The Biggest Lies Customers Bought

November 2, 2023 | Miles Brucker

The Biggest Lies Customers Bought

Customer service isn’t for the faint of heart. Most of the time, employees want to deliver the best experience possible, but sometimes satisfying a customer means telling a little white lie. The customers who met with these employees got more than they bargained for when they bought into their unbelievable lies.

1. Watermelon Sugar

At the age of 16, I got a job at a local grocery store in the produce section. Though I didn't have any experience with produce, I could cut and prepare food, which was all they required. One day, I was summoned to assist a customer at the front of the store.

When I got there, a woman asked me if her chosen watermelon was sweet. What I did next was rude, but I just couldn't help myself. I picked it up, sniffed it, tapped it next to my ear, and turned it around for better examination. Finally, I handed the watermelon back and assured her it was definitely sweet.

Truth be told, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing.

Woman with watermelon on her headaldarinho , Shutterstock

2. Get Me Your Manager

My family runs a restaurant, which I manage. It's a sports bar type joint, nothing too snobby.

Once, I was both a waiter and the manager. One busy night, some customers got loud and asked to see the manager - that's me. I decided to have some fun with them. I slipped to the back, flipped my hat, and walked back out.

"So, I heard there's an issue?" They also wanted to meet the owner.

Their surprise was real when they found out I was not just the manager but also the owner.

Get Out Of Here ASAPShutterstock

3. The Best On The Market

I remember selling some tech stuff to a guy. I pitched it as LED fluid, a flux capacitor, a wireless CAT five cable, and a Kaiburr crystal. He mentioned his wife might get upset seeing the bill. I assured him everything was necessary, especially his top-notch Alienware laptop. He spent a loooot of money that day...

Treat yourselfPexels

4. Closing Time

When someone shows up five minutes before closing time, I often say we're out of stock, particularly if they're not definite about their size.

I just want to wrap up and leave, the extra buck from the sale isn't a big deal for me.

'Store closed' sign hanging on the windowGetty Images

5. A Recipe For A Long Life

I've done a few different jobs. At the moment, I'm flipping burgers, but I used to hit the road as a sales guy. It wasn't a fancy gig, but it kept me afloat. One time, I was peddling chocolates to folks on their doorstep.

At one stop, I met a grumpy old lady. She wasn't easy to impress, but I had to make that sale. To her daughter's dismay, my clueless buddy told the old gal that our chocolate had special powers. Rub it on your skin, he said, and you'll live forever. I felt pretty lousy about it, but she bought a bar. My day was made when a dude came running after me and bought up the rest of my stock.

What the heck party momentsShutterstock

6. The Customer Gobbled It Up

So, one Thanksgiving, I was at work at Starbucks. A customer was curious about our "Thanksgiving Blend" coffee. (Talk about a unique name, right?) She wanted to know how it tasted. Being cheeky, I said, "Like turkey and gravy." I felt a bit guilty when it almost seemed she believed me.

Staff wearing uniforms at Starbucks.Sorbis, Shutterstock

7. A Good Doggo

I used to work at a dog boarding/daycare center. If a dog was a bit troublesome, we'd keep it in its room throughout the day. However, since owners paid for daycare, we had to reassured them saying, "Cookie really enjoyed her playtime today! She's such a sweetie!"

Legal Drama FactsFlickr, Matt Deavenport

8. If The Shoe Fits

I'm in the athletic wear business. When a customer asks for an 11-sized shoe, I usually spend five minutes trying to find it in the unexpected places. Eventually, I show up and tell them, "The largest size we've got for this shoe model is an 8.5."

Disturbing kidPexels

9. Feeling Tipsy

I was dishing out non-alcoholic beers at a sports game, since France made it illegal to sell alcoholic drinks at sports venues.

We were kinda told not to spill the beans that the beers were non-alcoholic to keep our sales up. We'd only give it away if someone asked outright. It led to some hilarious sights.

Seeing folks act all tipsy after a few non-alcoholic drinks was seriously one of the funniest things ever.

