Don’t let the arrogant ones fool you, customers can actually be victims of wrongdoing too!
All content has been edited for clarity.
A Unique Bag Policy
“Back in the sixties, before anyone had heard the word ‘environment,’ I went to a department store and bought a half-yard of fabric. As I paid, I told the cashier I didn’t want a sack.
Well, it seems I ‘had’ to have a sack.
She called the manager who told me I had to take a sack or I would be arrested for shoplifting. My suggestion that he walk me to the door with my purchase and receipt was met with refusal and if I even tried walking to the door he threatened to call security and have me arrested. For lack of a sack.
So I told them to refund my money which they did. Now they had to restock the half-yard and since it was not a whole yard it was put in the remnants bin at 50 percent off. I promptly repurchased it, took the sack, and left.
On my way out I handed the neatly folded bag to the store greater and asked him to put it back at the register, which he did for me.
A happy ending.”
Pulling A GameStop
“Some years ago, my son had just recently passed his driving test and my daughter, who was almost three years younger, bought a game for our PC at the local game shop. No matter what she did, it wouldn’t load properly. It would get to a certain point and then get stuck.
Before anyone asks, yes the PC had the right specs for the game. Our household has had computers since the BBC came out with one many moons ago. My hubby co-owned a computer networking company and my son was an IT assistant at a local school.
My son came home from work and offered to take his sister to change it and off they went. They came back and they were not happy. It turned out they didn’t have another copy of the game and told her they didn’t do refunds and they could only give her store credit.
I was fuming! I work in retail, I know how the law works. I found contact details on the internet and emailed them with my contact phone number. They actually called me back quite quickly and asked some questions before saying they would contact the shop and call me back.
When they called back, they said the woman who had spoken to my daughter told them my daughter wanted a refund because ‘she had changed her mind!’ I told them again she wanted another copy of the same game because it was faulty, they didn’t have another copy and she was entitled to a refund.
The man on the phone told me he would call the shop and tell them she was coming back for a full refund due to the product being faulty.
My son took us both back, I explained to the woman who we were and she gave my daughter her refund, barely saying a word to us but you could see she was fuming. She messed with the wrong person!”
This Guy Sounds Like A Blast
“For some years, my city’s main post office had three incredibly rude men working the counter. That’s no longer the case because customer complaints eventually got them removed but it was the situation for too long.
I was mailing something to Puerto Rico, so I waited in line to verify postage rates were the same as in the continental U.S.
Instead of answering my simple yes or no question, the rude guy started lecturing me about how Puerto Rico is part of the U.S., everything’s the same, there’s absolutely no difference between the U.S. and Puerto Rice, etc. You would have thought he was talking to an 8-year-old child.
I interrupted him and explained he was wrong. Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth. Although Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, they don’t pay U.S. income taxes, lack voting representation in Congress, and have other significant variances.
The guy looked at me stupidly and said, ‘Well, for the postal service, Puerto Rico’s the same.’
I told him he’d finally answered my question, and we could have avoided all the silliness if he hadn’t wanted to prove he’s so much smarter than I am.
I found the Postmaster and complained about the encounter. He rolled his eyes about the annoying employee and thanked me for reporting the incident.”
Implementing Their Own Coupon Policy
“I’m not much for revenge, but I did get a young lady retrained at a Carl’s Jr. in Salem, Oregon years ago. See I used to work at one of these even more years ago.
Because I worked at one, I knew the comment cards were important. Since I like to give praise where it’s due to help the staff out, I always filled a card out when we dined there. Each time I filled the card out, a couple of weeks later, I would get coupons for free stuff from the corporate HQ, Joe Karcher Enterprises.
On one such visit, when I was using the coupons as I always did, the young lady at the register gave me a problem asking how we kept getting these coupons. She said she couldn’t honor them anymore.
I smiled and said, ‘That’s pretty messed up since your corporation keeps sending them to me when I fill out your comment cards. Really sucks that I will have to fill one out with a negative review for the first time ever.’
And I did.
