Retail Workers Share The Desperate Scams Customers Have Tried To Pull
Being a retail worker has its ups and downs. On the positive side, you gain valuable experience, get great discounts on some of your favorite items, and meet new people every day.
On the not-so-positive side, you deal with long holiday hours, a plethora of customer demands and sometimes even a couple of pesky scams. These retail workers reminiscence on some insane moments where customers tried to pull a fast one on them. This includes people trying to get items for cheap by strategically moving them under sale signage, asking for refunds on items they don’t have, and even trying to use credit cards they printed from the computer. As expected, these scams didn’t work out in the end.
Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 Watch Out For Brinks!
A customer walked into the store and grabbed two HP ink cartridges off the ink wall. He walked to the register with an old receipt and said, “I want to return these.”
Yeah… he was that stupid. I saw him walk in, and the cartridges were still in the security cases.
I called my manager and said, “The Brinks guy is pulling up.” This was our code for “we’ve got a criminal customer.” My manager ran to his office and dialed the cops real quick, then pretended to process a return.
When the cops arrive, we point at the guy and out come the handcuffs. Moron.
#2 Playing The Wrong Kind Of Game
I used to work at a game store around ten years ago. I once had a woman come in and ask for two PlayStation Portables (PSP), two Xbox 360s, and a handful of games and accessories. My store was pretty slow, so it would have been a pretty big sale for the day and I was excited about it.
When she was ready to pay, she handed me a credit card which was not laminated and appeared to be printed out on a home color printer. I told her it wouldn’t work, but she told me to just scan it anyway. So, I scanned her fake credit card, which clearly did not have a magnetic strip, and it didn’t work. She then told me to just “put the numbers in” on the computer, but this time I refused.
She told me she would be back with cash. I put everything back on the shelves. She did not return.
#3 Roll Over Beethoven
Years ago, I worked at a small hardware store that constantly had huge rolls of copper wire stolen. One day, a guy and his girlfriend came in to return a roll. They had no receipt and when I scanned the item for the return, it was only ringing up the price per foot. I couldn’t figure out how to get the SKU or the price for the whole roll.
I called the manager and he came out and right away. Based on the sales reports for the past three months, he was confident that there was no way these people bought an entire roll. When he asked them when they had bought the roll, they said two weeks ago.
“Oh really?” my manager replied. “Because the last time we sold an entire roll was over three months ago.” The guy started to get brave and told him, “So you’re saying I stole it?!” My manager raises his eyebrows and nods his head.
The couple ended up leaving and left the roll behind. Before they exited the store, the guy said, “I’m coming back and bringing the cops.” The manager said, “Go ahead, that way you can explain to them how you stole the roll.”
#4 Failed To Phone It In
I sold a guy a phone years ago when I worked for a wireless carrier. I spent an hour getting all of his information transferred and setting up his new phone. He came in the next day with a shattered screen. Apparently, he didn’t remember that I was the rep who helped him the day before. He proceeded to tell me that the cracks were there when he left the store. Needless to say, the phone was not replaced.
#5 Traveling For Scams
A new group of people pulled into our car park one summer. One of the guys came to the till to buy two patio kits at £50 each. I told him his total was £100 and he said that he bought one kit for £50 the day before in another branch…
I explained to him that since he was buying two kits, the price was doubled. He then started to argue, accusing me of overcharging him to take advantage of the fact that his group was new to the area. However, his entire plan was simply to hold up the line until I handed him one for free.
Once he realized the line behind him had disappeared, he suddenly clicked and paid up, never to be seen again.
#6 Just One Fix
A dad came in to fill his son’s Adderall prescription. He was super twitchy, while his son was as chill as could be.
For control purposes, we are supposed to run a report that shows every location in the state where an individual has filled a prescription. Of course, the son’s report came back a total mess—multiple pharmacies, multiple prescriptions, multiple doctors— all the red flags. To top it off, an Adderall prescription he presented had already been filled within that week, so we really couldn’t fill this one.
When we refused to do the refill, the dad started going on about how his wife must have filled it, but he still needed some for the day, blah blah blah. We declined him again, and his last words to us were: “My son needs them for a birthday. Can’t you help?”
