Everybody loves saving money on their meal, but these people take it to the extreme! Scamming, scheming, and downright stealing, these penny pinchers will stop at nothing to save a few bucks. It may have been a pain for the food industry workers who served them, but at least they learned a valuable lesson: the customer is NOT always right!
“Someone came into Dominos saying they found a razor blade in their pizza. Take a look and it’s the full head off an old disposable razor. Oh, whoops! We have a lot of those lying around…”
One Man’s Trash…
“I work at a movie theater and if you have a large drink/popcorn you get free refills. This prompts certain individuals to take empty (or not) bags and cups from the garbage and take them to get filled up. I see parents do it all the time and their kids don’t know any better, no good.”
…And He Ate It Anyway?
“I used to work at Subway. A man posted a picture of his sub, which only had about two bites left to it, and said that the woman who had made it (my manager, who I was working with at the time of the incident) cut herself and got blood in his sandwich (A1 Sauce.) Um, except I was there, and she absolutely did not cut herself with the dull a– Subway knife, and the knife you showed us in the picture was NOT one of ours.
To top it all off, the guy ate THE WHOLE SUB. Why the f— would you finish a sub that you thought had blood in it? She almost got fired. My testimony to corporate was literally the only thing that kept her job safe.”
Shop ‘N Dash
“When my brother worked at a grocery store, these two guys pulled up to the register with at least $300 worth of meat in their buggy. He rang it all up and bagged it all for them, then they bolted outside with the buggy. There was a van with the back doors open waiting for them just outside. Someone lowered a ramp from the van, they ran the buggy into the back, and the van sped off. He said it was the most ridiculous thing he had ever seen.”
“There is a woman that comes into my work all the time, she orders a water with an orange, lemon and lime then proceeds to make juice. She orders a grilled cheese for her kid (and herself which she adds all the free toppings to). When the grilled cheese comes out, there is ALWAYS something wrong with it. One time it came out cooked absolutely perfect and she flipped her s— and was like, ‘I am not paying for this, but you need to remake it for my child because she is so grossed out that she will not eat this one.’ She proceeded to get a to-go box for both of the grilled cheeses and not pay for either.
Next time she came in and ordered a grilled cheese, I politely embarrassed her in front of the 10 other people she brought by saying, ‘Maybe you should order something else since the last three times your ordered that, you sent it back and were unhappy with it.'”
When You Take The Scam Too Far…
“I used to work at a chain restaurant that had a customer survey program. A phone number would print on every second or third receipt. If they called it and spent a minute or two answering questions, they’d get a five-digit numeric code that they could write on that receipt and trade back to us for a free appetizer. The whole survey process takes less than three minutes and the appetizers average about $7-8, so it’s a pretty good deal for them.
Enter crazy b—-. This woman had a reputation among several of my fellow servers. When she was spotted in the lobby, the hosts would suddenly start receiving various bribes and offers by servers trying desperately to keep her out of their sections. The management was familiar with her, as well – her usual M.O. was to order something uncommon and altered in such a ridiculous fashion that it wasn’t even possible to tell if it had been done correctly, and then complain and get it for free. If that didn’t work, she’d complain directly about the server, as though that person had deliberately been acting rude or something, and get a free meal that way. More than one server had already told management that they utterly refused to serve her, to the point of walking out if necessary, but management had to toe the official, ‘Always keep the customer happy’ line.
Until she sat in my section.
It was a slow day anyway, and I had time to focus, so I was on top of my game. Always watching her drinks and never letting them get low, carefully noting each of her ridiculous demands and making sure each and every one was specifically met, down to making sure there was whipped cream and a cherry on her child’s drink (that poor girl, she actually looked ashamed of her own mother’s behavior), always scrupulously polite and friendly. She wasn’t going to cheat me, d—it. Finally, she realized she had no grounds to get anything taken off her bill, and surprised me at the end of the meal with a survey code to get her appetizer comped. I offered some polite inanity and took it, reasoning that at least it wasn’t a scam, and carried it back into the kitchen before checking the code – 45JLK3.
I passed math class and I can read English. 45JLK3 is not a five-digit numeric code.
I took it to my manager, whose most obvious trait is a permanent facade of good cheer. The man could be firing you for being a complete waste of time and space and passersby would think he was asking about your baby pictures. I’ve never seen anyone crack that calm, retail-mask smile – but I swear I saw an evil twinkle in his eye when he saw that mockery of a scam attempt. He took the receipt and motioned for me to follow at a slight distance as he went to speak to the crazy b—-.
