Retail jobs: the dumbest customer question you've been asked?

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chadachada123:
The most infuriating question/statement, by far, that I received on a weekly basis, when having difficulty scanning an item or locating the barcode, was this: "Oh, if it doesn't scan, that means it's free, right?"

Oh gawd, yeah. This joke, dear customers, grew old two days after beginning my work in this supermarket... 10 YEARS AGO. I dunno how people still think that this is even remotely new and funny in any way...

So, I got these things to offer:

So there're sometimes those oldtimers, who aren't really fond of their debit cards and PIN and write them onto a little paper, stashing it in their wallet. Not the brightest thing to do, but understandable, given the memory of some of them is a bit sketchy. Well anyways, once one of those elderly people actually gave me this very piece of paper, telling me that he forgot his glasses and asked me, if I could read it aloud, so he can put the PIN into the keypad.

And then there was that customer: Perfect german-speaking, no audible accent, caucasian looks, so no idea whether that person was a foreigner, who could come from a country where that way of payment is unusual or was just plain dumb or both (given that plenty of other customers before him in the queue did pay that way), who asked me: "Do you accept cash as payment?"

Of course there are naturally those customers, who lack a basic grasp of hygiene and ask: "Can I return these undies if they're not comfortable?" Yes, this happened more then once...

I work at a fast food restraunt, and we have a BIG sign in our drive thru that changes to reflect lunch or breakfast.

I always...always get people asking: "Are you on breakfast/lunch yet?" while there is a MASSIVE sign in front that should answer that.

Another one...

I used to work in hair styling, and after the sign was flipped we'd have people trying to get in, after the sign was set to 'closed' trying to get in for 'a quick cut'.

In hair styling, NOTHING is quick.

Not one of mine (the dumbest I had was a neanderthal trying to convince me that a standard DV-i splitter cable could produce two separate monitor displays) but a coworker had someone ask him for and I am dead serious on this:

Do you have Mario on the PSP for the iPhone?

When he relayed that one to me I had to reboot my brain.

A lot of people can't read in my city which makes me sad. I get a lot of vegetarians coming in and asking what they're allowed to eat which makes me wonder why they don't do at least a tiny bit of research before deciding on the lifestyle.
I don't mean "Is the cheese vegetarian?" but "Is their meat on this cheese and tomato pizza?"
I do wonder how some people get by, they're so stupid they probably have to write "breathe" on their hand to stop themselves from dying.

I don't have any good ones =( Closest is probably:

Costumer: "Where is [item]?"
Me: "... Right behind you."

Sniper Team 4:
Finally, and this is the most recent, some old guy came up to me and asked me some weird questions that I couldn't really answer, but gave it my best shot. He wasn't asking about store questions, but state questions, directions, and just weird stuff. Finally, he asks me, "Do you want to make a lot of money?"
"Uh, excuse me?"
"Do you want to make a lot of money?"
Baffled, I responded, "I don't think I'd be allowed to keep it," because that's store policy and I didn't want this guy handing my a large sum of cash on camera.
He throws his hands up and walks away, shouting, "Never mind. It's clear you're not interested." Just...what?

Pretty sure he was trying to recruit you for some sort of criminal operation.

Probably as a patsy or something.

It was a sunny, summer afternoon and the ice cream/arcade place I was working at was moderately busy. We had some people in the arcade playing games, I was working register for a few people in line, and my coworkers were scooping ice creams for customers. Suddenly, a girl, probably about age 15, came in and walked up to me at the register.

"Hello, did you need anything?" I asked.

To which she responded, "Yeah, are you guys open today?"

I cocked my head and look at her with mild bemusement. Thinking that she'd realize the obviousness of her question due to the facts that there were people in line, sounds from the arcade games, and that all these people were able to come through unlocked doors, so in an obviously joking way I said, "No, we're not." Unfortunately, she didn't pick up on my sarcastic tone and took my response seriously and started walking away, so I had to call her back and say that I was joking.

