It's no secret that people who work in retail are unsung heroes. For every nice customer they encounter, they are forced to deal with about a dozen rude and demanding ones.
Though the saying goes, "The customer is always right!" that sometimes could not be further from the truth. Reddit user u/RSTLNE3MCAAV posed the question, "Retail workers of Reddit, what is the most desperate scam a customer has tried to pull on you?" The responses had my jaw on the floor. Here are some of the wildest:
1. "A woman came in, grabbed an herb-roasted rotisserie chicken, plopped down in the casual seating area, ate 85% of it with her bare hands, then brought the carcass to customer service and tried to return it."
2. "A customer brought back a jumpsuit for a refund because it had shit in it. She claimed it was like that when she bought it. It stank so bad that you could smell it through the taped-up plastic bags she had put it in. It would never have gone unnoticed by the changing room staff, the customer, or the cashier if she actually bought it like that. Someone at the refund counter actually accepted it and put it in the trolley full of other returned items for us to put back out. There was a note stapled to it that said, 'Warning: feces inside.'"
3. "This person came in with a coupon for a free iPod. The fine print said, 'Guaranteed and payable by Bill Gates.' I asked why Bill Gates would pay for an Apple product. They left."
4. "Our store is carryout only — we don’t deliver the pizzas we make. We once had a customer call and have a long and angry conversation with me because I wouldn’t deliver to her. She proceeded to say (a couple of times), 'You must be new here. I know the owner personally,' to which I responded, 'Well, I’m the owner's daughter, and we don’t deliver.'"
5. "I had a woman try to return something without actually bringing the item."
6. "I worked at a gas station. Once, a guy came in, grabbed a foot-long sub from the sandwich case, opened it up, pulled a hair out of his own head, and stuffed it in the sandwich. He came up to the register and demanded a refund."
7. "I used to work at a game store. One time, a woman came in and asked for two PSPs, two Xbox 360s, and a handful of games and accessories. When it was time to pay, she handed me a 'credit card' that was not laminated and appeared to come from a home printer. I told her the card wouldn’t work and she told me to scan it anyway. I scanned her fake credit card, which clearly didn't have a magnetic strip, and of course it didn't work. She told me to just type the number in on the computer. I refused, and she told me she would be back with cash. I put everything back on the shelves. She did not return."
8. "I sold a guy a phone years ago when I worked for a wireless carrier. I spent an hour getting all his information transferred and setting up the phone. He came in the next day with a shattered screen. Apparently he didn’t remember that I was the rep who helped him and proceeded to tell me that the phone was like that when he left the store. Needless to say, the phone was not replaced."
9. "I worked at Ulta, and someone tried to return some liter-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner, but they had filled them with water and froze them. The temperature and condensation were a dead giveaway, so we refused to return their items. They proceeded to call corporate and complain, so they got a $100 gift certificate and we got bitched at."
10. "I was working at a place that had soft-serve ice cream on the menu. One day, a lady came to the counter and said, 'I'm really sorry, but my daughter dropped her ice cream and she's really sad about it. Do you think you could give me another?' I was about to, then I realized our ice cream machine was broken that day and we hadn't sold any. I looked back at her and told her that the ice cream must've not been from us because of the machine. She turned bright red and mumbled, 'Oh, then I guess it must be from Dairy Queen or something,' and left quickly."
11. "I worked at Aldi, which has a return policy where you get your money back plus an item of equal or lesser value. One customer routinely returned a gallon of milk with just a quarter remaining, claiming it was 'rancid.' He’d then get a new gallon and his money back. This went on almost daily for two weeks until the district manager finally put his foot down."
12. "A customer called my company and complained that my shirt was untucked so that they could get free coupons. This woman made such a mess out of nothing, and I almost got written up over it."
13. "I worked in a grocery store. One night, a guy kept walking back and forth in front of the doors while jerking a plastic bag around. Finally, after his third try, a big jug of wine broke through the bottom of the bag and smashed right in front of the doors. He started yelling that our bags were crap and that we better get him another bottle. I walked him outside and told him we couldn’t replace it because we didn’t have any wine jugs filled with black cherry Kool-Aid. No, wine doesn’t smell like that."
14. "I was working customer service, and part of my job was to answer any incoming phone calls. We got a call from a guy claiming to be from technical support. He told me that he wanted to update our systems, and to do so, I needed to follow his instructions. I obviously knew this was a scam but decided to play along. He told me to log in to our computer, ring up a gift card for $100, say he paid cash, then read off the gift card number for him. He said that would update our systems! Still the funniest scam attempt I've ever seen."
15. "I worked at Arby's, and we closed for a week while our store got remodeled. We were all there one day during that week preparing to reopen when someone called and claimed we'd messed up their drive-thru order the previous day. They demanded that we remake their order for free. The manager had to fight laughter while telling him that we'd been closed for a week."
16. "When I was at Little Caesars, this lady came in with her pizza box and proceeded to tell the cashier she had bought the pizza the previous day and it was burnt, so she wanted a new one. There were only two slices left in the box, and it was a day old. They still gave her a new pizza. Not worth the fight for a $5 Hot-n-Ready."
17. Finally: "I once saw someone trying to return an empty 10-pound bag of ice because it had melted too quickly."
Retail workers, have you ever had a customer try to scam you? Drop your story in the comments!
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.