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captain_to_fire

To those who worked on sales or retail, share your abusive customer stories

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Perhaps the one of the most ludicrous notion people have came up with is the notion of “the customer is always right”. Whenever I hear this, I have the urge to ask that individual if they have a job experience at sales or retail. While I understand that as a business, customer satisfaction should be guaranteed and I agree. Satisfied customers leads more customers hence higher sales but customers should accept the fact that not everything they demand is fair like a customer getting pissed at a cashier or a waiter because the customer’s credit card has been denied by the bank. 

 

So for more than a year, I worked as a pharma rep. I go to hospitals, clinics and pharmacies in the hopes that they’ll get the medications I sell. Greedy customers isn’t exactly new. I once had a customer who would ask for more money as “perks” in top of the 35% rebate we’ve already given despite of the fact that company policy states I can’t give rebates higher than 30% for an individual product. Another one is when a past customer got pissed at us insisting that her post dated checks are bouncing or has insufficient funds and that the bank has denied the transaction so I have to take all the products back unless they pay us in cash. What’s worse is that many of these abusive customers would put us in blast and accuse us of being unfair. 

 

Just as @Cinnabar Sonar has said, “we have the right to deny service”. 

 

How about you guys? Share your experience with abusive customers. 

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I don't work in retail any more.  (thank god) But what I have learned there is invaluable.

I have no issue doing the best that I can to help someone out, as long as they are civil.  I understand that sometimes people are just venting, but thick skin isn't impervious skin, and I have my limits.  Just like everyone else.

 

I ended up getting fired due to becoming "increasingly hostile to customers".  I have no regrets however.

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I'm more than happy to argue with a misinformed/completely wrong customer. I'll also happily argue with my boss about it, because he's the sort that will fold when challenged.

 

So I work in a liquor store, I also work for a supermarket in their online dept, but I don't interact with customers there, which is nice.

 

The dumbest customer i've encountered who refused to believe even the packaging, was one that kept telling me Coopers (an Australian family owned brewery) was now owned by the English & was being destroyed. When I pointed out that the packaging boasts the Australian Made & Owned symbol he still believed his own story that the Coopers family sold out a long time ago.. To which I told him it would be against the law to state they're still Australian owned, he was an idiot.

 

Another was much more recently, I came in to start my shift & one of the co-workers was helping an Asian lady who didn't speak much English (well she made out she didn't) with some cider, at the time we had a promotion going by any 2 selected cartons of beer or cider & get 20% off. He told her that there was 20% off the single price if she scanned her loyalty card. So he's left cause it was the end of his shift, and she comes up to the register wanting this carton of Strongbow Classic for I think it was $40, I said "No, that's the price if you buy 2 of them, otherwise they're $47 each." to which she then craps on "The other man told me, it is this price, you give it to me for this price now!" I said "No, if you buy TWO it is that price, as it is part of this promotion." at this point i'm point out the POS promo crap for this sale, she still is not believing me, I also told her will not sell it to her at the price she wants, the only way I was going to would be for her to buy two of them. She also told me she was going to come back the next day & get me in trouble, I said go for it, she never did come back.

 

Then just the usual idiots who argue with me when I refuse them service for either being intoxicated, no ID or letting minors handle alcohol to the point where they're pointing it out, which makes it look like it's a case of secondary supply. I'm not a fan of the idea of being slugged a $1,100 on the spot fine & I could also potentially be fined up to $11,000 by the courts & there's also potential 12 months jail time for supplying anyone under 18 alcohol for all parties involved. Also the business could have its liquor license revoked or suspended.

 

When I worked for EB Games wanting us to price match another store, when we were cheaper, the game just didn't have a sale sticker on it indicating the new price. Like, uh, I guess if you want to pay more be our guest..?

 

So the company I work for now has a few liquor brands, one is dedicated to wine & is online only, one is a big box warehouse discount brand (I have previously worked there) & the one I work for now is basically the 7/11 of alcohol, we're on just about every street corner in Australia it seems & in every shopping centre, then again we have 1400+ stores nationwide last I heard. But anyway, when I used to work for the big box version, we had a drive thru, that was always fun. But I remember this one customer who came up to purchase a few bottles of wine, anyway she has demanded I give her a bag, now we don't use bags never have afaik. "I said best I can do is give you a box, as we do not do plastic bags here." she replied "But I have to walk all the way back to my motel room!" (which was maybe 500 metres up the road lol) I'll never get some people.

 

It'll be interesting when the company stops supplying plastic bags across the board next year, that's going to upset a lot.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
34 minutes ago, Cinnabar Sonar said:

ended up getting fired due to becoming "increasingly hostile to customers".  I have no regrets however.

I almost yelled at a customer once because of her insistence that her checks are well funded. However after handing over my phone to my boss, my client decided to just return the unused medications and pay in cash what they’ve consumed. 

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52 minutes ago, hey_yo_ said:

I almost yelled at a customer once because of her insistence that her checks are well funded. However after handing over my phone to my boss, my client decided to just return the unused medications and pay in cash what they’ve consumed. 

