Shoe Department Return Hell: No, we can’t exchange those



From YerRustlinMaJimmies, Tales From Retail:

I used to work footwear in a sportswear retailer in Scotland.

There we were, straightening up shelves, making sure the place was tidy, and getting ready for closing.

I was taking the excess stock into the storeroom, when i smelt it. The ocean.

Too bad we’re landlocked in glasgow. Something wasn’t right. As i got to the back of the storeroom, I could feel the smell getting stronger. I got to the back and there was nothing. Smell wasn’t there. I went to the window and opened it. No smell. I thought this was weird, so I closed the window and turned around. The smell was back.

I’m fighting back tears, as the fishy smell grows into the most obnoxious stench i’ve ever come across. My radio screeches and i almost jump out of my skin.

It’s my coworker, j, asking for a pair of shoes for a customer. I grab them, with my face buried in my shirt and walk out. I found the source of the smell.

Sitting, waiting on his shoes, in full on wellies and a yellow flourescent jacket, was a fishmonger. My god, the smell permeated the entire shop and dug itself deep into my soul.

I fight through the smell towards the man and hand off the shoes to j. It’s quiet so i hang around as well to lend a hand if needed, holding back retches. As if the smell wasn’t bad, what came next was forever burned into my memory.

He took off his wellies to reveal a pair of bright pink feet, with large chunks of skin hanging off. I wanted to scream. We had a policy, where you can’t try shoes on without socks, so we sell a cheap pair of 50p socks so you can try shoes on. As we go to frantically explain this, he jams his foot into the shoe he’s trying. This would mean he has to take them even if they don’t fit, because we can’t sell them due to a health hazard.

Thankfully, he loves the fit and decides to take them. We allow him to wear them out if he likes, so long as he takes the box to be scanned for payment. He pays and on the way out, he decides to leave his wellies in the shoebox beside us. I chase him down and give him it back. He wants us to dispose of it, but we can’t. Our policy is to let customers leave the shop with their old gear. Avoids liabilities. He”s understanding, and off he goes, to enjoy the world and pollute some other poor souls airways.

We all gather at the farthest point in the shop to get a breather and have a chuckle about the smell amongst ourselves and a couple of customers. Nice enough guy, but he left a wee bit of an impression.

We get back to closing up, and not 5 minutes later, the smell returned. Mr Fishybreeks is back, but not so jolly, now. He wants to exchange his new shoes for another pair. We tell him we can’t but he persists. We have to alert our supervisor, who (i giess just to get rid of the guy) says it’s fine to do so, and asks for his reciept. He hasn’t got it. We clock on, he hasn’t got the shoebox either. We ask where both are, and he says he”s thrown them in a bin. We just flat out tell him we can do absolutely nothing for him. He just walks out and we never see him again.

TL;DR: Fishmonger almost suffocates us, reveals unknown horrors to us, leaves happy, comes back mad, leaves mad.





Shoe Store Hell: "Can't You Just Buy It For Me?"


Shoe hell 1FromironspriteTalesFromRetail

I come bearing a tale that is one of the most ridiculous customer encounters I've had in my almost 17 years of retail experience. So buckle up, kids. It's gonna be a wild ride.

The characters:
Me: Assistant Manager/slave

SW: Senile Woman, as there's really no other explanation

Relevant to the story: We are unable to take orders over the phone. Credit cards must be physically swiped/inserted at the register and we have absolutely no way around this.

The setting: a shoe store. Just a few days ago. I had just clocked in for my closing shift. The phone rings.

Me: "Good afternoon, thank you for calling ShoeStore, how may I help you?"

SW: "Oh hi. I was in your store earlier today looking at a pair of shoes, and I'm just kicking myself for not buying them. I'd like for you to ship them to me."

Me: "Unfortunately we are unable to take orders over the phone, but I'd be glad to put them on hold for you."

SW: "But I live alllllll the way in SameStateInWhichMyStoreIsLocated and I can't make the trip alllll the way out there again!"

Me: "uh... I'm sorry about that, but I have no way of taking payment over the phone."

SW: "Can I order them online?"

Me: "Possibly, which shoe were you looking at?"

SW: "I don't know."

A little back and forth ensues, with her attempting to explain what the shoe looked like and where it was located in the store. I'm somehow able to find it. It's a single pair of sandals from last year that are on super mega clearance because, well, they're old.

Freddy MoneyMe: "unfortunately you won't find these on our website, they're from last year."

