Person Asked For People’s Most Memorable Rude Customer Stories, And 30 People From Our Community Responded
Working at retail is something of another world, and if you worked there, you know. Some customers are just crazy, and there's no other way to deal with it other than a professional smile. This thread was dedicated to strangest encounters with customers that they had. Scroll on down and see what our community has submitted.
Quick one: first job at age 16 in retail. Was helping a couple (two men) with measuring their skates. A man on the other aisle starts with the homophobic slurs. He was not screaming or talking loudly, just loud enough for us to hear his stupid rambling. Went over, ask if I can help him ? Told me to stop serving their kind or else I'll burn in hell to which I replied
- "Great. I'll see you there!"
Then he exploded in anger and was escorted out by the mall security.
Not me, but a friend of mine working the drive thru at a Fast Food restaurant. Guy pulls up in a Porche Convertible and starts his whining at the speaker because my friend couldn't hear his order. Then he starts talking rude to her calling her all sorts of names including stupid c***.
My friend leans out to hand him his drink, lid barely on, and lets go just as he was putting his hand around it. When she let go, his instinct was to catch it before it fell, "sploosh!" 32oz of cola all over him and his car.
My friend puts her hand to her forehead saying "OMG..I'm so sorry. But I AM such a stupid c***."
He sped off screaming.
My first full time job, working retail. Worked in a bookstore, so generally customers were less unpleasant than other retail stores. Had a couple of doozies, though.
First was 2 weeks after I started, first full shift on register. We had older registers that had the two copy receipts, so changing the paper had to be done a specific way. Paper started to run out, I call the manager to come sow me how to do it... and manager does not come out. Finally the tape ran out (4 calls to manager later), and the register freezes. Manager is still not helping (“I’ll be right there” - said multiple times over 30 minutes). Custer is pacing next to me, going on bout how stupid I was and how she couldn’t believe the incompetent people that exist. Even after I pointed out it was my first day on the register, I was apparently just magically supposed to know how to do everything. Manger finally showed up. Turns out she was on. Personal phone call and didn’t feel like coming to help. (Yes, I asked someone else for help, but they were backed up with customers. We only had 4 employees at any given time.)
2 months later, my 2nd incident. Christmas Eve, and the store was caked with last minute shoppers. Lady comes in to buy a magazine, ends up in my line at the register. We had 4 registers open, but there were a LOT of people. She was 3rd in line, and to wait maybe 10-15 mins as the two in front of her had big purchases. She gets to the counter and throws her magazine at me. Ooookay... I ring it up, she throws the money at me. I then made a mistake out of frustration, and very politely told her to have a nice day and asked if she could be a little nicer next time.
Cue the flames of hell, because she walked away and then proceeded to scream from the door about how she was in line for and hour (huh??) and somehow it was all my fault she got stuck standing in long lines all day... on Christmas Eve. At that point I just asked her to please leave, and tuned to assist the next customer.
I apologized to the next person in line as I had essentially poked the dragon in the eye with my comment, and it wasn’t their fault the drama erupted. Another of my managers was standing there the whole time, saying not a word. Layer he told me it seemed like I had it handled so didn’t jump in.
People should be sentenced to work in retail for petty crimes.
Waiting tables. Old friends from years back come in, sit in my section. Super happy, super fun, great time catching up with them. They pay with card, then leave a cash tip in the payment booklet before heading out.
Next customers come in (~40ish man/woman couple), are sat at table immediately before I can get to it. As I'm walking to the table, woman has my payment booklet open, also has her purse open, frantically flinging her hands into it. I approach. She quickly closes the book and puts it back in the center of the table.
"Oh. This is yours!"
I pick up the book, open it up, confirm it's now empty and I look her dead in the eye. Nothing but a big, guilty smile.
I walk away from the table, and talk to my manager, tell him exactly what happened. Manager assigns another server to wait on the table so I don't have to.
*Thievery gets excused because their stolen money pays just as the same as honest money. Thanks, boss.
