The Customer Is Always Wrong

March 3, 2023 | Sammy Tran

The Customer Is Always Wrong

It’s said that the customer is always right. Well, many workers and service providers will easily confirm how false that statement is. Not only can the customer be wrong, but they’re also terribly defensive about it. Always fun…if you’re not the one caught in the crossfire, that is.

1. Laugh Buddy

I was in line at a Barnes & Noble during the Christmas season and things were taking a while. The guy standing next to me starts loudly talking about the incompetence of the cashiers. Then he starts tapping me on the shoulder and sharing his jokes loudly with me to my face.

I tend to be a pretty passive person, but this guy broke four rules: don't be rude, don't mess with people who are working hard in customer service, don't touch me, and don't get loud in my face.

So I smiled at him as if in on the joke and shouted in his face, "I bet their problem is that during this time of year, they have to deal with a lot of jerks such as yourself!"

His smile evaporated and he left the line. By the time I got to the counter, the cashier called me her hero and offered to buy me a coffee from the Starbucks in the store. I told her that the satisfaction of the moment was reward enough.

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2. Put In His Place

I was working as a cashier in a gas station during the morning rush. A guy (businessman type) was loudly cursing about how slow everyone was and how he was in a hurry and "didn't have time for this".

Finally, he just jumped the line, slammed down a pile of money, and cursed me. Right then a little boy in line loudly asked his mother, "Mommy, why is that man being so awful?" Everyone burst out laughing and the guy skulked off with his tail between his legs.

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3.  The McVIP

I worked at McDonald's for a while during high school to fund an overseas trip. I was about three seconds into my shift when a man storms into the store with a cup and slams it down on the counter, yelling, "WHAT IS THIS???"

I wasn't even working when he purchased it, so I didn't know. I told him so, and he said, "I ASKED FOR A CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKE, A CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKE!!!" I looked inside it—and almost burst out laughing.

"Sir, this is a chocolate milkshake".


I refunded his money, and as he was walking out of the store he insulted me. Later that evening, he came back to buy dinner and made a beeline straight for me. He seemed rational and calm. He asked for a free VIP drink with his meal, and the chaos began again.

I asked to see his VIP card, and he screamed and ran out of the store. I thought he was gone, so I was about to cancel his order, but he ran back in with a VIP sticker obviously torn from his car. We aren't allowed to accept drive-through VIP stickers in-store, customers have to use a VIP card.

He waved the sticker in my face screaming, "IS THIS GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU?" I was scared, so I just let it go and gave him the free drink.

Unfortunately, the guys in the back had neglected to put more fries in the fryer, so there was going to be a five-minute wait for the fries. Inconvenient, but not at all my fault. The guy screams some more and then sits in the corner of the store. When the fries are ready, we served them up really quickly and gave them to him.

They were still very hot and covered in oil, straight from the fryer. He noticed this and decided it would be appropriate to throw the fries into my face and run out of the store.

The Customer Is Always WrongShutterstock

4. The Silent Treatment

While working at America's number one organic foods retailer, a friend and I were working—him on the register, and me bagging. This also happens to be in a city with an equal proportion of very cool, and very mean people.

So a woman comes up and this is what happens. For brevities’ sake, we'll call my friend and me A (register) and B (bagger).

A: Hey, how are you today?

Customer: listen. I don't want you to say a single thing to me during this. I don't want to talk to you.

A and B look at each other. We shrug. The order continues as any other...until it comes time for the payment. The woman struggles with the credit card machine.

Customer: how does this work? your machine is broken. How do I do this?

A and B make complete and total eye contact with the woman. We say nothing.

Customer to the cashier: Can you help me with this? I can't figure this out.

A gives the coldest stare you've ever seen and then crosses their arms.

Customer looking at B: can you...

Cold stare. This is when she realizes what she's done.

Then follows a moment of silence while she takes several minutes to work the machine. Customer leaves.

Next customer: Well done guys.

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

5. Spectacle At Fry’s

I was in the return line at Fry's electronics because of some bad RAM (never buy RAM from Fry's) and the lady two positions ahead of me got called up next. She wanted to return a vacuum cleaner because it wasn't sucking anymore, but here's the thing.

The vacuum looked like it had been used outside to clean a construction site. There were caked-on white patches of dirt all over it, the cord had several knots in it, and the clear container for dust was packed full, with no room for shaking at all.

The person told her the problem looked to be that she just needed to empty it and it would work fine, and also mentioned that they could not take a return on it because the purchase was seven months earlier. She wasn't having this. She took an exaggerated deep breath and started yelling and swearing.

Everyone in the line, working the section, and walking into the store froze and stared at the spectacle. This was no small woman either. This woman was about 5'6"-5'7" and looked like a rather large globe of cellulite.

Her voice had gone from sweet to rabid shrieking instantaneously. No building, no rising in volume. Just a straight screeching noise. It's like someone threw a mic in front of its own speaker with the volume on 11.