No, dude, we can’t help. You’re clearly taking your sons pills. Get help and stop using your son to get high.
#7 Wii Don’t Carry This
Years ago, I worked at a Walmart and this guy came in trying to return a Wii that allegedly didn’t work. “I just bought this for my kids last week and it’s already broken but they won’t take it back because I lost my receipt,” he told me.
The Wii he presented to me was the most beat up and disgusting looking Gamecube I had ever seen. It was like he found it in a landfill or something. At the time, I wasn’t even working the return desk; I was stocking the food department. Turned out, he was trying to get every employee in the store to give him a refund.
#8 Back In The Box
Someone called in wanting to know if we had spare boxes for Xbox consoles because he “wanted to prank his kid with an empty box”. I knew very well he wanted to try to stuff the box with who knows what and attempt a return. It would have never worked though because the folks at customer service check the boxes for the actual product and match the serials to those on the box.
#9 A Failed Switch
I used to work at Best Buy. This guy came in and returned a laptop, saying that the box had an old laptop in it. When we refused to process the return, he started yelling and screaming, saying that we didn’t know how to do business.
The complaining initially worked—my manager gave him a brand new laptop, even before we had a chance to check the old laptop. When the customer left, we examined the old laptop in the back room and it wouldn’t turn on. It looked like the motherboard was toast. We pulled the hard drive out and started checking the data. The hard drive was completely fine with everything in it. We then started deep diving his files for the clues and found the pictures of the guy who returned the laptop. It was his old machine.
We had all his information, so the manager called him and said he had 15 minutes to bring the new laptop back or he was calling the police. That guy came in, dropped the laptop at the front desk, and we never saw him again in the store.
#10 If The Shoe Fits
I worked at a Payless Shoe Store when I was in high school.
I had a customer come in once to make a return. She was a perfectly normal-looking woman; likely in her late ’50s or early ’60s.
I asked for her receipt, and she informed me she didn’t have it. Technically, I couldn’t process the refund without the receipt, but my manager was a bit more liberal. If the shoes were in perfect condition and in their original box, he was willing to make an exchange.
But she told me she didn’t have the shoes either.
“Uh—we can’t do that,” I said to her. She ended up getting so mad that she grabbed a pair of stilettos and threw them at me before stomping out.
#11 Third Time’s Not The Charm
At my old job, they used to give out coupons for specific dates. On Boxing Day, they had a 30% off sale, but customers also received coupons that they could use on the following day.
One lady came in on Boxing Day and we worked out that she’d get a better deal if she used the coupon instead, so I offered to hold her items for her until the next day when the coupon was applicable. I explicitly told her that she wouldn’t be able to get the 30% off and she decided to use the coupon instead.
She came back the next day, went to purchase her items and threw a fit because they wouldn’t give her both the 30% off and let her use the coupon. She told the cashier that the person she’d spoken to the day before had told her she could do that. Then, she saw me and said out loud, “It was that girl who told me!”
I went to speak to her (I was a keyholder at the time) and her story changed about three times through the whole thing. She kept insisting that I told her she could combine the discounts.
“Well, I don’t understand why I’m not able to do this,” she kept saying. Another manager had to come over to help sort it out, and as I walked away, I heard her saying that I was a liar.
Now, I work at Sephora and we always get people trying to return fake products. My favorite one was when someone returned a face mask but had put a can of tuna in the box instead of the actual face mask.
#12 Check The Expiration Date
I had a customer come in to purchase some stuff, and they had found a coupon from three years ago on Google Images for 50% off the entire purchase. I told her I couldn’t process her expired coupon for her purchase.
She yelled at me and stormed out.
She even emailed corporate, and I got in trouble for making her upset, despite the fact that I followed company policy.
#13 Five Finger Lickin’ Discount
Back in high school when I worked part-time at a KFC, a man who would come in, order a two-piece quarter pack, and then claim we forgot his chicken. When we turned around to fetch his drink at the end of the order, he would open the box, take out the chicken pieces and hide them in his pockets. Hot chicken. Right in his pockets.
I got so fed up with everyone just giving him extra chicken all the time that I demanded he turned out his pockets one day. When he tried to pull them, a bunch of drumsticks fell out.
