Customer tried to steal a computer and TV
in one of the most brazen ways I’ve ever seen. Long
This happened about 6 years ago, at one of America’s largest retail chains. I was fairly new to retail at this time, still
young enough to believe in the good in people. I was monitoring our four self checkout registers.
A woman comes up with a computer and TV in the box. My initial reaction was me thinking
why anybody would come over to self checkout to scan those items, as we didnt have hand
scanners at this time over there. you either had to hover the barcode over the scanning
plate or you needed somebody like me to type in the UPC and serial numbers for both items. So, I go over and type in the numbers, and
all seems well. A few moments later I see some error message on my screen I am standing
behind that I couldn’t interpret. I didn’t know what it was saying. I had never seen
this before, but it did mention the items were voided off. I thought it might have been
a simple void she did(which I always need to approve on self checkout) which annoyed
me because I took the time to type in the UPC and serial for both items and she suddenly
doesn’t want them. Turns out she DID want the items… I go over to the woman and ask whats up, and
she says she didn’t know, but she used her credit card and it said the transaction went
through. Not likely since no receipt came out, but she mentioned she didn’t even need
it(for a computer and TV? are you dumb?). She kept insisting the transaction went through.
Not knowing what to do, I call a customer service manager over to sort through this
problem. The customer tells the CSM the same thing,
and the CSM says she needs to go into the cash office and check the transaction logs
for that self checkout to see if it really went through or not. Keep in mind throughout
all this the customer is using a (now known, not at the time) technique of acting super
busy by repeatedly saying “I’m going to be late to pick up my daughter” which not knowing
that kind of tactic still made me think “who buys a TV and computer when they are that
pressed for time?” Manager reiterates she needs to check the
transaction logs and she would be back in a few minutes. Customer is annoyed but the
manager walks off to do that. The entire time she is in the cash office this woman is going
on about how it went through, and after a minute she asks me if she can call her credit
card company to see if they say it went through. I didn’t confirm their response would mean
she could up and leave, but I said she is free to do so. So, she takes out her phone, calls a number,
and without even being asked any identifying information gets a rep on the line in RECORD
time. She tells me the rep says it went through, and ASKS IF I’D LIKE TO SPEAK TO THEM. Not wanting to get involved with her personal
financial stuff, I declined to take the phone in one of the biggest regrets of my life,
because I’d end to see what they would say on the other line, as it clearly was not a
credit card company. She hangs up, and now keeps on going “they said it was fine, can
I go?” and I state not until the manager gets back. So, after what seemed like an eternity of
listening to this woman go on and on about needing to pick up her daughter, calling her
CC company, asking if she is good to go, etc, my manager comes out. She explains there was no transaction in the
log of her purchase, and asks to see her card. She takes one look and says “it didn’t go
through because it is expired, see?” and points. The customer, realizing they truly were defeated,
angrily mumbles something like “FINE I guess I wont be buying these things today!” which
of course was no problem for us, and storms off, leaving
us baffled. Gift card doesn’t work? Yell at the host about
it!! Medium
So, this happened a while back and fortunately its really the only ‘bad’ story I have. For context, I was operating our Self checkout-
6 registers and a ‘host’ register for me to complete things like price checks, card loading,
etc. It was a fairly busy day, and I was everywhere- I get done with one thing, and another machine
is beeping at me. I had just gotten done assisting someone and
circled back to my host register when I get flagged down by an old woman (OW). When I
got to her she began telling me that her gift card wasn’t working. Ok, cool, the machines
mess up sometimes. So I proceed to try it through the few ways I know how, and the register
gives a pop up that loosely translates to “there’s no money on this, try again”. OW
shows me a small slip of paper with the amount that’s supposed to be on the card ((prints
automatically when loaded at the service desk from a return)), and I ask her to give me
a moment while I use the host to check the card. Swiped it through, same result- except
this time i’m given a slip stating that there’s a $0 balance on the card. OW was already grumpy because it wasn’t working,
so pulling the best ‘customer service’ voice I could, I tried to explain to her that because
my machine was telling there was no balance, there was no way for me to ‘make it work’.
She asked if I could type it in. I told her that regardless of the method of which we
tried to use the card, it would still kick it back because it’s telling us it’s empty.
(OW) “Well, I just got this from the service desk and stood through your massive line to
get it. If you can’t make it work, get someone who can.” I go over to my host register and
start trying to ring the fitting room, as they have radios and can call management. One call, no answer. Two, no answer. Three,
had to hang up to go serve other customers. OW is glaring, and I polity ask her to be
patient while I try the phone again. (OW) “GET. A. MANAGER. I don’t work here, YOU DO.”
And keeps this going in the background as I try to ring the service desk next. No response.
I give one final ring to the fitting room, and by the time I’ve had to hang up the phone
and assist more customers, OW has left. I presume she gave up and used a different card,
and I try to shake it off while the customers around me who’d heard her yelling are sending
me as much sympathy as they can. Not but maybe 5-10 minutes later, OW walks
by my self checkout again and hollers “They told me there’s money on this card, learn
to do your Job!” I can’t even begin to explain the intensity of which my blood was trying