Her face made a similar transformation from white to red. The poor little girl who was tending to her literally took a step back, recoiled, and fell into the chair behind her. Then started looking side to side for further routes of escape.

The manager came sprinting out of the office hands in front of him pumping his palms open towards her, asking her to settle down. This did not work, it only made Butterball the orca angrier and she started hitting the counter with one of the vacuum cleaner's brush attachments.

She was calling the girl and the manager very bad names and kept threatening to sue them. This went on for about two minutes with nothing managing to calm her down. There was a large crowd gathering now.

She proclaimed "FINE IF YOU DON'T WANNA GIVE ME MY MONEY..." raised the long brush attachment up as if she were gonna strike the girl, "IM GONNA-" I'd had it. I wasn't about to watch this woman get violent I yelled "HEY!"

She stopped mid-sentence, jerked her head at me, and shot eye daggers in my face. All I could do was stare at the gobbler on her chin and follow her jerky head movements. The words that came out were not the ones I'd intended, "PUT THE FORK DOWN!"

Her eyes went wider than they already were, eyes bulged, which seemed an odd reaction to what I thought I'd said in my mind. The whole area burst into laughter, then I realized what I'd said. I was about to correct myself, but she started stomping towards me with the vacuum rod attachment high overhead.

So I decided to roll with it. I happened to be wearing a red jacket so I dropped my bag, swung it off, and started acting like a Bullfighting matador. The woman saw me mocking her and just shrieked... She started galloping at me swinging the thing in circles above her head. She never even made it close, I was running like crazy.

I got about 20 feet away when security confronted her with tasers drawn. They didn't taze her but the sound of of them calling the authorities on her calmed her down instantly. She immediately went into defensive mode.

She ended up having to leave and I had my hand shaken by four or five people including the manager. I even got a girl's number out of the ordeal. The cow stepped on my ram and crushed it, but the manager understood and took the return anyway.

The Customer Is Always WrongShutterstock

6. Ridiculous Courage

I work as a butcher and had some woman walk in and order a rump steak. So I go into the locker to get the meat and cut it. We always show the customer the meat before we sell it to them.

So, I show her this steak and she totally freaks out and starts screaming, "I ordered rib you dumb idiot!" I politely tell her that she didn't but she kept freaking out and screaming that she was "going to stab me".

At this point, my boss looks over and waves a steak blade which is more or less a machete, and says "bring it on!" Best day of work ever. I have never laughed so hard in my life.

The Customer Is Always WrongShutterstock

7. French Courtesy

My dad and his brother were visiting France and eating lunch in a cafe one day. They overheard a bunch of American people at a table near them doing the typical "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M SAYING SO I'M GOING TO SPEAK LOUDER" stuff, and the waitress was having none of it.

She basically motioned that she couldn't understand a thing they were saying and they left. The waitress walks over to my dad's table, and in perfect English says, "Can you believe that? How can you visit a country without even trying to learn the language?"

My dad and his brother both took a little French and the woman totally helped them out.

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8. An Important Demand

I had to run to a local supermarket on my lunch break a few years ago to send some money to a friend via Western Union. Of course, the Western Union terminal is at the same customer service counter as Ticketmaster, lottery, returns, etc.

I get up to the counter with my filled-out paperwork and there is one woman standing in front of me. I'd peg her around her mid-70s. The only problem was, there was nobody behind the counter. The lady looks over at me and says that she's been standing here for ten minutes already and nobody has helped her.

I only get thirty minutes for lunch, so I need to try and speed things along as best as possible. I ran to the nearest cashier and let them know that nobody was working in customer service. She got on the PA system and called for someone to come assist us. Another ten minutes pass.

A manager walks by and asks if we've been helped. We tell him no and we've been waiting for quite some time. He says he'll get somebody right over. Another ten minutes pass.

I'm starting to get seriously annoyed. However, I'm a very passive person and definitely not the Alpha type, so I try and take it with the best humor I can. Finally, after more than a half hour of standing in front of this counter, an employee shows up and starts to help us.

This little old lady, who by this point has been standing in line for nearly 45 minutes, then walks up to the counter, opens the bag she was carrying, and pulls out an apple. My jaw DROPS. That's when she says, "This apple was only supposed to be 52 cents but you charged me 70 cents!"

I just stared incredulously. I can't imagine waiting that long to try and demand a refund of a handful of pennies.

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9. Quite The Inquisitive Customer

I work at Cold Stone Creamery and one day I was the only one behind the counter. The manager was in the back. That's when I see an older white couple come in, and I greet them with the casual, "Hello, how are you?"

The couple came in closer and I could tell they read my nametag (which is Alejandro). I then overheard the older man say to his wife, "God, why do businesses keep hiring minorities?"

I was shocked. I probably shouldn't have been that mad but it was the first time anything happened like this, so I ended up walking to the back and had the manager handle it.

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10. Empathy Goes A Long Way

I was a witness to this story. I was writing a report about the fast food industry for a class. I hadn't been inside a fast food joint for years and I strolled inside a Mcdonald's to grab a nutrition brochure. As I walk in, I hear a loud pop sound from under the ketchup dispenser.

