"Never judge a book by its cover," especially when it comes to paying customers. It won't end well. These people share the times they went to an establishment and were badly treated because of what they were wearing!
Content has been edited for clarity.
New Car Shopping Gone Wrong
“I wanted to purchase a new vehicle for my mother. She loved having a nice Cadillac, used but a great ride. It was my gift to her and my dad for raising me. It was tough to raise five kids. But they tried the best they could.
As I entered the dealership parking lot, I was all of 20 years old, wearing a pair of jeans, work boots, and a tee under a flannel shirt. As I walked around, no one came out to greet me. Finally, I entered the showroom, but again, no greeting. I walked around a bit, then saw a man enter in a suit. Two people were on him immediately. I continued to look at the cars and decided on the one I liked. I sat inside, feeling the real leather seats, and enjoying the classic style of the car. Still, no one bothered. As bottled water was being offered to the man, I left.
I drove thirty miles away to another dealership in a town close to the highway. I got out of my car. Immediately, a man came over with a water bottle, and gave me his card, and started chatting nicely. He applied no pressure, and we talked about the features of the cars. He invited me into the showroom and continued to chat.
I saw the same car on the floor, and went to it, he answered all my questions. I bought the car from him. I asked them to deliver it to my parent’s house with a giant bow on the roof in two weeks. They did, and my parents were thrilled – and shocked.
I was thankful the first dealership ignored me. I paid a reasonable price, and my parents were taken care of by an honest and caring dealership.”
“There Are Other Stores Nearby That I Believe Will Suit You Better!”
“When my husband and I married, I moved into the three-story, old white frame house he shared with his father who was a retired lawyer. It was a few streets away from a beautiful North Florida beach. It was so pretty there! The little town and its charming restaurants and stores were minutes away. My husband had grown up there.
I was teaching seventh and eighth grade then, a 45-minute drive to the city from our house. Once home, I would quickly get out of my dress, hose, and heels, (so miserable for the Florida heat), and throw on some beach-appropriate shorts, t-shirt, and flip-flops.
My husband, David, who was taking care of his father who suffered from Alzheimer’s, was usually doing some research. While the other caregiver was still there, David would join me briefly as we walked our little dog to the beach and back.
Once on the beach where I could finally relax, we would talk about our day. On this day, I happily chattered on about one of the new stores that had moved into the town. I loved to shop, or at least window-shop.
David said, ‘Oh, it’s so pretty, just a perfect little boutique! You should see the window display! There are all kinds of beautiful lightweight sweaters in the window that would be perfect for the winter here!’
My sweet husband took Benjy’s leash.
He proceeded to say, ‘I have to get back and pay Martha before she goes. But why don’t you walk up there and check out that new store? I know you don’t have your purse with you, but ask them to put what you like aside. We could pick it up later. By the way, my treat.’
At the time, I didn’t even think about my clothes, it was usually casual in that town. The boutique was as glamorous and the clothes inside were as pretty as I thought they’d be. I found some gorgeous sweaters that would be great for the winter. I took them to the lovely marble checkout desk. The well-dressed heavily made-up saleswoman literally snatched them from my hands (no, my hands were not dirty).
She exclaimed, ‘Why are you touching these clothes? These sweaters are VERY delicate and VERY expensive!’
I didn’t know what to say.
I stuttered, ‘I know…I just…my husband and I live around the corner, and…’
Her voice was frosty, ‘There are OTHER stores nearby that I believe will suit you better!’
I was so embarrassed. I hurried home where my husband was doing some research, smoking his pipe.
He said, ‘So what did you find, my Little Shopper! I can ask Martha if I can pay her extra to stay a few minutes more tomorrow. We’ll go pay for them and pick them up. I know you, you don’t like to try anything on in the store, but maybe you’d better! This place sounds pricey!’
Sadly, I told him what happened. He hit the roof!
He angrily said, ‘What! How dare she! How dare she assume. I’ll buy you every sweater in that store. I’ll buy the most expensive…!’
I stopped him.
I said, ‘You know, I’m not really interested in that store anymore. If we have some extra money, let’s take that trip to St. Augustine that we talked about. We can check out that new Bed and Breakfast we saw.’
But I never went back to that store.”
They Thought He Was Up To No Good
“I had a girlfriend that was from an entitled French family in London for some time during the 80s. She was always immaculately dressed in designer clothes. Her mother would not give her the extra money she wanted, so she decided to take a job in Harrod’s book department.
