Working in a customer service related field can be a real pain in the butt, as people get really worked up over the smallest things, even if they're in the wrong. A lot of customers actually think they're right 100% of the time and have a hard time communicating with employees like actual human beings. It also doesn't help that a lot of businesses have a 'customer is always right' approach, which leads to unapologetic consumers with super-inflated egos.
Whether it's a guy who freaks out and can't accept responsibility for breaking his phone, or a couple who shamelessly try to return $1,000+ of used clothing, the poor workers who have to deal with these people truly deserve an award. It's unreal that people can be so selfish and entitled, and then take it out on these hapless employees. Here are some of Reddit workers' nuttiest, most dreadful stories about the craziest, rudest customers they've ever had. Content edited for clarity.
“I Don’t Do No Warranties!”
“I worked at a large electronics retailer right when digital light processing (DLP) projection TVs first came out. We had one model going for $3,999. This was also before anyone figured out how often the bulbs burned out, and the service plan (basically just an extended warranty through the store) was somewhere around $250.
One day a guy came in with his family and said he wanted one of these TVs. I said alright and started talking about the service plan. He cut me off, ‘Don’t even bother, I’m not buying crap other than this TV, I don’t do no warranties!’
I replied that since it was a new technology and hadn’t been proven in the field yet, it would be foolish not to have some sort of recourse if the TV burned out in 91 days. He lost his frickin’ mind, swearing, running up and down the aisles, and saying that I called him an idiot.
Then he reached back and was about to take a swing at me when my manager finally stepped in and calmed him down while I went into the other room. I don’t know what my manager said to him, but he ended up buying the service plan plus about $1,000 worth of marked up accessories. So much for, ‘I don’t do no warranties!'”
He Couldn’t Accept That It Was His Fault For Breaking The Phone
“I get threatened constantly at work by both men and women (I’m a girl). If I don’t get at least four of five threats a week to have my face smashed in or to wait for me outside and beat me up, it’s not a normal week. I’ve had rocks thrown at me, someone smash my monitor, and I get sworn at constantly. People try to steal hardware, but I’ve always managed to get it back.
I had one gypsie follow me around the other week and wouldn’t leave me alone for over an hour. He bought an iPhone 3G from us but brought it back saying it wouldn’t charge. I took a look at his receipt and yes, he had bought one, so I took a look at the charge port, and it was wrecked. There was just nothing left of it.
Then I tried to pop the SIM tray out to see if the serial number matched his receipt, but I couldn’t pull it out all the way because the metal inside was mangled, so I took the phone to my manager and told him what was going on. I knew the customer was going to be ticked so I got my manager to tell him that he couldn’t get a new phone and that we wouldn’t fix his.
He freaked, ripped the SIM tray out, and then was unable to slide it back in since the metal inside was so wrecked. He claimed I broke his SIM tray and proceeded to follow me around for the next hour, yelling at me. I literally couldn’t serve anyone else because of him, so I gave up and went to do something else to try and hide from him. Eventually he left, but I was getting threatened by the end of it. I get paid minimum wage there, and I really want a new job.”
Her Husband Was Probably Used To Her Antics
“I worked at an OfficeMax part-time for a few years and this happened on the day after Christmas in 2006. I was newly suffering from kidney stones so I was doped to the heavens on Vicodin just to get by until my surgery.
I walked in the door for my shift and a guy walked up to me and asked for help. I explained that I’d just walked in the door so if he’d wait by the office door for a minute, I’d get my radio, punch in, and be glad to help him. He followed me over and while I was in the office for a maybe a minute, he wandered off.
When I came out, he was gone and the registers were filling up, so my supervisor (also a close friend) asked me to hop on until the lines thinned out. I did and my first customer was this rather unassuming woman with a friendly disposition. Though I was trying hard to hide the great amount of pain I was in, we made small talk and shared a few laughs as I rung out her full cart.
As we were finishing up, I asked if there was anything else I could do for her, and she asked very nicely if she could talk to a supervisor. I said sure and my friend was right behind me, so he overheard and asked what he could do for her. She freakin’ EXPLODED!
She stuck her finger in my face, literally touching my nose, and started ranting about what a horrible employee I was, how rude I was, how I refused to help her husband (yep, the same guy, who I realized was sheepishly cowering behind her), and how I had no business helping anyone.
My supervisor and I both just stood there in shock. He looked at me and I simply shrugged, which of course just ticked her off more. I told her that I had just walked in the door and asked him to follow me to the office so I could get my radio and punch in, but she just started laughing and screaming that I was a liar. I looked at her husband and asked him to verify, but he just shook his head and stared at the floor.
