It's me again, the barbershop receptionist, with a relatively short tale. Apologies for mobile formatting.
Yesterday we got hit with our Thanksgiving rush. We were booked to appointment capacity by 9 am, and the walk-in wait was about an hour and a half all day until about closing time, when everyone suddenly just disappeared and we only had a few people lingering around for haircuts or shaves.
In walks this man who kind of looks like he hasn't brushed his teeth in a hot minute and he looked exceptionally lost. I put on my client interaction voice and greet him with a smile. We'll call him DG, for "Discount Guy."
ME: Good evening, how are you today?
DG: I need a beard trim. How much are they?
ME: Those start at $6.
DG: Okay, well, uh... I usually go to [place down the street] and they only charge me $4.
ME: They start at $6 here because we offer hot towel services and the option to use a straight razor on your face while lining you up or clippers, your choice.
DG: Uh huh... okay... well, can you give me a discount?
As he asks me this question, he spits while he's talking. And I'm not talking just a little spit that I so happened to notice—I mean a lot of spit. Everywhere. It landed on the credit card machine and the receipt printer and all over my hand and arm. I naturally froze because it caught me off guard and it was a little gross. At that point, I'm slyly trying to wipe my hand on the desk and making a mental note similar to "clorox!!!! clorox wipes immediately!!!!!! abort!!!" in my head. I do fine with everything else a customer can throw at me, but a rain of spit just doesn't cut it. Anyway, back to the conversation.
ME: Discounts aren't at my discretion to give out, that's typically up to your barber if they see fit that their services are worth giving a discount for. You would have to ask them once you're in their chair.
DG: I'm just gonna go down to the other people. Thanks for nothing.
At that point, he lingered around our waiting area and watched my barbers/stylists take haircuts before turning around and quickly leaving the store.
Thanksgiving rush is weird, man.
The only time I've ever walked away from a customer...
Customer: "I want that iPad at a discount. "
Me: "I can't do that, it's a display only model and we have plenty of normal stock. "
Customer: "I don't care, I don't have that kind of money, just sell me the display. "
Me: "I can't, I already told you. I will get fired if u seem it to you."
Customer: "No one will know!"
Me: "Yes they will. Now, if you aren't going to be buying anything, I have other customers to attend to. "
I turn and walk away.
Customer: "You just lost a customer, asshole! "
Me: "No, customer implies you intend to participate in the purchasing of products at their agreed upon price. "
I work sales at a luxury car dealership. I don't expect clients to care about me but I've never had anyone be so blunt!
Background: Client want an absurd $6k discount on an already under book $23k pre-owned vehicle...
Client: I want this car for $17k; Tell your wholesale manager to sell it to me.
Me: Sir, I understand you want the best deal but we are a for profit dealership. Profit isn't a bad word. I cannot sell this vehicle under what we have paid you it. Please explain to me why believe $17k is a fair price?
Client: I have kids to feed!!
Me: I have kids to feed myself sir.
Client: I don't care about you!!!
From Hamdurrgur, Tales From Retail:
This just happened tonight and I can't help but to laugh at how ridiculously normal this happening is. I was walking around with some gift givers that were trying to buy a last minute gift for a bridal shower tomorrow. As I walked around with them and going through every single thing on the wedding registry, I noticed one of the sales associates having to deal with a woman who didn't understand what a sign meant by "50% off namebrand Christmas merchandise."
SA = sales associate, CC = clueless customer
CC: [walks up to SA] What is 50%?
SA: Of what?
CC: I don't know.
SA: Where are you reading this?
CC: It's on a sign somewhere.
SA: Where is the sign?
CC: [walks away, brings SA sign]
SA: Ah. All namebrand's Christmas items are 50% off their original price.
CC: What does that mean?
SA: ...The...items are half priced.
CC: From what?
SA: The original price.
CC: [looks at SA skeptically] ...Ok. [looks at Christmas stuff from namebrand] How much is this from $40?
CC: What about this thing that's $50?
CC: .....Are you sure that's 50%? What about this item? It's $20.
CC: I don't think you know what you're talking about. I'm going to speak to someone else that knows. I just don't think you get it.
And off she went with no items in hand. I couldn't help but to laugh with the customers I was helping. The poor sales associate nearly lost her head.
