11 Stories That Prove That the Customer Is Not Always Right

Pic of waitress taking order.Pressmaster via Deposit Photos

If you work in a field where you deal with a lot of customers, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “the customer is always right.” That essentially means that you should treat every customer with respect and try to solve their problem, even if you may not agree with it.

However, like with most things, there are some exceptions to any rule. And, well, sometimes the customer is actually very, very wrong. In a recent Reddit thread, people shared stories of a time their customer proved to be, well, not right at all.

  1. Expired Cake

    “Worked in a store that sells ice cream cakes. Woman came in with half a cake, we thought it’d be melted. Nope, much more concerning: Her son had a piece yesterday and got ill. They didn’t make the connection until the daughter ate a piece that morning and also became ill. To say the least, my manager was freaking out. If there’s some kind of food poisoning going on, the whole store could be shut down and it would be a huge mess. She passes me the cake and tells me to check who made it so we can call it in. I open up the case, look at it, and it took every bit of control I could muster to not laugh in front of the customer. The cake was a Valentine’s Day cake, and it was September. My manager had to explain to the woman that half-eaten ice cream cakes don’t hold for a half a year, and the woman kept insisting we test it.”

  2. Allergic to Ice

    “When I waited tables, a lady got mad at me because her iced tea wasn’t cold. I couldn’t find a way to chill it since she told me minutes earlier that she was allergic to ice.”

  3. A Burger With Cheese

    “I was working at a concession at a race track at the time, running the register. This one particular night it was super busy. It was the last race weekend of the season, we ran out of Coke, and the deep fryer caught fire. I was at the burger stand and the line was crazy. This one lady came and ordered a burger with cheese. Trying to be quick, I yelled back to the cooks, ‘ONE CHEESBURGER.’ She looks at me and huffs, ‘No, I said a burger with cheese, not a CHEESBURGER!’ So I had to yell back, ‘SORRY, A BURGER WITH CHEESE! CANCEL THE CHEESEBURGER!’ It’s just one of the many moments in my customer service/ retail career that made me question my sanity just a little.”

  4. A Secret Button

    “We write software for scanning tickets at clubs. The software allows you to get a report of how many people were checked in overall, so it’s used to prove that the place isn’t over capacity. A potential client wanted a secret button he could click that would lower the ticket count by 15% in case the fire marshal showed up.”

  5. Wrong Grocery Total

    “As the cashier behind me finishes ringing up the customer’s order for groceries (well over $100) the man yells at the cashier that the total is wrong. The register added incorrectly. The cashier and him went over EVERY ITEM to make sure nothing was the wrong price or double scanned. Everything scanned was correct; the machine just added incorrectly according to him. This poor lady had to clear out the order(which is a very difficult process) take everything out of the bags and ring it up again. Same total.”

  6. Chair Pickiness

    “I was a furniture delivery guy in college. A woman ordered this high back red leather chair. We delivered it and she complained about the grain in the leather. We explained that leather is a natural product and bears irregularities. If she wanted uniformity, she should buy vinyl. She got insulted and informed us in no uncertain terms that she was well off and would only buy genuine leather. We took the chair back to the store and exchanged it for the other one we had: a floor model. We brought that one out and she did the same thing, pointing out things in the grain that she disliked. We took it back to the store and asked the owner what to do. By then the chair was actually no longer made, so he told us to bring the 1st chair again. We delivered those same 2 chairs 7 times. She never caught on and eventually decided she really liked the “7th” chair. Which was, of course, the one she originally hated.”

  7. Sales Tax Woes

    “I worked at a gas station. Guy walks in asks for cigarettes I ring them up. Guy flips that I’m ripping him off. The sign clearly says $5.83 + tax. He wants to know why they are $6.15 or whatever sales tax adds to them. I then spent 5 minutes of my life explaining the intricacies of sales tax to a 42 yr old child.”

  8. Cake Thrower

    “I used to work in a patisserie (we specialized in wedding cakes) and this guy ordered a Noah’s Arc cake. My boss made these cute little fondant animals going into an arc on the sides of the baby blue cake. The customer came to pick it up and as soon as he looked at the cake his nose scrunched up and he frowned. He said, “This cake looks absolutely horrible, I demand a refund!” (as he had prepaid). I called my boss several times, but no answer, and I told him I could hold onto the cake until my boss was free and could call him back personally. He starts yelling at me (a minimum wage cashier) and demanding his refund. I told him I wasn’t able to because of my position and tried calling my boss again. He continued yelling, I asked him to calm down or I would have to ask him to leave. He yelled back at me one more time, “I want my FUCKING refund!” To which I told him again I couldn’t do. So his response was to open the cake box, remove the cake, and throw it at me. I ducked, it hit the wall, and I told him in no small way that he wouldn’t get his refund back and if he didn’t leave I would call the cops. The next day he called the patisserie and demanded to talk to my boss, she told him that since he threw the cake at her employee and that he wouldn’t just relax and let her call him back he wouldn’t get his cake and was permanently banned from the establishment.”

  9. Frosty Troubles

    “A friend of mine use to work at Wendy’s. One day a dude comes in to try that fancy new vanilla frosty, he politely informed him that the machine had broken down, and asked if he’d like the chocolate. The guy replies yes, but when my friend goes to charge him he states ‘well, can I have it for half off because I don’t really want it?’ ….no.”

  10. Bad Movie Refunds

    “Worked at a video store in high school. Can’t count the number of times customers rented a video, watched it, and wanted a refund because they didn’t enjoy it. Not that it was damaged, which would be understandable, but that they didn’t like the movie. Sorry, doesn’t work that way.”

  11. Taking ‘By the Pound’ Prices Seriously

    “Peaches were 89 cents a pound where I work. Some lady wanted me to cut one in half so she could pay exactly the 89 cents.”

Have you ever experienced a crazy customer story like this?