#14 Straight To DVD
I worked in a liquor store. One afternoon, a shady character entered and spent ten minutes browsing the liquor section. I stayed at the checkout and watched him on the CCTV. He ended up shoving two bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue down his pants and walked out. The store policy is that workers refrain from confronting shoplifters; that’s what insurance is for. I called the police and burnt the footage onto a DVD for them to collect.
About an hour later, the same guy returned with the bottles demanding a cash refund because he “purchased the wrong type.” Just as I was telling him that I couldn’t do a refund without a receipt, the police walked in to collect the footage. He left with them in handcuffs.
#15 Wrong Store, Ma’am
I worked at a place that had soft serve as a part of the menu. One time, a lady came up to the counter and said something along the lines of, “Hey, I’m really sorry—my daughter dropped her ice cream and she’s really sad about it. Do you think you could give me another?”
I was about to, but I immediately realized an important fact: the ice cream machine was broken that day and we weren’t selling any. I looked back at her and told her that the ice cream must have not been from us. She turned bright red and mumbled, “Oh then, I guess it must be from Dairy Queen or something…”
Nice try lady.
#16 Smart TV, Not-So-Smart Customer
When I was working as an electronics cashier, I asked a woman if she needed help buying a TV. She said no and placed a smart TV into her cart. I asked her if she wanted to make the purchase at electronics, and she said she wanted to pick up a couple more things in electronics. I went to help another customer when I realized the woman was rushing towards the front of the store with the TV. I immediately called loss prevention and told them that someone was trying to run out with a TV. They stopped her at the door.
Her immediate defense was, “I paid for this in electronics, I just left the receipt in my car.” I have no idea how that made any logical sense in her mind, since, of course, she couldn’t have the receipt in her car if she had just bought the TV in electronics.
#17 They Have The Meats
I worked at Arby’s as a teenager. A guy came in, ordered a sandwich and fries, and wanted to pay with a cheque. Back then, people paid with cheques all the time.
The guy tried to convince me it would be “easier for the bank” if he just made out the cheque to himself instead of to Arby’s… He fired off some convoluted, off-the-cuff speech designed to gallop me into buying the story. I was young and naive, but not that naive.
He got mad when I denied him. I asked if he’d like to talk to the manager and he agreed. Three minutes later, my manager told him to leave the restaurant.
#18 Failed Attempt At Supermarket Sweep
When I worked as a checkout cashier, I had a woman pull a barcode label from a container of $4 tinned fruit and stick it over the barcode of a $25 container of Medjool dates. She pretended that she didn’t do it.
Another time, a man carried a $30 bag of dog food to the customer service counter without paying for it and asked for a refund.
Oh, and another time, a group of people tried to use a bunch of fake credit cards. I’m not sure exactly how it worked, but they ended up typing in a different card number into the terminal while another dude distracted the staff. These guys were acting super friendly and probably thought I was just young and dumb, but I caught them trying to take off with about $500 worth of groceries.
They were all like, “Just let us go and get some cash out, we’ll be back soon to pay.” They never returned and my manager gave me a box of chocolates for picking up on it. Proudest moment of my retail career.
#19 No Work For You
I work at an Italian specialty market. It’s family-owned and has a super tight-knit cast of employees. It’s also in a rougher part of town.
One day, a presumably homeless woman came into the store. No big deal, we’re by the shelter and a lot of the homeless folks often come in to get something nice to eat. However, this lady was clearly out of her mind. She was in the store for an hour just harassing employees and customers. Eventually, the owner had to intervene. He firmly asked the lady to leave, but she had a surprising response: “Oh, it’s okay, I work here.”
Imagine the surprise on the owner’s face. He certainly didn’t remember hiring her. Dumbfounded, he told her that was impossible since he was in charge of the hiring, to which she responded: “Oh, are you hiring?”
Honestly, I’ve got to respect a good gambit. Unfortunately for her, it didn’t seem to pan out.
#20 I Don’t Remember!
When I worked at the service desk of a local grocery store, we had this lady who wore sunglasses and long sleeves all the time. One day, she came in with a friend and tried to return beauty items, even though we didn’t have a beauty section in the store. She claimed she had no receipt due to her short-term memory loss. It was so hard not to laugh in her face. She had attempted to return things this way numerous times. We all knew what she was doing.
