These Shopping Horror Stories Made Us Thank God For Amazon

April 15, 2020 | Jamie Hayes

These Shopping Horror Stories Made Us Thank God For Amazon


Whether you're an employee or a customer, few things are more frustrating than a bad shopping experience—and these stories are proof that when it happens, it can range from utterly hilarious to absolutely devastating.


1. Assault With a Deadly Appliance

My father works in a big store here in Italy, and he was at the return desk for a few years. A guy once showed up and wanted to give back a coffee machine well past the return period, so obviously, my dad said no. After a few minutes of arguing, this man raised the coffee machine and threw it at my dad, who miraculously avoided it.

He called the security and dude was arrested. It seemed just a "normal" aggression by a stupid customer but it was later discovered that he had a criminal record for assault and HAD A LOADED GUN IN HIS POCKET during the fight. My dad still gets shivers when he tells the story.

Worst Customer Horror Stories Factstext shorthand

2. Fur Is (Almost) Murder

I'm dating myself here. When I was in college, I worked at a toy store, and it was the year of the Furbies. They were really hard to get, and our site only got 10 of them. We were instructed to pass out numbers rather than the actual toys to the first 9 in line. I was the lucky one to pass out numbers. When we opened our doors, it was pretty organized because we had set up lines and it was also a high-end neighborhood.

I gave the first person their number and then everything fell apart. All of a sudden, I am tackled from behind. This woman slammed into me and knocked me to the floor and ripped the tickets out of my hand, breaking two fingers. All for freaking numbers. How dumb was she? The store refused to give her a Furby for her numbers, and was trying to detain her until the cops showed up, but she decked our manager and walked out.

Black Friday Horror Stories factsPixabay

3. Dirty Little Secret

I used to work in customer service at Walmart. A woman came in one time to return a bag of soil because "the bag was dirty." She was dead serious.

Fire Me, I Dare You factsShutterstock

4. The Nose Knows

A customer brought back a jumpsuit for a refund because it had poop in it. Apparently, it had been like that when she bought it. It stank so bad that you could smell it through the taped up plastic bags that she had put it in. The levels of how impossible that would have been to be unnoticed by changing room staff, to then be put on the shop floor, to then be picked up by the customer, to being bought via a cashier still unnoticed.

The worst part is some idiot on the refunds counter downstairs actually accepted it and put it on top of the trolley full of other returned items for us to put back upstairs—complete with a note stapled to it that said "Warning: excrement inside." One of the bigger "What the heck" moments I've had in any job that I've worked.

Customer Scams factsGettyImages

5. Blood On His Hands

My craziest moment in retail was definitely the time when I was moaned at by a customer for not being available at a very obviously closed checkout counter. I was very clearly and obviously on the phone to 9-1-1 for an ambulance at the time, since a customer had very clearly and obviously collapsed while shopping and was now very clearly and obviously bleeding to death in the middle of the store.

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

6. Side by Side

I was cashiering in a grocery store. One time, this crazy customer walks up to the lane next to mine and starts secretly unloading items from her cart onto the previous customer’s side of the divider, as if she was hoping that the other customer would just pay for them all on her behalf without noticing. The other customer didn't see any of this going on, until she needed to pay and realized that her bill was way higher than she had expected.

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

7. Cut out for Competition

I was working at a GameStop in 2010 on Black Friday. I saw a kid pull a plastic knife from the food court on another kid. I was absolutely bananas.

Black Friday Horror Stories facts Shutterstock

8. Target Audience

A jerk in front of me at Target was yelling and screaming at the poor cashier about having to pay 10 cents for a plastic bag. He left her in tears, and the last thing he said was "I'm going to get you fired!" Right then, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I asked her to call her manager while she rang me up, and I told the manager about the interaction I had just seen. I also asked him why, even though he was standing in the vicinity, did he not stop that man from verbally assaulting his employee.

Then, I asked for the district manager’s information so that I could tell them about how the cashier had been lovely, and about the manager failing to step in.

Kindness Backfired factsShutterstock

9. Red, Red Wine

I thought this customer was a total idiot—but as I was soon about to learn, I was the idiot. I was working at a department store when this guy comes up to me and shows me two of the exact same sweaters. He's like, "Which one is burgundy?" They were both burgundy because they are the exact same sweater. I'm like...what is this dude on? Or I thought I was being pranked or something. Then I learned the truth, and it made my stomach drop. 

He sees me hesitating and he's like, "Like...which one is more wine-red?" So finally, I just point at one and he's like, "Oh, thank you so much. I'm colorblind and I can't really distinguish this range of color."

Harley Quinn FactsShutterstock

10. Parting Gifts

I worked for Best Buy for 6 years. Everyone knows about the lines that you stand in outside on Black Friday. Part of the process is once you get into the store, you stand in another line to buy your products. Our manager thought he was particularly smart winding the line through our appliance department. Mind you, there is usually 1,500+ people in the building at 6 AM (with a line still outside).

Well, we get a complaint from one of our patrons. After checking the dryers, we find a nice piece of poop in one. Good size, solid consistency, just sitting there. A lady who did not want to lose her spot opened the dryer and pooped right there in front of everyone. I decided that day even though I may want stuff, I will never poop in front of an entire crowd of people for a $799 50" plasma TV.

Black Friday Horror Stories factsPixabay

11. One Punch Man

I've thrown one punch in my life. It was on Black Friday. So it was the year the 360 came out. I was standing in line to get some external hard drive next to the video games. And there was this 11ish-year-old kid with a woman in her 60s. He was waiting for his 360 bundle. Woman before him had "gotten the last one," sighs all around.

Then he says, "Nope, one more" and begins the motion of handing it to the kid, and this guy comes out of nowhere and pushed the older woman and the kid. The kid hit his face on the edge of a video game rack, you know the one with the metal and plastic dividers. At 19 years old I don't know what came over me, but I instantly swung for the dude’s head and caught him right in the temple, sending him into a Keurig tower in the middle of the aisle.

Everyone froze, including me. Guy had dropped the 360 and got up and walked away. I slid it with my foot to the kid and he didn't say anything either. Best part was, as I still wanted the hard drive, and I turned to get back in the end of the line. At the same time, the rep in charge of handing out the other items such as the hard drive asked who was next. The first two people in line just pointed at me, causing me to skip about 5 spots in line.

Black Friday Horror Stories factsShutterstock

12. Pedal to the Petty Theft

Back in my poor college days when I worked at Walmart, we had a fight break out over a bike. Fists were thrown and there was some blood. Eventually one guy got ahold of it and managed to get away from the crowd, and he rode the bike out of the store to flee his pursuers (without paying).

Black Friday Horror Stories facts Pixabay

13. Never Too Old to Rumble

I worked at RadioShack for a year in college. During Black Friday, one of the sale items was a $10 calculator marked down to $5. Two sweet, elderly women came into the store looking for them. I told them that there was only one left—and that's when things got NUTS. It turned into a geriatric version of roller derby without the skates. The one grandma who lost the race called the other one a slur as she was standing in the checkout line, gripping her $5 prize.

I always imagined some little kid opening presents on Christmas morning and getting this stupid $5 calculator, not really wanting it and having no clue about the back story behind it, as his grandma, sipping her tea, looks on with a triumphant gleam in her eye.

Black Friday Horror Stories facts Shutterstock

14. You’re a Mean One, Mrs. Customer

A lady told me that I had personally ruined Christmas for her children, because the store I worked at was sold out of Xboxes on the day she came in. She then told me that I should have kept some in the back. Umm, for what exactly? The off chance that some crazy lady would swing by last minute and demand one? The best part, though, was that she wanted me to call another store and check if they had any in stock. She lost it when I told her that the next store was half an hour away and was closing in 10 minutes.

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

15. I Wonder Why They Closed

Back when Circuit City was a thing, my sister gave me a $20 gift card for my birthday. I went to pick out a microphone, picked one off the shelf that it said was $15, and went to check out. I handed the cashier my gift card before the transaction, but when he scanned the microphone, it came up for $25 instead of $15. It turned out that it had simply been placed in the wrong area, so I asked him to hang on to my gift card and that I would go pick out a different one.

When I came back, he claimed that he never took my gift card. I saw the freaking thing sitting right in his trash can, and even when my dad got angry and called for a manager, the manager refused to believe that the gift card sitting in the trash can was mine and said they had no way of checking it. My sister ended up stopping payment on the gift card (she had paid with a credit card, thankfully), called up Circuit City corporate, and complained. We never got it resolved, but then, Circuit City went belly-up the next year, so screw 'em anyway.

Worst Customer Service FactsKnow Your Meme

16. Life’s Two Guarantees: Stupidity and Taxes

This woman insisted that I was overcharging her for an item. It was supposed to be two for five dollars and I was charging her five and change. Neither I nor my manager could persuade her that taxes are a thing that exist.

Cringeworthy Dates factsPixabay

17. Logic Foiled by Entitlement

When I worked at EB Games and we would have those “3 for $40” sales. A guy brought up a single game from that section and it scanned for $49.95. I think I'm about to make the guy’s day and tell him he can pick two extra games and I'll charge him 10 bucks less. He says “I don't care about the other games, just make it 10 less.”