*Thievery is encouraged because my job is paid by T̶i̶p̶-̶b̶a̶s̶e̶d̶ ̶w̶a̶g̶e̶s̶ a literal f*****g lottery with an open pot. Thanks, foodservice industry.
If you work in aviation field, you will meet loads of rude entitled passengers. One that I'll Remember for a long time was meeting a family of 3, mom, dad and 5yo daughter. This happened about 3/4 years before pandemic.
They came in when the counters were almost closed and since it was a full flight we had to go look around to move people and make at least seat for 2 so the kid could be with 1 parent, as is every airline's policy for young children.
This is a long story so bear with me.
After a bit of shuffling we managed to clear 2 seats together for the mother and the daughter. Instead of a thank you, lady went wild and said, exactly:
"I'm not sitting next to a kid for a whole 12 hours. I don't care what you do I want the first row seats (economy) since I have a child."
She was being so loud most people were looking at her like she grew a second head.
Staff politely told her that the plane is a full one and since it's school holidays there are lots of family with kids and given it's almost closing time this is best we can do. We cannot separate another family to seat you together but we can swap her and her husband seats so he's the one sitting with their daughter.
She went on:
"I paid for the ticket together so I should have seats together. I want to sit together with my husband, so you should sit us together. That's what I f***ing paid [Airline Name] for."
The staff explained that her tickets had no reserved seats and that it really is impossible to move anyone else. At this point her husband was trying to calm down the kid who was restless after her mom kept shouting. And he tried to reason with her and told her it can't be helped since it's them who came late and that she shouldn't shout at the poor lady on the counter who did all she could. "I'll sit with [kid]. Next time we'll pre-book the seats," He said.
She went even wilder"
"You shut up. (her kid started crying at this point). This b***h (pointing to lady at counter) is just lying. Our money pays her so she should get seats for us together. Why should I sit away? I have a child so I deserve the first row seats where there's space for kids to play."
At this point supervisor asked us to go help the junior staff. I went and explained again it's a full flight and since it's vacation time there's mostly families with children on holiday in the flight. I also told her that currently we have 116 children on the flight along with 8 babies of less that 2. And front row seats have space for baby bascinet seats as such we definitely cannot give her those and they also were already occupied. Those seats are for mostly under 2 kids and priority is given to youngest.
"I don't care about 8 other kids or 200 kids. They are not mine.I paid [Airline] and I want the seats."
Her husband looked totally embarrassed and was busy calming their daughter.
By then supervisor and manager came over.
Again I explained that the child is sitting with her and they can swap with her husband later if they wish. But that There really is no more seats available.
"I already said am not sitting next to the kid for 12 hours. You find the seats for me or we will not get in your **** trash plane."
It was late and honestly we'd heard enough of it so manager intervened and after presenting himself said,
"Mme while we understand you want to sit together, you also need to understand you can at closing time with no reserved seats and yet she managed to get you at least 2 seats together. And instead of thanking my staff you have been nothing short of manerless and rude towards her and even ignored the fact that your daughter, who's(asking me) how old again? '5,' I replied. Right, who's 5yo and screaming because you keep shouting. It's late, the flight needs to close and we won't delay a plane full just because you do not want to sit near to your daughter. My staff will change and swap you and your husband. If that still isn't okay you may rebook
Not in customer service myself, but my friend worked the gift shop at a water park in Florida. She once had a woman who came in and trashed the store because she was mad that the gift shop items weren’t free. “It’s a gift shop, not a buy shop,” the woman apparently yelled.
Had a customer come in wanting a oil change. As I am trying to write up said customer she was on her cell phone the entire time. I asked her phone number to which she replied, “Can’t you see I am in the phone, stop being a rude b****”
Now I am a Parts department manager and service is not my favorite to do. Customers like this is why I got into Parts. I politely pointed to the door and said to leave and not come back until you are off the phone. And man that’s where is all went down. I was called the C word, rude, and a bitch yet again. Still biting my tongue I told her to come back in a couple weeks when our normal advisor is back. She called wanting to speak to our manager and I said he was not in. He was in and heard the whole exchange. Man this woman snapped. Saying I was sucking my bosses D**k. My reply was that I had a GIRLFRIEND AND again she states I have the Devil in me for my sexual orientation. Fine. All good. You’re entitled to your opinion but you are no longer allowed in this establishment and if you step foot in this building the cops will be called due to her also threatening physical violence towards me in the parking lot as she was leaving. Not knowing my manager heard that as well. I laugh every time I think of this. The stupidity of some people blows my mind. Just because you are the customer does not mean we will allow you to treat us this way. Fortunately I work for a boss who will never let his employees be treated this way by a customer.