SW: "well what am I supposed to doooooo??!!"

Me: go back in time and buy them when you were here? "I'm not sure, ma'am."

SW: "OH! You can ship them to me, and when I get them I'll mail you a check!"

Me: "Sorry ma'am, I can't send out merchandise that has not been paid for."

SW, getting increasingly frustrated: "Is there anyone else there I can talk to? A manager?"

Me, trying to suppress laughter as my manager is staring at me, shaking his head at hearing my side of the conversation: "No, I'm the only manager here right now."

SW: "Well then, you can buy it for me and I'll mail you a check."

Me: "Excuse me?"

SW: "They're not even $20. You pay for it and I'll send you a personal check. I'm good for it."

Me: "I'm not going to do that."

SW: "Well is there anyone else there who would?"

Me: "No ma'am, no one here is going to buy your shoes for you."

Staring from my manager intensifies, we both exchange the 'I can't wait to talk about this one' look.

SW: "Well I mean this is ridiculous. All I want is those shoes and no one will help me. So there's nothing you can do?"

Me: "No ma'am, I'm afraid there isn't."

SW: "Well then THANKS A LOT."


I burst out laughing and regale my manager with the full conversation. A nearby customer overhears and also starts laughing. I spend most of my remaining shift hiding in the back room, I feel like I earned it.



Shoe Store Hell: "Can't You Just Give Me the Shoes for Free?"


Shoe hell 4From GoldMidnightTalesFromRetail

Hello, fellow retailers! I thought I'd share a story from my days working at a shoe store. At this particular place, we would take back anything and everything, though if you didn't have your receipt, we would give you back store credit.

One afternoon while I'm working alone, this guy comes in, nothing unusual. I help him out, get him hooked up with some shoes he seems to like.

Customer: "So, can I return these if they don't work out?"

Me: "Sure! Just keep the receipt."

We hated returns at this store, because we each had individual sales goals, depending on our shift, and returns counted against that. But we weren't allowed to refuse returns, so we dealt with it.

The guy comes in the next day, holding the box of shoes.


Jason Money

Customer: "I want to make a return."

Me: "Okay, no problem. Do you have the receipt?"

Customer: No. Can't you just give me cash?"

Pretty routine question. For some reason, customers always think that they can get cash back, even if they don't have their receipt, even if they pay with a credit card or a gift card.

Me: "Sorry, but I'm afraid not. I can give you store credit back for this, though."

Customer: "Can't you just do cash? I need the money."

Me: "Nope, I can only give you cash if you have a receipt."

The guy sighs, groans, and rolls his eyes, and I do the return for him. Since the shoes have clearly been worn, I damage that out and put them in the backroom so my manager can take care of them.

The next day when I came into work, my manager told me that the same guy had come in and tried to get his shoes back. She'd offered to sell them back to him, but he wanted to take them back for free, without having to pay for them, even though I'd given him his money back, albeit in the form of a store credit.

She'd refused him, and as far as I know, none of us ever saw him again.



Shoe Store Hell: But This Is BOGO!


Shoe hell 3From MissPeperTalesFromRetail

I'm a manager at a shoe store and we currently have a sale for specific shoes that are buy one get one free. Seems like a good deal right? Getting an entire pair of shoes for free. Not for this customer.

Our store is also located at an extremely touristy mall, so the weekends get a little crazy. Sundays especially. This happened to be a Sunday as the only manager, with my 6 associates and 1 call out. There were times where everyone was on the register and about 8 people pulling me and my other associate in every which way.

I happened to already be up at the registers helping a woman manually enter her card, when my supervisor asked if I could help her. Of course, it would just have to wait a couple for seconds for this woman's transaction to go through.

The man she was helping did NOT have it. Before I had even been up there, he was berating her on the BOGO free shoes he was buying. When I got to her, the customer had left to grab what he thought were the prices of the shoes. Because "He didn't understand why this was taking so long."

My supervisor told him to "look at everyone behind this counter... That's everyone we have here today."

I will be ME, supervisor mentioned will be S, and the hothead will be HH.

Me: What's wrong?

S: He doesn't like the fact that he has to pay $60 for a pair of shoes, while the other one is free.

Me: sigh Okay.

He comes back up and hands me two price tags. Now normally, if there was anything that was marked wrong on our end, we would have an associate check it on the floor and we would either correct it or tell them that it was the shoe next to it or something similar. Happens all the time.

