When Customers Try To Cheat The System

August 9, 2023 | Allison Robertson

When Customers Try To Cheat The System

In retail, for every nice customer, there are about a dozen rude or disrespectful ones. Though the saying goes, “The customer is always right”, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Oftentimes, customers think they can outsmart employees and cheat their way into a discount.

From quick-changing cashiers to switching products; hilarious warranty claims, and hiding food in pants pockets, here are 50 hilarious tales from Reddit Users of the endless opportunities for desperate customers looking to cheat the system. Some of these sound pretty sneaky if you ask me.

1. Switching And Shipping

A customer said he never received a book he ordered so we checked UPS and it was shipped to a different address. We called UPS saying and they said the customer had called them to change the shipping address and that they had a digital copy of his signature.

He denied it was his signature and that he ever called to change the shipping address. He said he had never even heard of that address. Then he made a blood-boiling claim—he said that WE changed the address and we were trying to screw him over.

I did some investigating and found out the new address it shipped to was a business under his name. So, I called him up during his business hours, and said: “HAHA busted”. He then called the authorities on me, saying we were harassing him so my boss talked with the authorities. They found out he DID receive the book.

Ah, good times.

customer service

2. They Got To Play Detective

I used to work for a furniture company in the mid-'90s. One day, we got a memo that a former coworker was using stolen cards to do in-store pickups or deliveries to fake addresses (like an apartment, but they would pick up the furniture in the apartment lobby, claiming the elevator was broken or something). The FBI was getting involved because it was in the number of thousands of dollars across state lines.

A few days later, I got a call. A big order. The kind of order that would blow over quota and give me a bonus. Can you deliver this to New Jersey? Sure. I took down the credit card information. Then I asked for a callback number so I could relate the shipping info. They hesitated.

I said Mastercard required it. "Let me give you a Visa, then". Uh-huh. Okay. I told them that information, and then said, "Oh... I forgot... Visa does, too". "I'll call you back”, they said. So, I called the home office and told them I think it was those guys.

The MO checked out, and they said if they called back to try and get an Amex card, and not to ask for a callback number but just set up the delivery. Hours later, they called back. I got my assistant and I told her to just take the order. When it was completed, she had an Amex card order for some ungodly amount. I called the home office, and they arranged a sting with the FBI.

Later, the drivers told me what had happened. They had to make a rendezvous point where they loaded a bunch of armed agents into the truck. Then once the woman signed the bill, the FBI goon squad jumped from the truck and apprehended her and four accomplices without much resistance.

Later, Mastercard, Visa, and Amex gave me reward checks for recovering stolen cards. Sweet!

Man Dialing telephone keypad in blue shirtBrian A Jackson, Shutterstock

3. Surprise!

I had a couple of customers try to screw me over when I was working at Sears in electronics.

One lady tried to return a video camera. I opened the box to check the merchandise, breaking the seal. She was visibly not happy about that and asked what I was doing. I continued to open it. Inside was a camera several years old in a new box. She pretended to be surprised.

Another one was when a man brought in a Casio keyboard box. He proclaimed he bought it from one of my associates. We did not sell keyboards. I explained that to him. He was angry and asked where he got it from then. I said okay, okay. I started to open it. He was very mad. I kept going. He instantly ran out of the store. It was three pieces of plywood inside the box.

A young Apple sales assistant talks to a customerpcruciatti, Shutterstock

4. She Was In Too Deep

I once went with my grandma to return a pair of pants. She couldn't find her receipt and the tag was off so we were just going to get store credit for whatever amount we could.

When we brought the pants to the store clerk, the clerk told us that they didn't carry those pants. Now my grandma is not one to back down, so I stood there and watched her tell this long story about how she bought them a couple of weeks ago for such and such event but ended up not going to the event because her friend came into town, etc. It was like a Greek tragedy starring pants and the whole thing took about 20 minutes to tell.

Eventually, the store clerk gave up and credited my grandma. I didn't say a word throughout the entire ordeal because I was a bit embarrassed and we walked back to the car in silence. But my embarrassment turned into anger real quick.

We got in the car, and my grandma turned to me and said, "I realized after about five minutes that I hadn't bought the pants there, but I'll be damned if I'm going to be the crazy old lady who forgets where she buys pants".

Old people...

Older woman buying pants in white topBearFotos, Shutterstock

5. Quicker Than The Quick Changer

I was working at a fast-food joint one summer. A customer comes up and looks at my name tag, then makes some kind of rhyme out of my name. It was bad sitcom-level acting.

Anyway, he makes a small order, then asks for change for a twenty. I was already on alert because of his stupid name thing, so I was paying extra attention to what he was doing. He handed me the money for the order but kept the twenty. Watched me count the change, then pulled back and asked for it in fives. When I had the change in my hand, I held out my other hand for the twenty. He said he had already given me the money. I just gave him a blank stare and said, "No".

He backtracked and was like, "I'll just go get change from the gas station across the street".  Right...

