Employees are supposed to treat their customers nicely in order to get them to return, right? Well, that’s not something these workers learned in their training! Customers on Quora share what an entitled employee did to make them never want to return to a store. Content has been edited for clarity.
Fire That Employee, Please
“I was accompanying my mum at the jeweler’s (she was looking for a gift for my cousin’s wedding) and witnessed an exchange between the store employee and an elderly gentleman dressed in clothes that were a bit shabby. He couldn’t speak the language very well and was stuttering a bit. He may not have been local. At first, he patiently waited for assistance by the help desk. The two unoccupied helpers behind the counter pretended not to notice him and continued their conversation. Finally, at the glare of their supervisor, one of them, a young assistant reluctantly approached him to offer help.
She showed him several pieces. The guy seemed a bit confused at the feel and weight of the gold pendants. He muttered something about them being overpriced. The employee was getting fed up because the guy wanted to take a look at each piece before making up his mind.
After a while, he narrowed the search to three but couldn’t seem to make up his mind. Now I don’t fully understand why the attendant was getting impatient; it was her job after all and there were few customers at that time of day. The guy took a while to decide. Then he gave up and asked to check a different pair behind the counter.
The employee finally snapped and said something along the lines of, “If you can’t afford to buy these, please stop wasting my time.”
I think the old guy didn’t understand because he repeated his request again politely. She rolled her eyes and shook her head, ‘Idiots’ she muttered. Then the assistant rang for security to walk the guy out. The poor man looked even more confused when he was told to leave and was taken out.
I wasn’t going to stand for that. And neither did my mum. She stared daggers at the employee who dropped the stuff she was planning to buy and said, ‘I’m not purchasing your goods if you can’t afford a decent level of respect to all your customers.’
The supervisor came out to see what happened and while the employee hastily justified her actions, I interrupted and told the supervisor she was being rude to the old guy who, by now had already left the store with the officer. My mum insisted they cancel her purchases. We got our refund and left the place while the supervisor apologized and offered vouchers or some nonsense. But we didn’t accept.
Outside we found the old guy and with a bit of luck understood he was looking for a brooch or pendant to give his wife for their anniversary. We gave him directions to a different jeweler’s and bade goodbye.
A year or so later, I found out that the store had closed down because someone found out half the stuff they were selling were fakes and lodged a complaint to the authorities. I guess the old man was right after all.”
Making A Wrong Assumption
“It gets very cold in Michigan, and I have a very large, down-filled winter coat. It’s somewhat hideous, but it’s very warm.
Apparently, coats like mine are great for shoplifting. You simply place a hole in the pockets and drop items that you’ve casually picked up and drop them to the bottom of the coat as you shop/steal. It’s difficult to tell that you have stolen anything because the coat itself is so large.
I was shopping in a card shop a while back and the saleswoman there accused me of shoplifting, because of my coat. When I was at the register to pay for ALL of my items, she asked me if I would also like to pay for the items inside my coat as well.
I smiled and I gently laughed and asked her, ‘Are you kidding me?’
I told her I was a shop owner myself and I would never steal anything from anyone.
She looked at me in a slightly disgusted way and rolled her eyes. ‘Oh. So that’s how it’s going to be!’
She didn’t ask me about my store or attempt to apologize. She just stared at me. Hmm… I thought.
I had quite numerous items I did want to buy, and I had been quite a regular customer there for some time. I was beyond insulted, but I understood her frustration, even though I was shocked.
I took off my coat, gently put it on the counter, and opened my purse.
‘Would you care to inspect my belongings?’ I said in a calm and polite way.
She patted down my coat and glanced in my rather small purse. She then slid my coat over and without apologizing, began to ring up my items.
I let her ring up everything, staring back at her silently as I waited for an apology. Nothing.
I didn’t reach in my purse to pay. Instead, I pushed the items back at her gently and I told her, ‘I’m sorry but I’ve changed my mind. Not about the items, I still want them, but I think I’ll take my business elsewhere, where my business is appreciated. There are lots of stores, exactly like yours.’
And I left. And I held my head up without shame or anger. But what I really felt was hurt.
I went a few miles down the street to another shop that offered the exact same items and I left that store with all of them. The bill was well over $100.00.
I understand shoplifting is a problem, but honesty is not. I gave the first woman every opportunity to make the situation right, but I really felt that she did owe me an apology. I didn’t think that it was too much to ask for, considering the insulting way that she had treated me in her store.
I give all of my business now to the other shop owner. Yes, it’s a bit further to drive, but I feel I’d rather go without than give the first shop owner even one dime of my hard-earned money. In my opinion, there is no reason, whatsoever, to treat anyone like that.”