During one lunch hour, she went to a designer dress shop across the road from the store and saw a dress she liked, which cost the whole of her week’s wages. At a sale price! She put a small deposit on it and said she would be back Friday to collect it. She told me about the dress and I said I would buy it on my American Express card.
I worked as an electrician and had long hair, dark glasses, an old leather jacket, and a new 1000cc BMW motorcycle.
On that Friday, she went to the shop and I turned up about 30 seconds later. I parked my motorcycle outside and walked into the shop looking around as if I was going to rob the place. The staff looked terrified. I went to the counter behind my girlfriend as the assistant brought the dress out from the rear of the shop.
I moved up beside her and said, ‘That is a nice dress, would you like me to buy it for you?’
She said something like that would be very kind of you. The girl behind the counter did not know what to do! I reached into my inside leather jacket pocket slowly, and to the relief of the staff pulled out a Gold American Express card and not a weapon.
As I placed the card on the counter and I said, ‘Charge the dress to this.’
The girl picked up the card and called the card company then passed the phone to me to answer a couple of their questions. Of course, I verified all the questions, so I passed the phone back to her. She was shocked the card transaction was approved.
As the girl put the dress into a carrier bag, I said to my girlfriend (that shop assistants did not know she knew me). ‘It’s a nice day would you like to come for a ride on my bike?’
She replied, ‘Yes,please’
She followed me out of the shop with assistants behind her as she got on the pillion of my bike. They stood there open-mouthed and speechless as we rode off together.”
“No, You Must Go Now”
“A couple of years ago, my hubby and I were traveling around Europe. We were in Rome and had been sightseeing all day, including a few dusty hours at the Colosseum. We were in casual comfortable sightseeing clothes and walking boots, and frankly, we were looking a little grubby by then. Finishing off at the Colosseum, we hopped on a tram.
After a period of time, we realized we were heading in the wrong direction from our Airbnb, so we got off. I was desperately thirsty and exhausted from a long day on our feet. We saw a restaurant, up the stairs on a terrace, and we decided to go there and see if we could get a cool drink and maybe an early dinner. We got upstairs and realized that it was not yet open (it was a few minutes before six pm) so we decided to sit on their terrace furniture and wait.
A little while later a very smartly dressed waiter approached us and rather sneeringly asked us what we wanted. I explained that we were hot and tired. We were hoping to order a few cold drinks, and then have dinner.
He looked us up and down, and just said, ‘No.’
I asked if we could at least have a glass of water, even if we were not to be welcomed into the restaurant.
Again, he said ‘No. You must go now.’
Just then another smartly suited man came out and asked what the problem was. The waiter said something to him in Italian, looked down his nose at us, and waved his hand as if to shoo us away. The second man turned out to be the Manager. He stepped around the waiter, gave us his best smile, and said of course we were welcomed in the restaurant. He explained that they were not yet open, but we were welcome to wait and he will send us out some cool drinks. The snotty waiter glared at us, and reluctantly brought out a jug of iced water and frosted glasses.
Ten minutes later, the manager invited us in, sat us at a nice table, and brought us the menu. I must admit at that point I nearly died as I looked at the prices! The cheapest option was a multi-course set menu at 150 euro each. But hubby and I looked at each other, shrugged, agreed that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and decided to go with it.
The meal was without a doubt the very best food I have ever seen or eaten. The manager personally served us all evening, and treated us like we were royalty! He was charming and friendly – and so good at his job of making us feel welcome that when other diners started coming in, dressed in dinner jackets, evening gowns, etc, we didn’t feel embarrassed.
Throughout the evening, the other waiter just glared and sneered at us. I assumed he had been reprimanded for being disrespectful to customers.
When we paid the bill, the Manager said, ‘Oh no, your experience with us has not yet ended’ and he handed us two beautifully gift-wrapped boxes of petit fours.
I wanted to hug that man.”
She Just Got Off Working At The Farm
“I’d just gotten finished helping my grandparents with their farm chores. Gramps threw out his back and needed help.
Grandad asked if I could go into town and pick him up a new TV and surround sound for the house. A family reunion was coming up and it was going to be at their house that year. They weren’t big on electronics, but they decided for the sake of family and grandkids, they might as well invest in something that would last a while and wasn’t ‘junk’ as my grandpa put it. He gave me a 5000 buck budget and asked that I get the wires and cables I’d need to hook it up.