to boil at that phrase. To top it off, my front end manager came by
a while after the woman left and told me not to ‘Argue with customers’, to which I had
to calmly explain that my register said there was nothing on her card, and that I’d tried
to call for someone 5 times with no response. She looked a bit apologetic after that, and
I never heard a word about it after that day. It’s not false advertising
Long Policy at my store has always been we could
only change prices on items that were in the ad if they rang up wrong. When we went to
digital coupons, because we have so many elderly customers, our DM said if it’s in the ad,
we could give them the digital coupon price. Well, people started taking advantage of it
and demanding we give them the digital coupon if there was a sign. There was recently some major changes in positions
at the corporate level. Along with new people being in charge and senior employees being
in different positions came some policy changes. One policy change was back to ONLY if it’s
in the ad for any and all price changes, including digital coupons. Signs are posted on all registers
and at the service desk stating this along with stating all digital coupons are available
on the app and to see a member of management for any help with the app. I’m at the express register when a lady comes
up and starts handing me items saying “There’s a digital coupon for this, this, this…etc”
while digging through her cart. Me: Okay, let’s get everything out of your
cart first and scan your rewards card so your digital coupons will be taken off at the end. Lady huffs at me Me: BTW ma’am, this is the express lane for
small purchases of 15 or less. Since I’m not busy at this moment, I will take it this time,
but for future reference, a purchase of this size needs to be taken to registers 1-4, 5
and 6 are not set up for a purchase of this size. Lady a more disgusted scoff at me As I start scanning her items, she looks at
me and asks where my monitor is so she can see what everything is ringing up. Me: I’m sorry but we don’t have monitors on
express since it’s for small purchases. Lady: Well how am I supposed to see what you’re
scanning so I can tell you when to add the digital coupons? Me: Do you have the digital coupons downloaded
to your card? Lady: No! I don’t have one of them smart phones
or a computer. Me: Well, I can give you the digital coupons
for items you bought that are in the ad, but not anything else. Lady: Since when??? Are you new? They have
always just given me the digital coupons when I told them there was one. Me: No, I’m not new. I have been here 4 years
and I’m a customer service lead. We have been told by corporate to go back to policy of
only items in the ad get a price adjustment and that includes the digital coupons. Lady: Where does it say that? I want to see
it in writing. Me: points to bright pink sign on the side
of the register It’s posted on all registers and at the customer service desk. Lady: So you’re saying you have these signs
saying it’s a certain price if you have the digital coupon but you can’t give me the digital
coupon price? That’s false advertising. Me: Ma’am it’s not false advertising. There
are 3 prices on each tag. The regular price, the sale price with a rewards card, and then
the price with the digital coupon. You can’t get sale prices without a rewards card, right?
The digital coupons are additional savings added to your rewards card, but you have to
download them to get the additional savings. This went back and forth a few times with
her getting louder each time about it being false advertising. Finally the coworker I was covering for came
back from break. She happens to be another customer service lead that happened to be
scheduled as a cashier instead of manager that day. She sees the frustration on my face
and listens for a minute. She finally interjects with CM: Ma’am. It’s not false advertising. The
tags are basically advertising the app and the digital coupons you can get on the app.
Either way, we’re still covered because of the fine print in our ad and on our website.
We are just glorified cashiers with lead on our name tags. We have nothing to do with
policies or pricing but have to be the ones to enforce the policies. Lady: I don’t really care about any of that.
It’s false advertising and I’m talking to a lawyer about it and corporate will be hearing
from me about you two. I want your names. Me: And we can no longer talk to you or serve
you. You will now have to wait for our department leader and the store leader to come check
you out. Another policy is once lawsuits and lawyers are mentioned, no one is allowed to
handle the situation except for them. Please feel free to step over to the service desk
and wait for them. With that, we walked away and she was still
yelling at us IT’S FALSE ADVERTISING!!! I clocked out after telling the bosses what
was up. Coworker told me today lady left TICKED because store leader gave a card with corporate
legal phone number and refused her purchase after about 10 minutes of her screaming about
false advertising. Lady debates how much a quarter is worth
Short I was ringing up a woman who looked like she
was in her mid-40s. I told her her total, which was $XX.36 or so, and she was paying
cash. Her: Oh, I have the change. Me: Great. Her: (starts counting out change and putting
it on the counter) 10, 20, 30…as she places quarters in front of me. Me: Uh, ma’am, those are quarters. Her: Yeah? Me: Yeah…you only owe 36 cents, and you’ve
given me 75. Her: No, look. 10, 20, 30… Me: *Had to double check that I wasn’t seeing
things…nope, definitely quarters. “Um, quarters are worth 25 cents.” Her: *Looks at me funny and clearly doesn’t
believe me. Basically continues to argue with me that a quarter is worth 10, saying stuff
like “Really?” Me: You’re just giving me more money if
you count them as 10 each. Her: Ok, fine, let’s do it your way. Yes. Let’s do it MY way. I made the rules
and the currency values. I seriously questioned how she made it this far without knowing how
much a quarter is worth. Also, a line had obviously formed behind her as the store only
has two registers and I was the only person at the front, and the other customers were
silently cracking up behind her.

