Aren’t workers supposed to treat customers with respect? After all, they’re what keeps stores in business! That’s a lesson these employees have clearly missed. Customers on Quora reveal the rude things workers have actually said to them. Content has been edited for clarity.
Good Thing She Called Back
“I’m the librarian at a small school with a very small book budget. Last year, I set up an Amazon account for my library so I could make a wishlist for my parents. I have not, as yet, made a purchase myself on that account.
Sometime this spring, I logged out of my school Amazon account. When I tried to log back in, I had some trouble with the password. No problem — I’ll just reset the password. Except, when I tried to reset the password, I discovered I made a typo on my email when setting up the account. Since the only way to reset the password was to have a message sent to my email (which did not exist since I made the typo), I could not access my account on which I had several carefully curated lists, including a ‘private’ list of books which had been purchased for me and was not visible without having the password. So, I called customer service. The lady I talked to informed me I had a ‘shell’ account, it could not be accessed, and I should just make another account. By this time I am practically in tears since it took a very long time to put those lists together. The customer service lady was not very sympathetic and suggested I add a few books at a time to the new account as I had time. I knew I could not possibly be the first person who made a mistake when setting up an Amazon account, so I asked her if she could transfer me to someone else.
‘No, you can’t access the account without the email,’ I was told.
She finally agreed to ‘talk to someone else,’ but she put me on hold for under 30 seconds, then told me there was nothing to be done. It was obvious she was not interested in helping me find a way into my account. I hung up in frustration and started to set up a new account. That is when I remembered the private lists.
Deciding I had nothing left to lose, I tried calling customer service again. The person who answered the second time spent about half an hour helping me access the account. Unlike the first person, she asked me for the phone number associated with the account (the school number, not the cell phone I was calling from) then called that number to confirm I was the account holder. You can’t have two accounts with the same email, so she had me change the email for the new account to one of my personal email addresses so she could reset the original account with the correct address. She was incredibly helpful. Once everything was set, she suggested I buy something that was ‘free’ or under a dollar so they could also access my account through the method of payment. It pays to call back.”
Why Didn’t She Put Her Supervisor On?
“One time, I was getting an eye exam. This was one of those places where if you bought glasses, the exam was free. My prescription didn’t change, so I didn’t want to buy glasses. I finished the exam and the place was kind of busy. I went up to a counter and asked to pay for the exam. I was told ‘Bob'(not his name) would be with me shortly as the girl pointed to a person. Now, Bob was in the middle of helping someone who had several pairs of glasses out and was asking about different insurance options, etc. There was no way he would be done shortly.
The girl behind the counter walked away before I could say anything to her. I assume they wanted to try to sell me things before I could pay for the exam. I had a good book with me I was eager to read, so I sat in a chair close to Bob’s station and set to read.
He looked over at me and nearly snarled, ‘I will be with you later, we are busy today.’
It wasn’t the words, it was the tone. He was walking away from the woman he was helping, so I said to him politely (yes, I was polite) ‘I just need to pay for an exam.’
I said it so he would know he wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time with me. I truly did not expect him to interrupt his time with the customer for me, but he said, ‘I just need to help paying customers actually buying something.’
He said it very loudly, so the whole store could hear. I stood up and said, ‘I just wanted you to know so you wouldn’t have to worry about the length of time I would take, but as I most definitely will never be coming back here, I would like to pay now.’
I said it fairly calmly and the girl who had walked away earlier came rushing over to have me check out.
The next time was by far the worst. My father passed away. I had his mail forwarded to me and I got a bill for a safety deposit box renewal, but I had no idea where. The paper only said the bank, which was a national chain. I called the bank customer service line asking what they needed to determine what they needed from me to give me information about the box.
The woman asked me what box the branch was at. I told her I didn’t know and that was why I was calling her. She asked if I had any idea. I said there were several potential places as my father had been in the army and I had no idea when and where he had opened it.
She told me I had to go to any place I thought might house the box, ask if it was there, and then call them back for further instructions. I said that wouldn’t work, not only because I wasn’t going to drive around at random across the country, but also because a bank cannot tell me about another person’s accounts without certain documentation, and one reason I was calling was to find out if a death certificate was sufficient or I needed something else. She said she had no idea and to start driving.