Cheerful waitress wearing apron serving customerDan Rentea, Shutterstock

6. She Didn’t Think This One Through

I worked in an insurance call center and a woman phoned up to say she had spilled bleach on her carpet and needed to replace it (she had the right cover). It was policy to send an inspector from a cleaning company around to make sure it was a total loss, and this woman happened to live very close to the nearest location.

I told her someone would be around to inspect her carpet ASAP and that the depot was five minutes away, then started taking details about the accident. She was not happy with all this, and when I asked her when it happened, she got all blustered and eventually said, "It hasn't happened yet".


woman working at a call centerTima Miroshnichenko, Shutterstock

7. Maintenance Was Too Quick

One of my friends was a purser on a cruise ship and the lengths people would go to get a free room upgrade were astonishing. The best story was a complaint from the passengers about a water leak in their room that had ruined some of their belongings. They wanted an upgrade to first class and announced they would be suing for the full replacement costs of all of their suitcases and the stuff that was in them (cameras, laptop, etc.).

My friend dispatched maintenance right away (water leaks on a ship are kind of a big deal) and they were at the room within a minute of receiving the complaint. They found that the passengers had left ice all around the cabin. Because of how fast maintenance got there, it wasn't fully melted even in the Caribbean heat (and the window was left open).

Purser told the passengers they would not be upgraded, would not be moved (they had to sleep in wet beds that night), and would be charged for the cleaning costs of the room when they reached port.

White cruise ship in frontMaurício Mascaro, Pexels

8. Go Big Or Go Home

I used to work as a pharmacy technician at Walmart while I was an undergrad. A patient comes in with a script for 100 Oxycodone tabs. It was forged because it's rarely written for amounts that large, but we called the prescribing physician just to make sure. The doctor’s response was startling: "HECK NO! The patient had outpatient surgery I prescribed 10 for recovery. Let's go ahead and change that to APAP (acetaminophen) 600mg".

The patient had added an extra zero to his prescription. It looked fairly obvious that it wasn’t the same pen (at least he used the same color). Management ended up calling the authorities and they took him away.

young professional pharmacist in uniform give medicationsUfaBizPhoto, Shutterstock

9. Not Cool

I worked at a restaurant a few years back. Another server used to keep all her tips in a Guest Check Holder. One day she dropped the bill on a customer's table, but accidentally gave them the holder with all her money in it.

Instead of being honest, the couple who had dinner took her cash and left. And they had the balls to come back about two months later!

The owner told them she knew what they did and asked them to leave. I never saw them again.

Angry couple in blue clothes at a waitress at restaurantfizkes, Shutterstock

10. This Was A Far Stretch

I worked at a local pizza shop that also did wings and subs. I had one guy order 24 wings and a footlong sub. He comes up to the counter asking if he can change the wings from barbecue to hot. I change his stuff and take his order out.

30 minutes later he comes up and tells me he would like to speak to the manager. I go get my manager and she talked to him for about 10 minutes. She then brings me into the back room and asks me if I made half of the guy’s sub cold and the other half toasted. She also asked if I cooked and only made half the wings hot and the other half "plain".

Turns out the guy licked off all of the hot sauce off of the wings and then took too long to eat his other half of the sub. He wanted his meal to be free because it was made of such poor quality.

a young male employee in an apron gives order to customermuse studio, Shutterstock

11. A Vengeful Waitress

I work at Olive Garden and we have that oh-so-famous soup and salad deal. Well, I had a party of four come in, all about 16 or 17 years old, and all order soup and salad. Considering they're my only table, I (fairly quickly) bring out drinks and their soup and salad, they all thank me and start eating. Before I walk away, they ask if they can see my manager. I assume they want to put in a good word. My manager comes over.

Let me explain to him really quickly, he is from some Pacific island country and has a very hard time understanding people when they talk too quickly, let alone how the company is run and how to even use the computers to put in orders (No, I don’t know how he got this job).

Well anyway, my manager comes over and asks the table what he can do for them (very little, obviously). They start complaining that I am an awful server and have yet to bring out ANY of their food. According to them, they never got ANYTHING, drinks or food.

Now, it's QUITE obvious that they got everything they ordered. They demand that everything gets taken off the bill. Now my manager isn't going to argue with them because he won't understand what he's arguing about, so he just gives them all free food, free dessert, and a 25-dollar gift card. And I get written up for customer complaints.

Ah, but it doesn't end there. They stiff me, yes. But one of the 17-or-so girls dares to leave me her phone number with her name. I formulate my plan.

I call her well after my shift with them, two days. After a few rings it goes to voicemail once, with the typical "Hello, you've reached the...sprint...voice mailbox of". Perfect. She calls back, I start with, "Hello, I am calling regarding your most recent bill with Sprint". She instantly calls for her mother to come to the phone. Her mother picks up, and I say, "Hello, sorry to call under such harsh pretenses, but your daughter recently came into an olive garden I work at, nearly gets me fired, and then stiffs me..." I go on to tell my story.