It was a pressurized one, I suppose pumping the "old-fashioned" ones was too much work. Anyway, ketchup is gushing out from under some cabinets and the manager sends a mentally challenged employee to go clean up the mess.

While she is on her hands and knees in ketchup, customers start telling her to clean up the spill faster, I suppose as it was impeding them from obtaining ketchup.

After a while customers start raising their voices and scoffing and not too long after that a couple of them start yelling at her to "clean up the mess". I was young then but that is no excuse for what I did next; I just left. I didn't do anything.

I just looked at everyone, felt a horrible clenching in my stomach, and swiftly walked out the doors. If I could relive the moment again I would have scolded the individuals for acting so inappropriately and then gotten down on the ground to help that poor girl out.

I should at least have written a letter to that manager's supervisor for just standing there while my already dwindling faith in humanity got even more microscopic.

The Customer Is Always WrongGetty Images

11. Army Brat (Alternative Meaning)

I was at Fort Bragg Army base in North Carolina (I was in the AF) at the BX (army department store). I was standing in line, in uniform, and the guy in front of me says he got the wrong change. The cashier apologizes and states that she will have to pull the drawer and have a count done, he mumbles some insulting comments.

She is counting the drawer down with another cashier and this guy continues to berate her, the store, and how long it is taking while they are trying to count. They have to start a couple of stacks over because of his interruption. He starts to get really mad and red in the face.

I'm still behind him and tell him he should calm down and quit harassing them so they can finish. Ignoring me, he continues to complain, getting louder. The cashier is VERY frustrated by now and says "Sir, you will have to stop so we can finish!"

At this time, he is purple and leans over the counter to put his face in hers and pokes his finger at her, jabbing her in the chest with it. She screams as he tries to hit her. I drop my stuff, pull him back and fail miserably at trying to put him in a half-nelson.

Right then the MPs show up and put him down on the ground. They take statements and the poor girl is crying as they take her statement. Then the guy's daughter shows up, in uniform. The newly cuffed guy is a civilian visiting her, he is not associated with the Army in any way.

I feel really sorry for her since she will have to answer for her father's wrongdoing. What did I take from all this? Be nice and calm. That little thing that irritates you at the time doesn't matter at all compared to what can result when you let things escalate.

The Customer Is Always WrongShutterstock

12. The Defender Of The Voiceless

I was once at Subway eating my sandwich in peace when this lady came in with her teenage kid and starts screaming at the girl behind the counter for making up her sandwich. The young employee just stood there, silently tolerating her aggression.

Having been in her shoes, I found my opportunity to say what I always wanted to say to a customer like that. They couldn't fire me, I'm another customer.

"Hey! They make it right in front of you, why didn't you correct her while she was making it? And why are you yelling at a minimum-wage employee that can't stand up to you without getting fired? What is wrong with you?" She turned toward me, shocked.

Her pimple-faced kid stared at me with a dull, thoughtless look. "Mind your own business!", she barked. "It became my business when you came in here and ruined my meal by screaming. I'll tell you what she can't—you're ill-mannered and you better leave!"

I stood up and walked to the door, dumping trash in the bin. As I reached for the door handle, her son pipes up, "Yeah, you can leave. Go now". I stopped, turned on my heel, and took a step toward him. He shuddered a bit, realizing he bit off more than he could chew.

"Son, it's a little late for you to grow a sack". I gazed into him with nothing but fearless confidence. He said nothing. Then I went too far. I said, "Both of you, die of cancer". Then I left.

I felt ten feet tall all day.

The Customer Is Always WrongWikimedia Commons

13. A Day To Remember

I had one customer who was definitely right, and no one saw it coming. I ran a bakery in Florida, near a very large Air Force base. Every day, this man would come into the bakery, buy a croissant and complain about the price, quality, and whatever he could. It was as if he lived to complain. And that struck me as odd.

After so many years in retail, I got pretty good at eyeballing the customer. This guy was young, good-looking, kind of Mediterranean, well-dressed, and clean-shaven. He's not the type to complain like a bitter old man. But he did.

One Monday morning, he comes in, just as bitter as always. "How can you sell these for so much? They are not worth a dollar".

"Dude, you're the only one who complains. I thought you loved our chocolate croissant".

"I hate it," he said. Then he smiled. "But after today, I don't have to eat these ridiculous things". He takes his croissant and leaves. I didn't really know what to make of this, and I didn't expect to see him again. But the next day, Tuesday, there he was, earlier than usual.

But this time, he was happy. Not just smiling, but genuinely happy. He bought his usual and said, "Today is going to be a great day. You will always remember today". He then happily sauntered out of our bakery. An hour later, on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, it happens.

I never saw the guy again. I called the local FBI, who briefly interviewed me, and said the guy was probably monitoring and recording activity at the local air base. The customer was right. I never forgot that day.