She Had No Idea Who She Was Talking To
“I needed a new mouse for my computer. Not just any mouse, but a wired mouse that was very accurate in order to work with a particular photo editing program. My regular mouse had a bit of a delay and was not working the way I required it to. Well, the first store I went to was out of stock so I had to drive across town to another store and I found the type of mouse I was looking for. It just happened to be on a Saturday night, less than one hour before the store was due to close. As a result, the staff was busy putting the new price tags up for the Sunday ad that started the next morning.
After finding the mouse I needed, I noticed it was on sale for half price, score! So I took it to the register. I also picked up a pack of batteries and a few more things. The cashier rang it up and the price was well over $80 and more than double what I was expecting. I then told the employee the mouse was on sale for less than $30. He then walked over to the item on the shelf and pointed to the tag where the dates stated the sale starts tomorrow. Well, I knew this was incorrect for several reasons. First, in my state, the law says the price the item is marked at is the price you pay regardless of the dates. Second, the companies’ policy is the employees are not supposed to put the new prices out until the store has closed, but this group was trying to get ahead of the game so they could go home sooner. Third, the companies’ policy is if a price is displayed incorrectly the customer gets the lower price and the dates are only there to tell them when to put up and remove the tags. Finally, I knew all of this because I had been a manager at that company and managed that exact same store for three years. However, by this time the staff had completely turned over and no one there knew who I was.
When I told the cashier he needed to honor the lower price, he just told me there was nothing he could do and I should come back tomorrow or I could pay full price. I then asked to speak with the manager. Well, a young girl with ‘assistant manager’ on her name tag came over and told me again the sale started the next day and they couldn’t change the price of the computer. Again, I knew from experience this was incorrect and I suggested they get in contact with the actual manager.
I was then told he was on vacation and would be back in a week. Again I knew this was incorrect as when a manager does go on vacation, a manager from another store is placed ‘on call’ if there are any questions or concerns the staff is unable to answer. At this point, I was about ready to identify myself and inform them as to why I knew their companies policies better than they did, but this is when things took a turn. The young lady with the assistant manager’s name tag on told me if I paid her in cash, she would sell it to me for the price on the tag and she could then ring it up in the morning when the price changed. I could come in later that day and pick up my receipt.
Now we were in a completely different ballpark. She just committed several errors in that one sentence. First, you never tell a customer you are going to give them a better price for paying in cash, at least not at this company. Second, this meant she would have to leave undocumented cash in the register overnight, again a big no-no. Finally, it also meant she could have pocketed that cash and there would be no record of it other than a discrepancy in the inventory if I never came back for that receipt the next day. The number of ethic violations in that one sentence was amazing, but it didn’t stop there.
By this point, I decided it was best not to identify myself and my previous position with the company and just let her dig her own hole. I should point out I was planning on paying with a debit card and only had about $10 in cash in my wallet. I made the argument to her a debit card is the same as cash. This is actually company policy. I also told her she should just modify the price in the computer, as this was state law. She said she would get in trouble if she did that. I asked her to call another store’s manager to get approval, again quoting company policy, hoping she would figure out her error and maybe she was dealing with someone that had a clue. She flat out said she was not going to do that and she wasn’t going to do anything that would get her in trouble. At this point, I had enough. I told her she was already in trouble. She told me she didn’t see how. I just left the merchandise on the counter and walked out.
On Monday morning, I called the district office and told them I needed to speak with the district manager regarding an ethics violation. Turns out he was in the field visiting other stores, but they would have him call me ASAP. Well, I got a call back within 30 minutes. I explained to the district manager what happened and who I had spoken to on Saturday night. Also, at this point, I identified myself as a previous manager with the company and at that exact store. The district manager was in shock after I explained what happened, and he agreed with me, I should have received the price as marked.
The assistant manager was incorrect, she would get in trouble if she changed the price. She did have a manager she could and should have called if there was any doubt about a company policy. However, asking for cash in order to get a lower price was a major violation and could be considered a criminal offense. The district manager was also in agreement I should not have identified myself as a previous manager. His concern was if she had made this type of offer to me as just a regular customer, it was possible she was doing the same thing to other customers as well.
At this point, I don’t know what happened between her and the district manager, but about a month later I saw her again working at another retail store. Part of me was feeling a bit guilty as I likely caused her to lose her job, but then again maybe she learned something very valuable about working in retail. At least she landed on her feet and found something rather quickly.”
That Is Not A Good Back-Up Plan
“A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I went grocery shopping at an extremely well-known supermarket chain. Because of current events and our ages, we’re both apprehensive about being out in public, so we masked up, grabbed two carts, and split up in order to get in and out as quickly as possible. We shopped separately and met at the checkout.
The associate checking us out was friendly and efficient. Things were going smoothly until the very last item: A chicken. Apparently, there was no price sticker, so the cashier sent a colleague to the back of the store to check. My husband had already entered our loyalty number and inserted and removed his credit card as instructed. He and I agreed he should make his way to the car with the rest of the groceries to minimize his risk.