She continued to scream as a crowd formed and the lines were piling up behind her. I finally accepted that I didn’t need the job and that it was my turn to attack. I proceeded to absolutely explode on her, calling her every derogatory name in the book, saying that she’d better not touch me ever again, and expressing my condolences that her husband was such a spineless milksop that he couldn’t stand up for himself. By the end of it, my supervisor had to physically drag me away into the count room.
I could hear her screaming for my job while we were in the count room; meanwhile, my supervisor was laughing his butt off and I was simply too angry to care. After she left, my manager called me into his office. I already had my radio and name tag off, assuming I was done. He let me read the complaint and give my side of the story, and then just laughed and tore up the complaint before asking me not to swear quite so much.”
She Was Clueless And Insistent, A Terrible Combo
“I used to work at an art supply store and one day I had this elderly lady come in trying to return a pair of scissors. She had no receipt, the scissors had no packaging, and she didn’t even have a bag from the store.
I politely informed her that since she had no proof of purchase, I couldn’t process the return. She didn’t pay attention to that and kept complaining about how the scissors were too difficult for her to use, forcing me to try them and confirm what she was saying.
I told her I was sorry that she was having trouble with them, but without any proof of purchase, I couldn’t even give her store credit. She became infuriated with me, saying that I was discriminating against the elderly and that I thought I was better than her, and then asked me to call my manager.
Since she was holding up my line I did, and I kept listening as I rang up the other customers since they were within earshot. My manager told her the exact same thing I did, but somehow, she still couldn’t comprehend it. This woman stayed in our store trying to return those scissors for two whole hours.”
Their Plan For Retribution Made No Sense
“I used to work at GameStop during the holidays. Black Friday was busy but not actually as chaotic as I was expecting, except for this little incident. Something went wrong with a transaction; either our computer messed up or one of the cashiers did something wrong, but whatever the case, it ended up charging this couple’s credit card ten times for one purchase.
We tried assuring them that the problem had been addressed and the money would be back in their account within the next two to three business days, but they weren’t having any of it. The lady said, ‘No, we need our money back right now or your store owes us $500 worth of merchandise.’ We calmly told them that we’d done all we could so they’d just have to wait for the money to go back into their account, but they didn’t want to wait, so they followed through on their threat.
They ran around the store, grabbing cases off the wall. EMPTY cases. Those things are just up there for display and check-out; the game discs themselves are behind the counter. They didn’t even bother with the working accessories we had out there. All of us were just standing around thinking, ‘Seriously? Is this happening?’ The other customers seemed pretty baffled, too. One lady in the store just sort of looked at what was going on and said, ‘I should probably come back later!’
Mall security showed up soon after and ‘escorted’ them out while we silently cursed them for the mess they made. That was pretty much the most exciting day I’ve ever had there.”
The Last Thing You Want To See In The Men’s Room
“I started working at a local grocery chain a few years ago and since then, I’ve graduated from being a cashier to a customer service ‘team leader.’ Basically, I’m glorified customer service staff with a tiny bit more authority. Either way, things were relatively normal for the first 2 and a half years I worked there.
But last August, everything changed. I had just been promoted to team leader and was working a closing shift. It was about 9:30 pm and we still had a few customers in the store, but we were winding down and preparing to lock the doors in the next half hour.
Now, next to the store I work in there are several restaurant/bar combinations and as a result, we get quite a few people hammered out of their minds coming through. A few minutes past 9:30, a man stumbled in through the door and staggered toward the restrooms. I didn’t think much of it, but kept my eye on the restrooms.
About 10 minutes later, I heard someone screaming bloody murder in the men’s restroom. Since I was the only supervisor in the store and the only other people near the restroom were women, I ran in to see what the problem was.
I walked in and, reflected in the mirror over the sink, I saw an image that will forever be engrained in my head: the wasted guy, standing completely naked and jerking off furiously on top of a toilet. I slowly backed out of the restroom and immediately called the police, who arrived promptly to arrest him. I went home very soon after that because it was pretty scarring.”
He Totally Shot Himself In The Foot
“I worked at a Sam’s Club and during my time there, we began accepting EBT cards (Illinois food stamps). The cards would reload on the first of the month and this particular first of the month was a national holiday (one of those random ones that is always on a Monday).
A man who would buy supplies for his vending machines with food stamps came in and was shocked that his card would not work. We’d called several times on the subject and had basically been told, ‘Something went wrong and the people who fix it won’t be in until the next day.’