#21 Keeping Her Lies Clean
I had someone try to return two bottles of laundry detergent. She dropped them off at the counter and said she didn’t like the brand. She then walked off to do her shopping.
I opened the detergent and smelled it. It was water. Both of the jugs were filled with warm water. During the exchange, she claimed that they were like that when she bought them. I explained to her that I couldn’t process the return.
#22 Tunes For His Sentence
I worked at Best Buy in the late ’90s when I was in high school and a guy set off the alarm when he was leaving. It turned out he had, like eight CDs in his pockets. He claimed that he had bought them at the mall across the street before he came to Best Buy and his house arrest anklet must have set off the alarm.
#23 A Low Note
I used to be a manager at a retail pharmacy for one of the bigger national chains. We had a customer try to trick us into giving him five cartons of milk for free. He planted a hand-written note at the front register when the cashier had her back turned. He then tried to convince her that he’d talked to a manager about some milk cartons that his wife had bought and left behind accidentally. I’m pretty sure the cashier would have fallen for it, except she didn’t notice the note and I got to it first.
#24 Typical Fake ID Nonsense
I’ve been in and out of retail for ten years, and one time, at a part-time gig I was working, a man and a woman came in looking sketchy as heck.
They were scanning each and every register looking for gift cards, particularly the ones that were prepaid. I knew their game because I had dealt with this before. The woman came to my register. Originally, they wanted to go to self-checkout, but I told them that they could not purchase gift cards there (even though they actually could).
The woman came up to me and purchased $400 worth of gift cards. When it was time to pay, I asked her for her ID because she wanted to use “her” credit card. The woman in the driver’s license she handed over was totally different — she had no tattoos on her face, whereas the woman had stars below her eye.
I told her that her ID didn’t match and that I would not be able to complete the sale. I also threatened to call the police. She booked it out of there fast. Unfortunately, the man got away with it, because he had purchased his gift cards at another register.
#25 A Creepy Surprise
I used to work for a store that did trade-ins for old gaming systems. One day, a man came in trying to trade in his Xbox 360 to get credit for an Xbox One. We’re pretty lax about the condition of the product—as long as it turns on, we’ll take it.
I opened his box up and cockroaches just started crawling out. I almost dropped the entire thing. I told the guy we couldn’t accept it. He threw a fit and even had the gall to ask where in our terms it specifically said we couldn’t accept it.
The manager ended up getting involved and he eventually left, only to come back the next day to try it on another employee. I radioed the manager when I recognized him. The guy put up a fuss again and the manager eventually told him that he will give him the trade-in credit IF he took his bug-ridden machine with him and never brought it back. I still get creepy crawlies thinking about those cockroaches.
#26 Signed, Sealed, Delivered
A customer called and said his order just hadn’t arrived. I could somehow feel him smirking through the phone and I just knew he was up to something. I looked at the tracking document and saw that his package was signed by his next door neighbor.
I reported this back to him and he said he had never heard of the person who signed for it. I said I would look into it and resend his order if necessary.
I looked up the address on the electoral roll and the person who signed for it did indeed live there. I sent him an email asking if he could explain and strangely didn’t hear back from him.
#27 Watch What Happens
I worked at a Fossil store for a while and if customers brought in their Fossil pieces we would replace the batteries. One time, a guy brought in his watch to get the batteries replaced. No problem.
I took his watch to the back and replaced the battery. When I brought it back out front and handed it to him, he looked at it for a moment, then looked at me and said, “That’s not my watch.” I didn’t know what to say. I eventually replied, “I’m sorry sir, I don’t know what to tell you. That’s your watch, it didn’t leave my hands from the moment you gave it to me.” He looked at it again and said, “No, that’s not my watch.”
Eventually, I told him, “I can ask for clearance from my manager to show you the repair station if you want to take a look back there.” My manager walked over and said, “Is everything okay?”
The guy just walked out the door.
#28 All Up In The Kool-Aid
I worked in a grocery store. One night, a guy was walking back and forth in front of the doors while kind of jerking a plastic bag. At some point, a big jug of wine broke through the bottom of the bag and smashed right in front of the doors. He started yelling at us, saying that our bags were terrible and demanding that we get him another bottle.