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I work at Trader Joe's. This one lady came through my line one day. I say hi, and she mutters a hello. "How are you doing today?" "Good". "Any plans for the weekend?" "Why are you asking? You don't even care. This is ridiculous. Every time I come in this store, YOU GUYS ALWAYS ASK HOW I AM. YOU DON'T CARE. YOU'RE JUST DOING IT BECAUSE YOUR MANAGERS TELL YOU TO".

At this point, I'm like, “Oh wow, this woman is insane". I look across my register to one of my managers, who's facing me. I kind of eye him a "dude, help me out" kind of look. He shrugs, smiles, and goes back to helping his customer.

At this point, I'm dumbfounded by this woman who is still yelling at me. I look around, at other customers, who are wide-eyed and can't believe she is for real. I'm halfway smiling/laughing because I can't believe this person is so offended that I was making conversation with her.

I snap back into it after a few seconds, to hear her close with "blah blah blah, you guys are so fake". I tell her "Okay," look down, and continue scanning/bagging her stuff. No apology, because I wasn't sorry. A super awkward silence ensues for a good 10 seconds.

Then I hear a customer in the line behind her say, "Well I'm having a great day, Evan! Thanks for asking," and gives me a big smile. The lady next to her then said, "Me too! Thanks for being so nice here". The mean client’s face at this point was PRICELESS.

You could tell she wanted to burst with the rage of one thousand suns, but she held it in. She was absolutely livid that other strangers were ganging up on her. I finish bagging her stuff, push her cart to her, and continue to ignore her.

She then goes to the pit (it's that boxed-off area where the managers sit around and drink Starbucks) to make a complaint about me and the store in general. I spoke to the assistant manager (who she talked to) afterward and he could hardly believe what just happened. He gave me a high five and told me to pray for her.

To this day, she comes in every Saturday. IF YOU HATE THE STORE SO MUCH, WHY DO YOU COME EVERY SINGLE WEEK?

That day I learned there are some really gross people in this world—very sad individuals. I also learned that, although not common, there are some totally great strangers to be found. Thank you ladies who stuck up for me!

The Customer Is Always WrongFlickr, juicyrai

15. Managerial Issues

I worked in retail for about four years: Circuit City, some weird "surf clothing" store, and another nonsensical "surf clothing" store for a few months.

What I hated more than anything else in retail was when management and/or corporate implemented a new policy that was arbitrary, bogus, and enraged customers.

What would happen is that you would enforce this new rule: "Sorry, all sunglasses must be returned within three days for a full refund," and then the customer would flip out, "What?! How am I supposed to know if they fit in only three days?!"

The manager would hear the commotion, "An unhappy customer? Oh no!" The manager would wave the arbitrary rule and talk to you as if you're vindictive to the customer. "Oh, come on! Give 'em a break!" the manager might say with a smile. Then comes the reassurance from the customer, "Thank you," they'd say to the manager.

So you looked rude for a policy that management asked you to enforce. And when it all hits the fan they decide not to enforce it. And that's why I walked out on my manager with no explanation other than "screw yourself" at the age of 19.

I was an angry kid.

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16. Ice Cream Flavor

I was working at an ice cream shop a few years back. This one ridiculous woman came in one day and evidently had the intention of sampling EVERY SINGLE FLAVOR IN THE FREEZER.

She literally stood around for like 20 minutes, holding up a line that was forming behind her while she had me systematically serve her up one miniature spoonful at a time.

Fortunately, before I resorted to smashing her face through the counter, some handsome, eloquent gent behind her administered a much-needed wake-up call and got her out the door.

He ragged her out about wasting everyone's time. "Enjoy that banana. I'm gonna guess that it tastes like a banana". She got the point. And Jesus Christ, she actually ended up ordering vanilla.

The Customer Is Always WrongShutterstock

17. “I Have A Right!”

I used to be a tech at a small computer shop. One day, this guy came in because his laptop, which we had reformatted the month before, was overheating.

With my boss in the other room, I tried to explain to the guy that overheating is a hardware issue, whereas the reinstall was to clear his computer of viruses. He insisted that we broke his computer and began going on and on about how we "screwed him".

So my boss comes out to the front counter, approaches him politely, and tries to explain that he overheard the conversation and everything I was saying is correct. The guy continues to berate both of us, yelling swears left and right. He then says, "I have a right to report this to the BBB!"

My boss replies, "You also have the right to get out of my store, and I strongly suggest you do so". The guy left, and my boss turned to me to say "ah, the joys of owning your own business. The customer is not always right. In fact, they're usually an idiot".

The Customer Is Always WrongFlickr, wistechcolleges

18. The Apologetic Wrong Customer

I would like to share a story of how I was once a bad customer. This was some years ago—I had recently gotten cable internet or phone or some such thing (can't remember exactly) and set it up on some kind of autopay scheme. These usually take one or two billing cycles to kick in.

After about two months, I got a letter saying I needed to pay or they would disconnect the service. I called in, got the payment taken care of over the phone, and thought everything was hunky dory. A few days after that, the service was disconnected. I was furious—and did something I regret now.