Gut-Busting Facts To Send Your Favorite Trivia FreakPexels

10. It’s A Bargain

I used to inform customers that red peppers cost less than green ones. I remembered the code for red peppers, 4688, but not for green peppers (it's 4065, FYI).

Italian History FactsUnsplash

11. Aisle Eight

I once worked at a grocery store's deli. When a customer asked for an item's location, I'd direct them to aisle eight's end, the furthest spot from me. This way, by the time they'd get there, they wouldn't bother returning to chat.

Fake It Til You Make It factsShutterstock

12. Let Me Tell You

I'm a pro at keeping things interesting by spinning varied tales during customer interactions. My favorite go-to narratives were like, "Totally get you! My little one's headed for kindergarten, while my eldest is entering third grade," or "That's so cool! I'll be celebrating three years of marriage next month!"

Truth was, I was a college student—no spouse, no kids. Just testing the waters to see what I could get away with and what folks would buy.

Not What It Looks Like FactsShutterstock

13. Interwebs

So, I was a telemarketer for a newspaper, and many people told me they prefer getting news from the internet instead. After listening to this repeatedly, I decided to make my days a little more interesting. I started acted like I had no idea what the internet was. It sure led to some intriguing chats.

Shocked Man Reading A NewspaperAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

14. A Hamster Miracle

I got job at a pet store when I was younger. One day, a little girl and her mom brought in their pet hamster, named Charlie, that had an alarming injury on his head. They didn't know how it happened, and it was heartbreaking to see the child in distress. The health guarantee period was over, but my boss instructed me to keep the hamster safe until a vet could see it, and secretly replace it with a new, healthy one.

I did just that and fibbed to the child about healing Charlie. Her mom also played along saying, "Our pet store friend used her magic on Charlie, and now he's all good, correct?" Yes, ma'am. I used my magic. All better. The little girl was comforted and the store felt cheerful.

Sadly, the story didn't end well for Charlie. The vet provided antibiotics and ointment and he survived for two weeks alternating between recovery and setback. However, the vet eventually suggested we put him to sleep as his suffering was too much. I had hoped an unexpected recovery and had planned to adopt Charlie.

What a shame.

My Guilty Past Still Haunts MePxHere

15. Just Hang A Left

When I was about 15, I worked at a local community center with a pool. I managed the front desk and often got calls from people, some an hour away, asking for directions. Given that I didn't drive and was horrible at giving directions, I'd usually say I couldn't help. Yet, some persisted, asking "Left or right?" or "Route 580 or 880?" After a while, I'd resort to giving random answers. Curiously, I never received any complaints, but who knows where they ended up!

Horrible parentsUnsplash

16. It Will All Come Out In the Wash

In the mid-80s, my small shipping business was just getting off the ground when our number got mixed up with a local department store's. So, we ended up with about 20 calls a day about faulty dishwashers and such, which was quite a nuisance.

One day, this lady called, ranting about her broken washing machine. That's when I finally got fed up: I cut in, and said, “No sweat, ma'am, we’ve been dealing with this all day. Just leave your machine on your lawn and we'll pick it up in a couple of days.” She seemed content with the solution and hung up.

Weeks later, I pick up the phone to an irate woman, moaning about a washing machine rotting on her lawn. I recognized her voice and cut in, “Wait, I think you've got us mixed up with someone else. This is a shipping company. But good luck with your washing machine!”

So now, whenever I get a call from a wrong number, I can't help but have a little fun with it.

Washing MachineAdobe

17. One Hour Photo

Working as a diligent cashier, I sometimes covered breaks for showroom staff due to the trust I'd earned. Knowing the store layout from my own shopping habits was a help.

One day, I was assigned to cover electronics, armed only with the key to all the expensive stuff. Coincidentally, we offered a one-hour photo service, which I hadn't been trained on.

When a customer came in needing help with the one-hour photo service, I explained the issue and pointed her towards another store with the same service, or that she could wait for the manager's return from his break. She thanked me and left.

Anticipating more one-hour photo requests in my shift, I developed a simple strategy. I grabbed receipt paper and wrote "One-Hour photo broken", then taped it to the drop-off area. One customer, seeing this, opted for the overnight option and I helped him fill out the paperwork. He left satisfied.

