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Pet store clerk maliciously complies with customer's demand; takes back free crickets.

Pet store clerk maliciously complies with customer's demand; takes back free crickets.


Nobody wants to get ripped off. It's awful to learn you paid more for something because you were taken advantage of. Usually, this happens at used car dealerships or buying something off Craigslist.

On a popular Reddit thread in the Malicious Compliance Subreddit, a pet store clerk deals with a customer who doesn't want to get scammed.

She writes:

I (32F) work part-time at a pet store to supplement my income as my salary as a full-time teacher doesn’t always pay the bills- plus, I have a few pets, and 20% off of in-store purchases is somewhat helpful. We supply live and frozen feeder animals for reptiles, particular aquatic creatures and invertebrates. These include mice, rats, dubia roaches, blood worms, mealworms, waxworms, super worms, and crickets.

The mice and rats are frozen or live, but they’re easy to count and box up for the customer. Dubia roaches, mealworms, waxworms, and super worms are prepackaged and price-marked, but the crickets are not. Crickets are kept in these large containers with mesh tops, egg cartons for the crickets to climb and hide in, cricket food, and hydration.

This means when customers ask for crickets, which we usually sell by the dozen, we have to count and retrieve them manually while putting them in a plastic bag we then fill with air and tie off to go with the customer. Our method for transferring the crickets is to lightly tap the egg cartons over a funnel-like object that doesn’t have a hole at the bottom. We tap the crickets in, wrap the plastic bag around the mouth of the funnel, then tip it and lightly tap the crickets into the bag.

Some crickets jump in out of order or cling to others, so often, customers are given bonus crickets, which we’re okay with. It’s better than shorting them. So, customers are always given the right amount or often more than they asked for without a price increase.

Most people get this. The customer in this story did not. A woman came in and asked for four-dozen crickets, 48 crickets total. I went to the back, tapped the crickets from the cartons into the funnel, and then counted them into the bag. As usual, the occasional extra cricket tumbled or hopped in, probably putting the total to over 50 by the time I was done.

I bagged them, tied them up, then took them to the counter. I don’t know if this woman was having a bad day or if another store had stiffed her in the past, but she demanded that we count out the crickets before she paid for them.

I explained that she likely got more than she asked for and counting out 48 crickets individually would take a little while. She insisted. She wanted to be sure we weren’t 'ripping her off.' So, I got one of those small, plastic critter-keepers and a pair of tongs. I opened the bag, making it deflate and slightly more painful to work with, and inserted the tongs. Delicately, to not crush the crickets, I grabbed each one with the tongs and started counting slowly, not losing my place while counting (something I struggle with), and dropped each individually counted cricket into the critter-keeper.

So after about five to ten minutes at the counter, meticulously counting crickets with tongs and maybe deliberately taking a little bit longer than I had to out of spite, a line was building up behind the woman, and I was getting close to the end of my count. Eventually, I hit what she paid for; 48 crickets! And wouldn’t you believe it? There were ten left over in the bag; she would have gotten almost a whole extra free dozen had she not asked me to count.

I said, 'Oh! Would you look at that? My mistake! You were right. I did miscount! I’ll return these other ones and ring you up for the 48. I’ll be right back!' And before she could protest, I wandered off to dump the last ten crickets into the cricket container. When I came back to check her out, she was silent, not looking at me, and did her best to ignore the irritated looks of the customers lining up behind her while I poured her 48 crickets back into a plastic bag.

She paid, then slunk sheepishly out the door without a thank you or a glance back. I then quickly got through the rest of the line and apologized to the customers in line for the wait. I sent them home with free samples, thanked them for their patience, and continued my shift. She never complained and returned to the location several times after… She never asked anyone to count crickets again.

The internet understands the cricket market.

MaximumDerpification says:

Crickets only cost pennies each (at least they did when I used to buy them for my lizards). Even if you accidentally shorted her it would probably be by less change than she'd find on the ground on the way back to her car. People are dumb.

CoderJoe1 says:

No response from the other waiting customers? Crickets?

SleepAgainAgain says:

I've got a friend who keeps frogs. Her favorite store basically dumps a lot of crickets into a bag and calls it a few dozen. The result is you pay for 50 crickets or whatever, you're getting 100 on a bad day. Guess where she buys most of her other supplies, because she's there anyway every week and she likes them.

Thanks, OP, if I ever buy crickets I'll never ask the clerk to count them.

Sources: Reddit
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