We've all heard the phrase, "the customer is always right," yet that isn't always the case. In fact, there a lot of times where the customer is actually wrong. And people who work various jobs in customer service have to deal with impatient and demanding guests all the time. Whether it be a in restaurant, retail, a convenient store or even an airline, these stories reveal the instances where the customer wasn't right at all, but incredibly entitled and yes, very mistaken.
Hilton Honors Member Gone Bad
“I was working at a hotel and a guy comes in and just slaps his ID on the counter without saying anything. I look up his reservation and it’s not in the system. I tell him we don’t have it and he flips out, starts calling me incompetent and saying he’s going to call corporate, etc. Then he says he’s been a Hilton Honors member for 5 years and how dare we lose his reservation. So I just pointed at the large sign on the wall behind me that said HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS. He said nothing, snatched his ID off the counter and left.”
“Not Allowed To Advertise Something We Don’t Have”
“It was black Friday and we’d sold out of a certain product. The woman told me to remove every ad because I’m not allowed to advertise something I don’t have. That’s not how this works.
I also had a customer try to park his truck in my store. Yes. You read that right. He said he is allowed to park there because it doesn’t explicitly say ‘No Parking.'”
“Didn’t Taste Good”
“Most satisfying customer interaction of my cashier career was having the manager back me up on refusing to process a return for incense that didn’t taste good.”
Tried To Help The Customer Out
“I used to work at McDonalds. A woman came in and ordered a Big Mac, fries, and a drink, so I put her order in as a Big Mac combo since it is cheaper than getting those three things separately. She then proceeded to scream at me claiming that I am ripping her off and charging her for something she didn’t even order. I explained to her multiple times, but she kept insisting that we were trying to rip her off. Eventually we did what she said to shut her up, but my manager then proceeded to simply charge her for those 3 things separately and she ended up paying more.”
More Than A Misunderstanding
“I was working in a movie theatre and a lady in her 50s comes in:
Lady: ‘I’d like a ticket for movie name.’
Me: ‘The one at 8:30?’
Me: ‘That’ll be $12 please.’
Lady: starts shouting ‘WHAT ?! YOU JUST TOLD ME IT WAS 8.30!’
Me: ‘No ma’am’, the movie is-‘
Lady: ‘YOU JUST TOLD ME IT’S $8.30!’
Me: ‘The mov-‘
Lady: ‘THIS IS RIDICULOUS, so what is the price?!’
Me: ‘$12. 8:30 is-‘
Lady: ‘SO WHAT IS 8:30 ?’
I see my manager coming
Me: ‘Deal with it with my manager! Bye!’
I go back to making popcorn.”
And He Thought SHE Didn’t Know Anything About Cars
“I work as an administrative assistant at a body shop. It should be noted that I am a woman and I tend to sound super young on the phone. A guy called in wanting an estimate:
Guy: ‘I want an estimate to replace the sideview mirror on my truck. I got sideswiped and it took the mirror off.’
Me: ‘Ok sir, I can certainly schedule you for an appointment.’
Guy: ‘Can’t you just do it over the phone?’
Me: ‘We do prefer that you come in, just in case there’s damage that isn’t obvious.’
Guy: ‘Look, sweetie, I just want an estimate for how much it will be to replace the mirror on a Silverado F150.’
Me: ‘Which one?’
Me: ‘A Silverado or an F150?’
Guy: ‘I thought they were the same thing.
Me (overly polite and more than a little condescending at this point): ‘No sir, a Silverado is a Chevy and an F150 is a Ford.’
He Ended Up Cheating Himself
“When I worked at EB Games, we had buy one get one free sales. I had way too many people yell at me for trying to explain that they could have a second game from that section for free.
My favorite was during a ‘3 for $40’ sale. Guy brought up a single game from that section, scanned in at $49.95. I think I’m about to make the guys day and tell him he can pick two extra games and I’ll charge him 10 bucks less.
He says ‘I don’t care about the other games, just make it 10 less.’ I explain that I can’t do that, I need to scan three games to apply the promotion. I tell him he’s welcome to give the games away if he wants, or he can trade them right back in for some store credit the next time he wants something. Nope.
I tried one more time when he just starts yelling and saying ‘I’M TAKING THIS GAME FOR FORTY DOLLARS AND YOU CAN EFF OFF IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT!’ Slaps two twenties on the counter, snatches the game out of my hands and storms out.