The man became irate when we relayed the message to him and started screaming at the cashier. He wound up to punch the cashier (a girl) in the face when my manager stepped in and grabbed his arm. My manager was a massive former boxer who weighs about 270lbs. ‘Is there a problem?’ he asked. The customer let out a high pitched screech and ran for the exit.
The manager then took his membership and EBT cards (the guy left them) and called into the state welfare office to report him for using the money to run his business. The guy was tossed off the program and my manager got a nice check for turning him in.”
People Buying Clothes Can Act Like Absolutely Children
“I work for a well-known clothing store in England so I get complained about all the time for stupid reasons by rude people. I work in the fitting rooms and get clothes and hangers literally thrown at me when people are leaving. I’ve been called names like ‘pathetic,’ ‘stupid,’ etc, and yelled at when we don’t have people’s sizes in clothes.
We have a rule that people can’t go into the fitting room if they aren’t trying things on. People hate that rule and I’ve been shoved out the way and squared up to when people try and get through or argue about it. I get yelled at like it’s my fault and my rule.
One time I had this 50-year-old mom shout at me, saying that her 30-year-old daughter wouldn’t come out the fitting room on her own and that she needed to approve of what she was wearing. I found that simply ridiculous, as I’m 17 and my mom hasn’t come shopping with me for years.
I’ve worked there nearly 2 years now and have had people push me out of the way when the sales start and snatch bags from me at the cash desk. The worst customers are people who phone up and have no idea what they’re looking for, but blame you for not guessing correctly. Working in retail is horrible, end of story.”
If A System Can Be Abused, People Will Do It
“I worked at Ross for almost two years and, man, people could be such bumholes. There were always people trying to ‘cheat’ the system by attempting to return used stuff. One couple showed up every other day with trash bags full of clothes, toys, dinnerware, and other stuff.
Our policies kept changing so Ross basically forced us to return the crap they brought, which in turn made them bring more and more used stuff. I think they got away with a little over $1,000 until one of my managers went berserk on them. She started screaming at them to stop coming to the store, saying that if they came back she was gonna call the cops.
The couple has since returned and tried, once again, to return used stuff. The person checking them out was someone in training so one of my coworkers warned the other cashier in Spanish that the couple was shady. The male customer started shouting at my friend and threatening her life. He told her to watch herself after we closed because they were going to be waiting.
Another time I had this loony lady who wanted to return some used shoes (they were muddy and looked like the bottom of a used skateboard). I went through the whole, ‘I’m sorry, ma’am, our policy states that we cannot return used merchandise,’ deal with her and she did not like it very much. I called the manager because I honestly wanted to help her out but would get in trouble if I returned those shoes.
As we waited for my manager to come up, she started mumbling under her breath and then looked at me before shouting that I didn’t ‘have a heart.’ She said I was a horrible human being for not helping her out and that I was doomed to the underworld. I know we’re supposed to remain calm, and I usually do, but I had been there for approximately 14 hours that day and was tired of the crap, so I just walked away and clocked out.”
This Sad Jerk Was Trying To Impress His Friends
“When I was a teenager, I was a trainer at McDonald’s and this happened while I was training a new girl in the drive-thru. A man came through in a big lifted truck with a quad in the back and his country music blaring.
He proceeded to order a plethora of burgers, fries, milkshakes, etc, and the new girl was taking the order and, being brand new, was slow as heck. He was talking to his other buddies in the truck about how this girl must’ve been ‘some kinda simpleton’ and she was getting upset, so I took over for her and told her to start bagging up their food.
The guy got to the window and I forced a smile and handed him his food. He slowly started to pull away and I went over to take another order, but then I looked back to see the dude had backed his truck up to the window again and was honking his horn like he’d witnessed a murder.
The trainee walked up to the window and opened it to see what he needed, and the second that window opened a Big Mac sailed right through and hit her square in the face. He and his buddies all laughed and he peeled out of the drive-thru, narrowly missing hitting a parked car. This girl was maybe 14 and it was literally her first day. She just started bawling and took off out of the store, never to be seen again.
When you work in a fast food place people seldom have respect for you. I found that people just assume you’re incompetent because that is ‘the only’ job you can get. When I worked at McDonald’s, I liked it. I wouldn’t want to do it now, but I have a respect for fast food employees because I know what they have to put up with.”
