The cashier's nightmare began when she had to work on one of the busiest days of the season while being sick.
She works in an apparel department store, mainly on the register. Even though she had been sick all day, she decided to come to work because she couldn't afford to call in sick again. That night, the customers seemed pretty normal, until one woman showed up.
It was probably 9:30 pm when this middle-aged woman came up to her counter to buy some items. She had a few shirts from the men's department, as well as some workout pants.
The cashier started ringing her things up and noticed that the customer had a coupon for a buy-one-get-one-free for the men's shirts. So naturally, the cashier scanned everything, totaled it and then applied the coupon. She then told the customer her total.
The customer stared at the screen and it was clear that she had a problem with the total of her purchase. What she said next was actually bold and surprising.
Customer: 'So that's not enough of a discount after that coupon. I want more.'
The cashier stared at her speechless and confused. She didn't know what exactly the customer was getting at.
Cashier: 'Um, well everything rang up at the price it was supposed to. I don't really know what you mean by not enough of a discount. Everything the coupon applied to, it took off.'
Customer: 'Yes, but, it's still not enough. I thought it would work on the pants as well.'
The coupon in question clearly states 'young men and men's shirts'. There isn't anything on the coupon anywhere saying anything about pants, so it was very confusing why she was saying that.
Cashier: 'Oh, I see. The coupon is only applicable to men's shirts... there isn't a coupon for pants this week.'
The customer kind of narrowed her eyes but didn't say anything else. The cashier sighed in relief, thinking that this wouldn't turn out a big deal. So she repeated the total, very politely.
The customer ignored the cashier and asked where their New Year's Eve jewelry was. The store didn't really have any jewelry for New Year's Eve, only for Christmas. The cashier told the customer this, all while thinking why the customer is asking that question when she had finished ringing her out and bagging her items.
Customer: 'Well, do you have any like costume jewelry or stuff like that?'
The cashier told her that yes, they did and gave her directions to where they were, assuming she would go look once the transaction was completed.
Without another word, the customer ran towards the jewelry section and left the cashier with an unfinished transaction. The cashier was getting frustrated at this point. Not only was she feeling ill, there were customers lined up, waiting to make ACTUAL purchases. The cashier had to tell them that they could check out in the front of the main checkout stands if they didn't mind. Some customers left and some stayed, which was also questionable since the annoying customer took a long time to come back to the register.
The customer finally came back. She was holding two little wallet clutches that were sparkly. Pretty good for New Year's Eve, even if they didn't say anything about NYE on them.
Customer: 'I found these. Add them to my total.'
Cashier: 'Sure thing!'
So, she added them to the transaction, put them in the bag with the rest of her items, and told her her new total. The woman stared at the screen again, this time really scrutinizing it.
Customer: 'No, those aren't cheap enough. Those jewelry bag things are supposed to be half off.'
The cashier knew right then and there how this was going to go. She felt bad for the other customers waiting in line, but there was no way she was going to let this woman get away with price adjustments on items that clearly were NOT on sale.
Cashier: 'Ma'am, the jewelry is actually regular priced right now. It's not on sale, I'm sorry.'
Customer: 'Um, so what was the sign over there then? It said 50% off all holiday jewelry.'
The answer was within her question: all holiday jewelry. Which was not what she had. She could have perhaps wanted to use it for that purpose, but it wasn't actually holiday jewelry. So the cashier explained all that to her, this time a little less friendly than before. The woman in line behind her, who had stayed through her taking her sweet time shopping finally gave up and walked away.
Customer: 'Well, that's false advertising.'
The cashier stared at the woman for a few seconds, dumbfounded at what she had just heard.
Cashier: 'Can you explain to me how exactly it's false advertising when the sign back there is only on top of the holiday jewelry? when these clutches you got were nowhere near there, as well as full price? I don't understand.'
The customer just rolled her eyes but didn't say anything in response. The cashier then asked her if she would still like them, and, most likely out of spite, the woman still took them. The cashier repeated her total for what felt like the 8th time. It had now been about half an hour with this customer, and there were so many other things that needed to be done in that department.
The customer looked at the screen again scrutinizing it. It was clear she was looking for anything else that had an imaginary discount. And she found one with the men's workout pants...
Customer: 'Uh, yeah, so those pants were supposed to be 50% off.'
It was like she had to get something discounted. There was no way she was going to leave without getting 'something' for cheaper than already insane sale prices. The men's workout pants, especially the brand she had, were definitely not 50% off. They were 30% off. The cashier knew this because she was the one that had set the ad for men's athletic wear that week.
Cashier: 'Ma'am, I'm sorry to inform you, but no, they're not. They're only 30% off this week. I set the ad myself, so I definitely remember that.'
The customer just sighed heavily, definitely annoyed, but at least she didn't fight it. After a few seconds of waiting impatiently to see if the customer will scrutinize the screen again, she finally pulled money out of her monstrosity of a purse.
Right as she was about to hand the money for the purchase, she did something so unthinkable. She looked at the screen one last time, looked at the cashier, then the bagged merchandise, put her money back in her wallet and said: 'You know what, I really don't want any of this stuff anymore. You've argued with me over every price I've told you, and it's just made it so I don't want to give you my money. You've lost a customer.'
Cashier: 'I'm so sorry you feel that way, however, this is a business, and I can't just take your word for every price you think something should be, especially when I set the sale ads myself. If you think something should be cheaper, maybe customer service would be the better way to go. Hope you have a better night.'
Customer: 'I'm just saying. If a customer tells you something is cheaper, you honor it-'
What the cashier did next may seem a little unprofessional. She knew she should not have said what she did but at that time, she was feeling sick, angry and extremely frustrated with the customer's ridiculous demands.
Cashier: 'Let me stop you there. I will never take a customer's word for it, or honor a price blindly. Expecting me to just do that, especially with such large adjustments is ridiculous. You've had an issue with everything I've rung up for you, because you didn't read the sale signs accurately, and that is not my fault. I won't adjust prices for you because you choose to ignore and pick and choose what you want. Have a good night.'
The customer walked away immediately. The cashier thought that she would go to customer service and make a complaint about her attitude, but she walked out the door. On her way out, the woman muttered quite a few rude remarks but it didn't matter to the cashier. She was angry at what had happened.
The cashier should not have said what she did, but to be fair, honoring prices for no reason (just because the customer asks for it) is not right. If they want cheaper prices, they can go to other places rather than shop at a high-end store. It's that simple. She probably could have handled the situation a bit more professionally, but her sickness and frustration took over.