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17 retail employees share the story of the worst customer they ever encountered.

17 retail employees share the story of the worst customer they ever encountered.


Working in retail can be a nightmare of entitled customers, unhinged Yelp reviews, re-folding stacks of shirts that get knocked over every hour, competitive sales goals, ego-driven managers, and getting scolded over coupons that expired in 1996...

So, when a Reddit user asked, 'what was the worst customer experience you’ve ever had?' people who have endured the grind of retail were ready to vent.


Worked in a vitamin store and a lady came in like a bat out of hell and stomped to the counter. She cuts the entire line to make a return. It's like she completely ignored the other people. She was angry that one of our sales people sold her a product and she later saw on Dr. Oz that it really didn't help much.

I told her to please wait in line and we will get this sorted for you. She was insistent that she be helped now. She said her doctor said it wouldn't help her and so I asked if her doctor was Dr. Oz? She got so pissed and started to act like a child. The guy behind her was my hero that day.

He just calmly said 'calm the f*ck down lady and wait your turn.' It's customers like that guy that make my day as a retail employee. Not all heroes wear capes, some where tank tops too big for them that expose their nipples. - TheOrangeTickler


Waiting on an elderly lady, she fainted and hit her head on the counter on the way down. Everyone went over to help her, talked to her as she regained consciousness, pressed a paper towel to her bleeding head, kept her calm as we waited for the ambulance, etc. Another lady stepped over her body to the counter, and demanded to be rung up, as she was in a hurry - LOLduke


I hadn't been working this job long and after we had closed there was a family still shopping. I mentioned to them we were closed and the older lady blew up and spent the entire time checking out yelling at me how 'We were coming to the register! You're being rude and ignorant!'

Note, this was a dollar store and we counted things by hand rather than scan them. I had to count over 100 items while being yelled at. The cherry on top? Our machine didn't accept the family's card so we had to put everything back. - YoHeadAsplode


I work in a grocery store bakery as a cake decorator and people really freak out over their cakes. I took this one ladys cake order and she wanted a transformers cake for her sons birthday but she didn't like the two options we had. She could either get the cake decorated with the toy on top or the cake with an edible photo of the transformers on the cake.

She kept showing me photos of other cakes on her phone and I had to keep telling her no because we are working under strict copyright laws and can only decorate what we have been given permission to decorate. So she orders the kit, or so I thought.

The husband picks up the cake says it looks fine and takes it. She calls the store saying she wanted the image, the cake was ugly, and her 6 year old son was crying. She then rounds off the whole experience with 'I just want to come in there and smash the cake in that girl's face!'

I had never in my 10 years of retail been threatened before and for that threat she did not get any sort of refund and got chewed out for making threats. - salamander5547


Customer wanted to buy a pair of expensive boots with cash. Told him we didn't have the boots but could ship overnight at no charge from another store directly to him.

'Ok but I want to pay with cash, that's what you're not hearing.' I tell him don't worry sir we can still pay with your cash! I explain to him that he buys a gift card from me for the exact amount+tax and then pay for that pair over the phone with the other store, simple!

Nope, he said he would never shop here again and that I should not try to pull the curtains over him and he wouldn't be tricked into anything like that. I just stood there in disbelief as he ranted at me about how I'm trying to scam him. - gt35r


I'm in college and used to wait tables part-time before it became too much for me. I once had a customer who initially seemed really nice, she came in alone and knew her order right away.

Apparently her food was too hot and she became insanely angry when I apologized and told her everything comes out fresh from the oven/grill. She grabbed my hand and stuck it into her (very hot) food and yelled 'DON'T YOU THINK IT'S TOO HOT DEAR?' in the angriest, most condescending voice.

It was really hot to be fair, but I had literally just brought it out to her. I was shocked and just started stuttering out an apology. My coworker saw it happen and immediately asked her to leave. I ended up crying in the back for a while.

I don't miss that job. I'm definitely too shy and introverted to stand up for myself when needed. Just treat employees like humans, people! - hit_the_button


There's a machine that dispenses change to the customer. I rang one guy up and he said 'You're going to walk around the counter, pick up that change and put it in my hand. I'm not going to do YOUR job for you by getting my own change.

If you expect me to get my own change I require a discount on all of my items because now I'm working here. If you don't agree to this, I will call your corporate office, tell them you refused to serve me and make sure you get terminated.'

Long story short I didn't hand him his change, he did call corporate, and I didn't get fired. My GM called him trying to smooth over the situation, but ended up getting into a screaming match with him on the phone. - BerserkBabyDeer


I used to work the service desk at a grocery store, but mainly dealt with the backroom stuff. I'm also something of a giant, 6'5, 275 pounds, broad shoulders, I lift weights.