I explain that I can't do that and I need to scan three games to apply the promotion. I tell him he's welcome to give the games away if he wants, or he can trade them right back in for some store credit the next time he wants something. Nope. I tried one more time when he just starts yelling, “I’M TAKING THIS GAME FOR FORTY DOLLARS AND YOU CAN BUZZ OFF IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT!”

He slaps two twenties on the counter, snatches the game out of my hands and storms out. So I went and picked out two games I wanted, scanned them and a copy of the one he just ran off with and processed the sale.

Customer Isn’t Always Right facts Shutterstock

18. What a Comeback!

Went into an office supply store to buy a new desk, as my new keyboard was too big for the tray. An assistant asked me what I was looking for, and I explained the issue, that I needed a desk with a wide tray because my keyboard was too big. Her response was to fold her arms and say: "Time for a new keyboard, mate." I was, frankly, floored. I'd just been verbally challenged by a shop assistant.

I just shook my head and left, and on the way out I told a manager to go ask her why she just cost her employer a customer. He grumbled something about "Not again..." and started storming over as I went out the door.

Worst Customer Service FactsBrandlive

19. It's Called the Wii, Not the Me...

I worked at Target's electronics section in 2010 when Wiis were all the craze. Right before Christmas time, people would come in RIGHT when we opened, buy our whole stock and sell them online for double what they paid. This obviously prevented families from the ability to go to Target and just buy a Wii, so we made a rule that one person could buy 2 Wiis per day.

A man came in smiling like he won the lottery and said: "I'm buying all the Wiis you can give me." There was a long line of people behind him that looked outraged. I said, "Sir, the limit per customer is two Wiis." Him "No...I got here first, so I'm going to buy what I asked for." Me: "Sir, I'm sorry that you feel that way, but I can only sell you two." Him: "Oh you're sorry? No, what you are is deaf because I already told you two times. Call your manager. NOW."

So our manager asked him to leave and he was yelling he was going to file a BBB report. I wanted to dive the counter and beat his greedy butt, but...you know...its illegal and stuff.

monopoly manElle.com

20. DIY Literacy

A woman came to the checkout and handed me a bag of mozzarella. She asked me what the ingredients were and if there were any chemicals in it. I turned the bag around and started to read the ingredients out to her. She grabbed the bag out of my hand, and angrily said, "I could have done that myself " and stormed off.

Customer Questions FactsWikimedia Commons

21. To Be Discontinued

I worked at a cosmetic store on Christmas Eve. Had a customer ask me about a line of baby products that were long discontinued, probably two years earlier. I tell her, “Sorry, that line's been discontinued.” She loses her mind and starts yelling at me in this packed store on Christmas, about how can that be possible and all this stuff. Ho ho ho.

Worst Customer Horror Stories Factsphillyemploymentlawyer

22. Maybe Try a Fish First?

I used to work in a pet store. One night, a woman came in and said she had ordered a puppy off the internet and he would be arriving in the next few days. She seemed naive, even though she was nice. She had never owned a pet and asked several dumb questions, but one was so stupid, I'll never forget it. She asked, "Do puppies need water?"

Things children believe FactsPxfuel

23. Please Be Seated

I once watched some Lowe's employees speak rudely to a little old man who was having trouble remaining standing while trying to shop. I went and got him a lawn chair—and the manager.

Speak to the Manager FactsShutterstock

24. Demanding the Stolen Goods

As I was walking in for my shift, there was a car stopped right in front of the doors. Next thing I know, I'm walking up on a guy carrying about ten pairs of shoes out of their boxes as he's running out of the store at full speed and basically Superman jumped into the car. They sped off and the sales associates were all kinda staring at each other going "What just happened?"

Later on that night, dude came back wearing a pair of the shoes he stole and his hoodie still had one of our security tags on it, so he set off the alarm when he walked in. They followed him around for a bit. Eventually he made a run for the door and a loss prevention associate grabbed the hoodie on his way out, hoodie came off and dude kept running into the parking lot. We were almost at closing time anyway so they locked the doors behind him.

THEN, this mad man came back to beat on our glass doors to demand "his" hoodie back. He'd also inadvertently lost one shoe and he needed that back as well. We obviously refused and HE called the cops. They were very amused with the situation when they got there. I don't think he went to jail though.

Customer Scams factsGettyImages

25. Showing Off for No One

This weird jogger mom came into my store one day. You know the type—roughly in her late 40s or early 50s, a little too tanned, super fit, and wants everybody around her to know it. Anyway, she starts trying on different clothes in the fitting room, and she keeps on walking back out to get other sizes without even bothering to put her clothes back on.

She wasn’t naked, but she was basically strutting around publicly across the store floor in only her pants and a bra, or on one occasion, only a shirt and panties—which were fairly modest ones, thankfully. I did try to intercept her many times during this process to tell her "Hey, you know I can get that for you” or “Please stop walking around the store without pants on!"

Nevertheless, she kept brushing me aside each time with a "Nah, I got this!" This happened over and over again until she finally found what she was looking for, paid for it, and left the store. Later that day, when I was cleaning out the clothes she had left behind, I reached down into the bottom of the bin and fished out a pair of panties.

I was about to hang them up on the shelf when I realized that they were: A) Not a pair that we sold, and B) Clearly used. Yep, this woman had left her used panties behind in our dressing room and I inadvertently touched them with my bare hands. Needless to say, I have been scarred for life.

Unromantic Moments factsShutterstock

26. Playing Sick for the Savings

My first day working for Best Buy was on Black Friday 8 years ago. I was controlling part of the line since I had zero training to do anything else. I had a lady saying she was going to faint. She kept saying, "Please just let me pay so I can get to a doctor." I knew she was lying and called my manager over so he could talk to her. He said, "Ma'am, they told me you were in need of medical assistance, I've got an ambulance on the way."

She freaked out, yelling at my manager about the line being too long and how it was his fault she was feeling sick. She looked at me and said, "This is all your fault you little witch, if you would have just let me cut the line, we'd be out of this mess.” I couldn't help but smile. My manager told her to leave, and said if she didn’t, he would call the cops. She tried to stay, until a random cop came in to check out the crowd.

She left so quick.  He never called for an ambulance in the first place. If we really needed one, there were a few EMTs waiting for a call in their truck outside the store.

Black Friday Horror Stories facts Shutterstock

27. Carjacked

I was that guy when I was buying my new car. I happen to love Subaru. I live in the Northeast and it's fantastic for the snow. It's also zippy and fun to drive. I was in a local dealer getting what was now going to be my third. I was trading in my second and putting it towards a new 2018. The model that I wanted wasn't going to be available until September, and it was now only July. No issue at all.

They told me not to put too many more miles on my car in the meantime so that they could still be able to honor the trade in. I made sure to get everything they said in writing, and even put in a down payment so I could have a physical receipt with the trade in value posted. Fast forward to September. I call and ask when I can pick up my car.

"Oh, we never said September!" said the receptionist, who refused to let me speak to the salesman I had been with. "It's due in the first week of December." This is where alarm bells started going off in my head, but there was not much I could do. Fast forward to the first week of December. "Oh, I never said the first week!" the receptionist says.

After a couple more rounds of this nonsense, I emailed the CEO of the dealership. I listed out all of the runarounds, the lying, and the overall lousy experience that I had received from his employees. A week later, the car magically showed up and they honored their original price. All in all, not a bad result.

Speak to the Manager FactsShutterstock

28. I Can’t See the Logic in This

Last night, a customer asked me if he could borrow a pair of reading glasses from our store, take them home for the night, and then bring them back tomorrow. He even promised to leave all the tags on. Unfortunately, I had to say no.

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

29. Inconvenient Store

I was in a small convenience store one evening. While coming down the last aisle looking for a bar of soap, I saw at least four employees gossiping about how another employee had called off on Thursday AGAIN, and how this time she was going to get fired for it. I didn't really care one way or another, so I walked up to the checkout lanes to pay for my groceries.

There was only one young lady working the checkout. No biggie, except for the fact that there were five of us in line waiting patiently. The person currently checking out had a whole cart full of stuff and it was taking a while. Now, I have worked in customer service for over 12 years, so I have a lot of patience—but at this point it was late and I was not amused.

This young lady at checkout then very politely asked one of the four gossiping women if someone could please come up and help her check everyone out. Smart move. If you need help, you ask for it! One of the gossiping women starts to walk up, then turns around like she forgot something and just goes back to talking! Now is when I really got upset. Not at the young lady, of course—she was doing her best. But at these lazy women who she had to work with.

Eventually, I walk back there and politely say, "Your fellow employee just asked for help and you have several customers waiting in line—can someone please come and assist her?" One of them begrudgingly did so. It was at that point that I was next in line and decided to ask for the manager. The girl who came up informed me sheepishly that SHE was the one left in charge because there was no manager that night.

I proceeded to explain how poorly she had handled the situation—leaving her fellow co-worker hanging with a lineup full of customers just so that she could hang out with her friends. I emphasized how unprofessional she was overall and how she would never move up in the world acting like a lazy, entitled child. She apologized profusely and rattled off excuses, but I could see the beaming glee on the young lady’s face at the other register as she was still checking out other customers.

