Bad Returners: "Can we return our unused alcohol?" "Sure, you can return your unused ALCOHOL"



From u/cardiacman  Tales From Retail:

So this is a story with half of it completed from one of my co-workers in our instore liquor shop.

On mobile, excuse any format issues etc.

So I get a call from a customer asking if they can return unused wine/beer/spirts from an event they had.

This call arrives after our liquor store has closed for the night, so I can't pass the customer on to them. But this sounds like it was a very large shop, upwards of a thousand dollars worth of booze.

I tell the customer that there shouldn't be any issues returning unwanted alcohol provided they had proof of purchase. They ensure me they do and that they will be in the store tomorrow. Pretty standard stuff.

Now for part two, which I did not witness. (I'll keep it in first person for simplicity)

Two customers come into the store with two trollies (shopping carts) packed full of wine bottles, beer slabs and a few vodka bottles.

They explained they're here for a return and we start scanning the returns in. Then I noticed something strange about one of the wine bottles. The aluminium cap/lid seems to have been drawn on with a permanent marker.

This raises my suspicions so I look a little closer. They have drawn over the little aluminium tabs that break off when the bottle lid is twisted off. This bottle has been opened, and been drawn on to try to conceal that fact.

I look at the customers, but they are both avoiding eye contact. I give the bottle a little twist, and it opens easily without the sound of snapping tabs. They are watching me now, guilt trying to be hidden from their faces.

With the most polite tone I can manage I say

"excuse me, but is there any possibility this bottle could have been opened?"

Their faces go red, and they admit it was opened without any further pushing. Then as I'm explaining that we can't return opened products, something else catches my attention. This wine doesn't smell. There is only a very weak hint of alcohol.

Skullies6I raise the lip of the bottle to my nose and sniff. Under the weak residual alcohol smell, the cool metallic smell of our cities water.

Wordlessly, I reach across and pick up one of our tasting glasses, pour myself a glass and take a sip. Water. The bottle has not just been opened, but refilled with water.

Through a retail smile I say

"Are there any other products here that might have potentially been opened, and subsequently filled with water?"

Turns out, the only products that weren't tampered with were the beer slabs. The vodka and all of the white wines were all opened and refilled.

The customers denied doing it themselves, saying that it must have been the bar attendants they hired.

At our managers request in the name of customer service, we return their slabs, keep the other items and ask that they take greater care and responsibility next time.

We submitted a report to our loss prevention team, but sadly never heard anything about it.

TL, DR: customers try to return a couple hundred dollars worth of alcohol switched with water.






Bad Returners: “I’m Allergic to Vanilla”....But you’ve had it before



From u/idiotsarray Tales From Retail:

I work at a supplement store. Our return policy is: • If a product makes you sick, it may be exchanged for another item or instore credit onto a gift card.

Most customers returning something usually do so because of flavor. Although Me [M] and my co-worker [CW] are pretty lax when it comes to returning the open product, we still expect the customer to be smart enough by saying ”it made me sick,” rather than ”i didn't like the taste.” This guy [C] stood out as exceptionally bright:

C: I’d like to return this product

M: grab his account info CW: what for?

C: I don't like the vanilla flavor

M: Okay, well we don't return anything unless it made you feel sick, so we cannot do a return. Sorry, Bud.

C: yeah, that's what I meant by I dont like it. I'm allergic to vanilla.

CW: so why did you buy vanilla then?

C: I didn't look at the flavor when I buy it.

CW: Why not? Every product in here is flavored and clearly displayed.

M: going through his account purchase history

M: Weird man. It shows here you've bought several other products in vanilla flavor.

CW: Doesn't look like those made you sick.

C: It might be the the type of protein then.

M: but you've bought the same protein product in chocolate last time?

— At this point my co-worker and I give this guy that type of smile when you've wholly cornered somebody in their insignificant lie.

C: Alright maybe I'll stick to the Chocolate flavor and buy that one.

M: Lovely.











Return Hell: "I'm not going to fight with you..."



From u/himym101 Tales From Retail:

I work in a major retailing chain on the returns/exchanges desk. It's safe to say that this retailer has almost a monopoly in my area, where there are only two small competitors in our area ever since our major competitor crashed a few years ago.