We received an apology letter from the corporation, and when we next visited the cashier was in the back running the cook line. Glad I didn’t get her fired, also glad they fixed the issue, though I think proper retraining would have sufficed.”
50% Off Means 50% Off
“It was not the cashier but the store manager. My wife and I had stopped by a local chain store that sold discount tools. They were having a sidewalk sale and had many items sitting outside under a big sign saying 50% off. One of the items there was a milling machine with an original price of about $1000. $500 for a milling machine was a very good price.
So I went to chat with the wife who stayed in the car while I was looking around. She agreed it looked like a good deal and had no issue with me purchasing it. I grabbed the price tag off of the milling machine and headed into the store to the cashier. The first thing I did was point out the milling machine, show her the tag, and ask if it was really 50% off. She said yes she believed so and called over the store manager on duty. I asked the same question and he confirmed it was indeed 50% off.
I asked If I bought it then could I come to pick it up the following day. I only had my car and there was no way I could fit the five hundred pound milling machine in it. He said no problem he would have it moved to the back loading dock where I could pick it up the next day. So I pulled out my credit card and paid for the milling machine. I got my receipt and I left a happy camper.
The next day, I called up my buddy who had a pickup truck and he agreed to help me go pick it up and unload it into my garage. So after work, we headed over to the tool store. I went in and let the cashier know we were here to pick up the mill. She said to meet the manager around back where they can load it up for us. So we got around back and the store manager was waiting for us. The mill was sitting there and we backed up the truck.
The manager came up to us and said, ‘I’m sorry but I cannot let you have the milling machine. The price you paid is too low. We need an additional $300 or I can give you a refund.’
I told him I did not want a refund I wanted the machine. I calmly explained to him the milling machine did not belong to him anymore. I had a receipt for its purchase. The manager refused to let us load up the machine. I told him I would be in touch and we left.
After getting home, I did a little research and found the parts of the commercial code that covers sales and failure to deliver products and confirmed I was on solid legal ground. Next, I found the address of the legal representative for the chain store and the national office headquarters. I drafted a demand letter including a copy of the receipt. Sections of the commercial code and a description of what happened and my demand they deliver my machine to me by the next Friday or I would file suit in small claims court where I could claim treble damages. I sent the copies off via certified mail.
On Thursday of the next week, I got a phone call from the store manager. He apologized and said I could come by to pick up the milling machine. I told him no. I had already tried to do so and I would not go to the expense and trouble to do so. I told him he needed to deliver the machine to me at my home and gave him the address. He said there was no way he could do that. I let him know he had until Friday to deliver the machine and hung up on him.
A couple of hours later he called back and very sheepishly asked, ‘When do you want it delivered?’
I really like that milling machine.”
Furniture Stores Are Always A Disaster
“I bought a bed from a high-end English furniture company, now out of business in the U.S. It was expensive, and I had only put a small deposit on it rather than paying in full. It did not arrive at the store in the prescribed amount of time (90 days or something) and was scheduled to arrive on the exact day I was moving far away from the area. This was a problem because of the additional hassle and extra trip, and as I only had a small car I’d also have to find a borrowed or rented vehicle to go back and get it.
I explained my situation to the manager of the store, and that I would need to pick it up early in the morning, before they opened, so I could put it into my moving van and then go to pick up the people who were helping me move. She agreed and I thought everything was good. When I arrived that morning there was no one there. I waited and waited and finally, the staff showed up. I asked about getting the bed but they told me I would have to wait for the manager to show up, which I did. As soon as she arrived and went inside I knocked at the door and asked if I could get the bed. She said no, they were not open yet, and I should go around back and when her stock guys arrived she would have them open up so I could get the bed. What? What happened to her being so helpful earlier? This was before cell phones and I had people waiting for me!
I waited out back and the door never opened, and it eventually rolled around to the time the store itself was open, which put me way behind schedule to meet my friends. I went into the store and she was at the checkout. I reminded her I was waiting and had a time issue. She seemed to have no sense of urgency at all. She pulled out my paperwork and looked it over and told someone to take it back to the loading dock. Okay, I went back around and sure enough, the back door eventually opened ten minutes later and the guys gave me the bed which I had to load into the truck by myself.