First time I got called a B#tch to my face and then my response...which proved my skin had thickened up. It was about seven years ago..Working in a Thrift Store...working as MOD that night. A lady came in..grabbed a load of items..rang her up..told her total. Our sale was 30% off your purchase..but she demanded more. Told her I couldn't...she the other girl always have her more and the she was a regular. Told her "Well. You mean the girl that was fired three months ago? Other then her there has been no other girl for about a year and half. Funny..I know my regulars..been here for nearly four years never seen you." She looked at me and said "Well.. aren't you one skinny little stuck up white b#tch..aren't you?" She left..all other customers were in shock (yes..was a time when customers were nice). I really don't know what came over me but I let out a "Woot. Break out the non alcoholic bubbly people. I just earned my "B#TCH BADGE" we are celebrating." Everyone laughed and finished the evening with a smile.
Service manager at a credit union, customer is chewing one of my people a new one because he was overdrawn. Totally demoralizing her. I came over to intervene and he started in on me. I said sternly "Listen Richard". My name's not Richard. "Oh I'm sorry. D**k.'
Another memorable moment. Tim Hortons, first day again, during the lunch rush. Two teen boys were being smart arses purposely asking for different chocolate doughnuts, and then changing which ones and both were talking at the same time, shouting, actually.
Boys at the same time, but not in unison, saying different words: "I'll get a double chocolate, chocolate dip, 2 double chocolates, chocolate glaze. NO. I SAID 2 CHOCOLATE DIPS, 3 CHOCOLATE GLAZE. NO. THAT'S NOT WHAT I SAID. 1 CHOCOLATE DIP. 2 CHOCOLATE GLAZE. NO CHOCOLATE DIP.
One of the boys: "ARE YOU EFFING STUPID, YOU DUMB B****?"
My co-worker and friend, who was very pregnant and on mood stabilizers, heard the commotion, came over and laid right into their entitled, rude butts. It was beautiful and they walked away without their treats.
I work in retail. A customer went mental shouting and kicking off because we wouldn’t go into the shop fetch the slippers she wanted. She told us the customer service was absolutely disgusting as she’d made a special trip into the town. The reason we couldn’t?…The shop was on fire. Everyone was evacuated to a safe distance, smoke pluming out, two fire engines on scene and the street cordoned off (the heating system had malfunctioned) I have no words!
Worked in the bakery of a major supermarket chain in the NW. It had snowed and been snowing and our normal 7 day a week deliveries had not come for 3 days. Running out of stuff like mad. Little Miss I don't have to work too much because my boyfriend pays for everything and Said boyfriend who works in the Tech field from home come in and she is asking about some of our specialty breads. As I explain about the lack of deliveries and we should be back in stock in a few days she keeps getting more and more bitchy. I finally smile my biggest smile, and say "Did you have to work today?" And she got really interested in the question about herself "No, I got to stay home" me: "WELL, I DIDN'T, BE NICER TO ME!" Boyfriend saw murder in my eyes and walked his girlfriend to the jewelry counter to distract her with something shiny.
I work at car retailer which is still a very male dominated field. But I know my fair share about cars and I know what I'm doing.
I welcomed a customer who was looking for an SUV (my fav type of car to sell, I love SUVs), so I immediately started asking question about what he was looking for exactly. He looked at me weirded out and asked for another sales person. I tought maybe he knew someone who works with me and asked if he got a name for me but no! - he wanted someone male since "a young girl like me probably has no clue about cars" he added that "I could do what I'm supposed to do and bring him a coffee" I was furios and it's safe to say that this rude asshole never got a coffee.