I walked him outside and told him we couldn’t replace it because we didn’t have any wine jugs filled with black cherry kool-aid. Paisano doesn’t smell like that.
#29 No More Freebies
I had a teacher come in and ask for free samples because she wanted to fill the other teachers’ “Back to School” welcome bags. I told her the samples she was asking for were only included with purchase.
But she kept nagging me about it, so I gave up and handed her a cute little bag with a few small samples inside. After that, she still kept asking me for more freebies and even tried making me feel guilty. I told her no and she ran out the door.
#30 An Everyday Thing
I work at a cafe inside a big store and we have some regulars. Some are really nice, while others… not so much. This one lady we call “The Breadstick Lady” comes in probably every other day. She gets the same order every single time: two breadsticks. It has gotten to the point where she will walk into the store, hold up two fingers, and we will know to throw them into the ovenat once. We also sell drinks, which can be found at the registers to check out groceries too.
So, she will buy the breadsticks and then grab two or three cups from a register and not pay for them. “I thought the breadsticks were a combo? Two breakfasts and three drinks?” she would say. And every day, we’d tell her she assumed wrong and had to pay. It’s crazy to see how many times she tries this!
#31 A Strange $100 Update
I work in customer service and part of my job is to answer any incoming phone calls. We once got a call from a guy who identified himself as technical support.
He told me that he wanted to update our systems and to do this, I needed to follow his instructions. I obviously knew this was a scam, but I decided to play along.
He told me to log in to our computer and ring up a gift card for $100. Then, he wanted me to recite the gift card number for him and apparently, that would update our systems. Still the funniest scam attempt I’ve ever seen.
#32 The Relentless Pursuit Of Lying
The saddest scam I’ve ever had to deal with occurred when I managed a CD store.
A lady came in to buy a couple of CDs. There were multiple signs that clearly said, “Once you leave the store with a CD, you can’t return it.” The returns policy was also printed on the receipt, and just to be triple-sure, I mentioned it as I was ringing up the sale.
Of course, a few hours later she came back with the CDs and said her kids did not like them. She said she wanted her money back, but I reminded her of our returns policy and refused to process the return. She then got angry and threatened to call the cops…
After several minutes of not giving her what she wanted, she finally admitted to her amazingly complicated scheme and instead resorted to some sob story about how she had spent every cent of her rent and food money, and that her three kids and two dogs were going to starve.
#33 American Cash, Please
I work at a grocery store and one day a man came to my line with a handful of Canadian change, a total of $5. He demanded that I exchange it for five American dollars, but I told him that I couldn’t do that because of the exchange rate.
He then responded, “Well, it all goes in the same register.” I told him that if he bought something, I could have him pay with the Canadian money and convert the change to American dollars, but he threw a fit and left.
#34 Ninja Turtles Aren’t Happy
An old lady walked in and went straight to the frozen section. She grabbed three frozen pizzas in plastic. She then proceeded to smash them on the edge of the freezer, breaking the pizza apart.
She walked up to my register and asked for a discount since they were broken. I informed her that I watched her break them, and pointed to the cameras. She called me a narc and walked out.
#35 Judge A Book By Its Stickers
When I worked at Borders, we had this one couple that came in one day with 30 books they wanted to return. They said they were all gifts and they didn’t have the receipt for them, which was fine because we did returns like that for store credit. I started scanning the books and they were not showing up in our system, which was a problem because we couldn’t do a return if they were not in the system. This wasn’t super unusual because it happened sometimes with special order books, but as I went through the books, I could see that a couple of them had those little color stickers that thrift stores use to indicate the prices.
Out of all the books they brought, I think maybe four or five of them were in our system. They seemed really upset and begged me to do something because they were hoping to use the credit for Christmas gifts for their kids. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do because if they didn’t show up in our system, there was no way we could accept them. I put what I could on a gift card and told them that maybe they should try selling the rest on eBay. They said, “Yeah, I guess,” and left the store with a defeated look on their face, hauling their books back with them.