I called the support 1-800 number and yelled at the customer service representative. After about five minutes of me being a complete asshole to this guy, it turned out the disconnection had nothing to do with the billing issue. It was a technical, unrelated matter that was my fault.

The rep was calm throughout the whole ordeal, just trying to help me. I apologized profusely as soon as I realized this, but that was after five minutes of me refusing to listen to what the guy was saying because I was so busy being furious and yelling.

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

19. The Musicland White Whale

I used to work for Musicland (before they all became Sam Goody). The bane of my existence was some kid who would come through the store spitting sunflower seeds on the carpet as he browsed around the sections.

Since the seed shells are pointed, they would get caught in the carpet and I would have to get down on the floor and pick them up by hand—all the soggy, hooked ones that the vacuum couldn't get (around 50%).

The trail he left was always the same: a small pile in New Releases, a trail leading back to Clearance, then a trail leading to a large pile in Rap & Hip Hop—thus, convincing me that it was always the same kid gobbing his saliva-soaked garbage on the floor.

One day, I'm at the cashier ringing some lady out and my white whale sidles up to the rap section. He begins to hawk a heroic amount of empty, sodden seed shells onto the floor with a thpthpthp sound. He has so much to let go, he has to lean over to the side so they don't cover the front of him on the way down.

I stop what I'm doing, turn to the kid in shock and say, "Don't hawk saliva on my floor, you disgusting little rugrat!" The woman at the wrap is his mother.

She starts getting indignant with me, swearing and shouting and demanding an apology for calling her delicate son bad words (meanwhile, this kid is studying a CD whose cover depicts a little person with a wound to the eye).

I respond by asking whether he spits on the floors at home. That doesn't soothe her and she starts demanding to see the manager. I call up the manager (who was the best man at my wedding) and explain the matter to him.

She says, "Well, are you going to make him apologize?" To which he replies, "Do you apologize when he spits on the floors at home?" She grabbed her son and stormed out. But that wasn't the last of him.

Two weeks later, I busted him in the back of the store stuffing CDs into his oversized pants (but sans sunflower seeds). His mother refused to come in to get him when the authorities called her. Good times.

The Customer Is Always WrongFlickr, CharlesFred

20. If I Don’t Like It It’s Bad

My favorite client at my first job scooping ice cream gave me an earful for "selling her daughter and friends blue moon ice cream that was obviously messed up and defective".

By messed up she meant “one girl didn't like it, therefore all three didn't". I had even offered samples beforehand, but the mom said not to bother.

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

21. Smile Baby

I worked at a family portrait studio. The story that comes to mind is about this woman who made me photograph her baby for two hours. The baby was not smiling. I am GREAT at making kids smile, but it just wasn't going to happen.

The average sitting at the portrait studio is 30-45 minutes. But no joke, I looked at the clock, and this woman made me take pictures of her baby for two hours. She kept insisting that she was going to buy a lot of pictures. At one point she turned to me and said, "It's ok though, you're paid by the hour, right?"

YES, BUT I ALSO GET PAID A COMMISSION. After two hours, she used a coupon for a free photo. I tried to push her—she ended up buying $20 worth. Meanwhile, my coworkers had done several $100+ sales in that time. Gah. We also sold pre-paid packages, which were really cheap, and had limitations.

There were SO MANY DEBATES over the rules of the packages. I quit retail/customer service in May and could not be happier.

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

22. “Why Are These Hot Spicy Rings So Hot & Spicy?”

I can list hundreds, but here's one I keep at the front of my mind so I can have a giggle.

A guy orders "Hot and Spicy Onion Rings" with a subheading of "Onion rings coated in a hot chili batter". These were one of the favorites at the restaurant I used to manage, the same recipe was used for as long as I remember.

I notice one of his toddlers gasping for air, so instinctively I run over with a glass of water, hand it to him and check on the kid. I ask him what's up and the boy says, "Burns!! Hot!!" The young lad's about three or four…

I clear up any debris on the table from the ordeal and walk back to the bar to check on staff, closely followed by his father. The father claims he's going to sue because I served the onion rings to the table and didn't make him aware that they had chili in them.

He stated that every other time he'd been to the restaurant they never served them with chili. Apparently, the last time he visited, he said, was a month prior. It was my responsibility to make sure he knew they were hot, according to him.

I pointed out that the item on the menu contained the word hot, spicy, and chili more than once and that it was his responsibility to ensure the food that HE fed to his kids was suitable, not mine.

He blushed after seeing the menu information and blushed even more when I showed him the printed date on the back of the menu. Nearly a year prior to the incident. Needless to say, I enjoyed every second of knowing I, the manager, was 100% right.

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23. Buy 2 Get 1 Free

I used to work at GameStop and you would not believe the idiots that don’t understand how a buy two, get one free sale works.