I just couldn't believe that someone had to ask if we were open when we clearly were and then didn't pick up on an obvious joke. Sure, it was a kid, but you'd think that someone that age would have at least enough problem solving skills to figure out that we were open.

EDIT: Also had someone ask if we sold alcohol... At a family-oriented ice cream shop/arcade...

Not exactly retail because i work in a bar but..

Customer: Can i get a Coke and a Lemonade
Me: sure thing.... Here you go
Customer: Thanks.... Which one is which?

What's that everyone has against the question 'Do you work here'?

You can wear company clothes, but be on a break. Or you can be an employee, but completely unrelated to anything regarding customer service (e.g. a driver), or be a visitor from another store of the same chain or something. It's also a normal conversation starter meaning 'I need something'.

Also a customer can seem to be an employee, for example wearing similar clothes (happens e.g. in a Kenvelo store with customers wearing Kenvelo T-shirts).

Apparently people wouldn't ask this if all stores had clearly labeled employees. Obviously confusion happens way too often. Customers are there to buy shit and not to study the company structure.

I work (among other things) in a helpdesk and I get some rather silly questions sometimes, but the last thing I'd expect from users is to know how the company works.

Anyway we had one user seeking to have a poll made for them and he asked whether he can have a poll with one option. I.e. not just yes/no, just yes.

Technical support at my college has provided me with a few.

"Here I'm going to copy your files onto the G drive so they'll be on the network when you get your new computer"
"But my files are saved onto Excel"
"What"

Terminate421:
At a Staples:

"Can you help me with a printer?"

(I am not only in the office supplies but also on the other side of the store AND tech isn't even in my department)

Can I ask how long you've worked there for? I worked for staples for just over 4 years, and a customer asking for help with printers, an item that we not only stocked, but sold a hell of a lot of, really doesn't strike me as that odd an occurence, even if you are currently stood in a different department.

Of course, it could be different at your store. I was used to working in smaller stores, and frequently had to jump between every department, but the question still seems pretty normal.

Then again, I had customers who asked where the chickens were kept, and if we sold beans. There was even a guy who started threatening staff because we told him we had no public toilets, so pretty much any question seems sane after that.

Nantucket:
When I worked in McDonalds many years ago I remember one man accusing me of serving him cold fries.
I checked the timer on my till and it turned out he had bought the fries an hour ago. He then told me he lived half an hour away and when he had opened his bag they were cold. It took him another 30 minutes to get here and by that time they were stone cold. What was I going to do about it?

I just stared at him.
My manager dealt with it from there.

I worked in a small takeaway for about 6 months and had a similar incident. We had this house that regularly ordered from us, but they were an absolute bastard for complaining. One time they phoned up to say the food had arrived cold, so we apologised and told them we'd remake it and send around a fresh order. We get there, ask for the old order and they tell us they've eaten it, and now they want the fresh batch aswell. Yes, I know by the time we got there the second time the order would've been cold anyway, but we can hardly leave them with 2 lots of food? So that was a tasty treat when we got back to the shop.

I have to say, even though my current job has terrible hours and has a lot of back breaking manual labour, working in a warehouse and never even seeing a customer is just absolute bliss.

One of my previous jobs was a call center job for a TV company. I was asked to troubleshoot someone's lawnmower.

Maxtro:

w9496:

"What is the difference between Mocha and White Mocha?" Okay, this has got to be a prank TV show, but it wasn't.

Other than one being white, what is the difference?

Do they taste the same? One more fatty than the other etc...

White chocolate has more milk than regular chocolate, which gives it a different taste. I'm not sure about the nutritional/fat difference though.

I don't work in retail, but I heard this beauty in a Gamestop.

"Excuse me, but this game doesn't play on my Xbox." It was a Wii game. The guy could not understand that you can only play games on the console they are intended for. He was insisting that they all should be able to play on every console, no matter that they're all made by different companies. I left before I could hear the rest, but I felt so bad for the poor guy who had to deal with him.