#36 A Foreign Mishap
A customer wanted five $99 tablets. I didn’t think anything of this because it happened a lot. I offered a $10 warranty and her eyes lit up. But she wanted separate transactions… Again, no issue.
She took out two hundred dollar bills from her purse. I noticed right away they didn’t look right. I got them in my hand and they were close but not quite right, so I refused them. I should have called the police, but I was shocked at the moment.
She didn’t bother arguing. She just took her bills and left after that.
#37 A Rash Decision
When I worked at Lush, I had a customer come into my store and say that she had bought a moisturizer for her 12-year-old niece that made her break out in a rash.
Now, Lush has a VERY good return and exchange policy, but this woman did not have the product with her. She claimed that she threw it out because of how upset she was at the product. She didn’t have a receipt either, yet, she was still demanding that I refund her. Nice try, lady.
#38 Victoria’s Not Having That
I used to work at Victoria’s Secret when I was in high school. A lady brought a bra over and just as I was about to scan it and take its tags off, she asked if she could get some kind of discount because it was stained. I examined it and there was what looked like bright blue icing on it.
My eyes then trailed over to her child who was eating a cupcake with the same bright blue icing. “Oh, this is from the cupcake,” she said. “Do I get any discount, like half off or something?”
I swear to God, I just looked at her for a solid five seconds. I simply told her that I couldn’t sell damaged items.
#39 Too Lazy To Exchange
I work at the Guest Services desk at Target and had a phone call transferred to me. The woman on the line said something along the lines of: “I got the wrong size shirt at your store earlier and I need to exchange it, but I live in a small town two hours away and don’t feel like going back. Can you refund it back onto my card and I’ll exchange it later when I go back to the city?”
She tried to convince me for five minutes that she would definitely come back in. When I refused, she threatened to call corporate and have me fired.
#40 Wrong Arby’s, Dude
I worked at Arby’s that was getting a remodel so we were closed for a week. We were all there one day during that week to help get it ready for opening day, and someone called saying they came through the drive-thru the other day and we had screwed up his order. He then demanded that we gave them a new order for free. The manager who answered the call told him that we had been closed for a week, and he had to keep himself from laughing.
#41 On The Naughty List
I had a guy come in after Christmas to return what was obviously a fake jersey. He even held it up to a regular jersey for comparison and told me that I was color blind for not seeing them as the exact same. After he gave up trying to convince me, he changed his story, saying he knew that the jersey was fake but that his mom had bought it for him for Christmas and he just wanted the money.
On top of this, he had no tags, receipt or any proof of how it was paid for so he had no way of “proving” the sale in the first place. He gave up on the return after trying to cuss me out and asking for my manager.
#42 Can’t Level With Management
I was a group manager at ALCO before they went out of business. I was the closing manager one day and a guy approached me about a shelving unit he wanted to buy. We only had the display piece left and I let him know this. The store policy was that display pieces would come with an additional 30% off if they are only one left of that item, but no further discounts would be added.”
He pulled a pocket leveller out and said, “It’s tilting slightly, give me a bigger discount.” I told him I couldn’t do that and explained the store policy. He asked for the manager, to which I responded, “I am the manager.”
He didn’t try anything else on me after that.
#43 Cash Card Of Failure
A scammer was trying to buy about $1,200 worth of stuff, including some Visa gift cards (which he wouldn’t show an ID for). I called the manager over due to suspicious behavior. This guy pressed on, pulling out a card that was quite obviously printed on thicker paper and saying that it was his “cash card.” He then told me what buttons to hit.
The scammer was obviously trying to have me enter the transaction as if he paid in cash. At this point, my manager got there and I had the scammer explain the situation to her. She was just as suspicious as I was. He then tried to make a bunch of excuses, telling my manager that he was a university student and that he was just using his student loan card. I went on my break after a minute or two of this. The manager obviously didn’t accept the payment, and the scammer was detained by Asset Protection. It took about 15 minutes overall.
#44 Formula For Robbery
I worked at a pharmacy which happened to be dead at during one of my shifts. Our load had just come in, so we were stocking. A lady came in at the same time as another gentleman. She bought baby formula and left. The gentleman walked around for a few minutes after she left and then stole some baby formula and ran out of the store. The lady came back like five minutes later to return it. Our registers are next to the door, so the clerk at the register saw them get out of the same car when they first came in. My manager took great pleasure in kicking her out.
