Some stores leave lasting impressions that keep customers coming back for more. While these places have established trust in the community, there are also places that not only leave bad tastes in the mouths of customers but drive them to never want to set foot in that establishment again. In these stores, former customers reveal the moment they knew they would never shop at a certain store.
All stories have been edited for clarity.
Bee You Never!
“When I was around 8 years old, my mom and I were finishing some of our grocery shopping at a local Aldi grocery store. We were in the checkout lane unloading the items from the cart onto the belt when I got stung by a bee that got inside.
Now many of you may think no big deal it was just a bee, right?
We soon found out that day that I am deathly allergic to bees.
After I was stung, I immediately started having trouble breathing. My mom panicked and asked the cashier to call 911.
This was before cell phones became so easily available that everybody and their kid had one. My mom certainly couldn’t afford one at the time. My memory of events from that moment on are a little fuzzy but I certainly heard enough about it over the years.
Apparently, the cashier said she would need authorization from the manager to use the store’s phone. The cashier paged the store manager who took ages to crawl out from the back of the store. He took one look at me, struggling to breathe, my mother crying, and refused to call an ambulance. When my mother demanded to know why the store manager said I angered the bee by swatting at it.
I most certainly did not. Before I was stung, I heard my mom tell me not to move because there was a bee buzzing around me. My mother knew I disliked them and would have freaked out, but not only had I listened to her, but I was helping my mother unload the cart.
So my mom had to leave our half-unloaded cart of food behind and drive me to the nearest hospital as I continued to struggle to breathe. It took my mom two years to pay off the hospital bill that came from that incident.
I never set foot inside another Aldi again.”
“Not Our Problem”
“In 2004, I bought cell phones for my husband and myself for Christmas. We had a three-year family plan contract with the service provider.
Well, unfortunately, my husband passed away seven months later. I called the service provider, explained the situation, and asked if I could switch to a one-person contract. Now, this was naive of me, I know, but I was new to the world of cellphone contracts.
The representative I spoke to turned me down in the coldest way possible. I could not believe how rude she was.
‘That’s not our problem. You signed up, and you pay. No exceptions.’
I was stuck paying for a phone I didn’t need and wouldn’t be using, and for its service for the rest of the term of the contract.
Near the end of the contract, I got a call from a very nice lady on behalf of the provider, inviting me to renew my contract with them. When I told her I would swallow ground glass before I ever dealt with her company again, the woman audibly gasped before asking why.
I told her what had happened when I tried to change my contract. Upon hearing the news, the woman was extremely unapologetic and said, ‘That’s not our policy…I don’t know who you dealt with before, but they were wrong!’
At that point, I thanked her for her kindness, but I pointed out that it obviously only came into play when her company wanted something from me. When I needed something from them, I was treated very rudely and dismissively.
I told her the wrong answer was bad enough, coming from someone who should have known the right answer. If the company’s customer service agents felt confident to treat people like that, they had much bigger problems than an employee who didn’t know what their ‘deceased customer’ policy was.
I told her it wasn’t so much the contract issue that had upset me, although I did resent having to pay for service for a dead man for nearly two and a half years. It was that ‘Not our problem’ that had really pissed me off, but I remembered those every time I used my phone.
The representative tried to talk me around, but I didn’t change my mind. It was eight years before I bought another cell phone, and I made sure I chose a different service provider.”
Out Of This World
‘This happened years ago and I still refuse to go to Planet Fitness.
I signed up for a basic membership with my wife. We usually went every day. After some time passed, my wife learned about the black card membership which came with a tanning room, massage bed, and all the good stuff.
I think the black card membership was around $25 bucks at the time. My wife signed up for it and told me I should too, so I thought why not?
I called and told the representative from Planet Fitness I wanted to switch my regular membership to the black card. The representative was very helpful. At first, I thought everything went fine, but a year later I almost had a heart attack when I reviewed my bank statements.
While looking over my bank account, I noticed two charges from Planet Fitness every month. One was showing up for ten dollars, and another charge was for $25 dollars. I called and didn’t hold back any frustration about the discovery I made. After doing some research, it turned out that the employee that helped me switch memberships decided to make a whole new account for me rather than actually change my membership.
I asked for a manager, but she was, ‘Out but will be back in about 20 minutes.’
So exactly 20 minutes later, I called and ask for the manager.
This time, the representative said, ‘Oh sorry, she just walked out the door. She’ll be back tomorrow.’
