'Your Staff Is Gonna Shank Me!' Stories Of WTF Customer Service Meltdowns.
If you're like me, you worked a customer service job or two in your youth, and you understand that the customer isn't always right. Sometimes that waiter who lost their cool at Red Lobster is totally justified in responding to abuse.
And sometimes they're having a totally unjustified WTF customer service meltdown.
This piece is based on an AskReddit thread. Link on the last page.
1/12. When I was going to college in Florida, a gas station cashier refused to sell me cigarettes because I showed her my ID and she didn't believe that New Hampshire was a real state.
2/12. I'm an 18-year-old guy. I was at a department store buying some jeans. I asked the store attendent if I could try a pair on. He said sure and led me to the changing rooms.
I went into the cubicle and dropped my pants. The store attendant knocked on the door. I unlocked it and opened it a crack. He asked if he could come in. I said, "No. Why do you want to?"
He replied, "because I think you are cute."
He then proceeded to forcefully open the door and about 30 seconds of me and him pulling and pushing on the door ensued.
I was starting to get a bit frantic, so I yelled out for assistance. He stopped pushing on the door and disappeared. I put my pants on and got outta there. I was shaking.
I got home and called the department store and told them what had happened. I found out later that they had fired him on the spot.
3/12. Had a waiter spill a $100 bottle of wine all over my dinner. He refused to replace either. After I didn't tip him, he literally chased me out of the restaraunt and physically threatened me for his tip. He had to be restrained by the manager.
4/12. This was a few years ago when the Dark Knight came out. My dad and I were waiting in line to get into the theatre. We were both pretty excited, as seeing Batman movies together had been a tradition since I was a little kid. My dad and I are chatting, and he says I hope the show starts soon.
At that point, the usher monitoring the line storms over and yells, "What did you just call me?" (continued...)
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"Nothing," my dad said, "we're just waiting to see the movie."
"No, I know what I heard. I'm going to have to ask you to leave." I step in and say there's been a terrible misunderstanding. Then the usher says, "get out, and take your son with you." Not wanting to make a scene in the line, my dad and I left.
We went downstairs to the ticket counter, and asked to talk to the manager. My dad explained what happened, what was said, and that since we couldn't see the movie, we'd like our money back.
The manager says that the employee had already called down to him, and said he believed him over us any day, and that we had to leave or else he'd call the cops.
We ended up calling the head office, and told them what happened. Last we heard, both got fired.
5/12. I was on a return trip on a Greyhound from Vegas to Southern California. The bus I was on was late and missed my connection, which happened to be the last bus headed out that night.
I called customer service and they basically told me "herp derp, too bad, next bus out of there leaves at 9 tomorrow morning."
So greyhound left me stranded in the middle of the night, in a terrible part of Las Vegas, with a swarm of crackheads who wanted to be friends. I had to walk a until I finally got hold of a friend who drove 40 miles to come get me.
6/12. I went to a popular fast food restaurant a few years ago in a small conservative town. I went with a friend of mine, and we just both happened to be gay. In a laughing tone of voice, he said that we should pretend to be dating. I asked if he was suicidal but he said, "it'll be funny to see their reactions."
He held my hand and put his head on my shoulder. We shuffled up and I ordered my food and I also said "And my fiance here will have an (insert insanely fattening meal here)." My friend, Jake, reached up and kissed me. (continued...)
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The server, who before this had already seemed ill-at-ease, refused to serve us. He stood there with a defiant look on his face, refusing to fill our order.
Taken aback, immediately responded by telling him to go get the manager. He refused. I asked again. He refused. Jake decided it was time to drop the charade and tried to explain that it was a joke.
Eventually a manager came out, and we tried to explain to him exactly what had happened. The server denied it (of course). By this point, there was quite a crowd gathered around watching this go down, and Jake was starting to get agitated.
Believe it or not, the manager actually sided with the server! He told us we were making a scene and holding up the line, and it would be better if we just left!
Well, we managed to get the phone number of the guy who owns the place. He ultimately did fire the server and the manager, and gave us a bunch of free coupons.
7/12. I was out to dinner with my family. The waitress comes, and we order. When it gets to my mom, she orders what she wants, and the waitress responds with "If you're on a diet, you don't want that."
My mom had said nothing whatsoever about being on a diet. She is self conscious about her weight, and it's difficult to even get her to come out to eat with us. My mom simply said, "I'm not on a diet" with a cold stare.
The waitress stared right back at her and said "really?"
8/12. I went out to dinner a few months back with some friends at a pretty typical chain restaurant.
Me: "I'll have a diet coke please." Waitress: "Oh, we only have pepsi, is that ok?" Me: "Sure. A diet pepsi would be fine."
I have my soda and a few refills over the course of dinner and start feeling really, really funny. (continued...)
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Right about here is where I should mention that I'm a type 1 diabetic and (since I always just drink diet coke) don't know the difference in taste between diet and regular pepsi.