I was close to an hour late when I arrived but my helpers were still there, although they did tell me they were about to leave if I didn’t show up soon. It all worked out, it just became a late day and the move wasn’t finished until evening.
Probably a year later, I got a charge on my credit card for the remaining amount of the bed as I’d only paid a small deposit. The manager had never asked me to sign anything, nor did the guys at the loading dock, so I told the credit card the charge was illegitimate. If I hadn’t been treated so badly I’d certainly have paid it, but I was still angry about the whole thing. In the end, I got a really nice piece of expensive furniture for 10% of its cost, and I still have it to this day. It’s really sturdy and nicely done and finished maple, and I’m guessing it would cost about $3,000 to buy today, if not more.”
He Should Have Quit While He Was Ahead
“Years ago, I lived in a small town with two good pizzerias when a third pizza place opened a block away from the main strip. This was the time before ubiquitous chain pizza places were on every corner.
My brother and I decided to go halvesies on a meatball sub and a chicken parmigiana sub for lunch, but the lines at the other two places were long. We decided to try the new place and walked in surprised to see the new place completely empty at lunch rush when the other two places were packed. Hmm, well we’re inclined to help the underdog.
We figured we’d bring our subs and a couple of pizzas back to work so the other guys could try the new place’s pizza too. All the food was ordered, and my brother and I kept talking while the pizza guy got it all in the oven.
A couple of minutes later, we tell the guy we’d like to pay up, so we could take the food hot as soon as it was out of the oven. He nodded and moved to the cash register and began ringing it up.
I grab two 2-liter bottles of soda from the fridge. The cashier told us we had to buy fountain sodas because he didn’t make enough profit from the 2-liter bottles. I said, there was no price on the bottles and I would gladly pay any price he chose.
The cashier said no, his pizza place must charge the same price for 2-liter bottles as the other two pizza places do, but in our situation, he was going to insist we buy fountain sodas since there are two of us there in the store.
I said, ‘Buddy we’ve been here for 15 minutes during the lunch rush, not even a single other customer has come through your door and we sure won’t make the same mistake again. Please cancel our subs and pizzas.’
We left without spending a dime, leaving him to calculate the negative profit from a prepared meal with no paying customer. A few weeks later the new place was out of business.”
It’s Still A Bad Habit
“I was at a 7/11 convenience store, trying to buy a pack of smokes, but only had a $100 bill. The cashier refused, stating he couldn’t break the hundred.
My best friend at the time currently worked at a different 7/11 location. I’d spent a significant amount of time hanging out at the 7/11 while my friend was working. So I was very familiar with the safety procedures for breaking $100 bills.
I explained to the cashier I understood how the ‘time drop’ safe worked, I had time, and would gladly wait for him to be able to produce the change for my hundred.
Time drop safes are programmed so they are not able to be opened by the cashier, and they would only dispense $20 increments every two minutes. This is a safety protection so a robber can’t stick the place up and clean out the register. Only the armored truck people had the ability to open the time drop safe.
The cashier still refused to sell me the smokes. I could understand if I came in and wanted change for a hundred but wasn’t making a purchase. I could understand if there was a line of customers and the place was really busy at the time. I could understand if it was very late at night and he was the only worker and might have not felt safe about doing it. Any of those reasons would have made logical sense to me. I could have understood if he told me he was new and didn’t know how to do it but no he was just being stubborn. Why? I’m not sure.
So the next day, I came in with a huge plastic pretzel jar full of nickels and dimes and wanted to purchase a money order for $850. This time the owner was there working with him, so he couldn’t refuse the sale. I made sure to attempt to help assist him with the counting and kept messing the count up so he had to start over a bunch of times. This easily took 45 minutes to count all this change by hand. This was a few years before the Coinstar change counter machines came out.
