The Customer Is Not Always Right: Hilarious and Horrific Tales of Customers Gone Wrong

BOOK: The Customer Is Not Always Right: Hilarious and Horrific Tales of Customers Gone Wrong
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The Customer Is Not Always Right
copyright © 2009 by A. J. Adams. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of reprints in the context of reviews. For information, write Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, an Andrews McMeel Universal company, 1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.

 

E-ISBN: 978-0-7407-9779-8

 

Library of Congress Control Number: 2009923816

 

www.andrewsmcmeel.com

 

 

The SFI label only applies to the text stock.

 

Cover illustration by Hal Forth

 

ATTENTION: SCHOOLS AND BUSINESSES
Andrews McMeel books are available at quantity discounts with bulk purchase for educational, business, or sales promotional use. For information, please write to: Special Sales Department, Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.

 

[email protected]

 
INTRODUCTION

It’s worshipped by customers, enshrined in corporate dogma, and often reviled by employees. You, me, and everyone who has ever purchased a product or utilized a service has heard and probably used it: “The customer is always right.”

However, let’s get one thing straight: While the employee is NOT always right, neither is the customer. I’ve found that bad behavior and craziness are wonderful equalizers, as they care not for your race, your gender, your beliefs, or your job. People will find a way to be a pain in the neck, regardless of what side of the cash register they’re standing on.

That being said, while complaining about bad employees is a revered institution, complaining about bad customers is almost a taboo subject—something I learned many moons ago, working in restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops, and in Web design.

After dealing with one too many crazy customers, I decided to level the playing field and offer a way for beleaguered employees to share their stories.
NotAlwaysRight.com
was therefore created as a place not so much to demonize customers, but to give retail, service, and other public-facing employees a chance to share their side of the story.

What I didn’t expect was just how many of you there were. From all walks of life-from grocery store clerks and cops to tech-support staff and librarians—you came forward with your own often frustrating and always entertaining encounters.

In fact, you’ve submitted (and continue to submit) so many stories that the Not Always Right editors and I have a backlog that now numbers in the thousands. This book is therefore an attempt to whittle down that number with 100 of our absolute best stories; as a small bonus and a token of our appreciation, you’ll also find over 100 never-before-seen stories.

Without your support, Not Always Right would not be anywhere as popular as it is today; I therefore hope you enjoy this book as much as we have enjoyed reading your stories!

Sincerely,

A. J. Adams and the editors at NotAlwaysRight.com

A HEADY PROPOSITION

R
ETAIL
| P
ENNSYLVANIA

 

C
USTOMER
: “I have a big problem. You cut off my head!”

M
E
: “I’m sorry? How did I cut off your head?”

(The customer shows me an obviously self-taken picture, with the top of his head removed.)

 
 

M
E
: “Sir, it looks like it was taken that way.”

C
USTOMER
: “No it wasn’t! My whole head was there when I took it. I’m sure!”

M
E
: “Okay, let me see your memory card …”

(The customer hands it to me, and I go in the lab and pull it up on the computer. Sure enough, he chopped his own head off in the picture.)

 
 

M
E
: “Sir, that is the whole image, and the top of your head isn’t in it.”

C
USTOMER
: “But it’s DIGITAL; can’t you fix it?”

M
E
: “You can’t create something from nothing.”

C
USTOMER
: “But… but… but… I need a photo for a dating Web site!”

M
E
: “Give me the camera and go stand over there.”

C
USTOMER
: *excited* “Hot d***! You can be my best man!”

M
E
: “A thank-you card will be enough.”

(Skip ahead nine months…)

 
 

F
EMALE CUSTOMER
: “IS your name ***?”

M
E
: “Yes, can I help you?”

F
EMALE CUSTOMER
: “My husband wanted you to have this.” *hands me an envelope*

(I open the envelope, and sure enough there’s a thank-you card with a picture of him and his wife. He actually got married and sent her in with the card!)

 
 
SUDDENLY, I FEEL VERY SORRY FOR HER CHILD

R
ETAIL
| C
OLORADO

 

W
OMAN
: “Excuse me, I’ve lost my child somewhere in the store.”

M
E
: “Okay, I’ll get someone right away.”

(I call in a code yellow.)

 
 

M
E
: “Okay, how old is your child?”

W
OMAN
: “She just turned three. Ooohhh, what if she’s been kidnapped?”

M
E
: “Don’t worry, I’m sure that’s not the case.”

(Security comes up to talk to her and she turns around.)

 
 

S
ECURITY
: “Ma’am, how many children do you have?”

W
OMAN
: “Just one, why?”

S
ECURITY
: “Because your child is on your back.”

(She is wearing one of those harnesses.)

 
 
BUBBLE GUM OR FIERY DEMONS, YOUR PICK

R
ETAIL
| F
LORIDA

 

M
E
: “All right, ma’am, your total comes to $6.66.”

C
USTOMER
: *blinks, gasps* “EEEAHHH! AHHH!”

M
E
: “Ma’am? Ma’am, are you all right?”

C
USTOMER
: “Ahhhh!” *flails her hands*

M
E
: “Ma’am, calm down, please!”

(The customer closes her mouth and paces in front of the register. You can still hear squealing in the back of her throat.)

 
 

A
NOTHER CUSTOMER
: “Just buy gum or something!”

WATER YOU, STUPID?

A
IRPORT
| K
ANSAS
C
ITY
, M
ISSOURI

 

(While passing through airport security, a passenger’s bag needs to be pulled because the x-ray operator sees an obvious big bottle of water when the limit is 3.4 ounces.)

 
 

M
E
: “Whose bag is this?”

P
ASSENGER
: “Oh! Oh! Oohhh! It’s mine! Is there something wrong?”

M
E
: “I just need to take a quick look inside, ma’am. This shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.”

P
ASSENGER
: “Well, hurry. I think they’re boarding my plane.”

(I open her bag and find the bottle almost immediately. She gasps as I pull it out.)

 
 

M
E
: “Ma’am, I’m afraid you cannot have this beyond this point.”

P
ASSENGER
: “Why not? I just bought it, and it’s unopened!”

M
E
: “Ma’am, the rules clearly state that you cannot have any liquids over 3.4 ounces in your carry-on. If you’d like to, you could—”

P
ASSENGER
: “But that’s not a liquid!”

M
E
: “Excuse me, ma’am?”

P
ASSENGER
: “It’s not a liquid! It’s water! W-A-T-E-R! You know, H-2-O? For the love of God, don’t they hire anyone with more than a grade school education for security?”

WHY
CATCH-22
NEEDS TO BE REQUIRED READING

T
ECH
S
UPPORT
| C
ALIFORNIA

 

C
USTOMER
: “I bought a computer from you guys not three weeks ago, and my Internet isn’t working.”

M
E
: “Well, the computer itself seems to be operating perfectly …”

C
USTOMER
: “It is NOT working perfectly. I cannot get on the Internet.”

M
E
: “I understand that; I just mean while the Internet itself isn’t working, your computer is functioning properly.”

C
USTOMER
: “My computer is worthless without Internet.”

(Company policy is to direct her to her ISP for further assistance. So I try to get that info from her so I can give her a proper phone number.)

 
 

C
USTOMER
: “Why don’t you just fix it?”

M
E
: “I’ve run out of things we can try.”

BOOK: The Customer Is Not Always Right: Hilarious and Horrific Tales of Customers Gone Wrong
2.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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