When the colleague finally returned (after at least five minutes), he went into the cashier’s plexi-glassed compartment to ring up the chicken. He clearly was struggling and after another five minutes, asked me to move to the adjacent register so as not to inconvenience others. He spent several more minutes trying to figure out what to do, and then left to confer with a ‘higher-up.’
She and he whispered to each other for a while and then told me we needed to return all of our groceries so they could re-ring them. Apparently, in the process of trying to ring up the $5 chicken, the colleague had voided out the entire $225 sale.
I was not happy. We were now officially into 20 minutes at the checkout. I told them we were not going to bring all our groceries back in from the car and they needed to come up with a Plan B. They told me this was Plan B. I asked if I could speak to someone more senior and they said there wasn’t anyone more senior. I suggested they ring up the total purchase amount of $225 + the chicken, and they told me that was unacceptable because they wouldn’t get “any credit for the items” we purchased.
So, we went to our car, put all the groceries back in the cart, returned to the store, and left our items for them to restock and/or trash.
I went to a different chain the next morning and haven’t stepped back in any of the first chain’s stores since. They probably don’t care one whit, but it makes me feel better.”
Writing Down The Wrong Address Was An Honest Mistake
“When I was 16 years old, I ordered delivery from a local sandwich shop for a late-night dinner after work. Gave the lady who took the order my address, and she told me the driver would be there in roughly 45 minutes. About an hour later, I got a phone call from the driver because he couldn’t find our house. The house number had four digits, but the address he was reading off the ticket only had three digits. Okay. No big deal. I gave him the correct address.
He arrived at my door 10 minutes later and without blinking said, ‘Those new idiots they hired at the shop wrote the wrong address down.’
We lived on a fairly busy street, which immediately became a factor as the paper-wrapped food I hurled into the middle of it was pulverized by two lanes of passing traffic. The delivery guy just stood there stupefied as, without further comment, I slammed the front door in his face.
I called the shop and got the assistant manager and told him what happened. He told me the manager was headed back from an errand and he’d have him call me as soon as he got back. As we were getting off the phone, he kind of laughed and said, ‘This isn’t going to end well for that driver.’
Five minutes later, another phone call. The manager told me the guy just called in and he fired him over the phone, and he’d be happy to run another sandwich over to me for no charge. By that time, I just wasn’t hungry anymore, but I definitely let the manager know I didn’t blame the restaurant for the fact that their driver was a moron.”
“Attitude Is Everything”
“I collect 70s and 90s-era NASCAR diecast cars (the Hot Wheels-size 1:64 scale cars), and I overwhelmingly buy them at flea markets, because the hunt is half the fun.
I was in this indoor section of an amazing flea market in White Post, Virginia, with my son, who was probably four or five at the time. He wanted something, so we decided to stop at this one particular booth where I wanted to spend money. It had a ton of cars I could add to my collection, and I had some serious money to spend. They also had a bunch of other Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, so I figured we’d find something for him as well. Before we got to the booth in question, I gave him $5.00 and showed him how to look for price tags $5 or under, and I stood back to watch him find his own toy.
He walked up to the booth with money clearly visible in hand, and in his four or five-year-old way, he said, ‘Do you have anything for me?;
The woman in the booth looked down at the money in his hand, then looked him square in the eye and said, ‘I don’t just give toys away to kids.’
No ‘Hello, no how are you,’ zero customer service. Despite seeing a $5 bill in his hand, she apparently assumed he was looking for a handout. A freebie.
I walked up beside him and said, ‘I saw you look right at the money in his hand. You can see he’s looking to spend it.’
‘He didn’t ask to buy something. He asked if I had anything to give him,’ she tried to defend herself.
‘I stood right there by that other booth (note: another NASCAR booth two spots away) and heard exactly what he said. You just lost two customers in one shot,’ I told her.
I took my son to the other NASCAR booth, had him select a car for himself, and then proceeded to drop $300 of my money plus $3 of his $5 at that second booth, in full view of the woman at the first booth.
After our transaction, my son and I walked over to that first booth where I placed the bag chock-full of cars on her counter, looked at her scowling face, and said, ‘This could’ve been your sale. Attitude is everything.’
At 12, my son still has the car he bought prominently displayed.”
Why Did She Treat Him Like That?
“I went into an antique store in Spokane one day with my family. There were signs on the door saying they bought used items. A man walked in and politely asked the clerk if they took used appliances.
She very rudely told him, ‘No! We don’t buy junk!’
He then inquired as to what items they did buy. She told him the store didn’t buy things. He said, ‘But what about the sign on the door?’
Mind you, he was being polite and seemed befuddled that she was so rude to him, and he never got nasty or rude with her.