This back-and-forth nightmare when on for days. Finally, I called and the manager answered so she couldn’t get away. I explained what happened and asked for a refund because they made a big mistake. The manager paused on the phone and then told me she ‘couldn’t do it’ and I asked why.
‘Because you said it was over the phone but it shows the account was created online.’
‘Excuse me? That’s not correct at all.’ I was beyond upset.
The manager and I argued for a while before she said, ‘Well because you did it in the store do you remember who helped you?’
Her story just changed completely. I lost it at this point. I had been on the phone for an hour and it felt like I was talking to a brick wall.
Finally, I said ‘You know what, I don’t even care about my refund anymore. You guys scammed me out of over a hundred bucks and refuse to do anything about it. Just cancel both of my accounts.’
That’s when the manager suddenly had the audacity to tell me, ‘Okay that’s fine. It will just be a sixty-dollar early termination fee.’
‘Like hell it will!’ I yelled into the phone. ‘I’m not paying that!’
The manager then nonchalantly told me the fee was non-negotiable. I told her I could come down to the store and negotiate it. It wasn’t quite a threat, but I knew my anger was pretty reaching. All of a sudden, the manager said, ‘Okay I’ll just waive those fees for you.’
‘Oh, you’re damn right you will,’ I retorted.
It really makes me wonder how many other people have been scammed by this company. After that situation, I will never go to Planet Fitness.”
The Gift Of A Lifetime
“Years ago we purchased a bed from a furniture company about 90 minutes from our home.
A few months later, we got an invitation card from that store. It was a sketchy envelope, but it said we were among the select few to win their sweepstakes! The instructions on the invitation simply said to bring in the card to collect the reward.
So we drove back to the store the following day. My husband waited in the truck while I rushed inside. I approached one of the salesmen who took my invitation, compared it to a list at the desk, and loudly exclaimed, ‘You won a new car!’
I was so excited I was on the verge of tears. I sucked in a huge breath and started to shriek and dance around in the store. Everyone was staring at me with wide confused eyes. I knew how ridiculous I must have looked, but I didn’t care. I was super stoked and in the moment!
That wasn’t until the salesman started laughing uncontrollably. He interrupted me and said, ‘Ma’am I was only kidding! You actually won a coffee cup!’
Everyone in that busy store was still staring at me. The salesman continued laughing right in my face. I was so humiliated I started to cry, the excitement is completely gone.
The salesman didn’t even apologize. He just handed me a cheap ceramic coffee mug and walked away.
I got back in our truck, went to a food store, and picked up some groceries so it wasn’t a totally wasted trip.
If that had happened nowadays, I’d be demanding a car. It was a rotten thing for that jerk to do, especially in front of so many people.
I never set foot in any of their stores again.”
Show Me The Money
Western Union put a really bad taste in my mouth one time.
I was going to pay for a summer camp for my granddaughter. We lived 900 miles away from each other. This all happened before all the tech that makes money transfers very easy. I set off for Western Union to send my daughter the cash.
My daughter went to pick up her money at the appointed time. On this particular day, she chose a grocery store for picking up the Western Union money. The store manager wouldn’t release the funds to my daughter even though she had all the proper identification.
He gave some crappy excuse and said they didn’t give money that was wired from out of state.
Not only was he full of it, but if I had been in the same state, I would have driven it to my daughter on my own. So, I called and talked to the store manager.
I asked how he got away with this since he was just a middleman, and that I wanted her money released now. The store manager, however, was very condescending, and told me since I had called he’d release the funds to her, which he did immediately.
I called him again later and read him the Riot Act. I then told him I had every intention of finding out how often he did this and kept the money. The store manager never tried to contact me to discuss the problem.
I called his district manager, regional manager, and the manager who oversaw the entire northeast. It turned out I was right. He’d been stealing the money he wouldn’t turn over. I know the store manager of the grocery store was the true criminal, but Western Union should have had more security measures set in place in my opinion. I just did bank transfers after that.”
Wasn’t Part Of The Deal
“Just before Christmas of 1991, my husband and I went to a San Antonio furniture store so I could pick out a rocker recliner. The store advertised a special deal that involved no payments or interest for the first six months. We were excited to qualify for the special offer. Being fairly financially savvy, it was my plan to set aside a certain amount of money each month, and when the first bill came due in six months, I would pay the entire balance, thus avoiding the crazy interest that would have accumulated.
A month went by, and one day I received a bill in the mail from a company I was not familiar with. I called the number to find out who they were, and why I was receiving a bill from them. They explained that the furniture store ‘sold’ my financed purchase to them. Because of that, I now had to pay THEM for the recliner, not the furniture store.