This went back and forth for a while before I asked to speak to her supervisor. She started to panic and said I would be told the same thing. I asked again. She started shouting.
I then began saying over and over, ‘Can I speak to your supervisor? Please transfer me to your supervisor.’
She said they would listen to the call logs on this. I told her I had absolutely no problem with that, as I had not said anything wrong. I asked for a supervisor. She hung up.
I called back and the person I got apologized profusely and told me that I all needed to do was to go to ANY branch of their bank with the death certificate and they could tell me where the box was.”
What Was That Guy Thinking?
“Decades ago I moved from Pennsylvania to Alaska. I sold everything I owned except for a few boxes that I shipped via UPS, paid down all my debt except $250.00 on a credit card I used to pay for my wedding.
So when I moved, I filed my change of address with the post office, and I called the three companies I still had accounts with. Everyone said that my information was updated. Cool, let’s fly to Alaska!
Now I spent a month scrambling to set up a household, find a job, learn how to be an Army spouse with a constantly deployed husband. Time passed. Quickly. Extremely, blink and you missed a month, quickly. A month turned into two.
In the back of my mind, I was thinking, ‘I need to pay on my credit card. I wonder when I am getting my statement?’ This thought crossed my mind often as I checked the mail and had nothing.
Eventually, I called the credit card company, asked if they had my correct information (they did), but they had turned off my card because I used it once in another state, and I had not told them I was traveling. I did not verify the charge via the letter or phone call they sent to my old address and phone number, so all communication was stopped.
I was baffled. I said ‘Well, I was not traveling, I moved. Before I moved, I gave you my new address and phone number, which you have just verified.’
The service guy has no answer other than that maybe the fraud department did not update their records at the same time billing did. This was a time long before online account servicing, and many other modern streamlining innovations.
So I was still very confused, and then things went south for me in a most colossal way. The service guy went full bill collector on me.
Him: ‘Do you enjoy not paying your bills?’
Me: ‘Uhm, what? I am trying to get my statement and pay you. I called you!‘
Him: ‘Well, your account has not been paid in 2 months, and with all of the fees and interest the total is $850.00’
Me: ‘Uhm, How is that possible, There was only $250.00 on the card originally, plus the $30.00 charge I made when I first arrived in the state. And the card only had a $500.00 limit!’
The conversation did not get better before we resolved the whole situation a few days later. I paid all of the ludicrous over charges and quit the card company. Apparently, the service rep was authorized to collect their debt “any way possible, as quickly as possible” according to the company.
Live and learn I suppose.
What Was Her Deal?
“I had just arrived in Manila at 10 am after a flight. So knowing that my prebooked hotel check-in time was 2 pm, I didn’t rush and went for a coffee before taking a grab car to the hotel, arriving a little after noon. The hotel website said there was a coffee shop attached where guests who arrived early could grab lunch before checking in, but this seemed to be closed.
So as I entered the lobby, I approached the reception desk, which was manned by a sole receptionist who appeared engrossed in her paperwork. I knew I was too early for check-in, but just wanted somewhere to leave my bags whilst I went to the hotel’s rooftop restaurant for lunch, then to return to check-in at the allotted time. I approached the reception desk and the receptionist, she never looked up as I approached.
I said ‘Hello,’ still no reaction, still didn’t even lookup. My initial thought was it must be important paperwork and she could not risk a distraction, so I would give her a couple of minutes. However, a couple of minutes later, a departing guest approached the desk and she immediately greeted them and dealt with them, she then turned straight back to her paperwork. It was as if I had turned invisible and she could neither see nor hear me. I was stood less than three feet away from her yet she acted as though I just wasn’t even there.
I spoke up again, ‘Can you help me?’
Again there was no reaction at all, just continued flicking through her paperwork. At this point, a delivery driver arrived and approached the counter, stood immediately to my left side and she looked up, greeted him, and dealt with his delivery. As he left, she returned to the paperwork.
Had I entered the Twilight Zone, had I truly become invisible to her? Or was this the most unprofessional and rudest receptionist I had ever encountered? I was now fuming and pulled out my tablet and started to look up alternative hotels nearby. I had by this time been stood there for nearly half an hour, and totally ignored the whole time. At this point, the hotels’ restaurant manager entered the lobby, and I approached him and asked if I could have a quiet word. I explained the situation and he was mortified.