The guy looked like he was down on his luck. He didn’t look homeless, but he looked like he was in a bad financial situation and he had his kids (and I assume wife) with him and this rude lady was treating him like garbage. She didn’t act like she actually knew him, but I could be mistaken since he did not seem the least bit familiar, but I got the impression she was judging him and being a bully because he looked poor.
I decided to try to be helpful, and I mentioned to the guy I saw a store down the street that said it bought used appliances. I started describing the location and signage when the clerk turned to me and snapped, ‘Shut up! I can take care of my own customers!’
Then she turned to the guy and said, “Get out!”
He looked taken aback and I thought he was going to cry for a moment. He politely nodded to me & thanked me and left. I glared at the lady a few more seconds before calling out to my family and said, ‘Let’s get out of here, we’re not going to buy anything from this rude brat!’
The woman gasped in surprise, and my parents and brother all filed over and saw me having a glare-off with her. They then filed out of the store and I told the woman I was going to make sure to do a review of her shop online and tell everyone about what a rude person she is and make sure none of our friends or any of my blog readers ever went there. My parents had been about to buy something from there, but they decided it wasn’t worth it. When I told them what she said, my mother wanted to go back in and yell at her, but I said it wasn’t worth it and we could shop somewhere else.
I no longer remember the name of the shop, but I still remember the look on that lady’s face. She was no longer trying to glare and actually looked worried.”
It’s Time They Were Fired
“I was in an expensive menswear shop (a privately owned boutique, not a franchise) wanting to buy a new suit. I was dressed casually in jeans and a polo shirt (no brand names) but was clean and presentable. The clerks were busy on their iPhones and gossiping.
When I asked for help, one just said they had nothing in my size, without even asking my size! So I felt judged, and they were implying I was beneath the attention of these clerks.
So I said, ‘How would you know that – my size wasn’t mentioned in your last 15 minutes of gossip and it’s not on your iPhone either?’
Then they told me to leave as they didn’t have to serve rude customers!! I was livid, so I wrote a long complaint to the owner, who called and offered me a personal fitting and discount. I agreed as long as those two weren’t there when I came in. He said he had fired them for bad attitude — similar complaints had been made by other customers as well. Unbelievable!”
That’s A Dramatic Jump
“I was at a Walmart 20+ years ago. I’d just been paid, my cupboards were bare, and there were some extra home items I’d been saving for I wanted to pick up.
I loaded up my cart and had about $150 worth of stuff to go through the till. My card got declined on the first try, but instead of just running it again, the person at the till called security and accused me of committing fraud. I was mortified she’d reached the conclusion I was trying to commit fraud, especially when I know the card readers can be weird if the card is scanned too quickly or too slowly or if the network is experiencing any issues. I knew the money was there, I knew my card had worked fine in another business less than an hour before, but as far as she was concerned I was a criminal trying to rob Walmart.
If not for the fact I really needed the groceries in the cart, I would have just stormed out in anger. Security was pretty much doing nothing but standing by, waiting for me to throw a punch or grab the cart and run. I calmly asked them to hold the cart for five minutes while I went to the nearest ATM. I left and returned with cash five minutes later, and my cart was gone.
I counted the $200 cash in front of her, asked for my cart to be retrieved, and she still refused. She called security again and told them to remove me from the store. I asked why she needed to be so awkward about the situation. I asked for her apology, as I clearly wasn’t a thief, as I’d now provided three forms of payment including cash, which she’d refused. I promised I’d be getting in touch with Walmart over how she handled it and then I left, empty-handed.”
Ma’am, That’s None Of Your Business
“My son’s third birthday was coming up, and I was looking for a bakery to do his cake.
His party was being held in a restaurant, so I was looking for a bakery nearby. I found one, two blocks away. It had good reviews, and I wanted to go see what their cakes and stuff tasted like before I ordered from them.
My son and I walked in on a Tuesday afternoon, and the owner was there with two other workers.
We walked around, and I started asking the owner some questions about how much notice they needed for a cake, what flavors they had, pricing for certain designs. My son got antsy and started to cry, so, I picked him up.
The owner looked at me like I had worms crawling out of my nose.
Owner: ‘You pick him up when he cries?’
Me: ‘Well, yeah. Why wouldn’t I?’
Owner: ‘Don’t you think he’s a little old to be coddled by you? He’ll never grow up if you keep treating him like that.’
Me: ‘He’s not even three, he has Autism, and he gets anxious in unfamiliar situations. I’m trying to calm him down so we can have a conversation. I came in here to possibly order his birthday cake, not get parenting advice. Thank you for your time.”
Her mouth was wide open.
We walked out, and I ended up getting a cake somewhere else that was awesome.
I just couldn’t comprehend why she thought I should let my toddler son cry in the middle of her store AND she called ME out??