She takes my side and makes sure everything is taken care of, the next day I work I receive a letter with 50 dollars and a hand-written note saying how her daughter will be selling her new car, never seeing the light of day, blah blah blah. She does this to a lot of servers and a lot of different restaurants, according to her mother, who recently found out.

Displeased unhappy aggressive young woman conflicting with apologetic waiterBearFotos, Shutterstock

12. Not The Ending You’d Expect

I used to work at a bookstore and for a while as the guy who covered breaks for the people in the music and movies area. One day, a woman (in her late 20s, clearly someone who works out, fake tans, fake nails, you know the type) comes to the store with an open DVD and asks the guy at the front desk to do a return. He asks why she wants to return it and she says she didn't like it. He then explains that we don't accept returns on open DVDs, shows her the sign saying as much, and says if it isn't defective there isn't anything he can do.

She gets angry and decides to try to come upstairs to try getting the refund from me. The front desk guy calls me and lets me know what’s going on. I see her get off the escalator and watch her break the case for the DVD which she had bought.

She approaches and I calmly explain to her why we can't accept a refund because she simply didn't like the DVD. She tells me she wants to return it because it’s broken—but she didn''t know that I knew what she'd actually done. I tell her I witnessed her break it on her walk over to me. She goes crazy on me and demands to see my supervisor.

At this point the person who was on break returns (and is sort of my supervisor) so I told her the situation and let her try to explain the same thing. The woman is now furious and demands to speak to a manager.

Now, the manager walks over, we explain the situation to him and expect him to be the final, "I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do". Instead, the pansy manager took one look at the woman and said, "Well, just this once let’s make an exception".

Closeup portrait angry young woman with blowing steam coming out of her ears, having nervous breakdown, screamingpathdoc, Shutterstock

13. He Went To Great Lengths For This One

I used to work for The Source (Radio Shack in the US) in a very low-traffic area so we wouldn’t get any people who come in just to browse like at the malls. People came in with an idea of what they wanted, and it was up to me to get it for them.

So, I’m alone, the manager is on lunch, and this old frail lady walks in. I ask if I can help her and she gives me a scoff and rolls her eyes, "I need a cell phone", she says.

I help her out as much as I can. I tell her that pay-as-you-go has the cheapest rates and has no contracts to bind you. She seems pleased but decides to purchase a Rogers phone on a two-year contract. Whatever, more commission for me.

Three weeks later she comes in unhappy and asks to return the phone. I explained to her that it would cost around $400 to cancel the plan she has created and that she is too late for a refund (15 days max). She gets angry and storms out.

Two months later she comes in, attitude up the wazoo, telling me that I sold her a busted phone and she wants ALL of her money back. I was alone again so I asked her to give me her phone so I can look at it. I present my hand and she reaches over to hand it to me. At the last second, she moves her hand a bit to the side and drops the phone on the tips of my fingers, where it then falls to the floor.

She goes crazy. "You broke my phone; I want my money back and I want a new phone", blah blah blah. I try to explain to her that her Nokia 3100'esque phone will not break from a simple fall. You would need to throw the phone into the fire of mount doom to destroy it. She doesn’t agree and starts yapping. I tell her that even if her phone was an expensive smartphone like my Blackberry, it would take the fall and still work.

"So, drop it", she says. I ask if I drop my phone from the same height and it still works, will she leave? She agrees. Now I am not going to drop my brand-new Blackberry I purchased just weeks before to some dumb old coot that is sour because she didn’t listen to my first advice.

I think quickly on my feet and remember the stash of fake plastic phones right under the counter. I grab one that looks just like my phone and throw that thing right into the floor where it shatters into a hundred pieces.

We both stare at the pieces for a second, and she is astonished. She fumbles with her things and takes her phone and never comes back.

Angry senior old woman yelling, showing her cell phone, furious with customer service, in gray shirt and pearlsTeodorLazarev, Shutterstock

14. What Was She Thinking?

I was working at Domino's, and a woman calls in and wants her money back. She said the pizzas (four) were burnt (technically possible, but highly unlikely). Also, she ate the pizzas anyway. We thought she was joking, but she wasn’t and the manager refunded her order.

She worked at that Dominos it was just her night off. She was let go a couple of days later.

Pizza delivery man in white t-shirt and red hat taking an order over the phonewavebreakmedia, Shutterstock

15. That Was Ballsy

I used to work at a Reebok outlet store. Our return policy was the same as in a lot of places: receipt means you can get your money back. No receipt means you can only get store credit/exchange. We had a guy that would come in every week and exchange 25 polo shirts in all different sizes/styles. It was always 25 shirts, and nobody ever seemed to remember him carrying the "return" shirts into the store. He was pretty clearly just walking into the store, grabbing 50 shirts, and "exchanging" 25 of them for the other 25. I don't know why he needed that many shirts... maybe he was selling them or something.

Anyway, I make up my mind that I am not going to let this guy get away with it anymore. I didn't even care that he was stealing from the store, I just didn't like that he thought he was being clever. So, the next time he came in, I watched him like a hawk.