As I said, it was a slow day. The restaurant was less than half full, which was a shame. I could have sold tickets to the show and tripled my take for the evening. He asked her if she’d taken the survey. She responded angrily, accusing him of calling her a liar. He just smiled that calm little smile and explained how he was going to comp her entire meal, which interrupted her long enough for me (and the small crowd of other servers failing at being unobtrusive behind me, and the two or three other tables in that part of the restaurant) to hear his next words clearly.
‘As I said, ma’am, I’m going to go ahead and take care of that meal for you. Unfortunately, I am going to have to ask you to leave.’ Her voice began to rise, but not quickly enough to drown out his next words, which stopped her cold again. I can still hear that plastic smile in his voice, years later. ‘You see, these codes are always five numbers. Always, always. It simply isn’t possible that you actually took this survey and were given this code. That means that you’d rather steal from me than take three minutes out of your day to help us out by actually doing the survey. I’m sure you understand why I don’t appreciate it when people try to steal from me. I’m willing to let it go, though, if you leave and don’t come back. I’d hate for the police to have to get involved.’
Dead silence and a wall of staring eyes followed her as she gathered up her purse and embarrassed daughter and slunk out of the restaurant. Until the door thudded closed in her wake, the only noises to be heard were the furtive sounds of servers’ non-skid shoes, as their resolve broke and they fled before their laughter could betray them.”
Like Something Out Of A Spy Movie
“One time I had a seemingly normal couple come up and order with a buy-one-get-one coupon for two, 2-piece boneless chicken meals. I noticed that the man didn’t hand me the coupon and he just set it on the counter in front of himself.
I took the money and as I had my head down to count their change, I looked up (they couldn’t see my eyes due to my hat) and he was sneakily sliding the coupon under his elbow to his wife who then stuck it up under her arm and then walked away to get their drinks.
I thought it was really strange because they seemed like a normal middle-aged couple like my parents, yet they did something so dishonest.”
A Repeat Scammer
“This happened to me at McDonalds.
A woman came through the drive thru three or four times a week and order a large sweet tea. Every single time she would drink half, drive back, and complain. She would get her dollar back (a large is a f—ing dollar, just pay for the tea) and then get a free cup of tea. She would complain about how every time she comes in, she gets gross tea.
Apparently this was happening for like two months. I usually worked nights, but occasionally I worked days. The third or fourth time she did it to me (over a span of three weeks) she asked for a refund and a new tea and I said no. She screamed at me about how it was gross and she couldn’t drink it and wanted another one. I said, ‘Every single time you come in you say that, maybe you just don’t like tea?’
She asked for the manager and I told her to get out of my drive thru. Apparently she realized the trick wasn’t working anymore because the next time she bought tea, she came back and said there was glass in it. We assumed she was lying but that’s a pretty big deal so we looked in the cup and there was the bottom half of an Ale-8 bottle in the cup. Obviously it wasn’t us who put the glass in there.
Who the h— does that to save a dollar?”
Here’s A Tip…Don’t Mess With The Tip Jar
“While working at a coffee shop, a guy was short a dime. He was frustrated that the price of coffee went up. I was going to just let him have it as he was a regular. He then said, ‘I’ll just take it from this change jar.’ It was a big coffee mug that said ‘Tips Appreciated.’
I reply, ‘Actually, that’s our tip jar.’ He proceeded to make eye contact with me and keep fishing around for a dime. I yanked the tip jar out of his hand and told him that if he didn’t have the dime that he couldn’t have the coffee. Never saw the a-hole again!”
Something’s Not Adding Up…
“Worked in a pizza place for a bit after school in HS. One woman called to complain about a long blonde hair in her pizza. I informed her it was only me, with short black hair and the bald delivery guy working at the time. She told me she deserves her next order free because ‘it was between the layers of cheese.’ What? If you’ve ever made a pizza in your life then you know it is either on top of the cheese, or underneath. Not woven between.
I told her that, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to help. That was when the delivery driver walked through the back door, grabbed the phone from my hand, shouted, ‘IF YOU WANTED TO SCAM A FREE PIZZA FROM US, YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT ME WITH MORE THAN A $0.05 TIP, B—-!!’ and hung the phone up. He showed me the nickel. Apparently she had exact change for the pizza, counted it out in front of him, and handed him the nickel and said, ‘this is for your trouble.’
No, she wasn’t an elderly lady. She was a mid 30’s woman who seemed to be hosting a dinner party and got a party size pizza with a huge side order of wings. I think it came to like $70 all together.”
What An Ordeal!
“This woman comes through drive thru, orders a meal and two sandwiches. Her total is $8.10. The time is 3 in the morning.