On to my customer yesterday. She came into my store, beelining for my counter where I was serving. She drops a sink plug on the counter and asks for a refund. Does she have a receipt? No, of course not, that would be too easy. Never mind, my company has a protocol for returns without receipt.

I pick up the plug and can immediately tell this is not from my store. For one, the packaging doesn't have a barcode which doesn't happen generally at my company. Secondly, and more importantly, it literally has the branding of the competitor across the top!

I apologise to the customer, explaining I can't give her a refund because she didn't get it from us. And she turns and looks at me.

Of course she got it from us! And not only did she get it from my company, she got it from my particular store. I am 100% certain, without a doubt that we do not stock this plug. I have stacked that shelf myself several times.

She's so sure that she's starting to get agitated with me. It's not like I can even just perform the refund to make her happy (as is our policy) because there's no barcode to scan. I would have done it too just to get her to leave because she was literally fighting with me about $4. She keeps insisting that she's got it from us. I tell her she got it from the other company. She obviously thinks that I'm just going to give it.

Then she tells me she's never even heard of the other store.

She's not from here, she's from another state. They don't have that store there.

"Oh where is that?" I asked, wondering what mythical part of my country doesn't have this company.

She replies with a city down south, that what a coincidence... I'm from there too! And we definitely have that store.

"I'm not going to fight with you!" she says, after having fought with me for the last ten minutes, "I'll go get another one from the shelf and you can swap them over,"

She doesn't come back. I have a perfect view of the entrance, my desk only being a few metres from the door. She rushes out about two minutes later as quickly as she can, not even making eye contact with me.








Bad Returners: He can do the math



From u/Disaster_Plan Tales From Retail

A customer bought a $40 USB hub from our store on May 17 and wanted to return it on Aug. 22. I was called.

The 20-something customer claimed that two of our salespeople told him the hub could handle Firewire, but it can't. Riiiight.

Then he said he spent "hours" on the phone with a Netgear tech who finally told him the hub wouldn't handle Firewire. Riiight.

And he couldn't return it earlier because he was "busy" and "has a life" and his mother died! Riiiight!

I don't like being lied to, but to get rid of him I offered to let him return the hub for store credit.

"I have no use for store credit," he said.

"I'm sorry, that's the only option. Our return policy is 30 days and you've had the item for 90 days," I said.

"I don't see any difference between 30 days and 90 days."

"The difference is 60 days."

"I can do the math, but I still don't see any difference between 30 days and 90 days."


"Do you want store credit or not?" I asked.

"I guess I'll take it. But I still don't see any difference between 30 days and 90 days."






Return Hell with a Monstrous Customer




From u/TheBugMonster, Tales From Retail:

Today I had a customer return a package of arrowheads, normally never a big deal. But said customer had left this package of very sharp arrowheads opened in the bag. Now I didn't know the package was open, and that one of the arrow heads had come loose, but these things are razor sharp on 3 sides with a nasty point.

Now i had a line building, so i was doing returns just a bit quicker than usual. I reached into the bag, grabbed the first unopened packages of arrowheads, 2 of em, reached in a 2nd time and grabbed the last package, ran my fingers over a very sharp edge, and reflexively jerked my arm back out of the bag. When i jerked my arm out of the bag, the arrowhead that was sticking out of the package jabbed my palm, and slit my palm open, it cut from middle of my palm, to tip of my middle finger.

So I'm sitting here looking at my hand in shock, when the customer says:

If you werent in such a rush, your hand wouldnt be cut open right now would it

Customer behind him took my defense and started bad mouthing him in every way. Meanwhile my hand is bleeding profusely all over the counter. Coworker comes over, sees my hand, radios my manager and back we go, leaving like 15 customers waiting in line.

I got a bad survey for being such a "shit associate", and also a few kind parting words from the guy who returned the arrowheads.

Called me an idiot for his mistake, said i got what i deserved for being in such a rush, and then blamed me for the other customers basically shit talking him out of the store. Also said i would be hearing from his lawyer for "spreading a biological hazard on everything"

Typing this up while I'm looking at the 28 stitches in my hand. Its been a great day :(