I saw him do exactly what we thought, just grabbing 50 shirts and walking up to the counter to "exchange" half of them for the other half. Except before he could say anything, I said "Wow, buying a lot of shirts today", or something like that. He said, "No, I'm returning these for these". I just replied, "Sir, you can't return shirts that you haven't bought yet". He got all indignant and defensive, but realized he was caught.

So, he left the shirts on the counter and started to leave the store, saying "You just lost yourself a long-time customer”. I told him to stop and said completely straight-faced: "Sir, we have cameras in the store and the parking lot... so we know you were stealing and we know your license plate number. I also have your name and address from the ID you gave me for the returns. You're going to buy all 50 of those shirts or I'm going to call the authorities".

He stopped, hastily walked over, bought all 50 shirts, left the store, and never came back. And no, we did not have any security cameras.

Full length body size view of attractive cheerful content guy in purple t-shirt carrying new things in colorful packagesRoman Samborskyi, Shutterstock

16. Small World

I used to work at a costume shop and apparently for about a year before I started working there an elderly lady had been coming into the store, buying wigs, using them (and trashing them out pretty much) for about a week, then returning them for a store credit and getting a new one. The owner was a big softy so for whatever dumb reason he had been letting her get away with it.

The first time she came in to do this scam I was alone in the store and didn't know about this "agreement"/scam and flat out refused her and told her to come back when the owner was going to be in the store.

That weekend, I went to my family reunion and I was met with a shocking surprise—lo and behold it turns out the scammer was my great aunt, whom I was not familiar with. After talking to a few relatives, it was made clear to her that she was no longer allowed to scam the store I worked at anymore.

Smiling senior European woman with curly brown hair in a shopping mall interiorGrigvovan, Shutterstock

17. Classic DIY

Two Words: U-Scan.

Every day some people go through the U-scan with all types of things they "accidentally" put into bags by mistake or entered via the wrong code. There's a guy who tried to buy 10 pounds of beef fillet as "bananas" which were 79 cents per pound.

close up of young woman in yellow shirt shopping for meat and scanning barcodeaslysun, Shutterstock

18. This Was A Lack Of Effort On Her Part

I used to work at a game store a little more than 10 years ago. Once, I had a woman come in dressed fairly trendy and ask for two PlayStation Portables (PSP), two 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 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.

Young woman in game shop holding two games wearing a white topPavel L Photo and Video, Shutterstock

19. Cashing In On A National Tragedy

It was September 12, 2001. In the USA. A guy in Spartanburg South Carolina calls and says that his weed trimmer was in the twin towers in NYC the day before and got destroyed by terrorists, and demanded I replace it under warranty.

Angry man yelling on the phone wearing brown jacketMoose Photos, Pexels

20. Desperate For Copper

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, knowing full well there was 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). My manager couldn't help but put a smirk on his face. He tells them “Oh really because the last time we sold an entire roll was over three months ago”.

The guy starts to get brave and tells him “So you’re saying I took it”? And my manager flat out says, "Yes". They end up leaving and leaving the roll behind. Before they leave the store, the guy says “I’m coming back and bringing the authorities”. My manager then says “Go ahead that way you can explain to them how you took the roll”.

Young latin man in blue uniform working in hardware storeKleber Cordeiro, Shutterstock

21. High Hopes On This One

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

Man in denim shirt buying a phone and Customer service employee explainingAdam Gregor, Shutterstock

22. Uh, That Wasn’t Me

I worked at Whole Foods, and a woman came in, grabbed an herb-roasted rotisserie chicken, moseyed on over to the casual seating, ate 85% of it with her bare hands, and then brought the carcass to customer service and tried to return it.

When we told her that we had seen the whole thing, she just stared at us with no words.

Whole Foods MarketPhilip Arno Photography, Shutterstock

23. That’s It, I Demand To Talk To The Stock Boy

Years ago, I worked at a Walmart and this guy comes in trying to return his "Wii" that doesn't work. "I just bought this for my kids last week and it's already broken but they won't take it back because I lost my receipt".

The "Wii" in question was the most beat-up and disgusting-looking Game Cube I have ever seen like he found it in a landfill or something.

I should also point out that I wasn't working the return desk or even a cashier. I was stocking the food department. Turns out he was trying to talk every employee in the store into either giving him a refund or a Wii.

Walmart parking lot with one empty car spotJessica Kirsh, Shutterstock

24. Excellent Timing, Officers

I worked in a bottle shop. One afternoon a shady character entered and spent 10 minutes browsing the bottles section. I stayed at the checkout and watched him on the CCTV. He ended up shoving two bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue down his pants and walked out.

The store policy is not to confront those people; that's what insurance is for. But I knew I needed to nail the guy—so I called the authorities and burnt the footage onto a DVD for them to collect. About an hour later the same guy returns with the bottles demanding a cash refund because he “purchased the wrong type”.

Just as I was telling him I can't do a refund without a receipt the authorities walked in to collect the footage. He left with them in handcuffs.