I checked my blood sugar, which had been perfectly on target before the meal, and my meter just read HIGH, meaning that the value was so high that the meter actually couldn't process it.
So we flagged down the waitress and I asked "This isn't diet pepsi, is it?" She responded by telling me that it wasn't, that the diet pepsi fountain was out of syrup and she didn't think I'd mind, and besides, I'm plenty skinny and don't need to drink the diet stuff.
I started cursing, pulled out my insulin syringes to dose for the 4 full sugar sodas that I drank, and told her exactly what I was doing. I then told the manager what had happened, and that I wasn't planning on paying for the meal but would instead put the money toward the ER bill that I was about to incur.
I went to the hospital where the lab determined that my blood sugar was still in the 700s even after I dosed, and I ended up staying overnight because my glucose level stubbornly refused to come back into range.
9/12. Last weekend I went on a beach vacation with my friend. We had booked a hotel room with two queen size beds so we would both be comfortable (I'm female, he's male. We're not a couple).
For whatever reason, there was an administrative error and the hotel had forgotten to reserve our room. We get there are and there are no rooms with two beds left. The front desk agent was very apologetic and offered us an extra room at no charge (because duh, they messed up.)
But then, the owner of the place moseyed on over and instead said, "NO, if you want two rooms, you're going to pay for two rooms." (continued...)
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He asked us why we couldn't just sleep together in a king bed, which is not really his business and if we WANTED TO SHARE A BED we would've booked a room with one bed instead of specifically booking a room with two. If we had known they were out of rooms, we would've gone somewhere else.
At that point he insisted on us staying in one room with a cot, which I said was bull because we didn't agree to pay full price for one of us to sleep on a cot. Eventually, after two hours of arguing, he relented off and his son (who is the part owner and the one who suggested giving us two rooms for the cost of one in the first place) let us have 2 rooms.
I told him his dad was clearly in the wrong business. He just smiled.
10/12. I was a server and trainer for a chain restaurant. I trained this girl who was honestly only hired for her looks. She was so dumb it was sad. She never paid attention to her tables, was always at the bar talking to the bartender.
One night she had a table leave and so she went over to get her tip. Well, her tip was a handful of pennies with a note that said she was horrible. I will never forget seeing her take the pennies and run out after them.
She threw the coins at them and told them she didn't need it as much as they obviously did. She was fired on the spot. Can't say I feel sorry for her.
11/12. This past weekend, we went to a restaurant for dinner with my girlfriend and her friends for her birthday. We had about 10 people and had about 5 different tabs which all included an 18% minimum tip.
The service was terrible, the server was incredibly rude and would always respond with some kind of sarcasm when we asked questions about the menu. He took the wrong drink orders twice and blamed us for getting them wrong.
My friend payed in cash, and when the waiter brought back change, there was no receipt. She was expecting to get 5 bucks and some change back. When the server came back there was no receipt and only 2 dollars change. She asked him to see the receipt to see if she had miscalculated because she expected 5 more money back.
This is where he went from inept to downright rude. (continued...)
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Instead of saying something along the lines of "Ill go check" or something accommodating like that, the dude got irritated and said that he threw away the receipt and reached for his wallet and said, "how about i just give you five dollars if you need the money so badly."
That pissed us all off so we didnt leave any extra tip. I wrote down "NOPE!" on my receipt in the additional tip line.
When I went to use the men's room before leaving, the waiter followed me in there. He tapped my shoulder as I was washing my hands and goes, "You think you're pretty funny with that tip dont you? why dont we step outside so I can show you how funny I can be?"
I'm like WTF? Called the manager over and told him his server wanted to fight me cause I didn't tip him. I explained the whole situation to him while the dude was just eyeing me up the whole time.
Other servers had to calm him down cause he kept trying to interrupt me when I was talking to the manager. I declined all their gift cards because, as I explained to the manager, "I don't really want to eat somewhere where the staff is gonna shank me!"
12/12. I had a cashier at Target ask if I wanted to sign up for their credit card, to which I declined. She then asked to see my ID, which made sense as I was buying beer. But then she used it to sign me up for a Target credit card anyway!
I was furious, because I don't see how that isn't identity theft, and told her I wanted to talk to the manager. She got really angry and defensive, started insulting me (including calling me a racial slur), and refused to call her manager. I got another cashier to do it and then the woman flat out lied to her manager about what had happened.
The manager assured me the woman would be fired and gave me a lot of gift cards to make up for it since I now had to go through the whole process of canceling a credit card.
I went back about a month later to use some of the gift card value, and I saw that awful woman still working there. I said something nasty to the manager, left, and sold the cards on craigslist.
When you're a kid most adults will tell you one thing or another is "cool" and "fun." Odds are you're too young to form any kind of opinion on the matter one way or another. You're a kid, right? You don't know what you're eating for breakfast. However, when you get older and form that larger worldview, you realize that yeah, maybe that one time when you were a kid actually wasn't fun.
These are those stories.