When I was 16 I worked at a pizza place. One time while serving a very large birthday party they had decided that they wanted more pizza and placed an order. I picked up the pizza and walked to their table. The table was so full there was no where to set the pizza and no one even bothered to help clear a spot for me. So I rested the pizza on top of a napkin dispenser with one hand and the other hand I started trying to make a spot to set the pizza down. While doing so the pizza started sliding off the tray and on to the table (burning my hand in the meantime). I was very apologetic and started cleaning it up. The grandfather of the group asked to speak to my manager and at first I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't. So I went and got my supervisor and stayed in the kitchen.
When my supervisor came back, she told me that I was to stay in the kitchen at least until that party left because apparently, the grandfather was very upset with me and told her that I was a mistake to be born! Old Geeeeeezer!!!
I have an elderly customer who rings for me to read out her emails and the weather. (We are a small regional printer but I inherited this clerical job from a previous owner.) She gets cross if I don’t answer. Once I was on the toilet and heard the shop phone ring. Then my mobile - I refused to answer in the toilet! Then shop phone again, mobile again, my husband’s personal phone while he was at his other job, then landline, then I answered the mobile having flushed and washed my hands. So 7 calls. Meanwhile my husband was texting me to tell me she wanted me.
Unfortunately, in spite of about 12 lengthy calls to our Phone provider, they have not yet connected our landline in our new shop after moving. Cust is angry with us about this. As if we aren’t angry with the telco! However the mobile has always been the primary contact.
Another note: Cust will not allow me to call back. Her phone is off the hook.
Just last Friday she rang and I answered though I was home sick. She’d been doing the phoning repeatedly thing again so I explained to her that I couldn’t always answer, and that she needed to leave a message, or wait a bit then try again as I may be with another customer.
“Why can’t you ask the customer to wait and tell me what’s going on?”
“Because I serve customers in the order they arrive, and have voicemail for phone queries.”
“That’s not a good way to run a business.”
Fair enough, pick up and put the call on hold, but it’s a big shop and that would involve walking away from the customer. I tried to explain this to her - and that I occasionally use the toilet or have appointments or meetings - and she hung up on me.
Hopefully I have lost a customer.
I own a small furniture refinishing company. We post photos online and most are purchased electronically within a few hours of posting and then the buyer arranges for pick up or delivery. It's a very easy process. One evening a woman across town wanted to purchase a set of side tables. She wanted us to hold them for her until the next weekend. I advised that we couldn't hold unpurchased pieces but that we have the option to pay electronically now and pick up later.
She did not have any of the "regular" online payment methods (zelle, venmo, paypal etc) so I walked her through how to install one on her phone to pay. 30 minutes in she has a fit because there are processing fees. I offer to reduce the amount of the furniture by the fee amount (thus we pay the fee not her). She spends another 30 minutes asking ME all of the terms and conditions of the card processor's business. I repeatedly just keep sending her to their website to read their terms and conditions. Finally she tries to pay with her card and it is declined.
She then tells me our entire process is rediculous, I am rediculous and that she is exhausted and doesn't know what more to try. I write back to her and say I understand her exhaustion and ask if she would like me to try to walk her through it again in the morning. No answer.
The next day there is still no reply and the furniture sells to someone else.
The following day I get a notice that the original potential customer has paid us electronically. I immediately refund her money and write to her asking why she had made the payment without speaking to me or answering any of my messages first, informing her that the furniture had already sold some time ago and showing her that I had immediately returned her money.
She then went on a downward spiral. She told me that I was unprofessional, that I had no right to sell "her" furniture. That I should have known she was going to eventually pay for it and that I had robbed her.
She spent over 2 weeks messaging me language from lawyer sites claiming that I caused her damages and that because she felt we had a verbal agreement I now owed her brand new furniture for free. She left bad reviews on our website and other places.
Each time I responded cooly that I understood that she was frustrated but she never purchased the item, she never responded, she had no verbal contract and that while I was sorry she felt she had a bad experience, that there was nothing left for us to do.