Young man looking at bottle of wine in supermarketHryshchyshen Serhii, Shutterstock

25. Who Planned This Heist?

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 was running out of the store at full speed and Superman jumped into the car. They sped off and the APAs were all kind of staring at each other going "What the heck just happened”.

Later that night, the dude came back wearing a pair of the shoes he jacked 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 an APA grabbed the hoodie on his way out. The hoodie came off and the dude kept running into the parking lot. We were almost at closing time anyway so they locked the doors behind him.

Then, this madman 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 refused and HE called the authorities. They were very amused with the situation when they got there.

Police carDom J, Pexels

26. The Classic, “I Know The Owner” Card

Where I work, we don’t deliver the pizzas we make, it’s carryout only. I had a customer call and have a long/angry conversation with me because I wouldn’t deliver to her. She proceeds to say (a couple of times) “You must be new here. I know the owner personally”, to which I responded, “Well I’m the owner’s daughter and we don’t deliver”.

Angry middle age woman calling on smart phonePheelings media, Shutterstock

27. People Need To Retire This One

I used to work at an Ice rink named after the owner who had passed. Some guy tried to pull the old "Me and (Owner’s name) are good friends he told me to come by and you'd take care of me".

The guy he was talking to was the manager on duty who had been mentored by the (late) owner.

That was one of the more uncomfortable things I've ever watched as a man hurried his daughter and what I assume to be their friends quickly out of the building.

empty ice rinkEugene Onischenko, Shutterstock

28. Desperate Measures

I worked at a pharmacy and a guy comes in to fill his son's Adderall prescription. The guy is super twitchy and the son is chill as could be. For all controls, we are supposed to run a report that shows everywhere in the state they have filled any. Of course, the report is a mess, multiple pharmacies, multiple prescriptions, multiple doctors, all the red flags. To top it off an adderall prescription within that week had already been filled, so we really couldn’t fill this one.

The dad simply wouldn't take no for an answer. He comes back and we tell him that we can’t fill it and he started going on about how his wife must have filled it but they need some for today, blah blah blah. We decline and his last words to us are “My son needs them for a birthday he has to go to today can’t you help”?

No dude, we can’t help. You’re taking your son's pills, get help and stop using your son to get high on prescription meds.

Pharmacist serving senior man in pharmacyMonkey Business Images, Shutterstock

29. The Warning Label Though

A customer brought back a jumpsuit for a refund because it had poop in it. 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: [Fecal matter] inside".

That was easily one of the bigger "what the eff" moments I've had in any job that I've worked.

return clothes at store and employee in orange apronmegafloppm, Shutterstock

30. The Customer Is Always Right…Literally

I worked retail several years ago, while in college. The store I worked for had a pretty relaxed policy. We even took back things we didn't even sell. I worked in apparel, which included jewelry and some housewares like towels. Our manager would make us find a comparable item and use that UPC to give the refund.

It was ridiculous. I remember arguing with a guy who wanted to return a watch. He swore he bought it at our store. I kept explaining that was impossible. I called the manager who said, "Just refund it with a watch that matches the price he says he paid for it".

But the worst was how many times we took back obviously worn, dirty clothing like lingerie.

Close up of clothes rack or rail in the storeBAZA Production, Shutterstock

31. Sir, We Specialize In Electronics, Remember?

I used to work at Best Buy. This guy came in and returned a laptop saying that the box had some old laptop in it. He was yelling and screaming that we don’t know how to do business. The manager gave him a full refund.

We started to check that old laptop he brought in. It won't turn on. Looks like the motherboard was toast. We pulled the hard drive out and started checking the data. The hard drive was completely fine with everything on it. We started looking for clues and found the pictures of the guy who returned the laptop. It was his old machine. We had all of his information.

The manager called him and said he has 15 minutes to bring the new laptop back or he is calling the authorities. That guy came in, dropped the laptop at the front desk, and bolted. We never saw him again in the store.

A young man in plaid shirt chooses a laptop in the storebodnar.photo, Shutterstock

32. As Soon As You Mention Cameras

A customer tried to screw me over once by saying, "I'd like to return this unopened pack of smokes I purchased earlier today at your establishment". I might be paraphrasing a little bit.

I open the store every day, and I hadn't seen this dude once that day. I looked at his smokes and I immediately raised my eyebrows. It was a brand we didn't carry. I asked him for a receipt to "confirm" he purchased them here, but he didn't have one.

"That's fine! If you can just tell me what time you were in here today, I can look it up on our cameras to confirm your purchase".

My goodness, the backpedaling and stuttering was hilarious. I grabbed his smoke pack and fake-examined them.

"Wait a moment sir, are you sure you purchased these at this store? I don't think we carry this brand". He took the smokes back, came up with something about his brother must have, yadda yada, and then he walked out.

Another store in town sells some of the brands we carry at a much cheaper price, so people like to try and do returns at our store to make a quick buck. We generally don't take any returns on smokes, but this guy didn't even scope out his mark.

