Complaints from the other side of the shop


Pretty much every complaint I’ve seen about shop service has been from the customers. Now its my turn [evil grinning smilie].
I’ve been working Saturdays for the past six months in a motorway service station (Yes, I’m English. I’ve spoken to a couple of Americans and they seem to have nothing comparable. Basically a service station is a shop along the motorway / highway that sells meals, drinks, magazines, sweets etc. for shocking prices)

What people don’t understand is that I am not responsible for the prices. Management are. Swearing at me, accusing me of lying, throwing coins at me :frowning: will not make any difference. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been looked in the eye and told the prices are “fucking disgusting”, before people pay. And they will pay. I’ve only ever had a couple of customers put their food back and walk out.

Being called a liar is the worst part. People honestly believe that I have seen them and thought “Hmm… he looks rich, I’ll charge him £1.30.” Its ridiculous.

I know that £1.30 for a cup of tea is disgusting. Well don’t pay it! There are plenty of shops a couple of minutes away that offer much cheaper prices. People won’t go there though.

Complaining to my manager is another favourite trick. What can he do? He doesn’t set the prices. If I’m too firm with people, and tell them “Thats the price, I can’t do anything about it”, they complain I’ve been an ass. If I try to reason with them, then I’m argumentative.

So, people, what is it you have against us “poor” slaes assistants?

Some shameless promotion for my “boss”…

Ever get people who give you an ultimatum, or try to bargain or haggle with you?

“Yes, I know it says that it’s $150 (this is in my store, FTR). Tell you what, I’ll give you $125 for it and we’ll call it even.”

“I cant do that, sir.”

“Well why not? Who would know/care?”

“My superiors. That computer keeps total track of everything I do.”

“So what? I just offered to BUY it! So sell it to me!”

“I will. For $150.”

“Okay, just give me 10% off then.”

“um. no.”


Sometimes I just want to stab them. A lot.

Um, sounds like your typical American service station, except not all of them have meals.


My ex-girlfriend worked in retail, and she’d often get loud customers who speak minimal English trying to haggle with her.

Customer: How much this?
Her: That’s $30. It says on the tag.
C: That is wrong price. You run on computer.
H: (scans the tag into the machine) Still $30.
C: Is no good price. I give you $15.
H: No, it costs $30. That’s what we sell it for. If you want it, you have to pay $30.
C: You drive hard bargain. I give you $20.

I had an idea: when someone tries to bargain, start stating a HIGHER price. Just tell them-“Everytime you try to bargain, I raise the price.”

Last summer (or was it 1999?), some welfare benefits were cut by 21.6%. The Hon. David Tsbouchi, Minister of Community and Social Services was asked in the legislature “What are people supposed to do when their welfare benefits are cut 21.6%?” He said, “They should haggle with their grocer!”

I remember thinking at the time, “Thank God I don’t work for a grocery store, 'cause the next few weeks are gonna suck.”

Soon after, five members of OCAP (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty) went to Loblaws and tried to haggle for better grocery prices. They were charged with trespassing. Feh.

In a lot of cultures, haggling is the norm, and in some, it’s considered unseemly not to haggle. They’re not being ignorant or difficult; this is just how they are.


Perhaps, but then, shouldn’t one respect the ideas of our culture-which is NOT to haggle? If they aren’t ignorant that we don’t do that, then, well, why do they keep trying?
It’s annoying and it really makes me mad, because then the manager bitches ME out because the customer is pissed off.

I’m not saying it’s not a pain in the ass when they do it, I’m just saying that haggling is customary in some cultures.


I think the closest thing America would have to an equivilant is a turnpike serice plaza. Am I right in thinking that a British service station like nikjohns describes here might not sell gasoline? The fact that “service station” is synonymous with “gas station” in America makes it tricky to envision.

I’ve actually done this. It does work. Sadly, I’ve never had the guts to actually charge them the higher price, but it did work wonders.

My great-grandmother was from Italy. Whenever she wanted to get a good deal on something, her English-speaking ability would mysteriously disappear, and she would enter into a drawn-out, fractured negotiation with the salesperson. Usually the poor sucker would give up and give her what she wanted just to get rid of her, kind of like the “Ms. Swan” character on Mad TV.

Except for the lack of gas and diesel, it sounds like a truck stop to me.

I worked in a beer retailer once, and saw my share of unpleasant experiences.

(Disclaimer: This was some years ago, and I haven’t worked in retail since.)

There were customers who would hand you a ball of bills. Not separate, but all crumpled into a ball. You had to uncrumple them, sort them, count them, and then make change. Meanwhile, they’re complaining about the slow service.

Others thought nothing of handing you rolls of coins. If they were from the bank, they were OK, but you’d get coin rolls that were obviously rolled at home. (Here’s a hint folks: you can’t make me believe you got it from the bank because banks don’t wrap coins in newspapers or grocery lists.) Especially with the loonies (dollar coins) we have in Canada, a roll that is short a few dollars will result in a variance at the end of the day. So you had to open these rolls and count them. More complaints about slow service.

