manager. He immediately demands to speak to the owner and that we are going to pay to have his car repainted AND he’s not going to be paying for his gas. I try my best to calm the situation, but he’s got a good rage going and doesn’t want to be calmed down, dagnabbit. While he’s spewing forth, I notice that an officer from the local police department is about to come into the store to get snacks or a drink or some such. This gave me a nice idea:
‘Sir, I’m afraid that the gas is in your tank and you pumped it yourself, so you are going to have to pay.’
Cutscene of an explosion. The guy then asks, ‘So what, exactly, do you think you can do if I just go and get in my car and leave?’
Thank you, good Lord, for timing. He says this, at full bellow, right as the officer walks through the door. My response? ‘Well, personally I can’t do much, but the nice West Linn Police Officer standing behind you will probably arrest you for 2nd degree theft.’
The guy turns around to see the officer, with a very predatory smile on his face, nodding vigorously.
Yeah, he shut up, paid, and we never saw him again.”
Talk About User Error
“A customer wanted to return a computer that was about a year old when I worked in retail. I asked him what was wrong.
‘It just don’t work.’
I powered it on, gets into Windows, connects to the wireless network, goes online. I open Office, everything seems to be working properly. I show it to him, ask him what’s wrong.
‘It just don’t work.’
I asked him what was actually wrong with the machine (let alone why would you return a computer a year later).
‘It just don’t work. Are you saying if a car don’t start, it works fine?’
At this point I had enough of the guy:
‘No sir, I’m saying if there was a car and everyone could start it except one person, I wouldn’t blame the car.'”
I Will Ruin You!
“I used to work at an amusement park and, between department transfers, I started in food which was by far, the worst of the four details (games, rides, pavilions).
My stand made funnel cakes and corndogs. The average wait time on a busy day could be upwards of 30 minutes in the sun, which I’ll admit sucks. It’s not any cooler in the stand slaving over a 450 degree fryer. Anyhow…
This guy comes up, orders four corndogs. I ring him up and ask him if he wants any ketchup or mustard brushed on. He declines. I take his money, and hand over four corndogs. His little girl bites into one and then tugs on daddies arm and says she wants mustard. I politely inform him that since she’s already bitten out of her food, we can’t brush it on; however if he’d head 50 steps to an adjacent building, he could skip the line and just grab some condiment packets.
Apparently this was unacceptable. Up until this point, he was just a normal guy, then suddenly, anger. ‘DO YOU KNOW WHO I WORK FOR?! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!?’
I tell him no. He then half-chuckles to himself and points out his pregnant wife sitting at a nearby table and then begrudges the time he spent in line. I again reassure him they will give him some mustard packets if he walks next door. He loses his mind.
‘I’M THE REGIONAL REP FOR COKE IN THIS AREA, I WILL BUY AND SELL YOU KID’ This self-aggrandizing and demeaning talk towards me lasted a full 60 seconds or so. Then I told him, ‘We only carry Pepsi products’. He was flush with embarrassment and rage, anyone within earshot is laughing at him – to spite me (really his little girl) he didn’t go get mustard packets.
He forever was known as MustardMan.”
Tell It To The Weather Channel
“My first job was at an ice cream shop as a general manager. It’s the south, we’re in the middle of a drought, and it’s 109°F with 100% humidity. A woman comes up and orders 4 hot fudge sundaes – to go. I have no doubt the girl who made the sundaes did a great job as always. But this woman who was on break from McDonald’s calls me about 15 minutes later.
‘My ice cream is melted! I have nothing but soup!’
‘I’m sorry about that, are you outside right now? I can make something new and bring it out so you don’t have to get back in line.’
‘No. I’m at WORK.’ She then relays the story of lunch break with coworkers and the 4 hot fudge sundaes.
‘I see. How long ago was this?’
‘I WAS JUST THERE.’
‘Did you have a cooler?’
‘NO! Are you SURE you’re the manager??’
‘Last time I deposited a paycheck I was. I’d really like to help you, what can I do to help?’
‘Our lunch is ruined, there’s nothing you can do!’
‘I sincerely apologize, I can make new sundaes and you can pick them up free of charge. I’ll even refund your last order.’
‘I’M NOT ON BREAK ANYMORE.’
[At this point my night crew is coming in for their shift and hanging in the back, where I am, waiting to clock in.]
‘All right ma’am. Let me see if I’m understanding. You ordered 4 hot fudge sundaes on the hottest day of the year, put them in a hot car for 15 minutes and expected the ice cream not to melt?’
[The entire crew starts laughing hysterically. I immediately lose my s–t and start giggling.]
‘ARE YOU LAUGHING AT ME!?’
