The Customer is NOT Always Right
Misadventures in Retail


For some reason, people like to think that if you act like a total ass to the people who run the returns department, that it will make them want to help you more. I don’t understand this logic. Why would you want to piss off, or hurt the feelings of someone who is trying to help you? I think some customers just have it in their head that the returns cashiers make it their goal to try not to let you return your items. NOT TRUE! Trust me, we would much rather have you out of the store quickly and happy than have you sit and glare at us because we are telling you we can’t take it back.

Then there are people like this customer I had today.

I was in the process of doing a return for a lady and this guy comes in with a little bag of returns. Only, instead of getting in line behind her, he came over and stood about 2 feet away from me, beside my station. He folded his arms and sat there staring at me while I finished the return, mumbling comments I was not paying attention to. Another gentleman that I had been helping earlier came by to show me that he had found the item to exchange so that I could wave him on. I simply said “ok, you’re good to go.”

“Wait, I’m right here. Why don’t you take care of me?” came a voice from my right side. I explained to him that 1) I was not done with the lady I was helping, and 2) I was only waving the guy on so he could leave.

I continued with the lady’s return and heard the guy whisper under his breath “hurry, hurry, hurry.” Of course I did what any self respecting person would do….and went a little slower.

After I had finished with the lady, the guy came up and put his bag on the counter.

“I don’t have a receipt.” He said sharply. “I just want store credit so I can buy more stuff I might have to return.”

I didn’t even look up at him. I just scanned his merchandise in and totaled it. I then asked for his driver’s license to get an ID number in order to issue store credit with no receipt.

“I don’t have it.” he said folding his arms again.

“Do you know your ID number?” I asked. We really aren’t supposed to do that, but I wanted to get this guy out of my area.


“Well unfortunately I can’t refund you. My computer won’t let me do the return without your ID number.”

He let out a sigh and rolled his eyes. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. He reached in and quickly pulled out……HIS FREAKING DRIVER’S LICENSE!

WTF? If you are in a hurry, why in the HELL would you try to make the return more difficult? Why not try a little thing called cooperation. You know, that concept they teach you in elementary school and on all those PBS and Nick Jr. cartoons.

Anyway, I finished his return. As he was leaving the next person in line came up to me and said, “What the hell was his problem?”

Even the general public thinks you’re a douche.


Returns is a funny place sometimes. You never know who is going to try to pull a scam. A few weeks ago I was called up by my returns cashier to approve (or not) a return. When I arrived at the desk I saw a tall, lanky “gentleman” with bloodshot eyes who kept licking his lips and could not stand still. He also tried his hardest not to make eye contact with me. The items he was returning were all the same, about 20 of them, at I think about 6 bucks apiece. They were small enough to fit in a pocket (Which is what he had pulled them out of, according to my cashier) and no security tags are put on them. An easy target for a shoplifter.

When a return such as this is attempted with no receipt it flags the transaction and the cashier cannot continue without a manager override. When the override code is put in it pops up a screen showing all of the “no receipt transactions” that the person in question has done. Looking at this, I saw that an alarming number of the same item had been returned.

“Do you have a receipt at home anywhere?” I asked.
“Nope” was all he said, looking away from me.
“Well I cannot approve the return at this time without one.”
“I need to return these, I don’t have a receipt.” He said, as if he had just come in.
“I understand that sir” I replied. “But I cannot approve this without a receipt. So why don’t you go see if you can find it. If you do I will be more than happy to refund you.” The man nodded and picked up the items.

As he turned to leave My cashier muttered under his breath (or at least it was supposed to be) “Maybe you should lay off the drugs too.”

The man hung his head and said “Yeah.”

It was in that “I’m ashamed” tone of voice.

You have no idea how hard it was to keep from laughing until he left.


I got a call at work the other day from a customer. It started out pleasant enough.

“Yes, I was in there just a few minutes ago and bought some things. When I got home a few things were not in my bag.”

“Do you remember what register you were at?” I asked, and then told him where to find the information on the receipt. So I went to the register and sure enough it was still there, only not just lying there, but in it’s own separate bag. “I have it right here” I informed the customer.

“So how are you going to reimburse me for using my gas to come back and get it?” he asked

“Well the cashier didn’t forget to put it in your bag, he put those items in their own bag. Maybe you forgot to grab it.”

“Well then why didn’t he make sure I took it.”

“Probably because he was busy and he didn’t realize you had forgotten it until he had finished with the next customer. By then you may have been out the door.”

“Well we weren’t moving very fast so I doubt that. He could have went outside to see if he could catch me.”

“Our cashiers are not allowed to leave their registers like that sir. It is a security issue.”

“So how do I get my shit?”

“You can come by and bring your receipt. I will write it down in our ‘left behind’ items book.”

“Well I will be shopping elsewhere from now on.”

Now, what I wanted to say here was, “Well good luck finding a place that will reimburse you for being stupid.” But instead I said “That is your choice sir, but I don’t think any other places would reimburse you for forgetting items either.”

After the call I went to talk to my cashier about it. He said that the guy had been mean, and rude, and caused a lot of problems during the transaction.

I think I may have forgotten to write his items down in that book. Oh well.


So, the other day I was working at the returns desk (for those of you who don’t know, cuz a lot of customers don’t seem to, that is where you return things that you don’t need, want, or are broken. You wouldn’t believe how many times people come up to a regular cash register lane to return something. How long have you people been shopping that you don’t know what a returns desk is? Do you go up to the register at wal mart and do that?). A grumpy looking old man came up to my register. He was holding what looked like a gift bag with black paint splotches all over it.

“Do you have a return?” I asked, simply because he was just staring at me clearly wanting me to ask him that or something along those lines.

“Let me tell you what this is” he responded, becoming suddenly animated. As if I had just flipped his switch to ON. “The other day I came in and bought some Heat resistant grill paint for my barbecue grill, I was walking across my deck to use it and the bag broke.” He paused and looked up at me and I nodded to show I was listening. “Now what I want you to do is get me another can of paint, and two rolls of paper towels to replace the ones I had to use to clean my deck. Then I want some kind of reimbursement for fixing the deck.”

I was trying to understand why exactly I owed all of that to him, so I paraphrased his request back to him. “You dropped the paint on your deck and want a new can?”

“Plus two rolls of paper towles and reimbursement for fixing it.” He replied.

“Well I don’t see how you dropping the paint at home was our fault.” I responded as politely as possible.

“It was in your bag, which broke. I have it right here if you want to look at it”

Now, I know it’s tragic when you spill paint on your deck, but how in the world do you justify it being the fault of the store you bought it from because you decided to carry a can of paint in a plastic shopping bag instead of by it’s handle? Especially after you had already owned it for a couple of days. I wanted to laugh at him, I really did. But instead I called the Manager on duty at the time (Who was really only a department supervisor covering a lunch) and explained the situation to him.
He ended up letting the guy have another can of paint, but refused the paper towels and reimbursement.

When I questioned him as to why he let him have the paint he responded “Sometimes we have to accept partial blame even if it isn’t our fault.

In the words of a kangaroo I saw in an animation once, “WTF mate?”


Hello everyone.  I am a retail worker for a major hardware and home improvement retailer.  This is going to be my own personal area to blog about some of the more ridiculous customers I deal with.  So come and have a laugh with me at their expense.  Also feel free to comment with your own experiences.

Disclaimer:  This blog is mine.  For my entertainment and the entertainment of others who find it entertaining.  If you have a problem or something irks you, please don’t use this as a place to tell me off or tell me I am wrong.  Especially if you are a customer who has done something similar to what I write about.  The customer is NOT always right.