Portrait of beautiful smiling African American cashier working at a grocery store.hedgehog94, Shutterstock

33. Anything For Freebies

A customer called the company I worked at and complained that my shirt was untucked just to get free coupons. This woman made such a mess out of nothing, and I almost got a write-up over it.

Supermarket manager giving training to a traineeJacob Lund, Shutterstock

34. Black Friday Bumps

On Black Friday a guy threw something on the ground, intentionally slipped in it, and gave himself a concussion to the point that he was puking everywhere. Our cameras caught everything so he couldn't sue.

Shoppers rush to buy televisions during a Black FridayNelson Antoine, Shutterstock

35. This Is Why People Keep Trying

I had a customer return a vacuum cleaner once. My supervisor did the return, thankfully. The box went back on the floor unchecked. The next customer who wanted to buy it checked it out before they went to the register. The whole darn thing had been replaced with a catering-sized tin of beetroot.

Male hand holds vacuum cleanerNomad_Soul, Shutterstock

36. Coupon Confusion

At my old job, they used to have sales pretty often and would also give out coupons for specific dates. For Boxing Day, they had a 30% off sale and we'd also given out coupons that would start the next day. A lady comes in on Boxing Day and we worked out that she'd get more of a deal if she used the coupon instead, so I offered to hold her items for her. I explicitly told her that she wouldn't be able to get the 30% off and she decided to use the coupon instead.

I thought that'd be the end of it—but I was so wrong. She comes back the next day, goes to the cash to purchase her items, and gets angry because they wouldn't give her both the 30% off and let her use the coupon. She told the cashier that the person she'd spoken to the day before had told her she could do that, sees me, and says "It was that girl who told me”!

I went to the cash to speak to her (I was a keyholder at the time) and her story changed about three times through the whole thing. First, she said that I told her she could combine the discounts, then she said that I never told her she couldn't combine the discounts, and then finally it was "Well, I don't understand why I'm not able to do this".

Another manager came over to help sort it out and as I walked away, I heard her saying that I was a liar.

Currently, I work at Sephora and we always get people trying to return fake products. My favorite one was when someone returned a face mask but had put a can of tuna in the box instead of the actual face mask.

female cashier passing discount coupon and receipt to customerPressmaster, Shutterstock

37. That’s A Dedicated Employee

I work at a movie theatre. We have a five-dollar discount day. A customer comes over and starts telling me how she was there the prior day and that we had given them the wrong soda and her Diabetic husband had drunk it and suddenly had to go to the hospital to get medication to "cure him".

Several things wrong with that story:

That's not how diabetes works. You don't die from one sip of soda, and generally, if you did, you'd have insulin to take.

The employee she had complained to to call me over had been the only person to work at the concession stand the prior day and somehow, she failed to identify him when I asked her who it was.

I asked her for a ticket stub or proof of purchase, and she came up with nothing. I went to the attendance for the prior day and pulled the report for the movie they claimed to have seen. To my delight, the showtime they claimed to have seen had zero tickets sold to it.

I printed the report and went back to meet them.

"Yeah, sorry looks like there were zero tickets sold to that showtime". And I showed her the report. She then tried to say we sold her tickets to the wrong movie. I told her that was impossible because then she would have been in the wrong auditorium. She had no response to that. Then she spluttered that she "guessed she would just go buy tickets", and I said, "Yeah, I guess so".

She left.

Portrait of a good looking worker in red uniform in a concession food in a movie theaterantoniodiaz, Shutterstock

38. This One Escalated Quickly

I was working in a betting shop during the 2014 Football World Cup.

We had this one awful customer, who must have been in his 80s and always wildly inappropriate (asking what color my underwear was, did I need someone to keep me warm tonight, etc.) but I couldn't do anything as the higher-ups wanted to squeeze money from him.

Anyway, the night before the final match he comes in and tells me he wants to bet on Germany to win. I spent about ten minutes explaining to him that as it was the final, he could no longer have a broad bet like that, instead he'd have to choose between a 90-minute win or winning in extra time, on penalties, etc. I showed him the odds for all of the different bets and he ended up choosing the 90-minute win, I put the bet through for him, and off he went into the night to be creepy somewhere else.

The match plays out and of course, Germany wins in extra time. The next day Unnamed Creepy Dude comes in grinning from ear to ear and telling me how he's a winner. Oh boy. Again, I have to explain to him that his bet isn't valid as he predicted they'd win before 90 minutes, and they hadn't.

The dude flies into a rage about how I'm a money-grabbing woman who's jealous of his riches and I have to pay him out or he'll call the authorities. I tell him to leave my store or I'll call them myself, and he complies.

A few days later I come back from my lunch break to see him ranting at my cashier, I ask what the problem is and he throws me his bet slip for the world cup, only now he's written 'extra time' on it in pen and is trying to get my less experienced staff member to pay him out.