The girls at the actual service desk were all super short, and it became pretty common for me to be called to the desk if they thought customers were going to get physical or especially abusive. Basically I'd stand there, chat with one of them, just being big in everyone's presence. I'm actually a pretty big teddy bear.

I'd never gotten physical with any customer, but the closest I've come was when the lottery machine wasn't working. This older guy who had been screaming at the girls at the front as if they could change anything that was happening.

He tried to shove his way into the desk, yelling at these girls the entire time. I didn't touch him, but I put my hand down between him and the desks entrance, a bit hard, and stopped him from going in.

I've never gotten into fights, never hurt anyone intentionally. I don't know what I'd do if he hadn't left. - OneFallsAnotherYalls


The lady who dropped trou and pissed all over the floor because her favorite lotion was out of stock at the moment. - kittycakes97


Worked at Wal-Mart for 1 year or so as a cashier, worst I had was a customer got mad becuase I said he had to many items for our speedy checkout, now I didn't even say it like that I said something along the lines of 'sir, we only allow 20 items here' and he got angry, yelled and complained to a manager - rusty_anvile


Worked in a vitamin store and had a crazy customer. She would come in and demand I punched in all the sku's manually as she did not want the 'radioactive stuff' to hit her vitamins when scanned.

Another lady had a meltdown when out credit card machine went down. She looked me dead in the eyes and demanded, 'fix it'. Let me just go get my f*cking toolbelt on and crack this baby open. It was a network connection error with the banks. - TheOrangeTickler


When I was a teenager I worked at The Jungle, which was a place for kid's birthday parties kind of like Chuck E Cheeze's. I had to oversee an overnight party once with one other employee.

There were about 50 out 60 kids, and four or five parents. The parents sat around and drank beer while their kids ran amok, and things quickly got out of control. Me and my co-worker were in over our heads, but too afraid to ring our manager, dumb teens as we were.

By the next morning, food was smeared all through the tube maze, entire boxes of prizes were pilfered from the prize stand, a hole was punched through a wall, and the slides had structural damage. Needless to say, the boss wasn't happy. - sasquatch_raper


At my company, one of the products we sell is for emergency pediatric equipment. Well, long story short they were on back order for a really long time, due to no fault of our own, it was all on the manufacturer.

One lady was very upset about that and said that I was going to be responsible for the babies that come in and die because they don't have this product. This product is a convenience item and is not 100% required to keep the child alive.

Ruined my whole day, but my boss sent her a scathing email about it which now hangs up at my desk. - SupernaturalSally


Women came in and we could all tell she was in a bad mood. (Parked like an as*hole,slammed doors on the way in, no smile on face, etc.) Orders a large hot black coffee.

Easy enough, make it, give it to her and she takes one sip and asks if I put cream and sugar in her coffee. Well no I thought you said 'black.' She explains that she did say black, but wanted cream and sugar and was talking about a 'black' roast of coffee.

I calmly explain to her that's she's mistake and she's cusses me out and says I need to be trained better before I work a shift and it's not my fault I got it wrong and the owner should be embarrassed for letting me work...I am the owner - Sillyhighguy11


My first job was at a locally-owned video store and 10 years ago when I worked there it would get really busy (Yano, before Netflix was really a widespread thing yet).

One busy day, lineup of people all the way to the door, customer gets to the counter saying the DVD’s he bought were unplayable and he wanted to return them and get a refund. I apologize, no problem, ask to have a look; knowing full well that we don’t sell DVD’s with scratches on them.

The movies were basically destroyed, like he went to town on them with a box cutter and then got his cats to play with them, idk. I tell him I’m sorry but we can’t resell these in the state they’re in.

Buddy LOSES it, starts raising his voice about what do I know, I wasn’t the one who sold them to him (I was, he just didn’t remember), pointing his finger in my face; keep in mind here I was a small 15-y/o girl and he was a 50-something y/o man. I keep stuttering out apologies for 5 minutes until he finally leaves.

Next customer comes to the counter, after seeing the whole scene, casually goes “miss, could you tell me where I might find the movie The Jerk?” Even if it was a coincidence, bless you, friendly customer. You restored my faith in people for brief moment. - kelsdeb1


I seated this couple at a table that was half a booth but the husband wanted a whole table. So I moved him over there but his wife wanted the booth. So he yelled at her to move over and then he started cursing at me for ruining his lunch.

He left his table so messy because he knew I had to clean it. Like he smeared food on the table for God’s sake. He was still a regular and always tipped like sh*t so the waiters hated him. - GotHamm

Sources: Reddit
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