On return, the electronics manager got a rundown from me about customer queries and their interests. Just as I was about to leave, I saw the first customer who needed the photo service puzzled over my makeshift sign. I quickly threw out the sign, explained my trick to the manager with a laugh, and left. The customer got her photos and I made it through my shift.

assorted old photos placed on a tableSuzy Hazelwood, Pexels

18. A Foot Long Fib

I often let our late-night shoppers know that we've run out of Italian herbs and cheese bread - I like to save the last one for my own sub.

The Customer Is Always WrongWikimedia Commons

19. Don’t Rock The Boat

I ferry folks from the shore to their lake-bound houseboats.

Most clients usually toss me a couple of bucks for the service. But there are those windy days where I'm hanging onto their houseboat for dear life as the winds try to rip my pontoon boat away. They'll be there, hunting for change without a hurry in the world. Occasionally, I'll say, "No worries about the tip today," just so I can get back to my boat.

Don't misinterpret that - please, have your money ready quicker.

Detroit Motor Boat  at water - circa 1900Library of Congress, Picryl

19. Let Me Get A Doctor

As a nurse, I often find myself saying, "I'm unable to discuss your lab results, but the doctor will be here shortly to explain them to you. Is there anything I can do to make you more at ease while you wait?" This is the rule, I can't share your lab reports until the doctor does. Yet, I understand the implications. It's tough knowing that your life-altering results are on the way and I can't prepare you for it.

A Doctor and Nurses having Conversation on an office deskRDNE Stock project, Pexels

20. Fully Charged

I'm employed at a golf course. My job involves preparing golf carts for the day. Sometimes, I'm the second person on shift and people often ask if the carts are fully charged. Even if the carts have been used for an entire 18-hole round without recharging, I usually respond with a "Yes".

Reason I Was FiredPexels

21. Bookworm

Back then, I neatly arranged books and media from donations at my local Goodwill's mini-library.

Whenever people asked, I'd joke, "No Twilight copies lately. Guess no one wants to part with 'em. But got loads of Harry Potter if you want?” I'd only keep one Twilight but make sure there were plenty of Harry Potter copies to grab.

Anyone looking for the Left Behind series? I'd gently nudge them towards somebody solid like Carl Sagan. I figured they might not know him yet.

And yes, once I had a real deep talk about religion with a customer buzzing about a particular Bible edition. On a hunch, I got them to give Sam Harris's Letters to a Christian Nation a try, just because of its intriguing title.


22. World Traveller

My job in Vegas retail meant chatting with tourists non-stop. I relied heavily on a locker-stashed world map and Google. Even though I've never been outside the U.S., I can share stories about my 'trips' to over 20 countries. Trust me, understanding different cultures can be a challenge.

Celine Dion FactsShutterstock

23. Arugula Error

On my first day at a sandwich joint, a customer inquired about arugula. Not knowing what it was, I mistakenly told her it was a type of spicy mustard.

Eating Sins FactsShutterstock

24. A Leap Of Faith

I used to work at a bungee jumping place. We'd often jokingly trick our customers for a good laugh.

As we were getting them ready for their jump, we'd typically ask, "First time jumping? Awesome, it's my first day on the job too!" Meanwhile, another coworker would be securing the straps onto the customer's feet, one of us would playfully reprimand them, saying, “C'mon Jim. You’re not doing it correctly.” Equally in jest, Jim would defend himself, “Relax, I've done it this way numerous times, it'll be alright.”

Now, imagine you're about to take a leap, and the team around you throws in these comments. The looks on their faces were priceless.

Stupidest things doneUnsplash

25. Inventing Anna

One morning, before opening time, I was fixing the cash register when a customer called. She wanted a favor 15 minutes before we opened. I was busy and told her I couldn't help. She turned snappy, asking for my name to lodge a complaint. Feeling cheeky, I told her my name was Anna, which actually isn't my real name.

I told my coworker about it later and she burst into laughter. Apparently, an employee named Anna had quit a few months before I started working there. I found it hysterical, picturing the customer complaining about Anna's bad attitude, and our manager trying to explain that Anna doesn't work here anymore and couldn't have taken her call.