He Assumed She Knew His Extensive McDonald’s Tenure
“I used to work at McDonald’s and one morning this guy came and ordered an egg McMuffin. Because he wasn’t a regular and I’d never seen him before, I said to him in the nicest voice possible, ‘Cheese comes on that sir, is that okay?’
He stopped what he was doing, looked at me, and said, ‘I have been eating McDonald’s for 20 freaking years! Don’t you think I know cheese comes on a McMuffin? How freaking stupid do you think I am?!’
I replied, ‘Sir, I apologize, but I have to ask every customer that buys one if cheese is okay on it since not everybody knows and we have to throw a lot away because people bring them back.’ Then, for no reason at all, he said, ‘God, you people from the South are freaking slow and have no respect for your elders!’ I can’t remember everything he said because I was extremely upset, but just imagine several more minutes of being talked down to.
Then my manager came over and the rude customer said, ‘What were you thinking when you hired this girl, she is a total idiot!’ to which my manager replied, ‘I agree and I’m sorry sir, I promise this will never happen again and she will be dealt with.’
My manager then looked over at me like I’d killed somebody. Oh God, it was the worst look ever. At that point a few of my regulars came up and started yelling at the customer, ‘How could you make this sweet girl cry, you Yankee prick?!’ I left from behind the counter to go to the bathroom and clear the makeup off my face, and on the way one of my regulars grabbed me and gave me a hug while her husband continued to yell at the guy.
I should point out that I never even rung this guy up for his food because he was too busy yelling so I just kinda froze and sat there. Long story short, after several minutes of my regulars yelling at him he left, without his food.
After that, my manager took me to the back and lectured me about how I shouldn’t talk down to my customers even though I wasn’t, so of course I tried to defend myself to no success. That whole day was just awful and I’ll never forget it; I think that one old man’s speech was the most anyone has ever hurt me.”
The Guy Couldn’t Cover His Tracks To Save His Life
“I used to work at a ski resort hotel and during the summer they hosted a lot of business conferences to keep turning a profit. One time we had a group from a town relatively nearby come up for a weekend business conference. Apparently one of the guys in the group had his wife stay with him, but he had to stay a few more nights and she had to go home because she had work or something.
Well, she’d been suspecting he was cheating on her for some time, so she came back to the hotel without telling him, and found him with his mistress in the hotel room she’d just stayed at for the previous few nights.
They flipped out, had a huge altercation, and she left…or so we thought. Meanwhile, he demanded to change rooms and that we give his new room number to no one. As per hotel policy, unless the guest’s name is on the room for security reasons, we cannot give out the room number.
Well, his wife came back and figured out he’d moved rooms. She demanded we give out his new room number. Since her name wasn’t on the room, we couldn’t oblige. She flipped out and started yelling and screaming at us; meanwhile, her husband (not knowing she was still in the hotel) came strolling through the lobby with his mistress. It was quite a loud fight after that.”
“I Am A Police Woman!”
“I worked at Six Flags a few summers ago and it was the first summer job I ever had. Looking back, my best and worst memories of the summer came from that job and I really learned a lot about hard work. I worked the Superman ride, the busiest one in the park. The ride regularly had 2+ hour lines and since I worked the night shift, I was usually there from 4 pm-1 am making sure everybody rode, because if you were in line at 9:59, you still got to ride (the park ‘closed’ at 10 pm).
One particularly hard day, the line was winding down and it was looking like I had about 45 minutes of work left, which is always a good feeling. All of a sudden, I heard someone screaming and yelling at the guy in the control booth. We had people on the ride but we can’t send them off when non-employees are on the platform, so I walked over to see what the fuss was all about.
I was met by a lady with two very large men standing next to her, looking intimidating as anything. She was yelling a bunch of nonsense to the control manager and from what I could make out, she was angry that we didn’t let her take her stuffed animals on the ride with her and had to store them before she could get on. However, she had all her personal belongings with her at that point, so I couldn’t really understand why she was upset.
I could, however, smell brews on her breath, which were served in the park on special patios. I figured her and her boys had had one too many $8 Bud Lights. When I walked up and asked what was going on (stupid move, I should have let my manager handle it), she just started going off on me. I told her that I was going to have to call security to get her out because she was holding up the line and bothering the other riders.
Then she looked me in the eye and said, ‘SECURITY? SECURITY?! I AM A POLICE WOMAN, I WILL ARREST YOU! I WILL ARREST ALL OF YOU!’ We finally got her out of the ride area but I was ticked off the rest of the night. But when I got home, I realized how funny the whole situation was and now that’s my go-to story when anybody asks how my summer jobs were.”