Sgt. Sykes:
What's that everyone has against the question 'Do you work here'?

You can wear company clothes, but be on a break. Or you can be an employee, but completely unrelated to anything regarding customer service (e.g. a driver), or be a visitor from another store of the same chain or something. It's also a normal conversation starter meaning 'I need something'.

Also a customer can seem to be an employee, for example wearing similar clothes (happens e.g. in a Kenvelo store with customers wearing Kenvelo T-shirts).

Apparently people wouldn't ask this if all stores had clearly labeled employees. Obviously confusion happens way too often. Customers are there to buy shit and not to study the company structure.

I work (among other things) in a helpdesk and I get some rather silly questions sometimes, but the last thing I'd expect from users is to know how the company works.

Anyway we had one user seeking to have a poll made for them and he asked whether he can have a poll with one option. I.e. not just yes/no, just yes.

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who thought this was an unjustified complaint. Especially the point about it being a conversation starter.

My personal favourite came when I was working at an electrical wholesalers. I was caught on the Trade Counter when in walks a potential customer. He took a moment to look around at all our wares that were laid out to show off our various product ranges. Outdoor lighting, indoor lighting, bulbs, consumer-units, MCB's (circuit breakers), smoke detectors, cable, tools, tool-boxes, PPE and so on.

He then looks at me...stood right underneath a replica of the sign on the shop outside, which reads "Newey and Eyre: Electrical Wholesalers"

Then he approaches me and says: "'scuse me, mate, are you the electrical wholesalers?"

...

It took MASSIVE restraint on my part not to reply, deadpan, "No, sir. This is a butcher's shop - the electrical wholesalers is next door."

deadman91:
Like after I refused to accept someone's expired Drivers Licence as ID: customer- "You mean I have to DRIVE all the way home to pick up my current one?"
Yes she did.

I wouldn't say that is stupid. You are a bank teller, not a law enforcement agency. Perhaps there are legal repercussions for accepting an invalid license, but under most circumstances even an expired license should do the same job.

1. Had anti-counterfitting measures on the license changed that much after it was printed?
2. Did the license show any signs of tampering?
3. Did you need to photocopy/keep the license on file for any reason?

If you answered no to all three of these questions, then the license proves the individual's identity. Why risk a dissatisfied customer, and an inconvenience for both of you?

klown:

Amethyst Wind:

triggrhappy94:

Where do you live? I don't know if this is just a thing in California or national, but it's illegal to work past 5 hours straight without a half an hour "uninterumpted meal" break.
You are technically allowed to wave your meal, but then you have to punch-out after 6 hours.

Well I'm not American but I have worked retail sales before. I'd assume that the management's response to that on Black Friday, being the busiest shopping day of the year, would be "Do it or you're fired."

It's illegal but pretty much accepted as that's what'll happen.

Well if they do fire you, all you have to do it bring it up to the court system, and they'll take it from there for you.

Some states make it easier. It is perfectly legal to fire anyone, for any reason, in the state of Georgia, in the USA. Well, there are certain reasons that a person cannot be fired for, such as sex, race, age, gender, religion, or handicap/medical condition, otherwise just make something up.

That said, most national/internation chains have a procedure which requires three to five steps before actually firing somebody.

gphjr14:
Worked at Walmart in electronics back in 06 had a person ask if we Nintendo games at first I thought they meant game cube or Wii but they meant NES.

We had another Wal-Mart across town that had N64 games on the shelf, this was after inventory in 07. So I wouldn't be surprised if some Walmart some where, in 06, had NES games still on the shelf.

Aris Khandr:
I actually ended up working two full shifts that day to cover the people we lost, but didn't take my lunch break until we got more people in the store to work. That may not be the law, but that's what my work ethic says is the right thing to do. Thus my objection to being called lazy when I finally did get a break.

You didn't get fired for that? The Wal-Mart I worked at was so paranoid about extra hours, overtime, and missed breaks, I would think they would fire somebody for that. I think it was because Wal-Mart's afraid of getting fined, or sued over employees missing meal periods.