I used to work night shift in a 24 hour adult store. The store had four departments; DVD, clothing, novelty, and smoke shop. Some smoke shops in town would haggle on prices, according to some customers. We were not one of them. On occasion, people would try to haggle, but after being informed that they were in a store and not a flea market, that would be the end of it. Except for this guy who could not take a hint.
I would like to note that while I usually (usually) tried to be professional when dealing with difficult customers, I was not always successful. Management didn't seem to care if we got lippy with customers, as long as it was only if the customer deserved it (paraphrasing.) This lead to some situations where bitchy customers, who were used to pushover managers giving them whatever they wanted, getting their asses handed to them by staff who were fed up with their bullshit.
It was liberating, let me tell you. (Managers, you know when a customer is arguing with you and demands to speak with a manager and you get to tell them that you are the manager and they get an "Oh shit!" look on their face? It's kind of like that feeling.)
So one day I've got a guy about my age at the time (early twenties) in the smoke shop. He's looking at pipes, which are individually priced. He picks one out and eyes the tag. He'll be H for Haggler.
H- Can you do $15 on this pipe?
MSB- No, that's a $20 pipe.
H- How about $18?
MSB- I think you misunderstood me; we don't haggle.
H- Some stores do.
MSB- We're not one of them. Our pipes are priced as marked. If you're looking for a cheap pipe, these are our under $20 baskets.
He looks at the cheap pipes, picks out a $15 one and
H- Can you do $12 on this?
Now I'm getting annoyed.
MSB- If you want to pay $12 for a pipe, pick out a pipe that says $12 on the price tag. I told you we don't haggle.
At this point my coworker looks over. He and I worked together for awhile and were on the same wavelength. I usually speak with a very flat affect, but I get a definite edge to my voice when provoked. He knew immediately that things were going downhill over by me. He kept doing what he was doing, but kept his eyes open in case I needed him.
H- You can't do any better than $15 on this?
H- I'm just trying to get a good deal.
MSB- Do you do this at [big box retailer]?
H- Well, no....
MSB- Then don't do it here, it's annoying.
I see coworker smirk.
H- So you can't adjust prices at all?
He eventually picked out a pipe, then started looking at our Zippo display and asked me to pull one out for him.
H- If I buy this Zippo, can I get free thing of lighter fluid?
Coworker gives me "are you kidding me?" look.
MSB- You don't give up, do you?
H, laughing- I'm trying to get a good deal!
MSB- Look. I don't get commission. I'm not desperate to make a sale. I honestly don't care if you buy anything or not. If you don't like our prices, you are more than welcome to shop elsewhere.
H- All right, so what's the best deal you can give me?
That was it, I was done.
H- You'd kick me out for trying to haggle?
MSB- No, I'd kick you out for being annoying.
Points at sign.
MSB- "We reserve the right to refuse service." Now, I'm happy to assist you. But you need to stop with the haggling.
So he decided he was just going to get the Zippo.
H- Will you at least fill it for me before I go?
Normally we do fill up the Zippos we sell, but only as a courtesy. He'd already received all the courtesy I had available.
MSB- I'm sorry, we don't have any store use bottles of fluid, and I'm not authorized to open a new bottle. (Both of those statements are lies. I just really didn't want to give him anything for free.) You can buy a bottle for $4.99 though.
H- It's $2.99 at [store]
MSB- It's $4.99 here.
H- So you don't-
MSB- No, we don't price match. If you want to pay $2.99, go to [store]
H- You guys should probably change your policies to be more like the other smoke shops.
MSB- You should probably just shop somewhere else in the future.
So this happened on Halloween. (sigh)
I was finished scanning grocery for a customer and total was $4.50, she tried to pay with $2.00. I waited for a few seconds to let her realize that she needs more change to pay the items, then this happens...
Me: "You need $2.50 or more to pay."
Customer: "But I only got $2."
Me: "No problem, do you have credit/debit card?"
Me: "Ok, then I have to take some item off."
Customer: "But I only have $2 and I want this stuff!"
Me: "Yes but you need to pay more or equal for your items."
(We actually had a stare off...)
Customer: (mini forcefully tried to grab grocery bag) "I ONLY HAVE $2 AND THAT'S HOW I WANT TO PAY!" (by showing her empty coin bag to me)
Me: (surprised) "That's not how it works!"
At the end, I called the manager to override this transaction since there's a line up.. I wouldn't mind helping the customer but I thought in order to buy something, one needed to pay for them..