2 weeks later she created a fake facebook account to message me about another almost identical piece of furniture asking to purchase it.
... um... pass.
When I was still working I had a customer come into the shop to pick up the car I had just worked on. Normally the shop manager deals with the customers but this guy wanted to talk to the tech who did the work. At that time I had over 25 years in the automotive repair industry and I am a woman. When a woman wearing a mechanics outfit walked up to the shop managers side and asked what was up this guy lost it. He could not believe that woman was capable of working on cars much less be a Master Technician. He just refused to believe anything my manager said, anything I said and eventually anything the shop owner said. Just to get his arrogant loud mouth out of the shop I told the manager just let him go, I'd gladly eat the bill which was labor only just to have him gone, and that's what we did. He made such an ass out of himself that even his kid that was with him apologized to us all after his dad walked out of the shop.
I'll never forget the woman who wouldn't leave the bookstore on Easter. She screamed that I was a "b*tch" for diplomatically reminding her several times that we had been closed for a half hour and she was welcome to come back the next day. She threatened to get violent with me, waited in the parking lot til the cops came, then the next day she showed up in a wig and just stared at a wall for 2 hours. So bizarre!
Grocery store - lady wanted wanted to return a dozen eggs because they were expired. She purchased them a week or two before they expired, even had her receipt showing that, but was upset because now they were expired…
Customer service, clothing shop that shall remain nameless. Customer tried to return open multipack of underwear claimng that "they are all broken". Non-refundable of course. Back and forth of "can't return opened underwear", "but they're broken!" ended in calling manager. Manager permitted return because spineless, okay whatever. Customer dropped package of undies on desk for return, one was clearly missing so ask about missing pair. "Oops, forgot. Hang on!" Customer proceeded to drop trou and remove the underwear they were currently wearing - the missing pair from the package - and drop them on the desk. Ew. I admittedly did not see the conclusion though, as I called the manager back over and went to the back. Way above my pay grade.
Tl;dr - Customer attempted to return underwear they were currently wearing.
While doing security work at an event, I was posted at the exit only. Had a lady try to enter, so I informed her it was an exit only and directed her to the entrance. She attempted to push me to the side several times, when that didn't work she handed her very small infant to another woman and assaulted me. I defended myself with minimum force, never laying a hand on her or restraining her. What made me truly angry was the event organizer (who we warned their shitty set up wouldn't work), refused to evict her. I, the victim of assault, was moved to another area for my safety whilst the psycho roamed free. No I did not press charges (should have, live & learn), she was still there so I didn't want to deal with retaliation. Plus she hit like crap, not even a bruise-I've dealt with worse doing junior high security.
work for an answering service. I'm not sure what happened with my coworker beforehand but I was suddenly on the line with a very pissed off client who was berating me, telling me shae paid my paycheck, you know that sort of warm, fuzzy person. she demanded I tell her my name so she could get me fired and when I responded truthfully, "Jessica", she accused me of lieing and said I was "too old to be called Jessica."
I told her to tell my mother that.
So, I’ll admit the customer wasn’t rude but she bothered me so much. Because she brought her dog. And it wasn’t just any dog. It was a tan chihuahua and it was SO obese that it was painful to watch. Dogs shouldn’t have to go through life waddling because their owners enjoy “pampering ” them. You can spoil your dogs with toys and attention but don’t overfeed them. Please. (This applies to all pets and humans actually.)
First "real" job as a cashier at Kmart at 17yrs old in 1983. First time working the Service Desk, a woman wants to return an expensive box fan that's encrusted with dust and "dribbles". But it still has the pristine price sticker on it (it's "proof" for her). She didn't realize it's encoded with the date it was tagged...about 8yrs ago! As soon as I opened my mouth she started squawking and the manager came running over and gave her the refund. She told me to do anything customers want so they don't raise their voice and upset other customers. Then she revealed that woman was a regular who did this on a regular basis. (She sure had them trained.)
Used to work in an "open kitchen," where there were no doors between the kitchen and the front of house (where the customers were seated). A few of my favorites from when customers would come to ask me questions personally:
1) How vegan is your lettuce?