So I went and picked out two games I wanted, scanned them and a copy of the one he just ran off with and processed the sale.”
Still Tried To Accommodate
“Lady comes into our restaurant, an hour before closing time, and announces she’s having her bridal shower (at our restaurant) of 60 people in about 15 minutes from now.
She started out by stating how much she loved our restaurant and how happy she was to have it at our establishment. She just knew her friends and family would love the place, etc. Oh and by the thanks for making my special day so special.
We tell her we’ll do our best to accommodate them but we already have a wedding party in our private room, which only seats 50 anyways, but we’re happy to accommodate her group in the regular area, warning her that we aren’t set up to just immediately feed this number of people, this late at night, all at once.
I heard her say, ‘Well this is ridiculous, I sent out invitations to my guests two months ago!’ Nobody at the restaurant had ever heard of this party happening, no reservations were made, etc.
My manager replied, ‘Well, we didn’t get one of those, you’ve made no reservation, and we’ll do what we can to feed your group but the meals are not going to come out at the same time.’
Lady starts having a hissy fit about us ‘ruining her dinner.’ It was pure customer insanity.
She was being rude enough that my manager then informed her that we’d love to help her but a party this large, at no notice, at the end of the night would require a 30% mandatory tip, and we would only stay open long enough to serve their food plus 20 minutes to eat. If she had booked in advance and committed to a certain number of persons, she could have had a nice dinner relatively cheap. We would have accommodated her and her party and tried to do our best to make sure it was what they wanted. No restaurant wants to ruin a customers experience, but give me a freaking break.
She stormed out, but a lot of her party ended up just eating dinner at our restaurant, (we didn’t enforce the required tip for them), because they had no other option. Most tipped at least 20% anyways. Several of them left glowing reviews for how accommodating we were and how great the staff was, how much they enjoyed the food, etc.”
“Good Luck Figuring That Out”
“I worked at a popular cafe so we got stupid stuff all the time. My two favorites though:
Once had a man flag me down and start shouting about this ‘weird worm’ in his pie. I took a quick look at the pie and noticed it was actually a piece of onion. After a couple of minutes of calming the man down I ask him what sort of pie he ordered. He’d ordered beef and onion. He had me freaking swap his half eaten beef and onion pie for another beef and onion pie because of it.
Another time I was delivering a large tray of food to a table. Everything going fine, just a couple sandwiches etc. As I’m about to walk away the older guy at the table grabs my attention. The conversation went like this:
Guy: ‘is this [cheese sandwich] dairy free?’
Me: ‘As far as I’m aware, we don’t do dairy free cheese so no.’
Guy: ‘No, no. I mean, does it have any milk products in.’
Me: ‘Yes, it’s got cheese and butter in it.’
Guy: ‘Well, can you bring me it back without the dairy products?’
Me: ‘You want your cheese sandwich without any dairy products?’
I promptly returned it to my manager, let her know the situation and said ‘good luck figuring that one out.’
I remember walking off and hearing my manager mutter something like, ‘What the heck is wrong with these customers.’
We ended up returning his cheese sandwich without butter or mayo. That was apparently exactly what he wanted.”
Most Customers Are Lovely, But Not This One
“I worked for an airline. A customer calls in wanting to go to a city we don’t fly to. No problem! I tell him we fly to [city] and then they can take another airline to [final destination]. He starts screaming, ‘Are you new? How can you be so stupid? I am on your website and you DO fly there!’ I explained that I had been employed a mere 25 years with that airline, but I’m always learning! Then I directed the customer to click on the connecting flight number, then read to me what it says. Flight 123 OPERATED BY OTHER AIRLINE -‘Oh.’ Why he didn’t just book it himself online will become apparent later.
We continued on and I made the reservation. This customer complained every time I had to ask for info or say a federally mandated notification. Nothing unusual about that. I did politely ask him to keep his volume down because I could not help him with my ears ringing! Then I asked for the credit card number to complete the purchase. He started screaming again that he was not giving me his credit card, he was using his BANK MILES…miles that cannot be accessed by me or the airline. I explained that his bank took his miles then called us and actually purchased the ticket, with actual money.
He went totally insane. Screeching! I let him know if he didn’t clean up his filthy language, I was going to hang up on him. He then asked for a supervisor, which I was. Yippee. The coworker I begged to take this call explained the situation calmly (I listened in). Then the customer said, ‘I already tried calling the bank reservation line and they said I couldn’t do it! Then they hung up on me!’