I work as a cashier at a major grocery store chain. I've had plenty of experiences with people who could probably do with applying more brain function. Anyway, two stand out in my head currently.
1) I was monitoring one set of self-checkout machines, and a guy walks up and yells "hey slim! Where's the bathroom" (for reference, I am 6 foot 1and inch and weigh around 155). The reason this is a stupid question is that there is a huge sign behind me labeled "restrooms".

2) there was a 50% off sale on clothes and a woman rings up her order then asks me why it didn't take off the 50%. I walk to the self-checkout she was using and review the screen. It very clearly showing it was taking off 50%, however it still showed the original price before the markdown. It took about 10iminutes to get this woman to understand it was taking the sale and that was only because I lied and said "the machine isn't displaying correctly, but you are getting the 50% off." (She was only saving abiout $2.00 mind you)

I urge you all to look up 'Adventures in Retail' by Youtube user Meeperfish. It'll all be so familiar to you.

I work in a store that sells sex toys and lingerie, how much time do you have?

Colour-Scientist:
I work in a store that sells sex toys and lingerie, how much time do you have?

Oh, this I have to hear, take all the time you need.

Colour-Scientist:
I work in a store that sells sex toys and lingerie, how much time do you have?

This I must know. I second the request.

I actually have no job right now, but I've heard of a few douzies. Personal favorite is some ass hat pulling up to the drive-through, ordering, and then proceeding to speed out the other end without paying/picking up his order.

Jynthor:

Colour-Scientist:
I work in a store that sells sex toys and lingerie, how much time do you have?

Oh, this I have the hear, take all the time you need.

I second this motion. Let us have the stories!

I have heard so many. I work in cinema as a guest assistant. Here are two of my favourites:

Question: "The box office is closed. How do I get tickets?"

Response I give: "Over there by the tills."

Response I'd like to give: "See how all of those staff with hats on are standing by tills and serving that queue there? See that sign that says 'Ticket at any till' that you've just walked past? Can you figure it out yet?"

But the best one has to be when I was on an open. The manager was out of the building, and the other staff were late. i was on my own behind my till.

A single customer walks in through the open shutters, looks around the foyer, looks at me, looks around some more, slowly walks in my direction whilst looking around, and gets to the counter, and looks around a little bit more before looking at me, and asks:

Question: "Are you open?"

Response I gave: "No."

Customer reaction: "Oh, OK." *leaves cinema.*

Me: "There is no way that just worked..."

LordLundar:
Not one of mine (the dumbest I had was a neanderthal trying to convince me that a standard DV-i splitter cable could produce two separate monitor displays)

That isn't completely stupid.

Many office computers have low profile cards, with DVI style output jacks, and an adapter to allow for two standard SVGA, or DVI connectors. There are even specialized adapters that can take the resolution of two monitors, simulate a single higher resolution monitor for the computer, and then split the signal between the two monitors.

So they don't know the different between DVI, and odd-ball connectors that look similar. That is your job, not theirs. They should listen to you though.

I probably have better stories but the one i remember the most from working at the grocery was a couple asking what the expiry date was on the cases of soda. I never knew such a thing existed and i think about it every time i visit a certain relative and drink a can that's been sitting in the basement for years.

Also it appears this thread will not rest until we have those kinky stories.

Monster_user:

deadman91:
Like after I refused to accept someone's expired Drivers Licence as ID: customer- "You mean I have to DRIVE all the way home to pick up my current one?"
Yes she did.

I wouldn't say that is stupid. You are a bank teller, not a law enforcement agency. Perhaps there are legal repercussions for accepting an invalid license, but under most circumstances even an expired license should do the same job.

1. Had anti-counterfitting measures on the license changed that much after it was printed?
2. Did the license show any signs of tampering?
3. Did you need to photocopy/keep the license on file for any reason?