When I explained to them I had a six months, no-payments, no-interest deal, my anger only intensified. The statement I received in the mail indicated I owed my first payment by the end of the current month.
The third-party company told me that I may have qualified for that special deal with the furniture store, but I didn’t meet THEIR requirements!
Being the angry customer that I was, I made a plan that would turn the new lender upside down. On the exact day, the first payment was due, I walked into the ‘lender’s’ office exactly fifteen minutes prior to closing. I brought along a bag filled with unrolled pennies and a huge stack of crisp new one-dollar bills.
I presented my statement to the cashier and indicated to her that I wanted to make a payment on my account. She asked how much I would be paying, and I told her the entire balance. She asked if I had written out my check, and I answered that I would be paying in cash today.
I then hoisted the bag up onto the counter and proceeded to empty the bag all over the countertop. Her eyes grew big, and she quickly summoned her boss over to her window. The boss stammered his way through his shock, vehemently insisting that I didn’t NEED to pay so much today.
‘We are absolutely fine with me making monthly payments,’ the supervisor insisted.
‘No, thank you,’ I replied, ‘I am paying this account in full today, and I will wait right here while you count this money to make sure payment was made in full.’
‘But we are closing in less than fifteen minutes,’ the supervisor responded.
‘That’s okay,’ I replied, ‘I’m sure you’ll make sure you’re finished counting this money by then, and I’m fine with waiting until you have given me a receipt to show my account has been paid off.’
I went on to explain how I wasn’t told my loan with them. I was informed the ‘six months, no payment/ no interest’ deal would no longer be honored when the loan was sold. I am paying this in full today to prevent your company from making any money from me because of their ruthless practices. Likewise, the furniture store would no longer be getting any business from me, and I intended to discourage others from shopping there, as well!
I waited until I was given a receipt showing my account was paid in full. Then I did just what I’d said by never, ever setting foot in that furniture store again.
That furniture store is no longer in business. I wonder why…”
Money’s No Good
“Back in early 2020, right when the pandemic was starting to shut things down, my roommate and I were tight on money.
We were both ‘pack a day’ smokers. It was a terrible habit that was expensive, no doubt. We also had a car that only liked to work sometimes. Every month when we got paid, we would walk to the closest convenience store, and buy one carton each, along with loose tobacco and empty cigarette tubes for the entire month.
Given our newfound free time with things shutting down, we ended up smoking more than usual. We still had tobacco but ran out of tubes. So we scrounged up every coin we could find.
We mostly had pennies but it had to do. We counted it all up and had enough for 99 cent cigars and a booklet of rolling papers. I walked down to that same convenience store and when the cashier saw how I was going to pay, he refused the sale. I had come to know this man and his sons who worked there by name and was not only dumbfounded but offended as well.
‘No sale, no pennies,’ he repeated in a heavy accent.
‘What? You won’t sell me these because my money isn’t good enough for you?’ I snapped.
‘Too many pennies,’ the man repeated, pointing at the door for me to leave.
‘You mean to tell me that even though I come in here and spend thousands of dollars, know your name, your son’s names, and you know mine and my roommates, that you won’t make a three-dollar sale because a dollar of it is in pennies?’
‘Yes. You leave now.’ The man said, waving me away like a pest.
‘Well then, if that’s how you see things you can kindly go screw yourself!’ I was furious as I left the store.
I swore to myself no matter what I would never shop there again, even if it meant walking an extra ten minutes every day. I spread that story far and wide across our small town and within the year they closed their doors. Most likely due to the pandemic, but I like to imagine that my story played at least some part in it.”
Even The Dog
“Several years ago in California, I did some shopping around in Petco for my pets. Another customer’s dog peed on the floor. The employee assured the customer it was ok and not to worry.
I had a warm feeling watching how courteous the employee was toward the customer.
Now fast forward a couple of weeks. I was making a delivery as a truck driver to the Petco warehouse that supplied that same location. I was told I could not use the restroom. I was expected to walk around to find a neighboring warehouse willing to let me use theirs because the Petco restrooms were for Petco employees only.
Yes, I did complain to a supervisor at the warehouse, my dispatcher, the local store I had been shopping at, and anyone else that mentioned Petco in my hearing.
No, I did not get any feedback from Petco.
I was not a scruffy truck driver. I was always polite and in clean neat attire when I made my deliveries.
From that point, I refused to shop at a company that believed I have less rights and manners than a dog that pees on the floor.”