I’ve had to explain to fully grown adults (countless times, by the way) that they couldn't buy two 99-cent copies of some jampack summer demo disc and get a new copy of whatever $60 madden or midnight club thing they wanted.

This has happened many, many times.

The Customer Is Always WrongFlickr, Stephan Mosel

24. A Great Manager

I had a mom come in and yell at one of my teenage employees one day when I wasn't there. When I heard about it, I picked up the phone, called the parent, and told them to NEVER come back. The parent was flabbergasted and stated that she hadn't been rude to my staff at all.

While saying this, I could tell she was trying to get her dander up for a fight. I just got mine up too and said, "You don't pay me enough to put up with this ridiculousness. I don't care how you treat other people in town, but you can't do that at my place. You are just glad I wasn't there because I would have embarrassed you in front of everyone".

At this point, she starts back peddling big time, telling me how much her kids love us, whether there was anything she could do, etc. Since I did like her kids, I told her if she apologized to the employee I might let her stay. But if she uttered a single mean word, even one, I warned her, "I am going to bounce you like a super ball!"

After that, she was so easy to deal with.

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

25. Discontinued Fragrances

I worked at Bath and Body Works for many many years. Fragrances tend to come and go, some stick around forever like cucumber melon and sweet peas but most eventually go so new ones can come in.

This upsets a lot of customers because they get used to a certain scent they enjoy. Most people, when told their fragrance has been discontinued, are like oh wow that sucks. I usually suggest one that may be similar and they move on.

One time, this lady came in looking for a scent we no longer carried. I told her this, and she just looked at me with this sort of sociopathic stare. She said, " I know you have some in the back".

I very kindly explained to her that, we do not have any, our semi-annual sale in which we do sometimes have some older fragrances has ended and what you see is what we have. She didn't believe me.

I went back to "look" to humor her but our backroom is the size of a closet and I was well aware we did not have this. She threw an absolute fit, accusing me of lying, insisting the scent was not discontinued, and somehow she got the idea I was just "too lazy" to climb the ladder because it was probably on the top shelf.

She blamed me personally that we didn't have it, and basically told me she knew about my conspiracy to hide stuff in the backroom. She was completely nuts.

The Customer Is Always WrongShutterstock

26. “We’re Not Fighting Today, Ma’am”

One day this lady comes in and while she is buying something, is just being extremely rude. I forget what her beef was specifically, but it was nothing relevant to the products or services we were providing, she was trying to pick a fight with me specifically.

I'm having a good day and am completely unfazed by this. So while I'm ringing her up, I proceed to very politely inform her that my function at the store is not to absorb the anger from her bad day, and she might want to go have a chamomile tea or something.

This just sets her off to the point of yelling. As my co-worker who was bagging her stuff is now hiding behind the counter, I re-iterate my opinion that it's wrong to take things out on random people. Then she yells at me for smiling, as I was smiling the whole time, and storms off to customer service, threatening to get me fired.

So, they told me that when she shows up at the service desk, she says she wants to make a complaint about someone, and they ask the name... and as soon as she says my name all three girls at the counter start laughing at her, cause they know I'm the nicest guy in the whole store.

She walks out of the store crying. I was a hero in the break room for weeks.

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

27. Mini Watermelons

I was working in the produce section of a supermarket. An older man comes up to me and asks where the mini watermelons are. I show him. He looks at them for a few seconds and says, "A few days ago, you had some that are bigger. Do you have any bigger ones?"

I said, stunned, "The… watermelons are over there".

The Customer Is Always WrongFlickr, Adam Cohn

28. Cute Loophole

When I was 17, I worked at Walgreens. The dress code stated that men had to wear a collared shirt and tie. So, being my cute and smart self, I used to wear a polka dot shirt with a black bow tie once a week. The old ladies loved it and commented on how it's a shame nobody wears bow ties anymore.

One day, a grumpy middle-aged lady came in and was infuriated that her prescription was not ready yet and proceeded to yell at me at tell me how stupid my tie and shirt were, and that my mother should be beaten for letting me leave the house like that. I told her it was not nice to bring someone's mom into this.

The store manager heard the lady yelling and came over, this is when the lady started telling the manager it was "unprofessional" for me to wear a polka dot shirt and bow tie. Sadly, I was told not to wear them anymore to appease the customer.

The Customer Is Always WrongFreepik,borjandreu

29. Fired Up

A patient once had a cancer stick in their room while they were simultaneously hooked up to an oxygen tank. They saw no problem with it. Though they completely understood when I told them the fire Marshall was going to be called and fine them $10,000.

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

30. Another Refund Attempt

I worked at the Wal-Mart service desk in high school. A super white trash lady brings in a TV that looked older than me, saying she bought it the day before and it didn't work.

She had no box, or anything else that would have come with it, and claimed that she lost the receipt. Of course, I deny her a refund. She pitches a fit and demands to see the manager.

When this happens, the manager would come up front and have me "inspect" the item further, basically in an attempt to make it look like we were trying to help when we weren't. While I was inspecting the TV, I found the receipt taped to the bottom of it. It was a Sears receipt dated 1986. This took place in 2004.