r/talesfromretail | Customer Tries to Scam a Computer and a TV?!
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13 thoughts on “r/talesfromretail | Customer Tries to Scam a Computer and a TV?!

  • November 2, 2019 at 4:01 pm
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    Hey Dylan. Please use different voices for entitled parents.

    Reply
  • November 2, 2019 at 4:43 pm
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    I have been in the situation working retail, where no matter how often or who you call for, NO ONE answers. Left high and dry with angry customers. You try to help them, they are still angry and demanding what you can't give them. And I would be the ONLY clerk in about two or three departments, with no help or anyone to go run and track down a supervisor. And LOTS of customers who ABSOLUTELY need your undivided attention IMMEDIATELY because they are on lunch and only have 30 minutes, so hurry up. I would end up having to apologize profusely, and RUN in a panic all around the floor, trying desperately to find some form of department head or supervisor. NOPE. I would go back, out of breath, apologize again, try handling the next customer while getting on the phone again to try and find some help for the FIRST angry customer.

    Eventually the first angry customer would go off in a huff to the customer service office upstairs to complain about what a terrible clerk I was because I wouldn't help them or find anyone to help them. I was a lazy do nothing person. Meanwhile, I have somehow fought my way through dozens of angry customers, running back and forth over a very large floor area and in and out of a large store room area, ( I was a shoe clerk) fetching and carrying tons of shoes back and forth. The big crowd would die down to maybe two or three, as the big lunch time crowd all went back to work in the buildings around the store.

    At this point, someone from management would come up and ask why I wouldn't help the angry customer, as I obviously had nothing to do and hadn't even kept the place tidy. And if things were so busy, why hadn't I CALLED FOR HELP?
    I would fight for composure, and very politely state that it had been very busy, would you like to see the numbers I just put through my cash? And I had NO help in this section of the floor. And I HAD been calling for help and NO ONE would answer. Because all those supervisors had gone on lunch at the same time. By this point, the other sales staff would come wandering back from their breaks, calmly chatting away.

    Baffled, the supervisor would look around and say that there was lots of other staff available. I would say NOT TEN MINUTES AGO, THERE WASN'T. Somehow, it was still all my fault.

    There are plenty of reasons why working retail is corrosive to the soul. Strangely MOST customers are delightful to work with. It's the management that can kill your will to live.

    Reply
  • November 2, 2019 at 9:44 pm
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    I can sort of sympathize with the story of the quarters. I know there have been times I've gone to pay with cash and my math has been a complete mess. Sort of like your brain goes on vacation without you or something. But at least have a sense of humour about it and realize they're (most likely) trying to help.

    Reply
  • November 2, 2019 at 10:32 pm
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    The quarter story went much better than another quarter related one I've heard. An elderly lady asked for a dollar in quarters with her change, which the cashier promptly did. Next thing you know, the elderly husband storms into the store screaming about his wife being ripped off and only given FOUR quarters for her dollar! He would not accept that four quarters was a dollar! I think the police were even called as they feared for his mental health. I'd like to think it was a mind slip but have to wonder if he was just nuts!

    Reply
  • November 2, 2019 at 11:41 pm
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    The second lady was a time traveler from a simultaneous dimension

    Reply
  • November 3, 2019 at 2:13 am
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    From first story, use to work loss prevention an this is a fairly new scam to my old store when they first added self checkout

    Reply
  • November 3, 2019 at 2:57 am
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    A scam like the TV/computer won't work if the cashier has any brains at all. Which means, it's probably worth a shot.

    Reply
  • November 3, 2019 at 3:10 am
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    Don't give her nickles. They're counted as 40 cents.

    Reply
  • November 3, 2019 at 3:58 am
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    It's an unfortunate commentary on our education system that many people going thru our educational system are unable to do basic math or even count money/change correctly. It's not yet the norm but for how much longer?

    Reply
  • November 3, 2019 at 1:12 pm
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    “So in short” and repeats the whole history 🤪

    Reply
  • November 3, 2019 at 1:46 pm
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    God do I ever feel that comment about customers never reading…

    Reply
  • November 5, 2019 at 9:01 am
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    That discount scheme sounds far too complicated – 3 separate prices for the same item and and unfair to those who do not wish to use digital tech. N living off the grid with them!

    Reply
  • November 7, 2019 at 5:41 pm
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    I always forget my effing coupons. So I don’t bother anyone about them lol

    Reply

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