Worst People On Earth factsShutterstock

26. Sorry About That

I accidentally gave wrong directions. When someone asked me where H&M was, I told them to go upstairs to the second floor and keep walking past the food court. I thought it was on the left.

But later, I figured out that I actually pointed them to HMV.

H&M is actually on the first floor down the hall.

Indoor aquarium at dubai mallArcady, Adobe Stock

27. They Don’t Know, That We Know

I'm at the hotel reception and one day, a guest awkwardly asked, "Do you guys know what movies we rent?" I said, "No, sir. Your privacy is important to us."

In reality though, we see it all. And we do have a chuckle about some of your weirder choices.

Customers Asked To Speak To A Manager factsPixabay

28. Time To Repair

I'm employed at a cafe and one rough morning, after a night out, I told all the customers that the coffee machine was down, leaving me unable to serve them anything because I was waiting for the repair guy.

The following day, the boss was pretty puzzled when customers asked her about the 'repaired' machine.

Café de Paris, LondonAndy Mabbett, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Wikimedia Commons

29. It’s Snow Problem

I'm part of a snowboard school team. I assure folks that learning to snowboard isn't hard, and they'll enjoy their first go-around.

Usually, they manage rides of about 10 feet before tiring out after their one-hour session. It might be tough at the start, but it's all part of the fun!

person riding on snowboard in winter on a mountainFede Roveda, Pexels

30. Parking Lot Lies

I once worked at a major garden center in the UK, one of the biggest standalone ones in Europe. It would get super busy on sunny weekends and holidays.

Our main parking lot held around 2,000 cars. And when things got crazy, we had an extra parking area far back on the property. That gave me a genius idea.

Unbeknownst to my colleagues, I showed up on my off-day during a national holiday in August. Dressed in a 'uniform', I snuck up to the top of the parking lot. As the place filled up and traffic had to be redirected to avoid clogging the main road, all the cars were funneled through a 'bottleneck' at the top of the site.

I stood there donning a fanny pack, charging each car two dollars for parking. I went unnoticed until a manager found me at 1:00 pm, the fanny pack stowed in my car, about $1,500 richer.

All the money was donated to charity. But, despite my noble intentions, I got fired! Quite a valiant act, wasn't it?

Black Friday FactsShutterstock

31. Be Kind and Rewind

I once had a customer at the video store who was pretty nasty to me. A few months later, they couldn't find a movie they'd rented, so I made them cough up an extra $16.50 for it.

Putting fake late charges on wasn't a big deal.

Quentin Tarantino factsWikimedia Commons

32. Please Hold

I often chatted with customers while providing tech support over the phone. Occasionally, I'd tell them I needed to handle something in our server room. This just meant I was taking a quick break or using the restroom, with them waiting on hold in the meantime.

Woman On The Phone And Using A ComputerKampus Production, Pexels

33. Where Did You Say You’re From?

I used to experiment with various accents and characters when I was a waiter. I wanted to see if it affected the number of tips I received.

It was interesting to realize that pretending to be from a different place tended to result in better tips.

Young waiter is standing in empty restaurant and looking at camera.muse studio, Shutterstock

34. A Family Heirloom

I used to work at a restaurant where we had a Vespa with a sidecar parked out back. A few customers curiously asked about the unusual decor. I didn't know the answer, so I decided to inquire from the management.

Our general manager cooked up a tale on the spot about the Vespa belonging to the owner's grandmother who used it to deliver pizzas a long time ago. Other managers were surprised by his story, but he winked at me and told me to go ahead and share it.

Excitedly, I returned to the curious customers and shared the invented story. They adored the amusing anecdote, even if it was total bogus. Just seeing their delighted reactions was real fun for me.

Strangest Interactions factsPixabay

35. A Cheesy Excuse

The café where I used to work had a Denver omelet on the menu. This omelet had ham, bell peppers, and onions, but didn't include cheese. You'd have to pay extra for that. Interestingly, it was the only omelet that came without cheese, and many folks asked about the extra cost.