You're right, I'm not law enforcement, and this requires a bit more context. That does not change the law which says you can't drive around with an expired licence. Or the legislation or bank policy which sets down the rules about what I can or cannot accept as valid ID. I wouldn't drive on an expired drivers licence in the same way I wouldn't try to travel on an expired passport. Now I'll admit that we have reasonable exemptions for accepting expired ID, especially if the current ones are lost or stolen, and 9/10 times we do, but to say you don't have your DL because you knowingly drove away from home without it is one of the stupidest excuses I myself have ever heard. Circumstances at the time required that I did have to record her details (we almost always do, records of which are checked regularly and kept for an average of seven years) and the system itself would not have let me use this as valid ID.

And I tell you what, after three years in this job arguing with customers about ID, even though I know and work with the staff at every branch I'm likely to visit I still don't go to the bank without valid ID. But that's just me.

EDIT: Sorry, I missed one final bit of context here which is why I usually list it as a stupid thing. She had left it at home and taken her expired licence instead because she didn't want to damage her current one with day to day use. She struck me as the kind of person who'd probably wrap it in packing foam and leave it in a safe as well.

Sku1c:
Firstly, finally decided to register, hello escapists :)

On to customer stupidity..
---

Working in Holland, being asked by a german customer with a very noticable accent: "Do you speak English?"

Not really a dumb question I suppose, but rather one of time, we had an elderly individual ask where he could find the VHS tapes, this was in 2011.

Customers being infuriated because a discounted item is sold out, despite the add saying 'while stocks last'.

Does that happen alot in European countries? Using a English as a langue to speak to people from other countries, even though it is neither of your native tounge, because it is a commonly learned foreign langue I mean.

chadachada123:
I was a cashier for a year at Target (basically a higher-class Walmart).

The most infuriating question/statement, by far, that I received on a weekly basis, when having difficulty scanning an item or locating the barcode, was this: "Oh, if it doesn't scan, that means it's free, right?"

Every one of them deserves a punch in the face.

Yeah, at the bank we get "Are you giving away any free samples?" and - following me asking if I can help them with anything else - "How about a million dollars in my account?"

And every time you need to smile, laugh, reply with something equally as inane, and resist the urge to do something that will get you fired/jailed.

Seth Carter:
Aww lol. I could write a novel from Goodwill.

"Do you work here?" as oft mentioned already. No, I'm just wearing this goofy blue smock thing, a nametag, and cleaning up shelves because I have no fashion sense and some sort of OCD.

"Do you test this (insert electronic item that would incredibly time consuming to fully test)" No, cause we aren't gonna brew 7 pots of coffee, make ten sets of toast, watch six movies, and iron sheets all day. The lights turn on, beyond that its your dice to roll.

"Do golf clubs count as furniture?" (During a furniture sale). Sit on it. Please.

"Why are you charging X-amount of money for stuff you get for free?" Uhm. Lights? Heat? Employees? Rent? Garbage disposal? Charitable cause? Take your pick?

I laughed quite heartily at all of these, thank you.

deadman91:

Or the goddamn jokes that we hear constantly: me- "is that from you savings account?" customer- "Well actually it's more like a SPENDING account!"
Fuckin hilarious.

I utterly despise customers who make jokes. I'm not a cynical grumpy fuck at work but let's be honest - neither of us are here to make friends. We're both here to conclude business and send you on your way while I go back to work.

Colour-Scientist:
I work in a store that sells sex toys and lingerie, how much time do you have?

... do proceed.

chinangel:
I used to work in hair styling, and after the sign was flipped we'd have people trying to get in, after the sign was set to 'closed' trying to get in for 'a quick cut'.

In hair styling, NOTHING is quick.

My barber can have my hair cut and dusted in fifteen minutes, he's a marvel.

deadman91:

chadachada123:
I was a cashier for a year at Target (basically a higher-class Walmart).

The most infuriating question/statement, by far, that I received on a weekly basis, when having difficulty scanning an item or locating the barcode, was this: "Oh, if it doesn't scan, that means it's free, right?"

