This is a story with a question at the end - and I am the custy in this situation. I will not be Little Slave in the Big Northwoods for this caper, I will be playing the part of Big Shopper in the Big City!
It's Thursday afternoon and I need to run to my local grocery store for some stamps. I have been purchasing stamps at this location since 2005 and have always paid with a $45 business check (it even says freight & postage on the stub). Sometimes they ask for my license number, sometimes they put on the phone number, but most of the time, they just give me the roll of stamps and put the check in the drawer. Well, not this time.
I knew I was in trouble when the AWESOME little old lady who normally works was not there. But I think to myself, it's just a roll of stamps, I'll be okay. NOTE: anyone who is not the awesome little old lady takes wayyyy longer to do anything at this desk. I waited in line as Customer #1 purchased his $20 worth of scratch off lottery tickets - he rolls away and I look at clerk lady waiting for her to say "Next" or "Can I Help You" or even "What do you want?" She just looks at me blankly so I step up to the plate.
"1 roll of 100 stamps please." - hands her the check. What happened next is still a little foggy, still a little "HUH?!"
She looks at the check, up at me, back at the check and kind of cocks her head to the side - like dogs do and says: "Um, I don't know what to do with this? (to co-worker) Do you know what to do?" Perplexed looks are exchanged betwixt the two. I myself am mighty perplexed at this statement.
She gave me the "one minute" finger and leaves the cage. She walked out the door, took about 10 steps, stood there looking at the check, then scanning the front, then down at the check, more looks around - then turns around and comes back in the cage and said, "I don't know what I was thinking" then proceeds to run the check through a little electronic scanner.
This scanner was unlike any other check scanner I have seen before. It looked like a receipt printer. Next thing I know she says to hit ok on the credit card pad. I am surprised at the mention of the pad. Now, here is the issue: the total on the screen was $50, not $45 but I did not notice it until I had already hit the green button but before I had signed for it. I piped up and said "Wait that was $50?" Sure enough, it was, and the transaction could not be cancelled, it was through.
As this is my fault for not looking, I stay quiet as the clerk is saying, "I don't know what I was thinking," and "Why did I enter 50?!"
Hitting buttons, trying to get the info back do not help. Her solution was to just give me $5 back ("Is that okay?" was asked twice). Which, if it was cash, or my money, I wouldn't have cared. However, this is a cash basis business and I have a check written for $45, not $50 - that is embezzlement chicklets.
I did kindly and nicely ask if it was possible to refund and re-run as I had time to wait and the counter was not busy. That is when the manager arrives to see what is going on: No, nothing more can be done, no, there is no refund, can she give me $5 back (Is that okay was asked so many more times I lost count at 5). Keep in mind I think I have now said 1 sentence in total.
I accepted the $5, receipt (with my notes on it), and then asked if I could please have my stamps now; which I finally got.
My question is, is that normal? Can check machines not be corrected at all even with the manager there? I didn't want to get pissy because we all know that feels, but, why did she put in $50?
The only half-assed, kind of apology was from weird clerk lady saying it's been a long day as she was handing me my stamps. Out of this entire situation, this is not really what bothered me because I explained the entire situation to my boss, who promptly laughed his ass of for at least 10 minutes, then we fixed the accounting error. All in all, I kept my mouth shut, said thank you when I was done, and proceeded to walk over to the bank where I had to re-tell the story and we all shook our heads in confusion. You see, our bank has a branch within the grocery store and they had been expecting me to come over and make a deposit - they waved when I walked in the doors - then they watched me at the service counter the entire time.
This final paragraph has to do with the phrase "Is that okay?" I understand why people ask this; I totally understand and have been trained to ask the same question in order to make sure the customer is alright with what has happened or is happening. But, when you ask this multiple times, and the same solution is offered, and when I have already stated that this particular course of action is not okay, STOP ASKING! By the time I left to walk over to the bank, I wanted to scream it at them - NO IT"S NOT OKAY, STOP ASKING ME THAT LIKE YOU CAN DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!!! But I didn't. That's all, now back to my cell, I mean cubicle.
--Big Shopper in the Big City