I tell him that when we scan bets the computer takes an image of it, obviously the slip he has given to us has been altered as it doesn't match what's on the screen (I even turned the computer to show him) and that counts as cheating. Again, he leaves spouting nonsense about how women shouldn't be working anyway because they can't count or read.

Next week I get told I have to go to a meeting as I've had a complaint filed against me by a customer. The day of the meeting rolls around and I'm greeted by my area manager, security director, and CREEPY DUDE.

He had phoned the customer line and said I'd refused to pay his bet and taken the money for myself. We ended up bringing up the CCTV of the night he originally placed the bet, complete with audio, to prove without a shadow of a doubt that he was in the wrong. The dude won't accept this and starts screaming that we're all thieves, we faked the video and threatening to get a lawyer. Security director escorts him off the premises and he is banned from all of our chains indefinitely.

The kicker is, if his bet had won it would have been a whopping £55.

Two betting shops togetherSimon Annable, Shutterstock

39. Classic Till Tapping

I worked at a jewel many, many years ago. Opening shift as a cashier, a man comes through with two 24-packs of Pepsi. It’s an opening shift, so at that time we count our registers and confirm they’ve got the correct opening cash. We didn’t carry too much cash, and we all know how much is in the drawer to start.

He ends up paying a $100 bill for these sodas. I counted back his change with mostly twenties, (all the twenty dollar bills I had just counted, so there were no more twenties I could have given him), and I don’t know how he did this, but he shuffled them in his hand and showed me that I supposedly short-changed him. Now, I knew immediately that he was a piece of work.

My store wasn’t shady, so I told him that I would call a manager over and have them double-check the register. The manager came, counted down the register, and explained that the drawer was balanced, which means I didn’t shortchange anybody. But, if for whatever reason the drawer turned up $20 over at night, we could give him a call.

The manager tries to take his information down and he asks for his name the guy thinks about it and says “Steve…Bush”.

Screw you “Steve Bush”. You’re a sack of lying poo who tries to rip off 16-year-olds out of $20.

I’m well aware that money isn’t my money. But I took that as a personal offense. When I left that day, I called my (now husband) mad as heck. I felt angry because he must have assumed I looked like an idiot that would hand him extra money, or something of that nature. Also, he can’t cheat jewel without cheating me first. Just because it isn’t my money didn’t mean he didn’t try to cheat me out of $20. We are responsible for how much money we lose.

Hand taking and buying a PEPSIZety Akhzar, Shutterstock

40. Coupon Queen

I had a customer come to purchase some stuff, and they found a coupon from three years ago on Google Images for 50% off the whole purchase. I told her I couldn't do process the coupon, and the only one we had going at the time was not viable for her purchase.

This really set off the customer. She yelled stupidly loud, stormed out cursing, and I felt good. Until I found out that she emailed corporate. I got in trouble for making her upset.

I don’t know if she was intending to screw me over, but it definitely expired regardless.

Woman yelling in gray top at the cameraAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

41. That’s Dedication

I worked at ULTA and someone tried to return the big liter bottles of shampoo and conditioner but they had filled them with water and FROZE them. The temperature and condensation were an instant giveaway, so we refused to return their items. They proceeded to call corporate to complain and got a $100 gift certificate, and then we got yelled at.

Woman in coat looking at her phoneAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

42. Must Present Coupon

I had a customer telling me she had a voucher for 50% off in her emails, but she didn’t have a copy with her. I was like, “No dear, nice try”.

Portrait of the owner of a clothing store at the entrance of the new business with the tablet in hand in black blazer and jeansloreanto, Shutterstock

43. But The Other Stores Do It

When I worked at a pet store, we occasionally had a spokesperson for a few brands of dog food come in, usually weekly that would set up a booth at our store, but would do the same with other stores in the area. We had a coupon come out where you could get a $15 box of wet cat food (about 16 cans) for free, or pay the difference. She came through with a $30 box, and the cashier caught it and said, “Well, you have to pay the difference or get a box that costs $15”. The woman was like, “Oh, no, all the other stores let me have it for free. You can do it too”.

The cashier tells her that that’s not how we do it here and that she’ll have to pay the difference or buy cheaper. The woman demands to speak to the manager. The cashier gets the General Manager, who ends up backing up the cashier. Difference or cheaper.

The woman gets huffy and goes and grabs a cheaper box, approximately $25, and expects the cashier to give it for free. The cashier is basically like “lol nope”. I guess the woman is either frustrated or embarrassed at this point because when the cashier points out, “difference or cheaper”, she gets huffy again and finally says she will “pay the darn difference”.

Woman working at pet storeBearFotos, Shutterstock

44. Genius

Back when I worked at Dunkin Donuts, a “customer” used to come in and ask for a cup of water. His plan to save money was kind of genius—he would then mix in lemon juice (we had packets of this because some people like lemon with tea), sugar, and salt to create some free ghetto lemonade. Technically, he was screwing us over but I thought it was hilarious so I didn't hassle him or anything.

staff at Dunkin' DonutsSorbis, Shutterstock

45. I Don’t Think They’re Ready For This Jelly

A buddy of mine used to work at Walmart. He said some guy returned a flat-screen tv, and no one checked the box at the time. When they opened the box, it was full of jars of jelly. Why he used jelly to weigh it down I will never know.