Over the course of that day, I had been feeding cows and pigs, mucking stalls, and it was rainy and muddy. I’m fairly certain I smelled like cow dung. I had dirty fingernails, my hair was in a bun and I had a smudge of dirt all the way across my forehead.
Thinking nothing of it, I walked into Best Buy and went to the magnolia department. I checked out a few things and was waiting for someone to come to help me.
Usually, when you go to Best Buy, as soon as you walk through the door, the salespeople ascend upon you like rabid beasts. But, not that day, because I must’ve waited for at least thirty minutes and I’d grown tired of it frankly. The store was not busy and I could see a pack of salespeople standing around chatting.
I finally walked over to them and they looked at a guy, probably the new guy because he had a training badge on, and said, ‘Leonard, it’s your turn.’
Then they scattered. They left the new guy to ‘help’ me.
Leonard didn’t know one thing. He probably couldn’t have found his rear end, even if he’d had a map. I schooled Leonard on his own products. He clearly was in over his head. I asked Leonard, in the nicest way possible, if he could get me someone else who had more knowledge about a certain surround setup.
Leonard looked at me and said, ‘Tell ya what, everyone’s busy at the moment and I’ll be honest, you probably couldn’t afford the price range for that surround sound. Let me show you this cheaper model.’
My jaw dropped to the floor. I was livid. I told Leonard that he was a mindless little boy and maybe he should kiss my bazoo.
I went to the customer service desk and demanded to speak to the manager. Just so happens the store manager was my kid brother. My baby brother has a different father than me, otherwise, my grandpa might have asked HIM to set up his system.
I told him what had transpired and he looked at me in disbelief. He then jokingly asked if Leonard was still alive.
I thought I’d have a little fun with these pricks. I pretended to be angry and yell and stormed out of the store. My brother went and summoned the sharks to a small room and ripped them a new one.
My brother told me of their conversation, he asked them why they refused to help me. The redhead gentleman who was the senior associate in that department said it was because I ‘smelled like doo-doo and probably didn’t have any money to buy anything and that he had a quota to fill.’
And he thought ‘the new guy could use the practice.’
After hearing that my blood wasn’t boiling, it was on fire.
Since I had a date later that night anyway, I decided to get fancy and I put on my best ‘night out’ outfit. I went back to the store, walked in to be immediately greeted by the senior associate in Magnolia! He was ever so gentle with me. He held onto every word I said and mentioned at least three times how great my perfume was.
I then asked if he knew a guy named Leonard.
He said, ‘Excuse me?’ Then proceeded to tell me I didn’t want Leonard’s help because he was new and didn’t really know a lot yet and he wanted to make sure my customer experience was excellent.
I then asked again for Leonard. He returned with Leo. Leo shook my hand and asked if I was certain I had the right Leonard.
I told him I’d been there earlier in the day and I’d needed a TV and surround sound. Leonard almost intermittently pooped himself. I’ve never seen a more red-faced man in my life. He asked me to wait for one minute while he grabbed his clipboard from the back that had my product interests that he’d recorded earlier.
While he was away I went to see my brother. He walked over to magnolia with me and started shaking my hand in front of the associates he’d coached earlier. One by one the color drained from their faces.
I told them they should never EVER shop out of someone else’s pocket. Because they might have a customer who smells like pig doo-doo but has five grand in their pocket. Perceptions mean nothing when money is involved.
Since the new guy needed some practice, I let him sell me a 5,100 buck Entertainment Package out of my own pocket just to help teach those fellas a lesson.”
He Should Have Went To Jared’s Instead
“I was shopping for my first wedding band/diamond for my fiancée. I had just gotten off work and had several thousand dollars cash in my pocket. I worked at a plant nursery, and therefore usually was muddy or dirty, and often wet. Because of this, I never wore anything but work clothes. I also had long hair which may have contributed to looking, not like I wasn’t looking to only spend the 6,000 bucks, but rather to find a ring that I thought she would like, or a diamond that fit my requirements, or both, and was looking to buy that day. But if I didn’t have enough cash, I had my credit card and money in the bank.