Admittedly, I could have handled it better.  It didn't help that my co workers all hated me.

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I on a sweep, cleaning the floors and a customer walked up then ranted at me for around 10 minutes because a specific cake mix was no longer located in the aisle he was used to. He was nearly yelling that civilians don't know how to stock shelves, saying the Commissary is where to go. Smh.

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Protip: The more pissed off you are, the less inclined I am to help you and the lower chance you receive when trying to reach a resolution.

 

And no, asking for a supervisor doesn't magically change company policy. If anything, they'll agree you're unreasonable.


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I haven't worked in retail for years, and even when I did it was for a very short time.

 

It should be said that I mainly have positive stories to tell. The vast majority of customers that I interacted with were really nice people.

I worked at a DIY store, which had pretty much abandoned the "customer is always right" - philosophy. Instead the employees were given quite a lot of freedom to determine service levels on their own.

 

My worst experience was probably when a customer went completely off the rails due to my inability to follow his ever changing instructions.

He wanted to buy a set of fence elements, but he kept changing his measurements and thereby the amount of elements he needed to buy.

in the end I offered to give him a calculator and that apperently set him off.

The conversation ended with me demanding that he leave the store and handing him the phone number for my boss.

He supposedly never called my boss.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, Volbet said:

-snip-

Nice! For the most part majority of my clients are nice people and they pay in time and are not abusive. It's just that the other day I overheard a whiny lady lambasting the saleslady to the point that the saleslady is on the verge of crying just by how rude the customer is together with ranting the ludicrous notion that the fucking customer is always right. Every time I hear that shit, it simply gets on my nerves.

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This was a while back, before credit cards had chips in them, just the black strip.

 

My dad used to work in a clothes shop, and a drunk came in to buy some shoes. He shouted abuse at other staff members, so when he was paying, my dad swiped his card on the till, and sneakily swiped the card over the powerful magnet that is used to take security tags off clothes. Wiped his card. Payback, I guess? 

 

A few years back when my dad still owned a shop, if he disliked a customer, he'd scratch his nose with either his middle finger, or make the V symbol...

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On 11/10/2017 at 8:44 PM, hey_yo_ said:

Just as @Cinnabar Sonar has said, “we have the right to deny service”. 

 

Ha! funny, nah we can't deny customers service because they treat you like shit at least where I work, and they still expect you to treat them like gods. It's bullshit. Fuck I want out of this field.


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1 minute ago, wcreek said:

Ha! funny, nah we can't deny customers service because they treat you like shit at least where I work, and they still expect you to treat them like gods. It's bullshit. Fuck I want out of this field.

Fast food was disgusting and shit especially when it got busy but god damn if it wasn't as messy or nasty I'd do that over shitail retail.


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Anyways before I go on a full blast rant about how I hate it, I will say 95% of the time the customer is never right. I will grant that at least 5% of the time the customer is right and on some occasions that number might go up depending how well or crappy of a job pricing did.


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I don't think I have enough time to share all of the BS I have to deal with but here's a few from just this week (yes, I know it's only Monday):

 

Potential client 1: "I see the pricing on your website is different than the pricing on another random website that was posted 3 years ago, which one is correct?"

 

Potential client 2: "I want service in this city."

Me: "We don't have any hardware in that city, check our website for our list of locations."

Potential client 2: "How about this city?"

Me: "Still nope, here's our list of locations..."

Potential client 2: "How about this city?"

Me: "Nope, it's not on the list I sent you."

Potential client 2: "I don't see this city on your list."

Me: "Then we can't offer you service there."
 

Potential client 3: "I'm worried about DDoS attacks can you protect me?"

Me: "Yes, we offer DDoS protection in these cities."

Potential client 3: "Where is the best place to setup servers to DDoS my competitors?"

 

Potential client 4: "Do you ignore warrants from police?"

 

Potential client 5: "If I pay with a credit card would I have time to make a backup of my data if somebody accidentally reports it stolen?"


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Posted · Original PosterOP
54 minutes ago, wcreek said:

Fast food was disgusting and shit especially when it got busy but god damn if it wasn't as messy or nasty I'd do that over shitail retail.

One of my good friends is a Starbucks barista and he told me that for the most part working at Starbucks is fun. The only part that he doesn’t like is when customers get pissed when their orders come in late which he told me was fair enough given how they get hammered by orders when college students buy them in bulk during days before the finals exam. But then he’s probably lucky he’s in an area with mature and considerate people. 

 

In my experience, Starbucks baristas offer one of the best customer service and have the best smiles and greetings. They’d even ask you how’s your day and they give me free samples.

 

As a pharma rep, it’s a mixed bag. I deal with my whiny boss when I don’t reach quota and I have to deal with some unfair and sometimes dishonest clients. As a pharma rep, I also handle customer care services and I’m more than willing to help them but then they have to remember that I’m just an employee and my hands are tied up.

 

Whoever said that notion “the customer is always right” first, I’d like to show my two middle fingers  into their face. 