It made me realize that this probably wasn't the first time she was treated that way.

Speak to the Manager FactsShutterstock

30. Just Be Kohl

I was 17 years old and working the register at Kohl's. A mother and daughter came up, the mother with a cane. She explained to me that she was visually impaired and would like me to state the price and describe each item of clothing her teenage daughter had picked out. This was all going great, until I lift up a pair of khakis to reveal a pile of lacy thongs.

The daughter locks eyes with me and shakes her head left and right, her lips pursed. I experienced a small moral panic, but finally just stammered out "Uh, five pairs of underwear, two red, one blue, two green..." When they left, the daughter turned around at the door and gave me two thumbs up.

Ariana Grande FactsGetty Images

31. Straight to the Point

This guy comes in with a coupon for a free iPod. The fine print says: "Guaranteed and payable by Bill Gates." I asked why Bill Gates would guarantee an Apple product. The guy left.

Apple factsFlickr, OnInnovation

32. Cat Fight

Two women came into the store screaming at each other. As I'm coming out from the back, I gather from the yelling that one had nearly hit the other's car. Nearly, but no actual incident had occurred. It was a busy Saturday so people are starting to stare. I'm trying to gather my wits, thinking how best to handle it, when my manager came flying in from nowhere.

She just yells, "Either come in here and shop like people or go outside with the rest of the animals!" One left. One stayed.

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

33. Folk Tail

Here's how a conversation that I once had with a male cashier went: Cashier: "Is that all you're getting today?" Me: "Yep, just trying to stay warm!" Cashier: "Can I ask you a question?" Me: "Sure." Cashier: "Can I pull your ponytail?" Me: "Umm, no. You cannot." [Proceeds to insert card in chip reader, looking around nervously] Cashier: "I just love ponytails." Me: "I'll take the receipt please."

I didn't call the manager at first, but I finally did when he wouldn’t stop repeating his request. That behavior was so uncalled for.

Speak to the Manager FactsShutterstock

34. The Cat’s Out of the Bag

I was wearing my glasses, yoga pants, and a loose t-shirt while out grocery shopping. Usually, I bag my own groceries, but the store's bagger was already standing there, so I let him do it. He started kind of chatting me up while bagging. Whatever, right? Then he says "I love those glasses on you, they make you look really sexy! Have you considered doing adult films? I think you should, I'd love to watch that!"

I'm in SHOCK. I don't even know what to say. I look over at the cashier, who is about as wide-eyed and stunned as I am. The cashier immediately gets on the intercom and calls for a manager, and basically screams that's it's urgent. The cashier then moves the bag boy away from me, and even acts as a barrier between the two of us.

The manager sprints up, and the cashier tells the story to the manager. The bag boy does not even seem to realize that what he said was not appropriate. I get my groceries for free, along with a store credit, and the bagger was fired on the spot and escorted out. Some other employees also escorted me out to my car to help me put my groceries away and to make sure that I felt safe, after the bag boy was gone so that he couldn't see what kind of car I drove or what my license plate number was.

Kid's Home Life FactsShutterstock

35. Checking People Out

I was at a grocery store once when I was about 19 years old. There was a young girl alone in front of me buying some groceries. She couldn't have been older than 12. The guy working the register was at least in his 60s. The register guy asks her if the guy behind her (as in me) is her boyfriend. This gets my attention. She says no.

He then asks if she has a boyfriend. She says no. He then makes some creepy comment, and asks, "Did you get a ride here?" She says no, she had walked. A creepy smile comes across his face and he says, "Well, it's about to rain and I'm getting off of work in a few minutes, why don't you just sit over at that bench and I'll give you a lift home when I finish up here?"

I don't remember exactly how she responded, but I recognized that she did not actually want a ride from him but was too young and/or shy to say no to an adult. She paid and sat down on the bench. He began to ring my groceries up. I was the last in line before the register closed. I must have been making a disgusted face because, in a cold tone, he suddenly asked, "Do you have a problem here?”

I was caught completely off guard, so I just put on a smile and said, "Nope!" I'm was never the type to normally confront someone, especially not when I was younger. But he kept looking me in the eye and it was the creepiest thing. Alarm bells were sounding off in my head. Despite being a little nervous, I asked if he knew that girl. He paused, coldly looked at me, and said, "Now, that's my business. You’d best just pay and walk on."

I can't really describe why, but I felt really nervous. I'm not a nervous person, so it was this odd, surreal feeling I was experiencing. I paid and began to leave, approaching the girl who was just watching me. I felt the guy also watching me from the register, but I still stopped at the bench where the girl was sitting.

I asked her if she knew him, and she said no. I told her that she shouldn't take rides from strangers. Then, hypocritical as it was, I asked if she wanted me to give her a ride home instead. She paused, looked at the register, then said no. I turned and saw the guy giving me the look of death. I was so uncomfortable.

So, I walked over to the counter at the end of the store where they sold cigarettes and those things, keeping an eye on the girl the entire time. I asked to see the manager. The next 20 minutes were awkward as anything. The manager (a woman) came and asked me to describe what had happened. Being that most of it was my gut feeling, it was hard to describe, but she took it all very seriously.

Part of me kept asking myself what if I was wrong here and he didn't do anything bad? I was having an internal battle in my head. The guy put a grandpa-like spin on everything he had said, then claimed that he has given dozens of people rides home when it's raining. It's just a kind thing to do, he argued. He kept trying to say that I was up to trouble and just trying to make a creep out of him—100% playing the victim. No hint of his serious or intimidating persona was there anymore.

The manager ended up driving the girl home herself. She then called me to say that the girl was home safely and that she was implementing a new policy forbidding workers from driving customers home. The guy didn't get in trouble. I saw him on and off there for years, but I never went to his line again. To this day, I don't know if I overreacted, but I only got that alarm feeling two other times in my life, and those were both clear and apparent dangers.

So, I'm going with my gut on this one and saying that I probably did that girl a great service.

Speak to the Manager FactsShutterstock

36. Cat Fight

Two women came into the store screaming at each other. As I'm coming out from the back, I gather from the yelling that one had nearly hit the other's car. Nearly, but no actual incident had occurred. It was a busy Saturday so people are starting to stare. I'm trying to gather my wits, thinking how best to handle it, when my manager came flying in from nowhere.

She just yells, "Either come in here and shop like people or go outside with the rest of the animals!" One left. One stayed.

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

37. “Service” Could Mean Anything, Really

Took my lawn mower to Sears for repair. I hadn't bought it there, but they had a sign that said: "We fix all models." A couple days later they call to tell me it's ready for pickup. I go in to find out that they hadn't fixed it; they'd sent it to their repair center, who'd sent it back saying they don't have parts for this model so they didn't bother with it.

Sears: "That'll be $29.95" Me: "For what?" Sears: "Oh, that's a service charge." Me: "Okay then, what service did you provide?" Sears: "It's a standard diagnostic fee." Me: "Okay, what's the diagnosis?" Round and round we go with this for twenty minutes until I get a manager. Similarly, round and round with him until I wear him down and get my lawnmower back, still broken, but no charge.

Worst Customer Service FactsSightCall

38. Self-Destructive

Worked at RadioShack for six months while in college. Pretty much had at least one terrible experience per shift—but this one was the wort of them all. A guy who wanted us to honor the warranty on his iPhone cable. The thing was a mutilated mess. It had clearly stopped working and he had tried to fix it himself by cutting the cable apart and attempting to solder two wires together.

We calmly explained that we couldn’t process a claim for an item that was willfully destroyed, and he starts screaming in our faces about how “RadioShack is a scam!” and “I’m going to sue all of you!” And then he tries to WHIP my coworker—a five-foot-tall non-threatening woman—with the cable! She managed to turn her head and catch the wire with her hand before it caught her in the face. Myself and another employee chased him out of the store and called the police but nothing came of it. RadioShack shoppers were the worst.

Retail Moments FactsWikimedia Commons

39. Not Ready to Pound Down

Around 10 years ago, I worked for Best Buy. The year that the PS2 came out, I was in charge of issuing the systems to customers with vouchers (the ones who stayed all night camping out). The customers would approach me, and I kept 2 systems in my arms at a time and would go from the stock room to the floor in order to give out each system.

On one trip out of the stockroom, a gentleman (early 40s) approached me and proceeded to (try to) yank a system out of my hands and run with it. As an aside, I'm no small fellow. As the [im]mature gentleman attempted the grab and go, I simply tightened my grip and calmly said, "Your ticket first, sir." He rebutted with, "I don't have a ticket, and I don't need one; I seen this thing first, so it's mine."

After a brief explanation of the voucher system, the man and his wife only seemed more angered that I refused to surrender the PS2. To really convince me to give him the system, the gentleman then proceeded to say, "Okay, well I guess I'll have to whip your butt for it." Perhaps of my own naivety, or the adrenaline, I responded, "Sounds great, let me clock out first, and I'll meet you outside shortly."