Every one of them deserves a punch in the face.

Yeah, at the bank we get "Are you giving away any free samples?" and - following me asking if I can help them with anything else - "How about a million dollars in my account?"

And every time you need to smile, laugh, reply with something equally as inane, and resist the urge to do something that will get you fired/jailed.

NURHURHUHRURHURHRUHRURHRUHRUHRUHR. FUNNEH.

Goddamnit.

Sgt. Sykes:
What's that everyone has against the question 'Do you work here'?

I actually agree.
I used to work at this department store, in my country called 'The Warehouse'. The uniform is red shirt, black pants. I once went into the store I used to work at, years after I left, accidentally wearing the colors, and an old guy asked me for help.
My instincts kicked in and I took him around the store for 20 minutes helping him get what he needed. A few seconds after he went on his way, a small family asked me for help. I helped them, too.

I miss working in retail.

I had a lady come in and ask us to install her printer for her (I was working at Geeksquad). My co-worker asked her for the power cord so we could plug it in and she freaked out claiming we didn't have any idea what we were doing. She then yelled at us that "It is wireless!" and so it needed no power cord and she could not believe we didn't know that.

Not sure where she thought the electricity was coming from but yeah.

We had a Plasma Tv with a fireplace channel on, some one asked if it was real.

Monster_user:

gphjr14:
Worked at Walmart in electronics back in 06 had a person ask if we Nintendo games at first I thought they meant game cube or Wii but they meant NES.

We had another Wal-Mart across town that had N64 games on the shelf, this was after inventory in 07. So I wouldn't be surprised if some Walmart some where, in 06, had NES games still on the shelf.

At best we had a few game cube games that they were still trying to get $20 for but NES the original NES? No that's pretty far fetched even in my small town you'd have a better chance of calling a Best Buy and asking if they have HD DVDs.

My story isn't about working in retail, but about a guy that was serving me at a Cafe I went to with the family. He came up to take our order and I told him I wanted a bowl of chips, as was listed on the menu.

He gave me the weirdest look and said, "are you sure?"

I thought he meant because my family were getting actual meals and I was going for just some chips, so I said, "Y..yeah, of course." It's not exactly a weird thing.

He visibly gave me a look like I was stupid and said, "Okay then...."

After around half an hour our meals arrived, including my chips....which was actually a bowl of ordinary, gigantic potatoes. I mean, what the hell kind of cafe serves chips on the menu, but actually mean ordinary potatoes? Granted chips are made of potatoes, but seriously? And the guy didn't think to point it out to me, instead treating me like an idiot? Apparently I'm not the only one who's had the same issue with that cafe either, so it's obviously a common issue. And it's not the one cafe - this is a branch of cafes, and only this one location serves potatoes instead of chips, and doesn't specify that in the menu. I wouldn't be that angry, but this guy was such a git. My mum made a big show of pointing out they weren't actually chips, and he just left silently.

Monster_user:

LordLundar:
Not one of mine (the dumbest I had was a neanderthal trying to convince me that a standard DV-i splitter cable could produce two separate monitor displays)

That isn't completely stupid.

Many office computers have low profile cards, with DVI style output jacks, and an adapter to allow for two standard SVGA, or DVI connectors. There are even specialized adapters that can take the resolution of two monitors, simulate a single higher resolution monitor for the computer, and then split the signal between the two monitors.

So they don't know the different between DVI, and odd-ball connectors that look similar. That is your job, not theirs. They should listen to you though.

You are correct on this and I've seen these cards myself on my field tech work (and those adapters are RIDICULOUSLY easy to damage) but this guy was saying that ANY card with a DV-I output can have a regular DV-I splitter would always create two different signals. The guy even went around with me for ten minutes over this up until I pawned him off on a co-worker to help someone else. Afterwards he came up to me and said "I hope you learned something today" and the only thing that popped into my mind (not said mind you) was "yeah, you're a living lesson of why not to argue with an idiot".

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