It was so hard to keep a straight face. There was no question the guy remembered me from the day before, as I had made a big deal out of it. After that, I went out of my way to go to a different store to buy smokes from then on. Pretty sure he learned his lesson.”
The Store Completely Deserved This One
“I take several medications, most of which are covered by insurance and I pay only the deductible amount of $10 or less. Unfortunately, the one prescription that is not covered used to cost $860!
When I was first prescribed, I was using a local pharmacy and the pharmacist was able to help me with the monthly cost by including me in a study the pharmacy was participating in. In exchange for an 80% reduction in the cost, I agreed to blindly take either the brand name or generic form of my prescribed medication, I just had to complete a short questionnaire with each renewal. Even after the study of my medication had concluded, the manufacturer guaranteed me 3 additional years at the reduced price, but only at the same pharmacy.
Unfortunately, the pharmacy didn’t last 3 more years. Two of the major chains opened stores in our area and another opened their store at the opposite end of the shopping plaza the local store had been at for over 30 years! The store was struggling through the first year and finally conceded defeat in January of the next year. They closed the store 3 months later.
As much as I hated to do it, I had to find another pharmacy and the big chains were the only ones nearby. I bit the bullet and took my prescriptions to the first two of the 3 new stores. I did not want to use the store that moved into my store’s shopping center, but as it turned out, the first 2 did not carry my medication (it was too expensive). I would have to go to their ‘mother store.’ Instead, I gave in and went to the one I really didn’t want to go to. When I handed over the prescriptions, I explained to the pharmacist that all but one were covered under my insurance and I was fully aware of the cost being in excess of $700 for that one.
They didn’t have enough of my expensive medication in stock, but they could have it for me the next day by 1:00 PM. This was not a problem, the store was nearby, and waiting a day wasn’t a big deal. I went to pick up my prescriptions during my lunch break the next afternoon and was in complete shock when I was told that all of my prescriptions had been filled and I owed $43.50! I said that couldn’t be right and asked if they had verified coverage for all of the prescriptions especially the one that I knew was not covered. I suggested she contact my insurance carrier and confirm the coverage. At this point, the woman took on a very aggressive posture, planted both of her palms down on the counter and leaned ever so slightly toward me, and said, ‘This store may be new, but I’ve been doing this job for over 20 years, and I’m very good at my work. Your insurance was notified of the prescriptions and your coverage was confirmed. Do you want your prescriptions?’
I paid the $43.50 and left the store hating myself for not using one of the chain pharmacies from the beginning. I could have saved thousands of dollars, had I not chosen to be loyal to the local store instead.
The next month I returned to the pharmacy and for the first time in years, handed over my prescriptions without completely dreading having to pay for them. As it turned out, the same woman was at the counter. She looked at the prescriptions and immediately remembered me and became very flustered. She typed something into her computer and then told me that no prescriptions could be filled for me until I paid an open balance of $866!
I asked how that could be, ‘Don’t people have to pay for all prescriptions when they’re picked up?’
She said that that was indeed the standard process, but ‘someone’ must have made an error when getting confirmation of coverage on my order.
My prescriptions were still on the counter between the two of us. I placed both hands palms down on the counter with one hand over the prescriptions and said, ‘This store may be new, but it won’t last very long if they keep hiring employees who despite having 20 years of experience allow their arrogance to supersede any information patients provide. In this case, one such employee cost the store nearly $1,000, but in this particular business, it could cost someone else their life.’
As I removed my hands from the counter, I picked up my prescriptions and left the store.
Yes, it could be argued that I knew the cost and should have willingly paid for the previous month’s prescription, and under most circumstances, I would have. This woman refused to listen to me when I placed the order and argued rather than making one phone call.
A person can only be expected to insist on paying more than the price presented without finally accepting that what they believed to be true might have been incorrect. I provided this woman with sufficient information that should have caused her to question the confirmation of coverage she claimed to have gotten. She was told when the order was placed that the one prescription would be over $700. When I picked up, rather than verify my coverage after I told her once again that there was a mistake, she chose to argue that she knew how to do her job and was in fact, very good at it.”