A little taken back by my response, the gentleman started to profusely apologize and even teared up, giving me some sob story over why he deserved it. Of course, I didn't surrender the system. Needless to say, this was one of the reasons I did not hang around BB for much longer. Sheer stupidity. A grown man trying to fight a 19-year-old who made $8.00/hr for a video game system. Brilliant.

Black Friday Horror Stories facts Shutterstock

40. Fool Me Once

I worked at a pawnshop for a couple of years. We had a customer pawn a chainsaw, which turned up stolen and was confiscated by police, which causes the store to lose money and police to be aware that he is a known thief. He came back something close to three months later to pawn something else. I didn't recognize him right away.

I asked him if he had pawned anything before and he said yes, so I asked his last name and entered it into our computer system, which promptly said STOLEN. First I thought, "Really? You came back here?" I gave my boss—it's literally a two-person store—our not very frequently used signal to discreetly call the police.

Meanwhile, I started acting like I was working on his loan and stalled a bit. Just a couple minutes later, a couple of police cars pulled up and officers quietly walked in and he immediately gave up. I didn't really have to say anything to him. The handcuffs spoke for themselves.

Retail Moments FactsWikipedia

41. Food Fight

I was 18 years old and worked at a local grocery store in the produce department. Beyond regular duties, we made fruit trays on weekends, nothing fancy, just a variety of cut-up fruit in large red bowls. Dude comes in after 10:00 PM—we close at 11—and asks for a tray with specific fruits. I tell him we, unfortunately, don't make custom trays.

The 16-year-old dude who is also on shift with me overhears and tells him it's slower tonight so he can do it for him. He says "Ok good," no gratitude displayed at all. This co-worker of mine is legit always extra kind to customers, it's admirable. 20 minutes later my coworker comes out of the backroom and presents it to this customer.

He immediately starts screaming at him about how bad it looks. He yells things like "That looks like absolute trash! Are you an idiot!?" I run over to see what the problem is. The fruit tray looks absolutely standard but this guy isn't having it. He smashes it on the ground and keeps screaming about how we are stupid and how we have wasted his time.

I snap. I tell him to "get the heck out.” He postures up. Keep in mind this guy is like in his 40s, ready to fight some teenagers over a fruit tray. Numerous other employees run over and yell for him to get out. He says, "I'll be back for all of you idiots," and runs toward and out the sliding doors. All this is on camera luckily so management calls the cops regarding his actions and that last threat. They ended up arresting him later on because apparently he also had some warrants. Hope the fruit was worth it, jerk.

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

42. Remember Me?

I sold a guy a phone years ago when I worked for a wireless carrier. Spent an hour getting all his information transferred and set up his new phone. He comes in the next day with a shattered screen. Apparently, he didn’t remember that I was the rep who helped him and preceded to tell me that is how it looked when he left the store. Needless to say, the phone was not replaced.

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

43. Best Keep Quiet

I worked at a Walmart at the outskirts of a large city many years ago. At the time I was working overnights and I've seen people loaded into the back of trunks at gunpoint. It wasn't a nice neighborhood and come on, I worked at Walmart at the time, wasn't about to cause a fuss. I'm betting the only reason I can write this is that I pretended to not see anything.

Quiz: Star WarsShutterstock

44. Didn’t Snooze, Still Lose

I was a cart pusher at a Walmart. In this particular year, Walmart offered a plasma TV at an extremely low price and it was the hottest deal of the year. A man showed up the Tuesday before the big sale with a tent, ice coolers, generator, TV, and everything he needed to brave the three nights he would be staying over. He continuously talked about being first in line and how he was going to get the plasma TV and how he was hosting the next Super Bowl party so this was just going to be the best thing ever.

Come around Thursday night, I showed up to my shift and he was still there in a jolly mood, thankful he was about to be able to go home and sleep in his own bed. The news came, and he did a short interview and explained what he was waiting for, how he was able to get the time off (he was a truck driver) and was overall excited over the whole ordeal and prided himself for toughing out the cold.

The line for the entrance wrapped around the whole front of the door and about another 300 yards or so past the store, with thousands of people waiting to get in. At 5:00 am, the doors opened and the man goes straight to the plasma TVs to see that they were all gone. What happened? The garden center at the Walmart opened up about 10 seconds before the front doors, and those that came the night before scooped up all 15 plasma TVs.

This guy who had been there since Tuesday afternoon was dumbfounded and argued with management, but was stonewalled and told there was nothing that can be done.

Black Friday Horror Stories factsShutterstock

45. All Choked up

I worked at Old Navy in college. We would usually have several items on one table, but only one would be on sale. It was clear though, it would be like t-shirts, skirts, and sweaters and the sign would say "T-shirts $5." One guy got super mad that everything on the table wasn't on sale and started flipping out about false advertising. We wore lanyards, and he grabbed my manager's lanyard and started choking her.

We were all ready to call the police, but she was a pretty tough older woman and got him to stop (and made him feel like a major loser).

Black Friday Horror Stories facts Shutterstock

46. Great Way to Start the Day

I was a supervisor in a store where people could trade in goods for other second-hand stuff. One guy stands out and I had a lot of imbeciles I dealt with over my seven years there. This guy had previously bought a phone from us and came back demanding we give him his money back or a new phone as the one we sold him had a crack.

As it's secondhand we may have missed the hairline crack during our testing, no biggie, so we swapped it. Thought that was the end. About a month later he's the first customer of the day, and he is cussing us out because his phone isn't working. He has a warranty so we take the phone, open up the casing, and what do we see.

The phone is water damaged. 100% not how we would have sold it since that is the first thing checked during a test. We tell him his warranty is void. Him and his wife freak out and start shouting, saying they'll stay there all day and tell others to not shop with us. I'm like, you're wasting your time, at least I'm paid to be here.

Obviously, he doesn't like that but he also slips up by saying: "If I had known it was water damaged don't you think I would have pulled the sticker off so you guys wouldn't notice?" The guy straight up confirms he's a fraud! He keeps demanding his money back. At this point I call security, tell them what's up. They come in and say he has to leave.

He's like, this is a public place. I decide to chime in and state this is private property, he's banned, and he can get out forever. The guy won't leave when security demands, so they get on the radio to the cops as the guy is now technically trespassing. His wife screeches at him, and they both hightail it out. All before I'd had my morning tea.

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

47. That’s Exactly What He’s Saying

Years ago I worked at a small hardware store where they were constantly getting huge rolls of copper wire stolen. One day, this guy and his girlfriend come in to return a roll. I was a few months in on the returns counter. They had no receipt and when I scanned the item for the return it was only doing the price per foot. I couldn’t figure out how to get the SKU or the price for the whole roll.

I called the manager and he comes out and right away knows there’s no way these people bought a roll and returned it. So he asks when they bought it and they say two weeks ago—the common response—and my manager tells them, “Oh really, because the last time we sold an entire roll was over 3 months ago”. The guy starts to get brave and tells him, “So, you’re saying I stole it?!”

And my manager says yes. They end up leaving and left the roll behind. Before they leave the store the guy says, “I’m coming back and bringing the cops,” and the manager says, “Go ahead, that way you can explain to them how you stole the roll.”

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

48. The OTHER Phone Company

I worked in a T-Mobile store. A lady comes in screaming about how she bought a phone the previous day, didn't buy insurance, and dropped it in a pool. She was demanding I give her a new phone for free. But that's not even the craziest part—she wasn't even our customer. She was a Verizon customer. She screamed at me for about 10 minutes demanding I call our manager. She then started yelling at other customers about how awful we were, so we called the cops.

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

49. Limited Supply

I worked at an electronic and appliance store that no longer exists but one day we got like 100 or so golf umbrellas. I don’t know why, but they were buying a bunch of random stuff those days. So we run a really good sale on them, for like $5. We got the sale from Friday to Sunday and we sell out by like late Saturday or early Sunday.

So on Sunday this guy comes in and wants one and absolutely loses his mind that we didn't have the cheap $5 umbrellas left. I will remind you we sold TVS and FRIDGES! He started cussing out the staff and the manager had to finally tell him to get out.

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

50. Father (Doesn’t) Know Best

Building materials store. It was business to business, so not much retail I guess. This guy comes in with his son, wants to buy a $2,000 air tool. I pretty quickly recognize he’s going to attempt check/card fraud. Not a big deal, we get two to three a week for the same thing. But this guy wasn’t very good at it. He hands me a terrible looking card.

I test the chip and doesn’t work. I can key in the numbers and process the sale if I want. So I know for sure now its fraud but I never accuse them, so I ask for cash. Most fraudsters can read my face and understand I know what they’re doing. Usually, they say they will go to the bank real quick and then they get lost. This guy starts getting aggressive.

I’m fed up so I look at his son. I ask him what his name is. John. Then I say, “John, when you grow up you don’t want to be stealing stuff like your daddy. And sucking at it, too.” Hoo boy.

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

51. Mr. Big Shot

I had a customer tell me I was a lazy piece of garbage because I wouldn't grab his wife a flat cart. I was with another customer. He told me they were there to drop $400 on a lawnmower. I laughed and said, “Let me know when you plan on filling a trailer and dropping $20,000.”