Of course, there were the ones who nickel-and-dimed you literally. Nothing like spending $25 and paying it off with loose change. Yes, it’s legal tender, but please–no complaints about how long it takes me to count $25 in pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.

Note that I never complained about people paying for their purchases in any of the above ways–it was perfectly legal to do what they did. But if they were in such a hurry, why couldn’t they make it easier to do a quick transaction?

And having to ask for ID. Kids, here are a few hints for when you try to get beer when you’re not old enough:

Those big windows at the front of the store are there for a reason: I can see you and your friends gathering at the corner of the plaza. I’ve got each of you pegged before you decide who your next candidate will be–each member of your group that you send in will walk out empty-handed unless they can show valid ID.

When it’s your turn to come in and I ask for ID, don’t give me an excuse like “It’s in the car” or “It’s in my other pants.” You were coming to get beer and you knew there was a chance you’d get carded–in most cases, those excuses pretty much tell me that you’re not old enough. Besides, valid or not, I don’t care where your ID is; if I ask for it and it’s not here where I can see it, you’re not getting any beer.

Don’t complain that “The guy at the store up the street doesn’t ask me for ID.” Do you honestly expect me to say, “Oh, well in that case, here you go”? No, if you could get it from the guy up the street without being carded, I wonder why you didn’t go with the sure thing up there instead of our place, which had the reputation for carding kids.

I can accept just about any valid government-issued document showing your photo, signature, and date of birth. I cannot accept library cards, high school student cards (you’re joking, right?), credit cards (as ID), a long-expired passport with a photo of you at age five, or anything where your age is handwritten in pencil. Oh, and your friends vouching for you either nicely (“Seriously, he’s old enough”) or rudely (“He’s old enough, shithead”) doesn’t work either.

And finally, remember that when I refuse to sell to you, you cannot call me anything that surprises me. I’ve been called every name in the book, and plenty that aren’t.

Like I said, this was some years ago. But damn, that felt good!

I LOVE carding young kids. Hehehe…what a trip!

Heh, the “nothing written in pencil” remark struck me as odd. My friend had his license taken away for failing to yield, and they gave him the ticket. (A good way to get people to pay their tickets, IMHO.) Said friend altered ticket to look like he was born two years earlier, and sent in the largest and oldest looking friend of his into a gas station to buy cigarettes. He comes up to the counter, asks for a pack, and waits patiently as they check the ticket. They accept it, to which he replies “Oh, in that case, let me have a carton.”


That would be my impression, too. Even people in many areas of the US aren’t familiar with these - a “turnpike” is a term used in some of the eastern states for a toll road. The way some of these work is that when you get on at one of the limited access points, you get a ticket indicating where you entered. When you get off, you have to surrender your ticket and pay your toll. The only services available enroute are are the “service plazas” operated by a single company which won the concessions contract. If you should wish to buy gas or food anywhere else, you will have to exit the turnpike, pay toll, and pick up a new ticket to get back on, which will result in extra overall toll because you are starting over. The service plazas thus have a captive audience, and are notorious for bad food and high prices.


Attrayant: Data Services, can I help you?

Customer: I’d like to report my data circuit is down.

A: What’s the circuit ID?

C: I’m not sure.

A: Well, what company are you with?

C: [Name of popular chain of stores with dozens, maybe hundreds of locations in the Patomac Region]

A: Well that’s a pretty big company, what is your exact loaction?

C: 1200 Main Street, Arlington VA.

A: I found that address but it appears to be a large office building with dozens of data lines. If you don’t know your circuit ID it will take me a while to check each one of them.

C: I don’t know the circuit ID.

A: Very well. Stand by while I check those circuits to determine which one is out of service…

A: [Repeating every minute] Still checking.

15-20 minutes later, I can almost hear the light dawning on my customer:

C: Wait a minute- are you checking my location?

A: Where are you located?

C: 1200 Main Street, Arlington VA.

A: That is the same address you gave me earlier. If you are at that address, then yes I am checking the circuits at your location.

C: But the trouble is not at this location.

A: How were you aware that the circuit was in alarm?

C: I can tell because I am dialed into the router.

A: [Staying amazingly calm] What is the address of the location experiencing the trouble?

C: Hold on.

[Discussion in background]

C: 199.265.71… [sup]*[/sup]

A: No no, that’s your private IP address, which you probably shouldn’t be telling me. What is the service address?

C: The service address?

A: The mailing address.

C: Oh. Hold on.

[Musical Hold]

C: It’s our location in Fairfax. On route 7.

A: That’s not specific enough. There are even more data circuits on route seven in Fairfax than there are in the building at 1200 Main Street. I need either the exact service address or the circuit ID.

C: I don’t know the circuit ID.

A: That’s like calling the analog repair line & telling them your phone is dead but not being able to give them your phone number or address.

C: [Grasp]

It’s usually about here when I decide the call is not going to go anywhere and ask them to research it & call us back when they can figure out exactly which circuit they want to report.

[sub]Those of you with a granule of networking knowledge have already figured out what the problem is, but shhhh!- don’t tell the customer![/sub]


Copy and paste job from :wink:

Unless you submitted them in the first place, in which case I apologise.