HH: These shoes are buy one get one free.

(In between this first time he said this, he said it about 6 more times like I didn't know what they were)

ME: Indeed they are, however, this shoe is $54.99 and the one you're getting for free is $34.99. The tag you brought up here doesn't match-


ME: Sir, this isn't the tag for this shoe.


ME: The SKU on the tag doesn't match the SKU-


ME: You buy one pair and the cheaper pair is free. That's how our sales work.


ME: Sir, we will GLADLY check to see if we can order it for you!!


At this point I should have done the rest of the transaction myself to keep my cashier's sanity, but there was somebody waiting on the phone and I walked away saying how incredibly busy it was.

He did end up ordering his second pair of $34.99 shoes, and had the audacity to tell my cashier to "Have a good day!" with a smile.

All of my cashiers were pretty upset about the guy and how he talked to S, and the customers in line after him were very apologetic, understanding, and thankful for our jobs.

Now, after he left, I went to check the tag out of curiosity. It happened to be the only one out for that brand, so we could have given him the $49.99. If he wasn't so unbelievably rude, I might have gone to check that for him. But hey, he still bought two pairs of shoes, and they actually fit his feet! So win/win!



Shoe Hell: You guys should assess my needs!



From  Baird_Brian, Tales From Retail:

I work as a shoe salesman in a well known sporting goods store. Like most, we sell cleats, shoes and so on. Our sales floor is "premium" meaning our shoe boxes are in the stockroom and we have just left shoes on display on the sales floor. I scan them with a device to see if our stockroom has the shoes a customer requests.

Story: It was a busy Saturday and a lady came in who seemed a bit on edge. I ask her "what can I help you with today?" just like I ask all my other customers. Without hesitation she says "I'm looking for cleats".

She was already headed in the right direction and she dashed towards a soccer cleat before I could ask her what type of cleats she needed. She asked for a size before I could get another word out I got the cleat for her, she tries it on, I ask how it feels (standard procedure).

This woman then tries on THREE more soccer cleats. On the fourth try she asks "are these softball cleats?" to which I reply "no ma'am, these are soccer cleats".

She replies (clearly upset) "all these I've tried on are soccer cleats?" and I say "yes".

She then tells me she is looking for softball cleats. As we make our way over to the softball cleats, she’s making passive-aggressive remarks such as “hard to get good help these days” and “I’m surprised you didn’t ask me what cleats I was looking for”.

She then picks out a softball cleat, I retrieve it and we begin to converse. She continues “it would have saved ME some time if you had helped me find the cleats I was looking for”.

She then says “if you had actually assessed my needs it would have been easier on me!”.

To diffuse the situation of course I replied “You’re right. I should speak up and ask more questions. I apologize”.

She then left with the correct cleats that she initially wanted me to help her find through telepathic abilities.

-- Baird_Brian



Shoe Store Hell: You Stole My Bags!


Shoe hell 2From BeaverKleverTalesFromRetail

This happened to me about three years ago so I'll do my best to paraphrase.

I worked at a shoe store at my local mall. A mom and her daughter came in one afternoon with some bags on their arms looking for some shoes. I help them try on some shoes, then they leave with their bags. Everything's good.

Here's where it gets interesting. They come back, and make a bee line straight for me. I can tell something's up, and I like helping out where I can, so I meet them half-way. For the dialogue, I'll be BK, and the mom will be M.

M: You took my bags.

BK: ..Huh?

M: I can't find my bags. I left them here and you took them while I was gone.

BK: Oh, I didn't take them, I'll definitely help you look though!

Carolanne facepalmAll this time her daughter isn't saying anything, but she's following her mom around and nodding in affirmation when she talks. I pretty much just followed her around as she checked every corner. Then she went to the storage room. I tried to tell her it was employees only but she wasn't having it. After a good fifteen minute search, I assure her we didn't take them. The distraught woman stands in the middle of the store and squints while she looks around. Okay, maybe she's trying to remember where she put the bags. She looks at her arms, and notices her bags attached to them.

M: Nevermind

BK: What?

M: I found them. I wish you could've been more help, honestly.

She walks out with her daughter. I wasn't sure if I should laugh or what. I saw she had bags on her arms, but I just assumed she meant she lost one or two out of the ten total shopping bags. I assumed the first place she would look would be her arms. Guess I was wrong.

Probably the silliest moment I've had working in retail.