Believe it or not, most of my customers were lovely. This one, not so much.”
For Their Safety
“I’m a long haul flight attendant. Had a passenger on a flight once that had laid their 8 or 9 year old on the ground to sleep. I asked the mother to politely pick her up as it wasn’t safe, to which to mother informed me that it was safe and pulled the ‘I’ve done it plenty of times before’ line. Things escalated dramatically from here when I insisted she pick her child up.
It took 20 minutes of arguing, the waking of the entire aircraft, the Captain, the Purser and threats of restraint to calm her down. We eventually managed to get the child in the seat with a pillow I had found in the aircraft cupboard.
The reason we can’t have anyone on the floor is that in the event of sudden decompression, the masks won’t reach ground level. A person has around 4 seconds of useful consciousness in a worst-case scenario, so the mother wouldn’t be able to take her mask off to bend down, pick her child up and put her on oxygen. This is also the reason we tell you to put your own mask on before assisting others – it’s a heck of a lot easier helping your child with their mask while you’re conscious.”
She Might As Well Have Been Shoplifting
“I worked retail in the early 90’s. This was a department store, so there was no one employee who truly KNEW all the items, just the ones in their own department, so customers would switch tags and bring the items to another department to be rung up so they wouldn’t be caught. The cashier would just assume the ticket was correct.
So, to combat this, the registers were updated so that it would show not only the item code and the price, but also a short description of item on the register when you scanned it (ie, 2574274 $19.99 Esprit Blue Skirt). The customer couldn’t see it, only the cashier could.
We got new inventory in and this woman brought all this new Jones & Co apparel that we had received THAT day (and I helped put out on the floor) and switched all the tags on it so it rang up on sale at much lower prices. I knew what she was pulling, but I also knew she’d be a pain about it (just gave off that vibe). I ring the first one, a sweater, but it reads that it’s pants. Just for kicks I try another one, it’s a skirt, but it reads a scarf when I scan it.
So, I look at her and say, ‘There seems to be a problem, looks like the prices on these are incorrect.’
She looks me square in the eye and says, ‘Absolutely not, if you misticketed them, that’s your problem, not mine and you have to honor the price.’ At this point, I see plain clothes security out of the corner of my eye, so I know they must have picked the dumb witch on the cameras.
I said, ‘Well when I scan your sweater, it comes up as pants and a different brand. Somebody must have changed the ticket on it and I’ll have to take it off the floor to be reticketed.’ She started to say something but I had already scanned the next item and said, ‘Oh, weird that one is ringing up as a scarf.’ Then I scanned another one and said, ‘Oh, look, socks.’
She started to look a little nervous at that point and just kind of muttered under her breath, ‘Oh, forget it. I don’t have time for this,’ and ran out of the store.
After she left, security came over and said they’d been watching her for a while and to let them know if I saw her again. I never did – but not sure if she was ever caught. Stupid lady.”
“I Don’t Think I Like Popcorn”
“An interaction that I remember from my experience at the cinema;
Customer: ‘Can I have a large popcorn?’
Me: ‘Sure, would you like sweet or salted?’
Customer: ‘What’s the difference?’
Me (after a brief hesitation): ‘One is flavoured with sugar, the other is salted.’
Customer: ‘Oh okay, well which one would I like?’
Me (after a slightly longer hesitation): ‘I don’t know, you can sample both if you like?’
Customer (after sampling): ‘I don’t like either of these, I don’t think I like popcorn.’
They then simply walked off.”
“Screamed At Her For Charging Him”
“At Starbucks, there’s a 50 cent up-charge for special milk, including having your drink made with half and half like one particular regular liked, which is actually a bargain considering how much half and half that is. If he made it himself, he’d go through at least half a gallon of half and half a week. He’d made a big stink about it before because he was an entitled prick and insisted that he shouldn’t have to pay for something that we offered for free on the bar (where people usually add a splash of it to their coffee, not 14oz), so we usually didn’t charge him because it was easier not to. One particularly busy morning a cashier accidentally charged him because things were so insane and she didn’t even think about it. Twenty minutes after the fact, he stormed the counter to scream at her for charging him. After a ten minute screaming tirade, she was crying and shoving free drink coupons into his hands just to get him to leave her alone, and she was a wreck for hours afterward.