Flat Screen Televisions on display at WalmartEric Glenn, Shutterstock

46. Printed At Home

An idiot comes into the store I worked at with a coupon for a free iPod. The fine print says "Guaranteed and payable by Bill Gates". I asked why would Bill Gates guarantee an Apple product. The idiot must have thought I was an idiot too. He left.

Happy Man holding a coupon in blue t-shirt looking at the cameraViDI Studio, Shutterstock

47. He Knew What He Was Doing

One of my embarrassing memories from working retail is falling for one of these cons. I had been a cashier for probably five years at this point and had never heard of this particular method. I had seen people come in with cloned credit cards, barcodes switched and placed on the wrong product, returns that are filled with junk, fake money, etc., but never had heard of this type of thing.

Some guy came in and wanted to pay for a cheap item with a $100 bill. I count out his change and am about to hand it over (let's say $95.15) when he changes his mind and says, "Oh wait, give me that $100 back, I have exact change. I can give you the 0.85 cents so that you won't need to give me the coins and you can just give me the $95". And of course, I just hand it over.

He spaced it out just long enough that I was still holding the $95 and because I had to take time to put the coins away by that point, I completely forgot that I had given him back his $100.

I had no idea it had happened until the next day when my manager brought me in to review the video and asked me if I remembered the customer on the screen. I did (because the guy was friendly and we chatted while I started ringing him up). I even told my manager, “Oh yeah, nice guy”, and then was informed of what had happened. It's one of the few times in my life I can remember being honestly startled and blown away that I hadn't realized what happened.

Side view image of confused cashier at work spaceDean Drobot, Shutterstock

48. Dog Food Drama

I used to work at PetSmart. I wasn’t usually on the register but when it first opened, they would send out coupons to specific people if they had pet perks and an email. Well, someone shared their coupon online, which was for a free bag of dog food. What proceeded was a mass of people coming in the next few weeks attempting (and succeeding) to redeem the coupon, as we didn't want to start on the wrong foot after the newly opening.

Anyway, I get put on a register and this woman comes through with 12 bags of dog food and 12 coupons. We can't do that on the same purchase, and usually, when someone does that (having two coupons), we just do two different transactions. It's whatever. But this lady has 12 and I'm lazy so I call my manager over to deal with it. Unfortuanately, things only escalated further when the manager arrived.

The manager tries to explain to the woman that the coupons aren't technically valid as it's for a specific person for one bag. The woman keeps pushing on the fact that she physically has the coupons so they must work and acts like she doesn't understand why they won't. Eventually, the manager says, “You know what? We'll do it but only for six bags”.

The woman throws a fit and leaves the entire cart. She could have got six bags free, but nope. The manager said she'd seen the woman doing the same thing at dollar general the day before.

Pet Smart store and people going inSusan Montgomery, Shutterstock

49. I Am The Manager

I work at a major cell phone retailer. I once had a man come in with his wife to do an upgrade to whatever the new iPhone was at that time. While they were sitting in the store working with one of my reps (I was in management at the time) the wife starts getting text messages from someone claiming to be her husband’s mistress. This did not go over well.

They took it outside before it got overly nasty, and we all assumed they were gone for good. Not so, the husband comes back in. Alone. He finishes upgrading his phone and left. The very next day he tried to return the phone claiming that we had sold him one with screen damage. He brings it in, and it looks like someone took a diamond ring or something to the screen and scratched the heck out of it.

Now we have a strict “open the box and hand it to the customer before they leave” policy to avoid these situations. I was able to pull tape, show the customer where he held the phone for a good 5 minutes without pointing out any flaws, and tell him that my company offers no warranty on that brand even if it’s bad out of the box, and especially when he didn’t show it to us before leaving the store. I suggested he take it up with the manufacturer if he truly believed the phone was damaged out of the box.

He did, right there in the store, he called them. They also told him to kick rocks.

The best part? I was new to management so I didn’t have a manager name tag yet. He asked to speak to the manager and I got to give him my best evil grin and say “I am the manager”. He left after that and we never saw him again.

Happy young people buying a new smartphoneNDAB Creativity, Shutterstock

50. A Pocket Full Of Drumsticks

Oh boy, back in high school when I worked part-time at a KFC, there was this one fat man who would come in, order a two-piece quarter pack, and then claim we forgot his chicken. Like, when we turned around to fetch his drink at the end of the order, he would open the box, take out the chicken pieces and hide them in his pockets. Hot chicken. Right in his pockets.

I got so fed up with everyone just giving him extra chicken all the time that I demanded he turned out his pockets one day, and when he tried to pull it out, WOW, LO AND BEHOLD, this guy had his pockets full of drumsticks.

People Order Kentucky Fried Chickenr.classen, Shutterstock

Sources: Reddit,

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