She pulls to the window and hands me $4 in bills. Then she starts rooting through her purse for the rest. She apologizes, her wallet got stolen. I don’t say anything, but internally I sympathize. In college, I put my wallet down somewhere and walked off without it. It had my cash and ID (which had meal plan money on it). I had nothing to pay with and realized it right at that second, and the cashier saw that and let me have my food for free. Why didn’t I do the same for her? She said it was stolen at work, meaning she knew what she had before she pulled in my drive thru. Then she says she hopes she isn’t holding up my line because she wasn’t going anywhere until she paid it all. She manages to scrape up another dollar bill.
Oh, it’s going to be like that, eh? Challenge accepted.
Three minutes have gone by at that point. A car comes up behind and orders a drink. no problem. But she’s waiting behind this one woman who can’t find her money. By this time, she has enough to pay for just the meal. I tell her this. No, she insists, she has to have the entire thing.
Fifty cents and another minute go by. she asks if there’s anything I can do. I tell her no, I offered her a solution and she didn’t take it. A quarter, two dimes and a nickel appears and another minute elapses. Since she won’t move and insists on paying for what she ordered, I can see where this is going. I tell my guy in front who hands out the food to go out the back door and give the second car her drink. He does that and gets her money. I ring that order out, the second car drives off. The lady at my window starts complaining that she spent her day wiping butts and how bad it was she couldn’t pay for her food. I say nothing. Seven minutes have elapsed.
Now this lady is digging through her console for change and comes out with a dollar in coins. Then she starts asking me how much more she needs, so I tell her. Digging continues.
Now she’s coming up with pennies, but is still a dollar short. She’s coming to her endgame now: she’s asking if I could comp the rest, ‘For all the times I asked for extra sauce and it wasn’t there or when I ask for cheese on my chicken sandwich and it wasn’t there?’ I tell her no. For you non-retailers out there, here’s why: even if we had that capability of comping for condiments, my drawer would still be short. Most places have a strict limit of how much more or little your drawer can be. Some are as tight as +/- $.50, others are as wide as $2. This would have put me down a dollar. Also, employees are NOT supposed to put their own money to pay for customers orders. Some do it anyway. I don’t have that kind of walking around money, plus I could tell this woman was going to do everything she could to not pay. I hate people insulting my intelligence and I was not going to help her monetarily in any way. She asks for the manager. I tell her I’m the manager. She wants my name, I give it to her.
‘There’s nothing you can do?’
I tell her no. Resignedly, she sighs and reaches to grab a dollar bill that she’d apparently had the whole time. I take the bill and hand her the extra, unneeded change. Nine and a half minutes after she pulled to my window.”
“Old man was screaming and yelling that since he is a senior, he gets a free small coffee and Dunkin’ Donuts. We kept telling him we have not heard anything about this but he didn’t care he kept on yelling at us until we just gave it to him. He leaves and comes back with the email printed out, it was a long list of all the deals that Seniors can get, and our bosses hadn’t gotten the one letting us know what we were supposed to be doing. And the ‘free’ coffee was actually for a free refill of coffee which is $1.08 and he was trying to get a non refill which was $1.62.
So my coworkers and I were screamed and yelled at by an extremely old guy just so he could save $1.62.
Another time a guy came in and said, ‘I don’t like Obama, do I have to pay tax?’ It wasn’t a joke, he was serious.”
That’s Enough, Lady!
“I used to work at a Chili’s. If you sat in the bar area you got ‘free’ chips and salsa.
Technically, they weren’t free, you got one bowl with each entree purchased. It was never really an issue. Plus, it was only like 99 cents extra if you purchased an entree and wanted an extra bowl, $4.99 for chips and salsa without an entree.
This lady comes in one day with her four children. She orders water for everyone and chips. They devour the first plate, I bring a second, they devour that, I bring a third.
I ask if I can take an order, and she tells me they’re waiting for some more people. At this point, I know something’s up and while I’m in the back, I see her kids stuffing chips into Ziplock bags.
I had to have brought out something like 10 refills on the chips before they tried to leave.
My manager intercepted them before they got up and dropped a ~$50 bill on their table. Each bowl was $4.99.
She starting b—-ing that chips and salsa were free. He called her out on the Ziplock bags.
Long story short, she had no money on her, cops got called, she got arrested or at the very least escorted out of the restaurant.
Didn’t honor her bulls—, never saw her again.”
The Only Blondes In The Joint
“These two fairly old blonde ladies (say, mid to late 50’s) came in for lunch.
They order a good three item entree. One for themselves, plus an extra to share between the two.