2) I know I told my server I have a deadly dairy allergy, I just don't understand why you won't give me a side of the buttermilk ranch.
3) (my personal favorite) I refuse to eat honey at all. It's not a dietary thing, it just lends to the subjugation of the bees.
Having been a manager of a couple retail stores I have way too many stories, but I'll share the two that I find the most infuriating.
First one involved a mother who came in with her 4 or 5 year old son. One of the associates was helping her with a pair of shoes when her son proceeded to start peeimg himself. Pee was literally running down his leg and spreading across the floor. Without moving she just smiled and said, "oh, it's okay honey. These nice people will clean it up." She then proceeds purchase the shoes and leave as if absolutely nothing happened. I understand not wanting to embarrass or traumatize your kid by scolding them in public, but you can't act like that is normal or okay behavior! At least clean it up yourself!
The second one (in the same store) also involved a mother and her kid - a little girl probably around the age of 11 or 12. I was helping the mother put on her shoes, as her daughter stood there starring at me. She wouldn't stop, and it even became kinda awkward. I just looked up at her at gave her a smile and was like, "how you doing? It's nice of you to give your mom company while she shops." It was at this moment that this girl gives the smuggiest little grin and goes, "what's wrong with your eyes?". I have never wanted to bitch slap a child so hard in my life. Her mother didn't seam the slightest bit bothered. I'm chinese by the way.
This just happened today. We get emails in the CS dept regarding issues, and I called the broker to advise how to correct it. He started to yell at me and tell me its our error and we need to fix it. Even after advising him we processed based off what we received he still screamed at me. No resolution I gave him satisfied him. Today I realized after 15 years of doing CS and working in a dept that gets little to know respect (at most companies) its time for a new line of work. And i am not a delicate flower but I transferred the call to a supervisor in tears because he was just very cruel and demeaning and it is very sad that people can just make a call and be so mean and the person on the other line just has to take it because their job requires them too.
I do phone surveys. On my first day I got this very, stereotypical hillbilly, Cletus-sounding dude curtly decline the survey and refused to offer anyone else in the household to participate without asking anyone. I think he even said there was no one else in the household. He was a bit rude about it than necessary. Then he "hung up"...
But he didn't actually hang up the phone.
Wife: Who was that on the phone?"
"Cletus - "Just some survey about yadda yadda yadda. Told 'em to shove it wer' the sun don't shine."
Wife: "You thick-headed moron. Maybe I wanted to do the survey. You big putz jerk."
To this day I always ponder if there are people who are interested but don't get the chance because of people like this.
But forever in my memory because of the way they spoke and how it went all down at the end was like something out of The Simpsons.
I was working in a mini-market in the 90's. It's a mini-market so not everything items have a price tag.
He bought a Snikers bar. I said 10kr (let's say its $2).
1 hour later he came back furious.
He: IT SAYS 9kr IN THE SHELF!
Me: Ok sorry, I give you 1kr back.
He: DO YOU F*****G KOW HOW MUCH 1KR IS? #¤#"%
Never seen an adult get furious for 1kr.
For a second I thought he was going to kill me for the 1kr.
A well-known right wing radio talk show host here in the US had his mortgage with the bank I worked for. He made his payments in the branch offices on the very last day before he incurred late charges. Unfortunately, we ended up having a technical glitch in our systems & his payments had to be sent from the branch to corporate to be posted, which took a day or two. Our systems generated & sent late notices, but the payments were always posted effective the date he'd paid in the branch, so there wasn't ever a late charge. He called me one day, screaming about the notices. I explained that I couldn't prevent them from generating unless he paid a few days earlier in the branch, but that he could disregard them because his payments were posted as paid on time. That was NOT good enough. I went to lunch & when I came back my coworkers were absolutely staring at me. It turned out that he'd gone on an extended rant about the whole thing on his radio show & people had heard it. A little while later, I was called on the carpet because the bastard had called my VP & demanded I be fired. She didn't fire me, but from then on that asshat was handled with absolute kid gloves. I will NEVER forget it.
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