#45 Making Their Own Prices
I worked at an electronics store. A customer was asking me about different routers. I picked one up and then placed it in the wrong spot after he asked me a question. He grabbed it off the shelf where he placed it, which was labeled for a router with a lower price. I started to check him out and he complained that the router was a higher cost. He told me he wanted it at the price that was marked where he placed it at on the shelf. He tried pulling some garbage about how the customer is always right. I did not sell him a router.
#46 Masked Robbery For A Phone Case
My friend who worked in a wireless store told me that one time a guy stole a phone case while wearing a mask. Problem was, he had just paid his bill at the kiosk. They called the alternate work number he had given them and asked the boss to please send the employee back with the case. He came back, returned the case, apologized, then left.
#47 Nice Try, Honey
She told me she had a voucher for 50% off in her emails, but she didn’t have a copy with her. I was like, nice try, honey.
I work at a clothing store and about a year ago, I had a very tipsy 50-year-old lady come to my line. After ringing up her $100 worth of clothes, she then began to hit on me and insinuate that she could “work” for the free clothes… if you get what I mean. That was the quickest nope I have ever said in my life. Would not recommend.
#49 Good Lies Pay Off
Used to work customer service at a hardware store. You get so jaded by junkies trying to return stolen items that I just started handing out refunds based on how good the stories were. Your dad with dementia bought circuit breakers every single day and he recently died? Refund. You don’t need these commercial-sized copper elbows because you bought too many for your residential plumbing project? Nah.
#50 Chargers And Fidget Spinners
I work at a convenience store and we sell phone chargers for exorbitant prices to prey on the desperate. People steal the chargers all the time and try to bring them back for a refund. We don’t take them back without a receipt with our store address on it anymore because this is such a common occurrence.
I also had a guy steal a fidget spinner once (I watched him do it from the aisle) and try to bring it back for a whole refund of $6.
#51 The Vague iPhone
I once had a dude try to score a free iPhone.
He came to the department I worked in and started describing this vague iPhone, saying he’d lost it in here earlier.
No other details were given. He didn’t mention a phone case or a specific color; he just said it was an iPhone. Further questions were asked about where he thought he might have left it and he just went quiet and said, “It’s fine, actually. Maybe somebody else has it.”
We think he knew that sometimes stores will keep people’s lost phones until the owners come back. He definitely wanted to score a free iPhone.
#52 Ring Leader
A customer returned a fake ring for $100. He had a real receipt that physically described the ring he brought in. I didn’t recognize it, even after I checked for it. But ultimately, I accepted the return because it seemed legit.
What he actually did was buy a real ring (to obtain a real receipt), then buy a fake $5 ring that matched the description on the real receipt. He returned the fake ring and got his cash back.
It was actually pretty smart.
#53 Pulling The Military Card
I worked at Buckle for a while in college.
They offer a 10% Military Discount with photo ID.
A lady came to my register on Black Friday with an alleged photocopy of her husbands DD-214.
I kindly told her that she was not eligible for a discount unless she could produce dependent ID on an official card.
She threw a fit. I could care less.
Guess who paid full price?
#54 Baskin Robber
I worked at Baskin Robbins and our boss was very picky about making sure we used kids scoop size in sundaes to make sure we gave the correct size.
One time, a lady walked in and ordered a sundae. I made it with the correct scoop size, but she started complaining about it being too small. I told her it was our policy and that nothing I can do about it. She huffed away, left us a bad review online and complained to my boss.
Guess who got coupons and free stuff? And guess who got scolded his my boss for following the exact thing she told me to do?
#55 The Customer Is Always Right, I Guess?
I worked at a well-known clothing retailer where the prevailing principle was that the customer is always right. I was working returns when a woman came in with torn up dirty clothes from a decade ago. She claimed she didn’t like them and wanted to return them. Several of the items of clothing actually were brands our store never even carried.
I went back and checked with the manager about what she wanted to do, and she told me that the customer was always right, even though the items she wanted to return weren’t even from our store.
I ended up having to give her a bunch of store credit for stuff she never bought from us…