What the potato chip bags look like at a convenience store at 7438 feet elevation!
Customer Rejects: Cleaning Can Wait

Retail Hell Memories: Return Hell - The Thirty Minute Tantrum


This story was originally posted on August 29, 2010


Returners hellhoundFrom Liŋuist:

So today I had a lovely time with a wonderfully understanding and gracious customer.

Heh. I wish.

So I've worked at my job at a major one-stop-shop retailer for about six months now. I recently got a promotion to Front End Supervisor (which basically means I handle returns and supervise all the cashiers) and since this promotion is REALLY new, I've been on edge trying not to mess up / rely on management too much. I've been doing well so far, so I just knew something had to come along and ruin my day.

A lady walked in today with an unopened air mattress to return.

I greet her and ask her how I can help her, to which I am given:

"You kin gimme a sto' credit, tha's wha choo kin do."

"I'll do my best, ma'am. Do you have your receipt with you?"

"Why you think I ask fo' a sto' credit?! Course I ain't got no damn receipt!"

Lovely. I stay calm and try to see how I can get around this.

"Well, how did you pay for it? If you used a credit or debit card I can pull the sale record up from there for you."

"It was a mutha fuckin gift! Why the hell you think I ain't go no receipt?!"

Great. So no receipt and no sale record.

Now, company policy is very strict when it comes to air mattresses. None of the opened ones can be returned or exchanged for any reason other than defects.

I know her box is unopened, but I also know how closely watched these mattresses are. Not something I'm willing to get in trouble for.

PET6Now, if she had bought some brand that is sold only at my store, I could help her. But this was a popular brand and I had no way to know that she didn't buy the damn thing at Wal-fart and bring it here because ours were more expensive.

So I do literally all I can do: brace for impact.

"I'm sorry ma'am. Without a way to track the sale, I'm afraid there's nothing I can do for you."

"What?! Why da hell not?! It's not like I want money, I jus want a sto' credit!"

"I'm sorry ma'am, I can't do anything for you without a receipt."

Well, she screams and hollers for a while and I don't budge. After about 15 minutes, my store manager calls me and tells me to do what I need to to shut her up because she's sick of listening to her from across the store.

I inform the lady that my manager has agreed to do a no-receipt return, which means we will take the item back and give her a credit, but she will only get credited the lowest sale price in the past 90 days.

She was INFURIATED stating she paid full price and this is racist, and I'm just being a a stuck up bitch. I tell her that's the best we can do for her and she can either accept it or decline it. There is no negotiating, the offer is what it is.

After another ten minutes of bitching and whining from her, she finally takes it while making it clear that I'm terrible at my job and at life and I shouldn't be given a job I'm too stupid to do.

I almost lost it here.

PET27I go to a major university where I'm a triple major (German, Linguistics, and Mandarin). I work my ass off to keep a 4.0 to keep my scholarships. I commute an hour to class five days a week at 6 am and then haul ass to get back home to go to work for 9 hours. I am NOT stupid. I'm trilingual and only ONE language was a native language. I seriously almost flipped off the handle here.

Much to my surprise, I kept it together and finished her sale. She left with her gift card and walked off, I prayed to Buddha, Allah, FSM and anything else that she was gone for good.


Ten minutes later she returns to my counter (because she didn't want to wait in line behind ONE PERSON) and told me I need to check her out this instant or she'll have my job (and notes that I'm lucky she hasn't already had me fired because she "kin SOOOooooOOOO do dat wif just one quick convolation [sic] wif da managa."

I sigh and attend to her. I ring her through, and go to hand her her receipt.

"I don't want dat shit!" she yells at me as she walks out without it.

I just can't help but stand there for a minute, dumbfounded that she hasn't learned anything from our 30 minute ordeal.

Just another day at the Mart, I suppose.




Misty Meanor

Your patience is amazing.


"I don't have the receipt because this was a gift that I paid full price for!"
"...she'll have my job"
I once told someone at AOhelL when they said this that they wouldn't want my job, it meant they had to deal with people like you. (I'd already gotten a call from Big Red Z phone co and was entirely bereft of crimson canids to supply.)


"I just can't help but stand there for a minute, dumbfounded that she hasn't learned anything from our 30 minute ordeal." No, she learned that receipts aren't needed because if you throw a tantrum, the manager will give you what you want. She was rewarded for her behavior, so why change it at this point.


Exactly, LB. This is one reason why if I ever run a business, my return policy will be "No." With a big sign behind the register and printed on the back of every receipt. Customers don't read, but my employees can point to the sign:

Returns? No, all sales are final. Yes, really. Yes, that means you. No you will not get a refund even though you're the owner's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate. No, screaming at the cashier won't get you a refund, but it WILL get you an armed escort out of my store, and a No Trespassing order on file with the local PD

I would SO go out of business if I owned a store


Well, I'd shop there. :P

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