‘Ma’am I’m trying really hard not to, but can you at least see this from my point of view? You’ve refused a refund, you refused a remake, and you’re complaining about something that I have absolutely no control over. I assure you that my staff does everything in their power to make great desserts, but once the ice cream leaves the window, I can’t control the weather.’
‘I’m calling Corporate, click’“
Oh You Know Tommy
“I used to work at a restaurant chain that started about 15 or 20 years back and has about 15 stores in total. People all the time would complain and release their vague threat ‘I know Tommy! (The owner, guy who started the chain) Do I have to call him to get some good service?’
Such bull from so many people, but we had to put up with it, because that’s what you do in the restaurant business.
But one time when this happened, Tommy was actually in the restaurant. He would come in once every couple months or so and just act like a regular customer, just to kinda evaluate how things were running from a non-owner perspective (of course everything magically went smoother for him than any other customer, imagine that).
Anyway, this lady (that had been a total jerk the entire night) starts complaining, talking about how her meal was cold or bad or some bull, even though she had powered through 4/5ths of it. She wants her money back for this atrocity! And then she drops the bombshell: ‘I know Tommy! He wouldn’t stand for this!’ The only thing was, Tommy was sitting almost directly behind her, and pretty obviously didn’t know her, and she didn’t recognize him.
After getting a bit of the old discrete, Go ahead nod from him, I just said, ‘Ma’am, Tommy is in the restaurant right now. If you could just point him out right now I’d be glad to let him know what you think of his restaurants.’
She stammered, gave the ‘No he’s not, I would’ve seen him!’ until the owner stood up and said hello. He put on the kind of sickly sweet personality, where you’re ever so polite but a total jerk at the same time. She shut up and paid pretty quickly after that”
When You Call Their Bluff
“I worked at a photo printing lab, and we got people in all the time who claimed we were stupid and had messed up their pictures.
One woman had us print 800 vacation pictures. They were bad quality, dark, and out of focus. When she came to pick them up, she insisted that we had ruined them, that they were perfect in her camera, and that she had a very expensive camera and so there was no way the pictures could be dark or out of focus. We finally gave her her money back, even though we had done nothing wrong and were out a lot of time and paper.
She called us 30 minutes later and told us she was at a store across town, and they had reprinted all of her pictures and they were beautiful, in focus, and nice and bright. I had to tell her that the same person who owned our store also owned the store across town, and that not only would it have taken that store several hours to reprint 800 pictures, but their printer was down that day, so they couldn’t have printed anything. She hung up on me.”
Someone That Dumb…
“I used to work in a pawnshop. We got lots of jewelry in and a lot of times the person bringing in the jewelry would have no idea that some of their stuff was fake. Nine times out of ten, they would get mad and leave their stuff with us to be thrown out.
My co-worker accidentally left a really gaudy but fake gold chain out on the desk one day. A customer came in, noticed the chain and told us that we’d better put it away before someone stole it.
I was about to, but then I realized I could have some fun. We ended up leaving the chain on the desk and would casually watch people as they came in to do business.
We caught a number of people trying to steal the chain. One guy in particular was talking us up and gradually pulling the chain off the counter. When he had successfully pocketed it and left the store my co-worker and I began to crack up.
Sure enough, about a week later, the guy came back in with the chain that he stole and tried to sell it to us. When I refused to buy it he got mad but then we showed him the security cam footage of him stealing it.
We weren’t even upset about it. Someone that dumb deserves to live his life that way until he walks out in front of a bus or into a wood chipper.”
So You Like To Drink…
“I was waiting tables on a charter boat (dinner boat). We had a full-boat charter of these French doctors who were in San Francisco for a convention of some sort. They’d brought their own bottle of red and we were supposed to make it last the whole four hours of their trip but it was starting to run out even before we served their meal, so we were instructed to pour half-glasses to reduce waste.
Well, I’d gone most of the way round this table of ten or so, and I had poured a half a glass for each of the diners and had to open a new bottle. I began to pour for this Frenchy. With a new bottle, I had to hold the mouth of it close to the glass so it wouldn’t glug all over the table, and when I got it down there, the guy had his hand on his glass and hooked a finger around the mouth of the bottle, which got him a nice round of French ‘Au-hau-HAU’ laughter from the rest of the table. Obviously he wanted a full glass.
Well, I got toward the top of the glass and he released his finger from the bottle, at which point I turned the bottle completely upside-down and poured the rest of the bottle out, overflowing his glass and covering a large portion of the table, while shouting ‘Sacré Bleu!’ The French were too shocked to do anything; it was the Maginot Line all over again.
I knew I was going to be fired as soon as we got back to the dock, so I spent the rest of the trip in the wheelhouse with the captain. When we got to the dock, sure enough, the food and beverage manager fired me and, to my surprise, the captain hired me on the spot. I ended up being the first officer for the next three years. Everything went better than expected”