Anyway, I went into a shop near where I was working and it was not super busy, there were at least three or four salespeople just chilling, wiping down the glass, chatting, or idly standing there. I walked in and they all looked up and looked at each other, then all simultaneously ignored me. I went to the counter and began looking at engagement rings and the diamonds that they had out in the case, but nobody even glanced up, and they all actively tried to avoid my attempts to get their attention. I even attempted to talk to one of them but they brushed me off immediately and wouldn’t even answer simple questions. Finally, I pulled out the wad of hundreds in my pocket and flipped through it quickly, glanced back at the diamonds, and stood up to walk out while tucking it back into my pocket.
Suddenly, they were all making a move to help me. I looked at the man who had been ‘lucky’ enough to talk to me first as he asked me if he could help me find something.
I smiled and said ‘No, your sales associates clearly have no idea how to help a customer. I was just leaving.’
With that, I opened the door and walked back to my car.”
They Were Flip-Flops And Sand
“I was about 22 or so, and my best friend was 23. We were surfing and when we finished, we decided to stop at a local art gallery to possibly buy a couple of paintings. Sounds strange but true. We both were into art.
So we went to the gallery, wearing shorts, flip-flops, old t-shirts, sand on our feet, and our hair being a mess from the saltwater and showering off at the beach. We browsed around, already knowing what artist we were going to buy but needing to decide which picture, mattings, and frames we wanted.
So after about ten minutes, the saleswoman was still ignoring us. Finally, a younger girl came out from the back and she took a minute but came to us and asked if she could help us. I was watching the other woman because she was listening to us pretending not to be.
We said yes we would like to buy two paintings. This one here and this one here, and the matting and framing you have on them needs to be changed and we want this and that, etc.
She said, ‘Okay I’ll be right back with the framing order invoice —’
At that moment the older woman decided she better stick her nose in our business because what we were buying was about 2,000 bucks each.
She said, ‘Hello I’m — whoever, I’m the owner of the Gallery. I see that you are buying —’
My best friend who had his back to her as soon as she walked up, turned around and said, ‘We’ve already been helped. Thanks’
She snapped her mouth shut.
When the girl was back, the manager said to her, ‘If you need help let me know.’
I then said, ‘You weren’t very helpful when we walked in.’
The owner said, ‘Well the way you boys are dressed, I —’ and she trailed off without finishing the sentence as she walked away.
We were in Marina Del Rey which is a very expensive place to live. It is right on the water and lots of people with money drive Bentleys and Ferraris etc. around. But also these very rich people have their yachts, sailboats, and fishing boats, so wearing casual beach attire should not make some person think you’re a bum in this area. But mixed with our age, she still shouldn’t have ignored us. Because you never know who someone is and if they are loaded with money but don’t flaunt it.
So, we paid for the paintings in cash. We were told the framing will take a couple of days so we could pick them up when they call.
We made sure that the young girl would be getting the commission for the sales. She said yes she would and then we left. The manager gave us a dirty look as we walked out.”
She Was McLovin The Free Stuff Then She Realized The Reason Why
“We had moved to a good school district in Milwaukee, called Wauwatosa, and no, I’m not making up names. Fortunately, the shops were one street away. I took my young daughters to McDonald’s for lunch once or twice a week. They were three and six years old, and I wore my most comfortable clothes at home with the girls.
That meant shabby jeans with holes in them. Slightly baggy. Some cheap top and my Keds. My purse was brown leather and extremely worn out, but I didn’t want to spend the money to replace it. Besides, my wallet was equally worn and falling apart. My girls wore clothes mainly purchased from the second-hand store just down the street. We looked shabby but comfortable.
At McDonald’s, I never had enough money to buy both girls a Happy Meal, so while they begged for one Happy Meal a piece, I ordered two hamburgers, one french fry and that would be all. After a month or two of this, I would open the bag to find an extra order of french fries or two apple pies, and sometimes an extra hamburger and a pie. I thought McDonald’s was giving me food they were going to throw out, and I went about eating the extras so kindly provided. Though, strangely, sometimes two Happy Meal toys would be in the bag.
One evening, when I was dressed up to head to the theatre, I was about to walk into McDonald’s to buy a Big Mac, when it hit me. The employees thought I had no money! They heard me tell each daughter I didn’t have the money for two Happy Meals. They had seen me in my comfy, shabby clothes doling out the amount owed in change and not dollars. They thought I was very poor, and while we weren’t exactly flush with cash, I did have money enough to go out to the theatre downtown.