She still had to be on register because it was peak and thanks to his little hissy fit, the line was really long. Everyone was apparently nice to her about it but she was still upset about it for weeks afterwards. She wasn’t a young girl, she was easily in her 40s and had had a pretty hard life. Abusive and absent parents, grew up in poverty, was a former addict and had done some time in jail etc. That’s how bad this guy was. He met his match with me though because I’m even more of a stubborn a-hole than he is and I wouldn’t let him get away with it unless the manager or a supervisor saw me. He tried to scream at me a few times and I just told him that he could tell it to corporate. I was pretty sure he was gonna hit me on at least a few occasions.”
Treated Her Like She Was Dumb
“I used to coach gymnastics for what were largely upper middle class and above clients. Dumb blonde housewife who managed to find a way to talk about how much money her husband makes in several conversations with me and others, tells me her husband wants to know why they were charged 13 times for the monthly tuition fees last year. I tell her we charge every 4 weeks, not every month. This is made very clear in the contract they sign, and on any of the literature about our class times and tuitions. A couple days later, her prick of a husband comes in demanding an explanation as to why he was overcharged last year because he was unsatisfied with the explanation I gave his wife. He’s a big powerful salesman or something, and I’m just a dumb little girl who teaches kids to do somersaults. He was so smug, thinking he’s going to school me on being so dumb, or worse, doing sketchy business.
I once again explain that we charge in 4 week increments, not monthly. I explain that there are 52 weeks in a year, and 52/4 is 13. He still didn’t get it, so I had to pull out a calendar and count it out to him. He got huffy and walked out. That was about four years ago and they still bring their kids as far as I know.”
Hot + Cold = ?
“I worked at Coldstone Creamery one summer and loved the job through and through. Best job ever. I lived in a desert town and people were so stoked to be getting something to cool off that they didn’t even whine about long lines or anything.
One day, a girl came in and ordered an item that had hot fudge. I would always mix in the other ingredients and put the fudge over top of it, so that it wouldn’t melt the ice cream. She requested specifically that I mix in the fudge. I hand her her order, and she looks at it and says, ‘It’s all melted.’
I say I’m sorry, I can remake it and just pour the fudge over the top. She says please remake it, but still mix in the fudge. I point out we’re probably going to be having the same conversation in about two minutes about how hot things melt ice cream, but she insists.
I redo her order the way she requested. She looks at it again and, predictably enough, complains that it’s melted. I say I’m sorry, but I am unable to keep hot things from making ice cream melt. This hag tells me, ‘No offense, but I would rather have your coworker remake it.’
I get my manager and explain what’s happening. He offers to remake it. You can guess what happened.
After the third bowl of melted ice cream doesn’t meet her approval, she says she maybe just wants a different item. The manager says he’s not giving her a fourth item if she only paid for one. So she demands her money back. He says no, so she calls us both a nasty name and storms out.”
They Must Have Forgotten A REAL Cop Was There
“We have policy in the bakery that police, firefighters, EMTs, etc get their first item free. So if a cop comes in for a slice of pie and a drip coffee, we’ll charge him a buck for the coffee and he gets the pie for free; or if a paramedic comes in and wants half dozen donuts, we’ll only charge him for 5, whatever. Only thing is, you have to have proof. Most people take advantage of our policy when they’re on the clock/just got off, so we don’t even bother asking them because uniforms, but everyone has some sort of ID that they can flash when they’re not, so it’s a non-issue.
One day we had a cop come through, full uniform, and we gave him a slice of cake and a latte. He’s one of our regulars, so I talk to him for a bit, he asks after my business partner, I ask about what his shift’s been like, the usual. He goes to sit down and the couple behind him ask why he got only got charged $3. I tell them our policy, and they tell me one of them is a cop and the other is a detective in a small city in our state. I tell them that’s nice, but we only have it open to people that work in our city and the surrounding areas.
They FREAK out, like absolutely lose their mind. ‘It’s so unfair! You’re being biased against us for no reason!’ Etc, etc. And then they demand to speak to the manager. I am the owner and tell them that. They insist that there’s no way I could be and tell me I’m lying, then demand to see the real manager. This goes on for a bit, until finally my cop buddy stands up, and asks to see their badges. They both sputter about it for a minute or two, and he firmly asks to see them, again.
Neither one of them had their badges on them. He asks to see any ID proving that they are what they say they are. They have none. He looks at me and says ‘They’re lying about who they say they are, and I sure as snow suggest you don’t serve them.’ They scurried out with their tails between their legs.