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

52. Grown-up Needs to Grow up

I was counting my till and a customer waiting in line for the other register started laughing and saying random numbers rapid fire to mess up my count. She succeeded. This was like a mid-40s lady. I sighed and looked at her and said, "What are we, five years old?" and then took my till around the corner to start again. It was seriously rage inducing. Like, why would you do that? It's just being a total jerk. No redeeming humor value at all.

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

53. But I Want It Now!

Back when I was in undergrad, I worked part time at Macy's. One day I get this customer who says he is looking for a sports jacket that he saw listed on the website and he wanted to buy it at the store. I told him, " No problem, let me check and see if we have it." So I check on my computer and nope, we don't have any in stock, so I tell him that I can just place an order and he can pick it up in a few days.

"No I'm going to be out of town." So I told him that we can have it shipped directly to him. "No, I want it today." I told him that I can check and see if another Macy's had it. "I already drove all the way here." I told him, "Well you saw it online right? Why not order it from the website?" At that point, he absolutely lost it.

He said, "I REALLY DON'T LIKE YOUR SMART ALECK TONE RIGHT NOW." I just have him a "WTF?" look and said, "Sir, I am trying to help you and you're not helping me by literally rejecting every option we have, why not try buying something similar?” He screams, "NO I WANT THAT ONE, I BET YOUR MANAGER CAN GET ME WHAT I WANT."

I say, "He's gonna tell you the same thing I just told you," and he replies:  “Oh, we'll just see about that, you'll be lucky if you have a job after this blah blah blah..." I really didn't pay attention to his ranting as I was calling the manager, and giving the guy the middle finger with my eyes. So when my manager gets down to where I am he looks at the guy and just says, "Oh, it's you. Do I need to call security again?"

I had such a big grin on my face. Jerk customer starts screaming at the both of us and says, "THIS IS RIDICULOUS, I AM GOING TO REPORT BOTH OF YOU TO CORPORATE." I just start laughing and say, "Dude, didn't he just tell you to get out?" Apparently, he wasn't expecting that and just stared at us. My boss is trying to keep a straight face at this point and says, "Well, you heard him, get the heck out of here."

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

54. Too Little, Too Late

A guy asks me for a shoe and I go to the back to grab it, but we don’t have the size he’s looking for. I tell him there’s only one size left and it’s the display shoe—half a size smaller—that he’s holding in his hand. I ask him if he wants it, he says no and thanks me for my help. I nod, give him space and walk to the register to help others.

As I was working the register my co-worker is helping a couple and brings out that shoe—I don’t know this. When I’m done at the register the guy comes up to me a few minutes later and says he does want the shoe. So, I go to the back and check but it’s not there—it’s with the couple. I walk out to tell him that someone else is trying it on and if he wants it he’s gotta wait to see if the couple will take them or not.

The couple decides they want the shoe but the guy won’t give up the display shoe he’s holding on to. They start arguing back and forth over a shoe that’s been sitting there for months! My manager comes to resolve it and get both sides. This is where the original guy says that he had told me he wanted them from the start. Told my manager he was lying and we told him to leave and that he was leaving without anything. He left angry, saying he’d call corporate. Gotta love retail!

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

55. Back of the Line

When I was 19 I worked as a manager at a Dollar Tree. The first of every month was always the most hectic because of food stamps which, unfortunately for us, not a great day because there were only three employees inside the store including myself. Lines are building up when a woman and her 20-something daughter come to the line with over 60 items.

When the total comes up and she uses WIC, she cannot remember her PIN. Happens, I get it. I told her we’ll have to move it over to an empty cash register to clear my conveyor so that we don’t hold anyone up—four or more people in each of our two lines now. She complied—Woo!—and I continued ringing up customers.

She takes five steps from me and calls friends/family to find out what the password is and after slightly less than five minutes says she knows it now. I say "Awesome!" At this point, she starts moving my customer’s items back while she cuts off every customer to place all of her items back on the belt. Every customer is like “What the heck?!”

I stop her and tell her that she needs to get to the back of the line and she pulls out the “Let me speak to your manager” at a screech that could be heard from the city over. I calmly say “No problem,” bend down, turn around, pop my head back up, and say “How can I help you?” Every customer starts laughing, including her daughter, and she starts cursing at me like the Wicked Witch of the West.

This was the point when I told her to leave the store to which she just went to the other line and I told the employee not to ring her up. She blew up in anger and left the store with her daughter apologizing to everyone.

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

56. Like Father Like Son

This kid had two Xbox games in his pants when I was working at Blockbuster. I saw him tugging at them because they were sliding down his pant leg and confronted him. He took them to his dad, who I didn’t even realize was in the store. Dad decides to reward the wannabe thief by renting them, except they already owed over $100 in late fees because of Xbox games they’d never returned.

He proceeds to lose his mind—I can't believe some of the stuff he screamed at me. My manager gets angry and tells him to get out for saying some pretty insane stuff to a 16-year-old girl. Dude says he’s just going to go to the other Blockbuster. We flagged his account and called the other store to warn them.

He showed up there about 10 minutes later, the kid tried to steal games AGAIN, and this time that store manager called the cops. It was pretty awesome, even though my heart was racing pretty fast when an adult man was leaning across the counter to tell me what a b-word I was.

Worst Thing a Guest did factsMax Pixel

57. No Shoes, No Service

I broke a large light bulb on the floor near the door, and as I was cleaning a customer comes in barefoot. "Sorry sir, I just broke some glass in here how about telling me what you need or coming back in a minute with shoes?" He says, "I don't care, you workers are all huge pansies these days, I worked in a nail factory barefoot blah blah,” as he continues to walk closer.

I said, "Did you really just override my request and expect to be served?" Insert more disrespect. I come around, hold the door open to leave, and tell him to get out.

Retail Moments FactsPixabay

58. Unreasonable Request

I worked at a Buck-A-Book. I was the only employee there at the time as my manager was asleep in the back office, and nothing would wake him up. I was in a cast and on crutches from having broken my ankle and so I was sitting behind the counter. I wasn't even supposed to be back at work for another week, but my manager had whined about being alone and forced me back.

It was pouring buckets of rain that day. A woman came in and bought 100 books—some hardcover—for her school. She demanded that I carry all these books out to her car for her. Our two-wheeler was in the back room with my sleeping manager and banging on the door for 15 minutes failed to bring him out. I explained that I couldn't help her with the books because of my cast.

She threw a fit and demanded that since she spent $100 that I close the store and carry each and every box out to her car in the pouring rain by myself on crutches. I may have said more than just get out.

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

59. Take It or Leave It

I worked in a college bookstore years ago and this guy came in and I greeted him. He then turned around and I saw he had a bag on him and store policy was to have customers leave bags up front, so I politely said, “Oh we don't really allow bags in the store, could you please leave it in the cubbies.” He then got upset and started loudly saying, “I have my COMPUTER in here, I CAN'T leave it here.”

We normally would put things like that behind the counter so I offered him that choice and he started flipping out like CRAZY. By this time the store manager came out and asked what all the yelling was about and the customer started to berate both me AND the manager about how crazy it was that he couldn't keep his bag on him. My manager was known to not take anything from anyone so after his rant, she just told him “If you don't like our policies, just get out.” She will probably be my favorite of all time.

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

60. Crossing the Line

I had a lady cuss me out when I worked as a customer service manager for a big retail store. She then went on to tell me how my mom didn’t raise me right and should have done better. If she'd known the painful truth, she'd never have said what she said. My mom had just passed away a few weeks previously. I then told her, thanks ma’am but she did a great job and recently passed and immediately told her to leave or the cops would be called and she would be criminally trespassing.

Childish Behavior From Adults factsShutterstock

61. The Last Straw

Working as Target's mobile rep, I'm helping this old man with his phone. He's asking very basic questions about his iPhone but he had an appointment and was very polite. We were setting up his phone too. This woman is waiting behind us with her kids running around for about 15 minutes, and again he has an appointment and I told her it might be awhile.

She has been making comments under her breath the entire time and setting a terrible example for her kids about respecting your elders. Then the old gentleman said he needed to run to his car and get his SIM card and that he'd be back in 10 minutes. I then proceeded to help the lady while he was away, but she required help involving me making a call that I knew was going to be too long so I said she had to wait until I'm done or come back later.

When the old man returned and she commented on how she was "surprised he didn't fall down in the parking lot,” implying that he should have. I just got fed up with her at this point and I called AP on her and said she was causing a disturbance. Sure, I didn't help her and she undoubtedly left me a bad review, but I couldn’t care less. I just feel bad for her kids and that such jerk actually exists.

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

62. Cleaning Up

I bought a Dyson vacuum from Target for $500. Literally the very next day, it went on sale for $400. On Target’s website, it specifically states that they will grant you a refund for the difference on any item that goes on sale within seven days of your purchase. I went back to the store the day after buying the vacuum, and the person working customer service didn’t want to give me the refund.

I had to ask for the manager, who also didn’t know about the policy. I had to pull out my phone and show it to them on their own website. I eventually got my refund, but man was that an annoying experience!