The look on that woman's face was priceless.

The Customer Is Always WrongFlickr, Mike Mozart

31. “I’m Sure You Sell This!”

There was a very old man that sat in the closed section and then ordered an item we didn't have. I told him we didn't have it and he insisted that he had it there yesterday. mI had worked yesterday and he wasn't there. I just made it for him.

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

32. Faulty Logic

I work in a call center. So many idiots insist the problem can't be their computer because "It worked yesterday". Yeah, well so did the service, so by your logic, the service cannot be the issue either.

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

33. Won’t Take No For An Answer

I work in a call center for a credit card company and this happened last night. Our policy (since I've been working here) has been that we no longer offer co-applicants on accounts. This guy requested to have his wife added as a co-app and I told him we couldn't.

He repeated that he wanted his wife added as a co-app, and again I told him we couldn't. After five minutes of going back and forth, both of us saying the same thing, he finally requests a supervisor. So a supervisor gets on the line, and after another 10 minutes of going back and forth, both parties saying the same thing in different ways, the guy finally gets mad.

He says he's calling the president of the company and hangs up on us. I mean really? If someone says no to you three times in three different ways, don't you sort of get the hint?

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

34. I Can’t Be Responsible For My Ignorance

I work at Walmart. My personal favorite was the woman who claimed it wasn't her fault she didn't look up and see the price of the item in eight-inch tall numbers.

The Customer Is Always WrongFlickr, Walmart

35. Last-Minute Changes

I’m a web designer and I get a very special brand of annoying customers: The guy who makes last-minute changes to huge projects because he can.

Oh, you don't like the logo I revised three times for you? You want to use the one made in 1998, with the gradient-studded golf ball that looks like what someone makes on their first try using Illustrator? Awesome. Thanks for that.

Oh? I'm not allowed to change the colors either? Because beige and off-white are hot right now? Clearly, you know better than I do, I've only been doing this for six years.

Nooo...this logo will look great! It's not like I based the color palette of your site on the logo I painstakingly made for you over the last two weeks. Oh wait, that's exactly what I did!

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

36. Frequent Flyer

I spent 11 years at a major Airline. One day, some guy walks up to the ticket counter and yells about how he thinks we screwed him. He then throws his frequent flyer card at me, saying, "This thing isn't worth anything anymore, Just throw it away, how are you going to make this right?"

So I fix his problem, then I say, "Normally I would give you 5,000 miles, but since I am throwing away your card, I know you don't want those". He looked at me blankly, told me to go ahead and give him the miles and his card back, and then crawled away.

The Customer Is Always WrongFlickr, That Hartford Guy

37. The Man With Places To Be

Late one night, we had a flight arrive really late because of the weather. Everyone had missed their connecting flights. Because it was late, we had hotels, food vouchers, and already had flights booked for the morning for everyone.

So...two guys walk up. One of which was screaming about traveling all day, and wanting to be in city X, and that there has to be another flight. Once I tell him there isn't or he would be on it, he was still screaming and said, "You have to give me options!"

I said, “Okay you have two options—Option 1 is to go to the hotel, take a hot shower, eat dinner on us, and arrive home tomorrow morning. Option 2 is you can just stand here and yell at me all night and I'm on overtime so I really don't mind".

His buddy wouldn’t stop laughing and told him to leave me alone.

The Customer Is Always WrongWikimedia Commons, WANGBI Leiams

38. This Isn’t Madness

I was standing in line at the grocery store and the woman behind me says just loud enough to hear but not to be overly obnoxious, "Can't you hire more cashiers...this is madness!"

Generally, I'm a very patient person, even when other people are acting impatient but I couldn't help but turn around and politely inform her, "No ma'am...this isn't's SPARTA!"

She was old and didn't really get it but other folks in line snickered and the cashier could barely hold in his laughter.

The Customer Is Always WrongFlickr, anokarina

39. The Ninja Bartender

I worked in a bar in a college town. It was a slow night, and there was a hot girl working behind the bar with me. A plastered frat boy mimes leaning over the bar to put his mouth under the tap and reach for the tap,

I don't think he was going to pour but he trying to be funny for his idiot friends. Hot girl bartender does the unthinkable: She takes two steps, grabs his hair, and slams his face on the bar breaking his nose.

He looks up shocked and she points at the door and says, very icily, "Get out now". He walked out the door, still in shock saying nothing, the bar is quiet. She looks at his friends and says, "Any-you other idiots need anything?"

They say nothing. I was in awe, that was totally ninja.

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

40. The Rich Lady

I’m a retail manager. I once had a woman who was pretty rude to me considering I knew her address, SSN, phone number, credit card number, etc…

I won’t get into specifics but the conversation included: "Are you implying I can't afford a stamp? I probably make four times as much as you: a lowly sales clerk," and "You're an idiot".

Funnily enough, she was chewing me out for a mistake made by another store in a different state. I'm zillowing her house, googling her, checking on people, and trying not to laugh. She works in customer service. Ha!