He took my bags and placed them safe behind the reception desk, and accompanied me to the rooftop restaurant, apologizing the whole way. I ordered a light lunch and whilst I was eating this the manager returned, my room was ready and he had completed the check-in procedure, When I finished lunch I would just have to collect the key from the receptionist, as my bags had already been transferred to my room.
To me, to be completely ignored as though you do not exist and yet deal professionally with other guests was just incredibly rude and unnecessary. I have no idea why I received this special form of treatment or why I was so blatantly ignored.
All the other staff in the hotel were super friendly and efficient, and my room couldn’t be faulted. it was a pity that what would have been an exceptional stay, was marred by the inaction of one member of staff.”
Come On, Morgan!
“My husband was on a phone call with Fidelity Investments. We had completed Fidelity’s forms to transfer some appreciated mutual fund shares to a charity. Three weeks later, Fidelity still had not executed the transfer. The value of the shares dropped significantly in those three weeks.
Then, Fidelity completed the transfer using the lowered share price. We wanted Fidelity to honor the share price as of the close of business on the day that we electronically filed, and they electronically confirmed receipt of, the necessary forms. We called Fidelity, and Morgan took our call.
According to Morgan, Fidelity was not required to use the closing share price from the day of the order, regardless of the length of time it takes them to process the order, if we give an order to transfer the funds. Morgan explained Fidelity does normally honor the share price at the close of the day when they receive an order to sell mutual fund shares, but they do not honor the share price at the close of the day when they receive an order to transfer mutual fund shares. We asked why.
Morgan explained if we had sold the shares, Fidelity would be required to use the closing share price from the day of the order regardless of the length of time it took them to process the order. She further claimed FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) does not require brokerages to use the mutual fund share price at the end of the day for transfers; it is only required for sales.
I asked her to email a copy of that FINRA requirement to me. She said she couldn’t.
I asked her to tell me the name of the FINRA rule or the Section Number of the Regulation that exempts transfers from the ‘close of business day pricing’ rule. She said she couldn’t.
I asked her for the name of someone who could.
She said there wasn’t anybody at Fidelity who could provide documentation of the FINRA Regulation that supported her claim.
I asked for her manager’s name and phone number. Morgan let out an exasperated noise and said, ‘There would be no point in telling you that. We won’t give you the FINRA regulation because you wouldn’t understand it anyway.‘
She refused my further requests to tell me regardless of whether I would understand it or not.
We are now in the process of divesting ourselves from Fidelity. And Morgan.”
Who Is This Doppelgänger?
“I had been involved in a car accident (the other party was at fault). It was required I take the car to the other party’s insurance assessor.
I was given an appointment but when I went to the desk to state my name before I could get a word out of my mouth the man behind the desk said, ‘You go sit over there and I don’t want to hear a word out of you!’
Startled and unsure of what was going on, I complied. When he eventually called my name, I stood up and it was his turn to look startled and unsure. He apologized to me, said there was another person who was a dead ringer for me and who had been in earlier and given loads of trouble and was due to return shortly. We went outside and he inspected my car and wrote down loads of things that were nothing to do with the accident.
I kept saying, ‘Oh that was already there,’ but he insisted it was exacerbated by the accident. He was obviously trying to make up for his earlier rude behavior. The person he had mistaken me for I never met, but felt the effects of their behavior for years.
There was the wife of the bartender, helping him out one evening, who shouted ‘You’ve been barred!’ when I walked in. Her husband said, ‘No, that’s the other one.’
Evidently, this person had been in the bar the previous evening, started a fight which almost became a riot, went outside, got on a motorcycle, and tried to ride it through the door. There were other instances as well. Now many years later I’m in a completely different country. One lunchtime at a café with my partner, a woman came up to me and accused me of cheating on my partner. She thought the person I was with was not my partner but someone I was having a fling with. Then she realized I was not the acquaintance she thought I was but a completely different person. I still wonder if this doppelgänger was a new one or the original one who had wound up in the same place as me.”
Losing Valuable Customers
“Back in 2013, I was visiting London for the first time in a while. I was five months pregnant and my friend who lives there was my host.