Memorable Stranger FactsShutterstock

63. Saved by the Bill

This guy came in and without even glancing at any merchandise, comes to the register. He hands me five $20 bills and asks for one $100 bill. As unusual as it was, I obliged. After I verified all his $20 bills were legit, I pulled a single $100 bill from my till. This is the part that saved me—I held the $100 bill up to the light just like we were trained to do every time we handle a $100 bill.

Only $100 bills and not any other denomination. He took the $100 in one hand, turned away from me, turned back and showed me a $10 bill, and claimed he was short $90. Without even thinking, I pointed to the door and told him he could leave or I would be calling the cops. He conceded and left without another word. The thing that saved me is that $100 bills are the only ones we look through at a light. The cameras saw me do that and I knew I had him dead to rights.

Retail Moments FactsWikimedia Commons

64. Keep It to Yourself

I was working the register at my mom’s business when some guy came in and started bragging about how many slip and fall lawsuits he has in progress. I was like, “Please, very carefully, get out and don’t come back.”

Worst Thing Done on a Date FactsShutterstock

65. Perfect Response

I managed a cell phone store years ago and there was an entitled older lady who came in and made my full-timer cry. I stepped in and told her that I didn’t need her business and to leave because she had no right to treat people the way she did. The customer escalated the issue to the "office of the president" and I was contacted asking why we were so rude to this customer and what happened.

My only response was to email a section of the "violence in the workplace" training module that states that you do not have to take abuse from customers. Nothing else was ever said about it. Other than another manager who heard about it contacting me to say, "Well played, sir".

Cringeworthy Dates factsPexels

66. Couldn’t Be More Obvious

It couldn’t have been more obvious that a guy was trying to return stolen merchandise. He “lost” the receipt, didn’t know when it was purchased and paid with cash so we couldn’t just easily look up the transaction on a credit card. He said he would call his friend to ask if they knew when it was purchased, and then he took out his iPhone and without pressing a button started to talk on it.

I was like...I can clearly see the home screen with no call happening. When he “got off the phone” I got a little bold and in my best retail manager voice said something to the effect of, “Oh, that’s cool! Is that a new update where you can talk to someone without actually calling them?” He left after that.

Retail Moments FactsShutterstock

67. Who Needs Fighting Games at This Point?

Years ago, I got hired as seasonal help for Toys R Us. It was before they redesigned the stores into their current mess and everything was in long aisles. I got stuck in aisle one, which was board games on one side and the big glass case of video games on the other. This was the year that Super Nintendo came out, so we had one behind the glass with a controller outside, so you could try out Super Mario World.

I'm up on a ladder getting more copies of Crocodile Dentist down to restock the lower shelves, and hear some yelling. I look down, and two kids are shoving each other in front of the SNES. They start swinging at each other and the parents intervene, only to start fighting themselves. I slide down the ladder and my manager rushes over to try and stop things from getting worse.

One of the parents had a bat in his cart, and hits the other guy square in the back, knocking him into the display cabinet, shattering the glass, and cutting him up really good. The guy with the bat realizes what he did and grabs his kids and tries to make a run for the door. Management was trying to block him from leaving as they went, and got the cop who was outside directing traffic.

The police came in and wrestled this guy to the ground while his kids watched. He resisted and got a serious beatdown in the middle of the store. The other guy who went through the glass was cut up and bleeding really bad. He ended up losing an eye over the whole thing. After this was all over, we had to lock up the SNES, and you could only try it out if management opened the case for you.

The other really messed up part of this whole thing was that people were taking toys out of the cart of the cut-up guy's cart as EMTs worked on him and his kid sat there crying. One woman even tried to take the blood-splattered demo SNES out of the broken case to try to buy for her kid.

Black Friday Horror Stories factsPixabay

68. Unwarranted Behavior

Many years ago, I bought a new laptop. I was also suckered into buying an extended warranty for it. The laptop ended up breaking down after only about a year. No problem—it was still covered by the extended warranty, right? So, I took it in to be fixed. The people in the store just hummed and hawed, and told me that my laptop was still perfectly fine.

They said that I just had to hold down the power button for a few minutes to "drain the capacitors" before using it. Well, that didn't do the trick; so when it broke down again, I brought it right back in. This time, they held onto it at the store for a few days before calling me to say that it was fixed. Then it broke down yet again.

This time, I asked to speak to a manager when I brought it back into the store. All the manager did was offer to sell me a new one. I told him to get bent. Eventually, on the fifth try, they finally agreed to honor my extended warranty and to just give me a new computer to replace my broken one—albeit reluctantly.

The same manager from earlier had to come down to sign the final paperwork and, as he handed me that new laptop, he said to me through gritted teeth, "Well, you've been awfully persistent in this matter, haven't you?" Yes, I have. Now give me my freaking laptop, you little sneak. I never went back there again, and the place is now out of business.

Speak to the Manager FactsShutterstock

69. Not From Our Part of the Milky Way

I used to work in a grocery store when I was younger. One afternoon, I hear a customer say "Excuse me" so I look up for a moment from stocking the milk, which I'm standing in front of. "Could you tell me where your milk is?" she asks me in a fully serious tone. I almost didn't answer her, milk is basically the whole aisle and I literally had it in my hands. Had she never seen what milk looks like before in her entire life? I honestly can think of no other possible explanation for this. What the actual heck could that have been??

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

70. That’s the Best Excuse You Could Come Up With?

I remember working at a sporting goods store many years ago. I watched a middle-aged guy come in, grab a soft shell jacket from the rack, put it on, and walk out while the cashiers just kind of stood there stunned watching him. We didn't really expect him to just leave like that, so we were just frozen. The security tag was still on too, and the alarm didn't go off, so we were just like "...did he just steal that?"

When someone finally confronted him about it, he tried to claim that he had had it on when he came in. Yeah right...

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

71. Cat Got Your Tongue

I was behind this woman in line at my tiny town’s dollar store. She was buying a couple cans of milk supplement for kittens. However, she thought that it was actual cat milk, and was buying it to drink herself at some sort of fancy food party she was throwing for herself and a few friends.  "Yeah, I done went to Kroger's and got me some fancy cheese and whatnot too!"

I had to leave the line because I was on the verge of bursting into laughter over the look on the cashier's face.

Cats factsFlickr

72. Low Fat, High Salt Diet

As a grocery store clerk, I was once berated for over 10 minutes because of the fat content in a piece of ham we were selling. This woman was absolutely adamant that ham "never had fat in it when I was a kid!" She demanded to know when they started adding all the fat into it. I just work here, lady.

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

73. Do Not Disturb

This reminds me of a guy who reserved a room for 2 weeks. He had the do not disturb sign on the door the whole stay (this is actually pretty common for longer stays). A couple weeks later, I get a call from the guest absolutely furious that we charged him for a 2-week stay when he only stayed at our hotel for two days.

I ask him who he spoke to at check out, thinking maybe one of our employees made a mistake and just didn't properly check him out. The truth was even more hilarious.  Long story short, he didn't notify anyone that he was checking out, he just left. I had to explain to him that if you have a room reserved for a length of time and leave earlier than you had registered for, then you actually have to let the staff know.

Even if the do not disturb sign hadn't been on the door the whole time, we are still not just going to guess that a guest checked out and rent their room to another person. He tried filing a chargeback for the remainder of the stay, but did not get his money refunded. As this was midsummer, we were turning people away daily due to being sold out, and that room sat empty because he expected us to psychically know that he left.

Worst Thing Found in Hotel FactsWikimedia Commons

74. Shrinking Theory

I worked at a hat store, and a guy asked if he could shrink his hat by microwaving it. I said no. He came back two days later to return his hat...after microwaving it. Problem was, there was a hole in the front of it because Brewers hats are made with metallic threading. Yep, this dude microwaved his Brewers hat and blew a hole in it.

Married People factsShutterstock

75. Barbeque Cell Phone

I used to work in a phone shop. I had someone come in asking why their phone wasn't working properly. It was visibly scorched and melty. I asked why it looked that way. They said it came up with an error message, saying it had been too cold. This was not an error message I had heard of before, but I know phones can bring up errors for being too hot, so who knows.

But that wasn't the real issue. It's what he did with the phone that shocked me. He had put it under the grill to heat it up. The grill. Their first point of call was to cook it. I told them that's why their phone wasn't working, and no, it was not covered under the guarantee.

Customer Questions FactsPixabay

76. Colorful Questions

I used to work in IKEA in the section that sold wardrobes. Big behemoths of things. Normally around 6-foot long and 60kg in boxes. Customers would regularly ask me if it would fit in their car. After being polite the first few times, asking them about the size of their car and guessing, I then just started asking them what color their car was. The amount of people who'd answer unphased was amazing.

Customer Questions FactsShutterstock

77. The Healthy Choice

I worked at a convenience store while in college. This married couple comes in and they go get drinks. The lady asks me if the bottled water is fat-free. I smile and just say yes, and that the brand is also calorie-free. She smiled and said thanks. Her husband gets out his wallet, shakes his head, and pays. At least two of us were embarrassed for her.