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Posted (edited) · Original PosterOP
13 minutes ago, L.Lawliet said:

LONG TEXT ALERT

Jesus Christ! I don’t know the reason why many repair shops no longer entertain requests for rooting, jailbreaking and even carrier unlocking but I think it’s a way to deter sales of stolen smartphones which I don’t think is effective. I know iCloud activation can be bypassed through an exploit but I think Apple is making it harder and harder for every iteration of iOS. 

 

Maybe @LinusTech has some experience with awful customers since he worked in retail before he started LTT. 

Edited by hey_yo_
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31 minutes ago, hey_yo_ said:

... he told me that for the most part working at Starbucks is fun. The only part that he doesn’t like is when customers get pissed...

That's pretty much every customer service/retail job. It's either the customer who ruins the experience, or head office telling you to bend over for the customer.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, wcreek said:

Ha! funny, nah we can't deny customers service because they treat you like shit at least where I work, and they still expect you to treat them like gods. It's bullshit. Fuck I want out of this field.

On some situations especially serious ones, the business employees have the right to deny service like harassing an employee either sexually or not. 

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5 minutes ago, hey_yo_ said:

On some situations especially serious ones, the business employees have the right to deny service like harassing an employee either sexually or not. 

I agree.

 

I work in liquor retail, and we have Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) laws backing us here in Australia, and also company policy is if we feel threatened in anyway we are allowed to deny service to the customer and ask them to leave or have them removed from the premises, and if they don't then it becomes a police matter because they're now on licensed premises after being denied service/entry and they can be charged. I haven't been in that situation personally, but then again i'm 6 foot 1, pretty large & most people think i'm some kind of menacing person, if it keeps me out of trouble then be it I guess.


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On 11/11/2017 at 2:44 AM, hey_yo_ said:

Perhaps the one of the most ludicrous notion people have came up with is the notion of “the customer is always right”. Whenever I hear this, I have the urge to ask that individual if they have a job experience at sales or retail. While I understand that as a business, customer satisfaction should be guaranteed and I agree. Satisfied customers leads more customers hence higher sales but customers should accept the fact that not everything they demand is fair like a customer getting pissed at a cashier or a waiter because the customer’s credit card has been denied by the bank. 

 

So for more than a year, I worked as a pharma rep. I go to hospitals, clinics and pharmacies in the hopes that they’ll get the medications I sell. Greedy customers isn’t exactly new. I once had a customer who would ask for more money as “perks” in top of the 35% rebate we’ve already given despite of the fact that company policy states I can’t give rebates higher than 30% for an individual product. Another one is when a past customer got pissed at us insisting that her post dated checks are bouncing or has insufficient funds and that the bank has denied the transaction so I have to take all the products back unless they pay us in cash. What’s worse is that many of these abusive customers would put us in blast and accuse us of being unfair. 

 

Just as @Cinnabar Sonar has said, “we have the right to deny service”. 

 

How about you guys? Share your experience with abusive customers. 

But the customer is always right, customer satisfaction has been the number 1 priority when i was working in retail (i did it for 3 years) the only time they were 'wrong' was when they were trying to fob something off for cheaper than it was (We had a lady who would steal the reduced label stickers from things like onions and put them on pull price chickens)

 

We also had person steal full chicken by putting them in her handbag, this was before we started putting the fresh meat stickers on things that would set off the alarm if they when out of the store un-scanned. Also strangely we had a order from head office to stop serving red bull and relentless (energy drinks) to 16 year olds around exam time

 

Not had any abusive customers per say there was one person who went to my school and he was known for being an arse and a dick (he was 16) so i just flat out refused to serve him and asked one of the other till staff to serve him, he went off on one my manager came over and explained the situation that any staff member can refuse to serve any customer, it's perfectly within their employee contract to do so

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7 hours ago, hey_yo_ said:

He worked in sales? 

Bruh the stories I could tell you working in my job. I work in a 24 hour roadhouse in outback Australia, we have fights nearly a nightly basis, I've got torn work shirts and been in about 9 brawls at work in a 12 month period. I will tell people to get the fuck out of my store if they're humbugging customers, i've pulled grown ass men off women they're head stomping into the kerb, the other night on the other supervisors shift he had to tackle a bloke after he saw him kick a 1 year old child with steel caps. 

It takes a special kind of person to work my job, you have to be prepared to get hit and hit back, and stick up for those who can't stick up for themselves.

Hell in February I stood between two women one had a knife ready to stab the other and I was planning where on my body I was willing to get cut up on to protect the other woman.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
23 minutes ago, JaeDee884 said:

Hell in February I stood between two women one had a knife ready to stab the other and I was planning where on my body I was willing to get cut up on to protect the other woman.

Man that’s terrible! I guess I’m lucky I only have to deal with bouncing checks, greedy clients and complains why their orders are delayed when our company policy explicitly states that orders arrive at least between five working days excluding Saturday, Sunday and non-working holidays from the day the order was placed. 

 

I hope you’re safe and know basic self defense and can quickly call 911. 

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