It was November and it was cold! I didn’t come very prepared so we took a cab to H&M to get a jacket and some sweaters. After paying, we were strolling out and the beeper at the door went off. Obviously, we stopped. One agitated man approached us and asked if we paid for the items in the bag, we said yes of course! He asked over and over if we are sure we paid, we said yes and brought out the receipt. He snatched the bag from me and started going through the items. Turns out a tag wasn’t taken off one of them and since it was obviously on the receipt, he took the tag off. Squeezed the pile of sweaters and jacket together and stuffed them in the bag.
No kidding, he rolled them into a ball and stuffed them. I think I was too shocked to speak. My friend, politely said, ‘Sir, pls don’t squeeze the clothes that way, better to fold them, as they did before.’
This man looked at us and said, ‘Am I your servant? You want me to fold your clothes for you??’
So my friend replied, ‘It’s only polite to at least not roll them together, after all it wasn’t our fault the tag wasn’t taken off.’
The H&M employee insisted we thought we were better than him, and we wanted him to fold our clothes… we were wondering if we didn’t just buy them!!!
I was offended, but I figured he was having a bad day so I calmed my friend down, grabbed my bag, and got out of there. I haven’t had any desire to get back into an H&M store.
What offended me more was that he acted like he was sure we stole something, and he never apologized about it, he just got rude.”
He Had It Coming
“I was a supervisor at Starbucks when this guy came in, and he was always rude to the baristas and he always had an attitude. So clearly when I saw him come in, I just tried to rush through the transaction with him. He grabbed a panini from the open refrigerator all Starbucks stores have. The panini was $6.75. So, he grabbed some change from his pockets and it came out $1.90 short.
Usually I would help someone if they were short like .25 cents, so I told him he was short and he then grabbed all of his change and left without saying anything. I thought he was gone for the day, but about 10–15 minutes later he came back with a lot more change. He dumped it on the counter and I started to count it all over again.
He then started to say, ‘I hope one day you starve.’
I said, ‘Why would you say that?’
He then stated, ‘I should have just let him have the sandwich.’
I then told him Starbucks is a company and if we let everyone leave without paying full price, well then it wouldn’t be in business anymore. He then said he hopes one day I know what it feels like to be hungry and have no money. So I told him ‘that would never happen because I am employed and I have a job.’
He then started to ask me how much I make and I told him not that much, but that I still could afford to have meals, and if I didn’t have the money I just wouldn’t buy it. After counting all the change I told him he gave me .34 cents too much.
So at this point, I was handing it to him and he said, ‘No keep it, seems like you guys are hurting for it.’
I replied, Aare you sure, because how upset you are right now I would say that you are hurting for it.’ That’s the rudest thing I’ve ever said on a job. I feel like he asked for it wishing me bad in life.”
He Had No Right To Say That
“This happened to my sister, but it stuck out to me over the years as it’s more blatant than most of my bad experiences.
She went into a gas station to pay on her pump and grabbed a single pack of candy for my nephew (who was at home). The guy ringing her up eyes her and says bluntly,
‘You know, those candy bags are a sharing size. And that Ben & Jerry ice cream they sell? Those are four servings.'”
Treat Customers With Kindness
“My husband and I were in Whistler, B.C. one year and we went to check out the gorgeous boutiques in the village.
He was just finishing a break and told me to go into the leather store ahead of him. I entered the store and was greeted by a glorious display of stunning leather jackets! Very expensive, but just stunning jackets.
I went through rack after rack without finding anything close to my size. Finally, the only clerk approached. A tiny woman scowled at me and demanded to know if I needed help.
I told her I didn’t see any size 14 jackets and did she have anything in the back?
She snorted and told me they didn’t carry ‘larger’ sizes. When I asked why not, she said they ‘didn’t have to.’
Stunned and embarrassed, I turned to leave just as my handsome husband entered the store. The clerk tripped over her ego as she ran over to assist him, but he called out to me, asking if I had seen anything I wanted.
I called back I had seen many gorgeous jackets I wanted to buy, but they just didn’t have my size.
I almost tripped over the clerk’s jaw as I took my husband’s arm, turned him around, and exited the store, hoping she was on commission.”