6 Retail Customers Who Give The Rest Of Us A Bad Name

It’s probably happened to most of us at some point — You go to the bank, or the store and the person you deal with immediately, and without any apparent cause, assumes you have the IQ of a marshmallow peep. Perhaps that employee is a bad person. Or maybe they have just finished dealing with one of the following customers, any one of whom would make the aforementioned peep look brilliant by comparison.

Over at Reddit, there is an ongoing discussion of the dumbest/most clueless customers people have ever had the misfortune of serving.

The one that kicks off the chat is also one of the many highlights:

Yesterday while I was helping out in Best Buy, a woman approached me with a pink plastic phone case asking how many txt messages it could store in an inbox….

I said she needed to have a cell phone for that. She clearly did not understand.

After about 10 minutes of trying to explain that the case was solely for style/protective purposes, I sent her over to the phone department and let them deal with her for the next HOUR.

Another Best Buy-related gem:

Worked at Best Buy about 4 years ago for a summer. A lady came in insisting that her son wanted a Playstation 3. Then she saw the Wii stearing wheel and said “That will work with the Playstation right?” I told her that the Wii is a different console made by a different company – so no it wouldn’t work. She snidely says “Oh. So I have to buy a whole different console from you guys JUST for it to work? Typical.” then she adds “But you gotta make commission somehow right?” and walks away.

And then there is this customer who was convinced the bank’s phone CSR was hacking her computer while they talked:

I work for a bank, and customers will sometimes call to ask how they can access their account online and do online banking.

I told this older woman to go to bankname.com. She started yelling and cursing at me that I made her go into her e-mail and that she can’t believe I’m reading her e-mails.

I tried explaining to her that I can’t see her computer as we’re talking over the phone..and she probably just got into her e-mail because it was her homepage or the last page she viewed.

She wanted nothing of it. No matter how many times I kept asking her to find the address bar and type bankname.com…she said that it kept bringing her back to her e-mail.

The conversation lasted 45 minutes. She was yelling the entire time. I pretty much wanted to shoot myself in the head.

And the customer who has mentally checked out before paying the cashier:

one time after ringing up a customer I told him his total, he said “ok” and just sat there… expecting me to do something else, i waited a few seconds and said the total again and asked if it was going to be cash or credit, he looked at me like i had two heads, I waited again and said “uhm, are you going to pay for all of this or were you just wondering how much it costs?” (happens a lot more than you think) he gets all huffed up and says in a loud voice “I WAS WAITING FOR YOU TO TELL ME THE TOTAL!” i was stunned and really was at a loss for words, another customer behind him apparently got fed up and told him, “she told you three damn times!” he paid and booked it

The customer who would rather argue about the nature of a “bike store” than go to a retailer who can actually help him out:

I work at a bike shop that sells bicycles and other sporting goods. Very obvious when you walk in the door. Had a guy walk all the way across the shop to the back and say “I need a chain for my motorcycle”. I pause for a minute, look at the flat fix I’m doing, look back at him and say “well, I think there’s an autopart store down the street…” Then we had to fight about what kind of a bike shop we were for a few minutes.

Finally, here are the highlights of the epic story of utter confusion from a Staples print center employee:

Some older lady brought in her laptop and asked if I could print an e-mail off for her. She booted it up and proceeded to get angry because her Internet wasn’t working. I explained that she would need to connect to our store wi-fi to work. No, that was unacceptable and ‘made no sense’. She ‘didn’t have to do that at home’. And started yelling at me that I did something to her computer to delete her Internet (??)…

I connected her to our wi-fi… And gave it back to her so she could get to her e-mail. ‘See, this is my Internet. I told you…’ She half mumbles this in irritation.

Now, she doesn’t know where her e-mail is (‘usually it’s automatically on there!’). I ask her what e-mail she uses. Gmail? Yahoo? Hotmail? She looks at me like I’m stupid. ‘why does that matter?’ At this point I’m getting pissed off. I have several other customers waiting on me. I mess around on her bookmarks, hoping that it was on there somewhere. Thank god it was. I connected her to the Comcast e-mail site. She doesn’t know her fucking password. After a few botched password guesses, she decides to call her son to ask him…

I get into her e-mail. She doesn’t remember which e-mail it was. I’m going one by one in her inbox. Nope. She then tells me it was from a few months ago…. I had to sift through 3 months of spam to find it. It was a fucking EXPIRED spa coupon. I pointed out that it was expired and she waved it off and told me to print it out. I explained that I would need to transfer it to a flash drive to print off from our computer. She tells me that it should print off from her computer. ‘That’s what it does at home!’…

Then, the Windows update thing pops up. I ignore it while I’m trying to transfer the file over.’What are you doing? You can’t ignore that’. She pulls the laptop toward her and presses update, which requires it to shutdown. No, she didn’t postpone it for ‘4 hours’. She does it for right. now.

Obviously, the bad behavior of another customer is never an acceptable excuse for a store employee to turn their anger on you. But it does help if we remind ourselves that most retail workers slap on a grin and do their best to put up with clueless customers — sometimes several of them in a day.

“Respect is a two-way street,” reads the adorable kitten poster that hangs over my bed… next to my Wilford Brimley collage.