Retail Workers Are Sharing The Wildest Reasons Customers Demanded Refunds, And I'm So Glad I'm Not The One Working The Register
They aren't paid enough to deal with this.
If you've ever worked in retail, then you've probably had to refund at least one unhappy customer.
Some customers, however, take "the customer is always right" a little too literally, and they demand refunds for absolutely wild reasons.
A while back, Reddit user u/Chilled_Painters asked, "What's the craziest reason a customer has given you for refunding the product you were selling?"
Here are some of the wildest answers:
1. "It was a necklace featuring a word in a script font hanging on a chain. The customer's complaint was that in the photos, you could see the word when the model was wearing it, but when she tried hers on, she could only see the word when looking in the mirror."
2. "One time, we had a guy try to return a camp toilet, claiming it had collapsed after it had been used. He brought it back for us in a bigger garbage bag for us to check out — still full, judging from the smell."
3. "A man came in looking for some bolt cutters, so a coworker who had just started work the day before offered to help him out and got him a huge pair. The man checked out and was back in the store within two minutes saying he changed his mind. The cashier didn't think anything of it and refunded his money. 10 minutes later, the new coworker was leaving on his lunch break, and his bicycle was nowhere to be found. He instantly realized he sold the man the tools to steal his own bike!"
4. "Someone returned a birthday cake because it was stale. It was still in date and unopened. Somehow they knew it was stale without touching or tasting it."
5. "I had a guy come in 20 minutes to closing time the day before Christmas to return four mini hair straighteners. He thought they were some fancy small travel irons for shirts and collars, so he'd bought them for his brothers and brother-in-law, who were all bald."
6. "I had a customer come in with a bag of relatively expensive items from our grocery store. They were covered in pesticide, and she had claimed we packed it all into the same bag (which is against our policy) and needed a refund on everything. I felt something fishy was up and told my manager, who quickly checked the surveillance cameras and saw her walk in with a bag, stuff as much as she could into it, and pour pesticide all through it."
7. "A guy tried to return flowers a week later because they had died. Our flowers do not have any kind of 'will last 5 days' guarantee or anything. I called my manager, and the customer argued with him for over half an hour about his £2 bouquet of flowers."
8. "A guy ate a taco 12-pack, then wanted me to refund it because it didn't look like the picture."
9. "I once had a lady buy a taco salad and hand it to her daughter, who dropped it and got it all over the car. The mother demanded a replacement, a refund, and that somebody come out and clean her car for her."
10. "I was working a shift at a Dairy Queen, and it gets really busy at this store. So busy that we have 30+ orders off screen waiting most Sunday evenings. Someone who just ordered 5–10 minutes earlier came up to complain about how it shouldn't take so long for one ice cream cone, even though he was probably about 20th in line. He demanded we drop the other orders, make his cone, AND give his money back."
11. "When returning tillers (or any yard equipment) and it's scratched all to hell with dirt all over it, and they say, 'It's not doing what I need it to...' Or are you done with what you needed it for?"
12. "When I worked at Home Depot, people wouldn't purchase the correct oil to put in their chainsaws, thinking we were trying to sell add-ons. An hour later, they'd come back with a seized chainsaw, demanding a refund."
13. "My dad laughed at the man who tried to sell him protective trousers with his new chainsaw. The man laughed when my dad limped in to buy them a week and about 20 stitches later."
14. "I sold somebody my old Nintendo Wii, which worked perfectly fine, and they claimed it was broken and wouldn't run any disks. I told them they could send it back to me, and I'd test it and give a refund if this were the case. I also mentioned I had photos of the exact Wii I sold them so I'd know if they were swapping it with a broken one to get their money back. They never replied or sent the Wii back."
15. "When I was a manager at a coffee shop, we had a lady who would buy two pounds of beans, get us to grind them, and then come back a few weeks later with the mostly empty bags. She'd hold up the drive-thru line, insisting that we replace the coffee because it had gone bad. The first time we honored the 'just say yes' policy per the store manager, but after that, we had to try to explain to her that coffee doesn't stay fresh after you open it, and we can't replace a bag weeks later after you used most of it."
16. "A dude wanted to return his watermelon because it smelled funny. The watermelon came from another store (we could tell by the little sticker). He handed me a receipt...from a different store."
17. "Someone said, 'I bought a beef joint a few weeks ago and put it in the freezer. I took it out of the freezer yesterday and then realized it said 'unsuitable for freezing,' so I threw it out. Can I get a refund on that?' I told them no."
18. "I had a woman want to return a pizza because it was delivered to her too hot."
19. "A woman tried to return a three-year-old working grass cutter because her fingers had become too weak to pry open the case where the nylon cutter goes. We tried for 20 minutes to make the case easier to open, but she wasn't satisfied."
20. "The chicken she bought expired six days after she bought it. Who would've thought raw chicken would expire within a week?"
21. "I worked at a pet store, and this couple came in to try and 'return' their puppy they had bought a few days prior because they were under the impression that they came pre-housebroken...At eight weeks old."
22. "I was in a store once and witnessed a woman trying to return a pair of trainers that were worn and covered in mud. Funny thing was, the woman claimed she wore the shoes once around her house."
23. "I own a small snow cone stand and had a lady and her daughter order a large. They ate it in their car and left. Flash forward FOUR HOURS later, I got a call from a very angry man. He demanded a refund for his wife because the snow cone was dry. I explained that his wife and child ate their snow cone right in front of me."
24. "When I worked at a bookshop, someone returned Homer's Iliad because it 'wasn't like the film.' Troy had just come out at the cinema."
25. "My first day on the sales floor at my old job at a Sony outlet, a customer came up and purchased a Blu-ray copy of a movie. It was our policy to explain to everyone what a Blu-ray was, how it differed from a DVD, and that they needed a special player for it. The customer came back an hour later saying the disc was defective because it wouldn't play in his car's DVD player. Our store had a policy that opened media were not returnable, but broken items were. I had a brief moment of, 'Wouldn't it be funny if he broke the disk?' Well, he crafted it into several pieces then threw them at my face.
26. "When I was working at Apple, a guy came in completely furious that he couldn't hear anything out of the headset speaker. I took the phone, and he still had the protective plastic on it, covering the speaker."
27. And finally: "I work in a movie theater, and a few days out of the week, we give out a free bag of popcorn with the purchase of a ticket. A guy came in one day, purchased a ticket, and got his free popcorn. About 15 minutes later, he came back with an empty bag of popcorn, complaining that it was disgusting and too salty and demanded a refund. On the popcorn. That he already ate. Which was free."
Editor's note: Some responses have been edited for length/clarity.