Retail Life episode 17

          There’s one type of customer I hate above all others. The scammer. These people feel so entitled that they find ways to get things for free, steal money, or to trick you into giving them more than what you’re supposed to in change. I have zero patience for these people and I don’t care how far up the corporate ladder they threaten to call – they will not get their way in my store.

          Example one: I used to have a customer that would bring in fake coupons. How did I know they were fake? Well, the number one rule in our coupon handling is “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” So, if she brings in a coupon for $10 off tide laundry soap that’s $11 a bottle? Yeah, that’s a fake coupon. Or a $5 off Febreze, and the Febreze item is in fact $5? That’s fake too. She tried to use her coupons in my store maybe three times before she realized it just wasn’t going to fly and she needed to take her bullshit somewhere else.

          Example two: This has never happened to me personally, but we hear about it all the time. Every time scammers do their thing in a store, an e-mail is sent out by loss prevention so we can be aware of the new tactic they’re trying to get their “free” money. People call the store and claim there is something wrong with our debit machine and they need to load a prepaid card to make sure ours is working. And how do they make sure? We’re supposed to cash out a transaction and read them the number off the back of the card. And what do you think happens next? Now that they’ve gotten the money off the card, they hang up and it’s too late to do anything else about it. Or the new way it’s happening is they come in, get the card rung up, distract the cashier, and cash out the transaction themselves. Or they claim they used to work here, so they know which button to press, “here, let me do it.” And out the door they go and your register is now $500 short.

          Example three: This happened to me just the other day. I didn’t fall for it, because I’m not dumb and have had this happen to me on more than one occasion in my nine years or retail. A man starts up a conversation, usually just some small talk. The other day, he was talking about tattoos. Easy topic with me since I have them on my arms, and so did he. Then he paid with a $50 and his change was $38. I gave him a twenty, three fives, and three ones. He turns away, then turns back and suddenly there’s a one-dollar bill where a twenty was just a moment ago. Since I’m not and idiot and I know there wasn’t a one in my twenty spot, I immediately just tell him, “No, I know I gave you a twenty.” He argues with me for a minute and a line of customers starts to form. Then he asks me to count my drawer to be sure. So I do. Right in front of him and the customers in line. And what do you know, my register was right on the money. He continues to argue though because he really wants me to give him an extra $20. But it’s not gonna happen. This isn’t the first time someone tried to put this over on me, and none of them got a way with it either. This guy was persistent though, even went as far as to get corporate’s number and my name. But he did eventually leave. Without his extra twenty.

          I just don’t understand where these people get off thinking that we owe them anything. They want cashiers to break company policies and come up short on cash because they are just so special. And these cashiers can easily lose their jobs for falling for any of these scams. Take too many fake coupons? Well, you just aren’t paying close enough attention. Fall for the prepaid card scams? You should know better. Get convinced you short changed a customer? You should call management to help you. But sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re being scammed. As a beginner, I probably wouldn’t have known the signs or how to react in those situations. Some people don’t like confrontation and don’t want to start an argument with the customer. Besides, the customer is always right, right?

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kylieraewriter

A fiction writer from Fort Worth, Texas

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