I usually responded, not knowing if it was actually correct, that "It's all about keeping the tradition of the Denver omelet."

Passive -aggressive revengePexels

36. Poor Kid

Back when I was 20, I got stuck working on Father's Day, which irked me because all I wanted was to chill with my dad. So, I came up with this scheme where I slid a photo of "my son" into my server book in a way that everyone could glimpse it. It worked better than I could have hoped for.

You'd catch me making small talk, saying how my little guy was at home with mom, while I was stuck here working. I'd say how I couldn't wait to get off work and revisit him. Funny thing is, the photo was actually an old baby picture of me. Boy, did I make a killing in tips that day! Haven't attempted the stunt again though.

Tales from your serverShutterstock

37. Flight Risk

Airlines often attribute delays to "weather conditions" or "mechanical problems", allowing passengers to reason, "That's unfortunate, but safety first- better not to fly in a faulty plane." People prefer these explanations over knowing the pilot overslept, several flight attendants are striking, or cleanup is delayed because trash cans weren't cleared. This softens the situation, even though passengers might sense a mistake and voice their complaints.

pilot in plane cockpit speaking to passengersOlena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

38. A Swirly Whirl

If work was hectic and a kid asked for chocolate milk, I'd say we're out. We didn't have pre-prepared chocolate milk. It involved fetching chocolate syrup from the bar and milk from the refrigerator, then combining them manually. To add to it, kids often complained about the chocolate to milk ratio, so there was a high probability of having to remake it.

On a less busy day, it wasn't an issue. But when handling multiple tables, taking the time to make a glass of chocolate milk was a task I couldn't afford.

Stupid hurtPexels

39. The Friendly Ghost

I used to work at a place with an antique heating system, up towards the ceiling, under a fixer-upper apartment. The boss had placed an old poster behind it, featuring a man resembling Abe Lincoln, which sparked a load of "Who's that?" and "What's the story?" questions.

I didn't have a solid explanation, just that the owners put it there to see if anyone would notice. However, one day someone suggested I concoct a story that he's the eatery's ghost. I obliged, creating an elaborate backstory about the hauntings he'd perform. I found it more entertaining to weave a ghost tale than simply saying, "It's just a weird guy in a photo."

Abraham Lincoln half-length portrait facing right - 1860Cleveland Public Library, Wikimedia Commons

40. A Server’s Tip

I took a break and lost track of time with my last table. Another waiter told me they were upset and looking for me. I had to think fast—but I'm proud of what I came up with. I rushed to the first aid kit, put a bandage on my hand, and hurried to the table. I explained that I'd cut my hand and was just fixing it. I'd asked a colleague to check on them, but they'd forgotten. They were so concerned about me, they forgave me. They left a great tip and their best wishes.

Maybe you think that's shady, but if you've been in the job as long as I have, you'd understand.

Medical Nightmares factsFlickr, Marcin Wichary

41. Gluten-Free

So, I've got a funny tale to share. Once, I served a customer who was adamant about getting "gluten-free water". To handle that, I gave her water at room temperature, making her believe that adding ice gave water gluten.

Worst Parents FactsUnsplash

42. Soda Situation

I'm not much of a fibber, but there was one thing I used to do regarding the classic "Can I get a Coke?" request.

We only served Pepsi - but if a customer specifically queried "Do you stock Coke or Pepsi?" I'd be truthful about it. However, if they simply asked for a Coke, I'd happily say, "Absolutely" and hand them a Pepsi instead. Oddly enough, no one ever noticed in three whole years.

The Craziest Thing That Ever Happened To MePexels

43. Fresh And Ready

I used to work at a café in a store. Basically, nearly all our items were frozen or canned. "Yeah, ma'am, the Black Forest cake is fresh from today! Go ahead and indulge, it's so tasty I can barely hold back."

Now, I can identify a frozen cake slice from a mile away, no matter how well it's decorated. And let's not even start with the "hand-cut" fries lies!

Life In East Germany factsShutterstock

44. Wifi Woes

I always switch off the wifi at least once a day, usually around 5:00 p.m., because I don’t want to be the kind of cafe where all you see are laptops. I thought of banning them, but they're fine during the day. But when office times are over, the wifi goes down. I usually tell people we have trouble with the provider, some regulars think that we have a subscription where you only get a few hours of wifi per day.