Teacher Confiscated FactsMax Pixel

78. In the Face of Danger

My wife and I live and work for the City of Virginia Beach. We both work in buildings on either side of the one where the recent mass shooting took place. That fateful day, my wife said that when the police surrounded her building and wouldn't let anyone in or out, there was a customer who—despite being told that there was an active situation—was upset that no one was helping her, and kept asking everyone why she wasn't allowed to pay her utility bill.

Customer Questions FactsShutterstock

79. Alternative Science

During an internship in a bookstore, I was asked where we kept the “alternative science books.” The guy was talking about flat Earth stuff, he was really serious about it, too.

Innocent Questions Crushed factsShutterstock

80. Goes Without Saying

I had a customer threaten to call the cops because I wouldn't give them 50% off on a CHARITY bear on Boxing Day. 100% of the proceeds from these teddy bears went to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and they were only $15. The store had a 50% off everything sale for Boxing Day, but it didn't include the CHARITY bears.

I add capitals because it's a charity bear...its purpose is right in the name! I basically just kept saying "Ma'am, it's a charity bear," because I didn't know how else to explain that the point of the bear was to raise money...that seemed...obvious. People in line were starting to get really upset with her and she just started to freak right out and was starting to dial 9-1-1.

My boss, so upset—she lost a son early in life to cancer so the Make-A-Wish Foundation was important to her—just gave her a bear and told her to never come back. A bunch of familiar customers of ours were so upset they pitched in the $15 without us even saying anything, which was super kind of them. It was a restoration of faith in humanity, but what a nightmare for no reason. Especially on Boxing Day!

Unfair Things Teachers Have Dona FactsShutterstock

81. Pick Your Vices

I had a customer take up 10 minutes of my time saying that I didn't know how to do my job, because I couldn't find the "nutritional facts" placard on a carton of cigarettes. Why, you who walk around with your head full of brains, do you ask? She needed, NEEDED, to know if these Timeless Times piece of junk cigarettes contained corn syrup in them. Because, don’t you know, that corn syrup is bad for her.

Animals’ Biggest Power Moves FactsShutterstock

82. Stamp Suspicions

I sell stamps from my register at work. This was just a few days ago, actually. I had a lady come up and ask to buy some postal stamps. I asked her, “How many stamps would you like? We sell them in books of 2, 10, and 20.” Her: “...What? What does that mean?” Me: “It’s just the number of stamps in the book. Do you want 2, 10, or 20 stamps?”

Her: (suddenly getting angry) “I don’t know what that means. What is a stamp? I don’t know what a stamp is.” Me: “...What?” I eventually sold 20 stamps to her while she was vaguely hostile and suspicious about the entire concept of stamps and stamp quantities. I don’t know how to explain this to you, lady, you’re the one who came to me for stamps.

My best guess is that either she wanted to know what the stamps were worth, postage-wise, but couldn’t figure out how to string that sentence together so she got mad instead, or she actually had some kind of medical issue that made her confused. I’ve noticed through many years of customer service that sometimes people just have a brain slip, panic, and then they cover up for it by getting mad at someone else.

Randoms Acts of Kindness factsPixabay

83. The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

A guy came into my store. I had never previously encountered him in my life. I served him at the checkout and all was well. No less than an hour after my shift, a notification pops up on my phone. This guy had found both my Instagram and my Snapchat and had added me. What's even more creepy is that the only thing he knew about me was my first name.

That was it. I had also only recently moved to the area, and knew nobody around there. That incident creeped me out for sure.

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

84. Cleanup On Aisle Six

I work in a liquor store. One time, I watched a man who was carrying six bottles of red wine simply drop all six of the bottles to the ground, shattering them, and then proceed to just walk out of the store as if nothing had ever happened. His khaki pants were visibly stained bright red. He looked like some kind of a business casual savage warlord.

My assumption is that it had been an accident, and that he just left because he was horribly embarrassed. A part of me, though, wants to believe that it was all an intentional piece of performance art, because it was the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed.

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

85. Leaf Blower Versus Whistleblower

I had a crazy experience at a hardware store I used to work at. Some big dude parks his truck right by the entrance from the street, then walks in and shouts "WHERE ARE THE LEAF BLOWERS?!" I kindly tell him which aisle he can find them in. He proceeds to walk over, grab one, and then start walking out the front door.

I rushed over to him with a notepad in my hand and asked if I could see his receipt. He looks over at me and says something along the lines of "Nah, I paid up front! It's all good." So I kind of shrugged it off and let him go, but I wrote down a description of him as well as his car and license plate number. I called the higher-ups at my store and told them about what had happened.

Two days later, the lady I reported it to comes walking up to me in the store and says "they're arresting him right now. Like, right now." I head outside and watch it go down. Turns out that my stopping him to ask to see his receipt just so happened to cause the cameras to get a direct, clear shot of his face. As a result, companies will now be viewing the footage of the encounter as an example of how to properly deal with such situations.

Unprofessional Teachers FactsMax Pixel

86. From Bad to Worse

I once asked a customer in my store how her weekend went. She replied with:

"Well, I have to take care of my mother and my mother-in-law full time because they're both on hospice, and I can't work because I have spinal meningitis and the pain is too much to bear. This weekend, I had to drive my sister to three different hospitals to see specialists for her cerebral palsy, and then I had to visit my uncle who has eye cancer."

Now, here is where it's important to note that this woman was buying nothing but sixteen gallons of distilled water. She continued: "That's why I'm buying this water. I use it to make a special tea that cures cancer. I can see that you have freckles, so you're definitely going to get skin cancer someday. Let me write down the recipe for you. It really works! My uncle was supposed to die a year ago, but he’s still alive because I make him this tea all the time."

Yeah, I don’t mean to be rude, but a simple “My weekend was fine, how was yours?” was really all I was looking for…

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

87. Sticking Her Foot in Her Mouth

I work at Macy's in the women's shoe department. Our customer base mainly buys clearance items, and rarely spends more than $40. Every single day, I watch as customer after customer asks if they can use coupons to get whatever extra percentage off of the price or discount they think is possible.  Now, many do this, but one customer absolutely took the cake over every other one.

She came up to me and asked me to bring out 18 different pairs of clearance shoes she was interested in buying. As I work off of commission and this was a pretty large potential sale, I basically ran around the stockroom like a madman trying to gather all of these shoes. I brought them all out neatly stacked in their boxes, and rang them up at the register for her.

The total came to $236. This is where things started to head south. She asked if she could use her 20% off coupon. Now, normally the answer to that would be heck yeah, no problem. But this particular day happened to be the day of a major sale—all clearance shoes were marked down 80% and were roughly $10-20 per pair. Because of this, coupons were prohibited for the day.

When I informed her of this, she SCREAMED at me until I called my manager over. She called me every name in the book, told me I was a complete idiot, said that I shouldn't be allowed to work there because I didn’t know what I was doing, everything you can imagine. My manager finally came over. When she explained to the lady that coupons, in fact, were not allowed for this particular sale, the woman bought all 18 pairs, for $236, but insisted that someone else ring the sale up so that I wouldn't make any commission on the transaction.

Little did she know the other salesperson rang it up using my ID number. I win, crazy lady!

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

88. Animal Farm

This crazy lady who used to shop at my store on a regular basis once came in and told me that she had just adopted an 11-year-old dog with 15 puppies that would have definitely been put down if not for her intervention—because its previous owners didn’t care about its health and well being, whereas she was an “expert” in herbal medicine for animals.

As much as I’m sure we all appreciate her concern for innocent animals, it was definitely one of the weirdest moments I’ve ever had on the job.

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsMax Pixel

89. Island Living

This is the absolute dumbest thing I've ever heard from a customer. Before the age of GPS, I worked at a convenience store that was in the first gas station once you reached an island. This was at the end of I40, so it wasn't too uncommon for people to miss a turn onto the 17, realize they'd just crossed a bridge onto an island, and stop for directions.

The first lady came in and asked directions to Island B. I told her to go back across the bridge. Her: "What bridge?" Me: "The one you came across to get here." Her:"I didn't cross a bridge." Me: "Uh, okay, so you came across by ferry?" Her: "No. I didn't come on a ferry, and I didn't cross a bridge, and I'm NOT on an Island!"

...We sent her 10 miles to the end of the island to make her take the ferry that wouldn't start running for another 2 hours. It was the only answer she'd accept. In another instance, a poor guy came in looking for 95 South. I told him how to get to it. He raised an eyebrow...and I asked him where he'd come from.

He answered with a town an hour on the OTHER side of 95. He'd missed his turn by 2 hours. The he had to go tell his girlfriend in the car. You could hear her screaming through the car and store windows.

Thought Were Lies But True FactsShutterstock

90. A Logical Answer

I was working at a convenience store/gas station in high school. A guy walks in on a Sunday morning and asks if we sell newspapers. Me: "We have a box out front. You walked right past it." Customer: "Are there any in it?" Me: "I don't know, you'll have to check." Customer: looks at the box "I can't tell, there's one in the way." Me: "Then there is at least one in there."

Donation Bin FactsMax Pixel

91. Busted!

I’m a former police officer, but I once witnessed something crazy happen involving a retail customer. I get a call to Lowe's one day for a guy trying to run out of the store with a shopping cart full of stolen power tools. I'm not too excited because they usually get away and Lowe's Loss Prevention is pretty useless and nonexistent.