I realized I couldn’t enter that McDonald’s not looking good. I would have felt like an imposter, a cheat, and a scoundrel. I honestly thought the employees were being kind and stuffing in an old french fry order or chicken nuggets with sauce. It didn’t occur to me that I looked so shabby and poor. I was a stay-at-home mother, so why on Earth did I need to look put together and nice?
Well, after that, my husband and I had a great laugh about it, and I think I went out and bought a purse that wasn’t falling apart at the seams. I slowly began to go to the McDonald’s with my kids in their good clothes. Eventually, the free goodies essentially stopped. But not those Happy Meal toys. I really could not afford two of them, and my girls would have fought over just one. The sweet employees would tuck in two toys for the girls, and I was so thankful.”
She Got The Last Laugh
“It was Christmas time and I had just gotten off work. I was so tired, but I was determined to find a ‘Se7en‘ leather coat for my best friend John. That’s the leather coat that Brad Pitt wore in the movie ‘Se7en‘.
I walked into the high-end department store at the mall. I was wearing my polo shirt with my work logo on it, Lucky jeans, and Doc Martin boots. Also, my hair was in a ponytail. I went to the young men’s department and saw they had beautiful leather coats, but nobody would help me.
I asked several people if I could get someone to help me with a leather coat that I was interested in buying. Still, I was treated like a person that obviously didn’t shop in their store and probably didn’t have the means to purchase anything anyway. I was so infuriated so I went out to my car. I grabbed my long fur coat out from the back seat and my Louis Vuitton Cherry Blossom backpack purse. I took my hair down from the ponytail and put on some lipstick and my sunglasses.
I walked back into that store like I owned the place. I had literally salespeople falling all over each other to offer their ‘Sales assistance.’
I said, ‘No’ to everyone. Then out of nowhere comes this very well-dressed Manager of the store offering up a personal shopper for me to assist me with any shopping or personal needs that I may have during my ‘holiday shopping experience’ at their store.
Again I said, ‘NO.’
By this time I was back where the leather coats were. I needed someone to unchain it from the garment display. A really nice young man was stocking T-shirts nearby and offered to jailbreak the coat as he called it.
I laughed and said, ‘Please if I’m not interrupting your work.’
He laughed and said, ‘I welcome the interruption.’
I bought the ‘Se7en‘ coat and took it upstairs to be gift wrapped. Then came the manager again offering the free gift wrapping for my purchase.
I said, ‘Yes. Thank you.’
At that point, I took my sunglasses off to reveal my red contacts that I had in. He looked into my eyes as he handed me my beautifully wrapped present. He looked at me scared and unable to speak.
I laughed with a wicked laugh and walked out of that judgemental garbage store. I never returned.
I went home and called their Corporate office and reported the Manager and basically anyone that I felt was sucking up to me.
For the young man that helped me,I told them to give him a serious holiday bonus for his warmth and great personality.”
When In France, Do As The French Do
“I was living in France, and at the time I didn’t have many dresses, because I had left them at home in the states. One day I decided to take a day trip to a small village. It was super hot, and all my dresses were not usable for some reason or another, so I wrote shorts. Not inappropriate shorts or anything, just… men’s shorts. Not very pretty.
I went to the small village, and I walked around, had a good time. Twice I sat at a cafe. The first time the waitress deliberately served people who came after me, before me. But that happens sometimes on lazy weekend days, so I just flagged more aggressively and didn’t take it personally.
The second time, the waiter really wouldn’t serve me. He was avoiding eye contact, made me wait for 20 minutes while passing by me maybe once per minute.
But every time I said ‘Monsieur!’
He looked away and disappeared. Finally, I was so angry I flagged down other waiters and got the smallest thing on the menu. When it came time to pay I went straight to the counter.
The owner laughed and said, ‘You need to pay your server.’
My server was standing right in front of me so I was said in a passive-aggressive way, ‘I know but he didn’t serve me so I’m here.’
He FINALLY looked me in the eye, said, ‘Oui, C’est moi,’ and walked away.
I was so close to walking away with my money, but I followed him to his customer. Then handed him the money and walked away.
Never before have I had to work so hard to give someone else my money!
I had a sneaking suspicion that the attitude was toward my outfit, so I called my parents to rant about it.
They were kind of squeamish and said, ‘Actually… that’s to be expected. In China, too, no one would serve you if you aren’t dressed at your best.'”