Cold War FactsPublic Domain Pictures

45. Thanks, For Calling

We often get calls at our gas station for one of our employees. There are days when his calls are every 30 minutes, despite him having a cell phone. It's frustrating since it interrupts me from making business calls - placing food orders, checking product availability, coordinating with other locations, and so on. Sometimes I just tell them he's not around.

Worker at modern gas stationNew Africa, Shutterstock

46. Working Over The Holidays

A few years back, a lady told me, "It's great you singles are working holidays so us family folks can take time off." I was 22 then, but I told her, "Actually, I'm 27, married and have twin toddlers at home." The look on her face said it all. She knew she'd screwed up (even if, technically, she didn't).

Twins baby feetSABINA IZLAKAR, Shutterstock

47. What Does That Stand For?

I used to work at a joint that offered a sandwich named "WOJB BLT". Funny thing, WOJB stood for "We've Only Just Begun," but customers had no way of knowing that. So, I'd joke with them, telling them it meant, "Without Jelly Beans". I'd make up stories about how some restaurants add jelly beans to their BLTs, but not at our place. We stick to the basics!

The Most Humiliating MomentsPexels

48. Technical Difficulties

I once had a job at a mobile store. Often, customers would pop in barely 20 minutes before closing, hoping to upgrade their phones. But phone upgrades take longer than 20 minutes. So, to handle this, I'd usually say that we were out of stock or blame it on system issues.

Ex-Employers’ Hidden SecretsWikimedia Commons

49. Can You Fiddle With It?

At my first job working in a cafe, every time it rained, my boss would switch off the wifi to stop folks from lounging around once they'd finished eating.

Customers often approached me, asking if I could try and fix the wifi. So, I'd head down to the basement, sip some water, come back up, and tell them, "I gave it a shot."

Woman Drinking Coffeearthurhidden

50. Ear Accessories

Sometimes, during my work hours, I like having an earbud in to groove to some EDM. Once, a customer was curious about it and asked me. I joked and said it's my link to the kitchen staff.

My boss, not being the sharpest tool in the box, asked me about it too. I had him believe they were special devices which made communication easier when wearing masks.

Cheap Buy That Worked Out Well factsPixabay

51. Cuts Like A Knife

I run a knife sharpening business. Like others, I don't remove the blades from lawn-mowers or paper-cutters due to insurance issues. To be honest, it's mainly because I don't want to have to carry the whole assembly when all I need is the blade.

House Visits Gone SO WrongShutterstock

52. Karma Chameleon

I gained experience working at several tourist hotspots near the popular beach area of a coastal vacation town. I soon noticed tourists often left smaller gratuities, probably because they felt anonymous.

To increase my tips, I created a range of characters and stories, and boy, did it work! For middle-aged ladies, I turned into a sincere college student, juggling three jobs to fund my education, hoping to gather enough for a trip to see mom; for young women, I would compliment and engage in playful conversation; and for men, I would give advice on golf courses and spots to meet women. I was like a chameleon.

Travel Horror Stories factsShutterstock

53. Stay In Your Lane

I work as a part-time front desk rep for a bowling center two nights a week.

My station is behind lanes 11 to 14 out of a total of 36 lanes. On less busy nights, we might let backup staff go, leaving me with just a bartender, cook, and arcade attendee. In these scenarios, steering bowlers towards the first 20 lanes is beneficial for me.

These lanes are nearer to the ball racks, so when I'm tidying up the tables and clearing dishware or bottles, I can respond to the phone quicker before they hang up. Yet, our bar service window is closer to lane 28, attracting some customers, while others prefer the solitude at lane 36, far from everyone else.

When I want customers on a lane closer to the desk, I normally fib, "My mechanic is fixing lanes 19 to 36". Even though they have to walk an extra 40 feet to grab a drink, it's not a big deal, and it shaves a good five to ten minutes off my closing duties.

Man BowlingPavel Danilyuk, Pexels

Sources:  Reddit

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