They usually can't stop anybody, won't prosecute, and the corporation just writes off the loss. Anyway, this guy loads up like $2,500 worth of Dewalt tools and sprints out across the parking lot to his buddy waiting at the end in a vehicle. Loss Prevention pretty much just says, "Hey, stop!" and does nothing. Well, he happens to try this at the worst possible time. Right then, a bunch of burly construction workers are walking into the store—including one guy with his family who happens to be a college football weight training coach.

From the look of him, I believed it. Anyway, the thief sprints around the construction workers and heads out across the parking lot. Football Coach, who probably runs competitively, sprints and snaps this guy in half like some red-shirt rookie quarterback meeting a veteran D-Back at spring training. The thief is hopped up on drugs, so he tries to take a few pop-shots at Football Coach right as all the construction workers get there.

These guys proceed to give this loser the most thorough whooping he's ever gotten in his entire life. When I got there, he looked like he'd been rolling around in a cement mixer full of rocks. I arrive to a crowd of people standing around him hunched over on the ground. I asked "What the heck happened to him?" and what I heard back was: "He fell..."

About 20 people who had gathered at the scene said it to me in unison. We arrested the thief, took him to county jail, and that was that. Loss Prevention later told me what had really happened and we both thought it was pretty darn hilarious, as that guy had stolen about $10k worth of merchandise over the last several months.

Remember kids, if you're gonna do something stupid, make sure you have a clear exit plan!

Jack Kerouac factsShutterstock

92. Crying Over Spilt Milk

I used to work at a grocery store as a bagger. This guy said he wanted his milk in a bag. He had a lot of stuff to pack up, so when I got to the milk I wanted to double check what he said before doing it. So I asked a second time whether he wanted a bag. He proceeded to yell at me so loudly that the next two lanes got quiet and they were all staring at what was going on. "Are you stupid? You have hearing problems? Where is your manager? They should fire you for being so stupid. I already said I wanted it in the bag." Jeez, I’m just trying to make people happy.

Human Evolution factsShutterstock

93. Story Time

I worked at a bookstore. We sold both new and used books. This lady kept insisting that we were trying to scam her by labeling used books as new. She methodically removed dozens of books from the shelves to argue one-by-one that they were actually used, not new. None of the books were used. We tried showing her that some were published literally three days ago—but she wasn't buying it.

I explained that the publisher chose to print the book on off-white pages with uneven page sizes, but she wasn't buying it. I said that the dust jacket just got dinged in shipment, which happens a lot. I offered her 10% off, but she wasn't buying it. She'd do this nine or ten times, over the course of a month. She would come in, pick out about twenty books, bring them all up to the counter, and argue that each and every one of them was used and that we were scamming people.

She'd involve other customers in the charade, get loud, and threaten to file complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Eventually, someone would have to give her a coupon or discount to get her to shut up so that she would leave and we could check out the rest of the customers in peace. This persisted for the better part of a month, and each time the ownership group declined to kick her out.

The problem was, she was still actually spending some money in the store. Even if she only paid 80% of what everyone else did, we still were making a profit. Then she finally went too far—she made a new hire cry. The assistant manager was late coming back from lunch, and all discounts have to be approved by a manager. So this lady was holding up the line for ten minutes, calling the poor checkout girl all sorts of nasty names and questioning her intelligence.

I was never so happy to be able to kick someone out and tell them they're trespassing if they ever come back. This lady was a horrible person, and thought she was smarter and knew more about books than every single one of us.

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

94. Shedding a Few Tears

This woman came in and bought a shed. I asked her what her loading bay number was and she said that she hadn't driven. I asked her if she needed me to get the number of whoever was driving her. She said her husband could carry it. I stared at her and said very slowly "Madam, it’s a building." She insisted that I was being ridiculous and demanded that we bring it out so that her middle-aged, slightly chubby husband could carry it out of the store, as they only lived "about a 10-minute walk away."

We brought it over, with extreme difficulty.  When we arrived, she asked me "What's that thing?" I said, "That's your shed, madam." "There's no way Jeff is carrying THAT!!!" Oddly enough, she had a change of heart and decided to just pay the money to have it delivered.

Midsection Of Woman Holding WalletGetty Images

95. The Greatest Show on Earth

I used to work at Walmart, and one day some people came in saying that they wanted to purchase a new TV. Now, I already knew these people to be rather shady, as they used to come in several times a week to try to “return” cans of food for cash that were not actually purchased at our store. My guess is that the true source of the cans was likely the local food pantry.

Anyway, they asked to borrow one of the big flatbed carts from the service desk where I worked. I asked if they would like me to page an employee to come over to our department to help, and they hastily said no and booked it out of the service desk area. A few minutes go by and I see them rushing out the door with an unpaid for TV, cart and all.

No spider wrap, no alarm, no door greeter to check receipts. No one except for me was even aware that this had happened. When I told my supervisor about it, she just shook her head and said that there was nothing we could do. About a week later, who do you suppose shows up? The same people with their new TV, of course, saying that it didn't work properly and that they wanted to return it. They just happened to have "lost the receipt"...

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

96. Spilling the Beans

While working in a grocery store, I walked past a family picking out ice cream. They looked up and just casually told me that they might have left a leaky case of soda on the floor several aisles back. Turns out they had dropped it and just left without even bothering to see if it was leaking or to find anyone who could take care of the problem. There was soda everywhere thanks to them, yet they had no problem just going on with their shopping.

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

97. Sam Doesn’t Work Here Anymore

This story took place before the time of HD and flatscreen TVs, but long since cable TVs had been around. A lady came into the Walmart I was working at with a huge floor model console TV—the kind that had no remote—and wanted to return it and get her money back. She started yelling at me when I told her that I wasn't going to be accepting the return, as she had no receipt and the TV was obviously more than 15 years old.

As is common with these types of people, her response was to demand that I let her speak to a manager. So I paged a manager on the intercom who then came over and basically told the customer the same exact thing that I just had. The customer then started screaming at us and demanding to speak with "Sam." We both looked at each other blankly for a few moments, before one of us finally said: “Sam who?”

"Sam Walton, your boss!" she screamed impatiently. For those who may not know, she was referring to the name of the original founder of Walmart—who passed away back in 1992.  At this point, my manager had had just about enough of this lady's lunacy. She told her, "Well ma'am, we have a wide selection of top-notch shovels in our Lawn & Garden department. Why don’t you go purchase one so you can go dig him up!" The woman left abruptly and didn’t bother us any further.

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

98. Caught in the Act

A guy walked into the tractor supply store where I used to work and stole a bunch of bolt cutters off of the shelf. He then walked to the side door and cut the lock, where two of his buddies had been placing items near the door. They piled everything into this tiny car and just drove off. They were caught later that day for trying to steal from another store in the same plaza.

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

99. Counterfeit Card

I used to work a game store a little more than 10 years ago. Once, I had a woman come in, dressed fairly trendy, and ask for 2 PlayStation Portables (PSP), 2 Xbox 360s, and a handful of games and accessories. My store was pretty slow, so this would be a pretty big sale for the day and I was excited about it.

She goes to pay and hands me a credit card which was not laminated and appeared to be printed out on a home color printer. I told her it wouldn’t work and she said just scan it anyway. So I scanned her fake credit card which clearly did not have a magnetic strip and it didn’t work—of course. She told me to just “put the numbers in” on the computer. I refused and she asked why, seemingly legitimately confused. I told her I just couldn’t. She told me she would be back with cash. I put everything back on the shelves. She did not return.

Customer Scams factsGettyImages

100. Smile! You’re on Camera

Many many many years ago I worked at a retailer in the UK. A grimy looking family came in and started acting shifty, having over exaggerated discussions on washing machines, asking ridiculous questions about our returns policy. They bought a reasonably expensive Hotpoint washing machine from us, and wanted to take it with them that day, which we were happy to do.

They paid cash. They took their washing machine, loaded it into the back of their van, and we watched them drive over to the McDonald's on the other side of the trading park. About an hour later they drove back and said that we'd sold them the wrong machine. They'd gotten it home, unwrapped it, and it was the wrong machine.

We told them to bring it on in and we'd sort it out. They went out to their van and brought in a CLEARLY DIFFERENT, DIRTY, OBVIOUSLY SECOND-HAND WASHING MACHINE. Oh, and they didn't want an exchange. Just a refund. With every alarm bell ringing, my boss and I had a quick scan through the security cameras.

Sure enough, they had driven to McDonald's, and come straight back. Whilst I was "running the refund through," my boss called the police, who turned up, had a little look in the back of their van where, unsurprisingly, there was a brand new Hotpoint washer, still in its wrap. They were carted off by the cops. Didn't get charged, unfortunately, but it was a definite get out moment.

If they'd only been more patient and less greedy and gone home for a few hours first, they probably would've gotten away with it, knowing how much my boss would adhere to the “customer is always right” principle.

Retail Moments FactsPexels

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9


More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.




Dear reader,


Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your time!


Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your help!


Warmest regards,



The Factinate team




Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.