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

41. The Mathematician

I had a lady ask me how much 40% off 79.99 was. I replied, "Well let's see 8x4 is 32 and 79-32 is..." And she cuts me off to say, "There is an easier way to do that".

So I retort with, "Then WHY did you ask me if you knew?" She didn't have much to say after that.

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

42. “Give Mommy Some Time, Okay?”

There was a woman whose son was vomiting outside the store. When alerted by one of my associates, she stated to her child, "I'm not done shopping yet, go wait in the car". Meanwhile, her son (and our front door) remained covered in vomit.

The Customer Is Always WrongShutterstock

43. Karma or Revenge?

One time at a drive-thru, this guy handed over the total one bill at a time and one coin at a time. My employee responded by doing the same thing with his change and his order. Not very serious, but I thought it was amusing.

The Customer Is Always WrongShutterstock

44. Take Your Change And Leave

Just the other day, some annoying teenagers came through my drive-thru and paid 17 dollars for a 16.61 order.

The driver told the guy at the window to keep the change because "he looks like he needs it". I’d recently been promoted, and I don't care about a customer who thinks he can treat someone in food service like they’re worthless. I knew just what to do.

I refunded his money and told him to get off the property. Satisfying for sure.

The Customer Is Always WrongShutterstock

45. The Polite Wrong Customer

Once a guy paid the tab at his daughter's wedding reception, but later, he was so plastered—he insisted he didn't pay and tried to pay it again.

His tab was $300. He was very nice about making sure he paid. Cash too, he's lucky I was honest.

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

46. Wrongful Accusation

I was accused of body-slamming a customer when I wasn't even working that day.

The Customer Is Always WrongShutterstock

47. Confused Mommy

During high school, I worked for Jewel-Osco, which is basically a grocery store with a pharmacy attached. A woman who couldn't have been more than twenty came up with a pregnancy test and was puzzled. The conversation went something like this:

Her: So, I get my part of the directions, but what about the other half?

Me: ...Pardon?

Her: Well, what do I have them do?

Me: Them?

Her: You know, THEM.

I stare at her in complete confusion.

Her: The possible fathers! If I'm pregnant, how do I find out which one is the daddy?

Me: ...I think you need a paternity test for that.

Her: Okay, sell me one of those.

The Customer Is Always WrongFreepik, gpointstudio

48. The Frog

I worked in a store in a mall. We are kind of a head shop but it started as just a store with a lot of random stuff. Last Christmas, we were selling frogs and Beta fish in these cool brick tank things.

I am working with my manager, and this Indian lady comes in and plops the tank down on the counter with a frog floating inside. It was not alive. The tank also happens to be ice cold.

She asks for a refund, I tell her we don't have refunds on the frogs (which is clearly marked), and we definitely don't refund unalive frogs. She leaves the frog on the counter and runs out to grab her father.

My manager looks at me and goes, oh god, these people were so obnoxious, they were here two days ago, and her son was a total brat, you can handle them!!!

Ok, thanks, MANAGER. She knows I love arguing with rude customers. The father comes in, demanding a refund. He claims the frog was no longer alive when he bought it.

Me: How do you know that?

Him: Because I saw it wasn’t alive when I bought it.

Me: Why would you buy a deceased frog?

He paused. Then answered: My grandson was insistent on THIS specific frog.

Me: Well why would you get him a deceased frog???

Him: Because that is the one he wanted.

Me: I'm glad he wants it because we don't take back frogs that are no longer alive.

He is still standing there dumbstruck, and I go back to talking with my manager. After a few minutes of just standing there, he storms out and his daughter takes the frog.

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

49. Literal Drive-Thru

I was working in a pharmacy drive-thru and one patient smashed their car into the car in front of them. They then tried to push that car out of the way because they were taking too long. It was actually one of my first days working there.

I had to explain, “No, we will not be giving you your prescription, and I saw the whole thing and will be speaking to the authorities as soon as they arrive".

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

50. The Callous Tourist

I saw this happen at a Subway store here in London. This Italian kid walks in, talking on the phone AND listening to an iPod at the same time. I am sure he was listening to music since I could hear it blasting from the other headpiece which was not in his ear.

We are all waiting in a large queue as it's lunchtime and it's his time to say what toppings he wants. He says nothing as he is talking on the phone. After 30 seconds, he starts telling the poor woman over the counter what toppings he Italian.

The woman obviously does not understand what he wants and asks again; he repeats the toppings, again, in Italian but this time screaming (at the same time he is laughing with the person he's on the phone with).

This happens for more than two minutes, literally at which point he is shouting and hitting the window with his phone to let the woman know what he means and what toppings he wants. He was totally rude and of course, nobody from Subway could tell him anything.

Fortunately, this builder dude in the back of the queue comes ahead and tells him in his face "screw off and leave" at which point the guy leaves, still talking on the phone.


The Customer Is Always WrongPexels


Sources: Reddit, ,

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