They finish their meals and ask for the bill, which came timely.
They never complained once, but they called me over to say that there was a hair in the food, and they’re shocked and appalled by this. They refuse to pay the bill, and ask to have it comped immediately.
Seeing this, I take a closer look at the hair on the plate. It’s blonde. It also looked like some sauce around the hair had been moved by something thin but wide. Like a finger. You know, like when you plant evidence or something like that.
Being Asian, and an entire restaurant staff being either Asian or Hispanic (all of whom have black hair, or none), I proceed to tell them that I cannot comp their meal, due to none of the staff having any sort of blonde hair. They don’t believe us, saying that, ‘It clearly was the kitchens fault for this. This is unacceptable! Blah blah unclean, blah blah shady restaurant.’ (Mind you, this restaurant has been open for 20 years, is well known through the community, and has an A from the Health Department.) I ask them if they’d like to speak to the staff who might be responsible for the hair, and they huff out a yes. I bring out the entire kitchen crew (five guys) and just about everyone else. They look up and I said, ‘Well…as you can see, we all have black hair, or no hair. This hair is blonde. So, I’m sorry. We can’t comp that for you.’
They’re outraged that they have to pay for their bill. They get really mad and have the nerve to shove a credit card at me. ‘Oo..okay then.’ I said quietly under my breath. They apparently heard me and huffed out some frustration at me. Because, you know, trying to scam your way out of a bill is totally legit and legal. They got up and said “Lets go , this place sucks and we’re out of here. F—ing Asians don’t know how to do a decent f—ing job at service.”
As they walk out, they pass next to the counter and I say loudly to them, ‘You know, if you leave, I’ll call the cops on you for dine-n-dashing. I do have your credit card.’
The owner of the card came back and waited at the counter as I ran the bill, and printed it out for them to sign. I didn’t care about the tip. Paying a bill is worth more than being scammed. She signs the receipt and leaves.”
That’s One Slick Customer
“I used to work at Tim Hortons, and unfortunately this customer was successful in getting something for free. I was working the storefront one afternoon, and a lady came in and said the staff at the drive-thru forgot to give her her large iced cappuccino. This happens fairly often, and our stores policy is the ol’ customer is always right bulls—, so without thinking I made her her drink and she left. I immediately started doubting my decision so I asked the drive-thru staff and, of course, they hadn’t sold an iced capp in over an hour…I quickly went to look out the door she left to see her walking out of the parking lot and down the street. Walking.”
“Do Y’all Not Have Normal Lids?!”
“I work drive-thru on occasion and I remember one woman fondly. She ordered a milkshake, and we usually put dome lids on them to make the presentation nicer. I mean, come on, whipped cream is awesome and that cherry on top makes it look fantastic. Well, one night I had a woman come through and order a shake. The fountain guys made it, brought it to me, and I handed it out, as you do, and the lady just sat there after I closed the window. I sat for a second and watched her, trying to figure out what her problem was, when she made eye contact with me and started BEATING her shake against her steering wheel, causing the whipped cream to come tumbling over the top and all into her car. She then beat on the window, and I asked her what was up.
‘Do y’all not have normal lids?!’
‘We usually put the dome ones on to hold the whipped cream.’
‘Well, they’re no good. This just leaked everywhere on my car.’
Cue my ‘are you f—ing serious face.’ I took the shake back in and approached my manager, telling him the story, and he made her a new one, with a flat lid. B—- sped off and never even said thanks for replacing her ‘leaky’ shake and still had a d— attitude with me through the process of getting her a new one.
I hate my job.”
Now, That’s Bold!
“I work at a catering company here in Norway. And I’ve seen some weird cheap people.
We have two walk-in coolers. One is close to the door. We’ve had people come in from the two different entrances. One at the office side who would start talking about orders and menus and s—. Distracting us while a guy sneaks in the back, behind my f—ing back (if I’m working with food or something and the radio is on.) They sneak in and steal veal or whatever expensive meat we have. One f—er ruined a wedding by stealing 10kg (~22 pounds) of salmon filet. We had to serve the guests freshwater trout. Still an amazing meal, but the bride wanted the recipe her grandmother, mother, aunts, etc. all had had at their wedding. THAT ONE SUCKED A–.”
Too Little, Too Late
“I used to work at a high-end private golf and country club. One member once asked us if he could get a doggy bag for a sandwich he had ordered and to keep it in the fridge since he was going golfing. The man came back a WEEK later, and asked for the sandwich. Obviously, at this point, we had thrown out the sandwich, but he demanded to be reimbursed for the sandwich anyway, and threw a huge fit over it. Some people…”