William Chow's Personal Web Page

Stupid Customers

I dealt with customers for a large part of my retail life. Even in the office clerk type of work, I still get a lot of cases of absolute customer stupidness. Here are a few moronic customers. Please feel free to browse through the stories. Click on the words to expand the explainations and associated pictures. Please laugh at them.

Click on the product you would like to read about.

A) Working as an RTV clerk

Product Customer Reason for returning it Category Customer is a Moron!
missing the lens
This is a basic case of Read The Fucking Manual. As shown in the manual and the unit on display, there is NO lens. The "lens" is part of the light bulb, you goof!
product turned to powder when burned
I don't know who is stupider, the customer or the cashier who believed his ignorance and allowed him to return it. OH MY GOD, you are a moron!

B) Working In Electrical Sales

Product The Story
Ok another stupid Cashier story. Alright, it is another one of these calls from the cashiers at the front asking for a product code for something that the UPC code sticker fell off or whatever. OK, try and figure out what this device is.
I get a call from the cashier.

She says

C: "I need the SKU for this ADAPTER."
Me: "Ok, I ask her to describe the adapter."
C: "Well, you plug it in and it has 2 holes in it."
Me: "OK, the part you plug in, do you plug it into the wall?"
C: "Yea you plug it in".
Me: "Ok, and the 2 plugs, are they for electric cords?"
C: "Yes, you plug it in"
Me: "Ok, and the plug, it has 2 prong holes? "
C: "Yes, 2 holes".

Ok, Now I came to visualize this item here. Wouldn't you?
Well apparently not. The customer had came all the way back to the electrical department to point out this device. AAaaahhhh!! I think they seriously need some product knowledge training for cashiers at this job. I don't mean for them to know how to install or how to use every item, but I would think they should know the difference between a flat head screwdriver and a chisel.

Alright, I just had to deal with my first attempt at a real scammer today.
Ok, the story starts like this.
A customer comes in and goes to the return desk to return a ceiling light fixture that he bought from the clearance discount table at the North Vancouver store for $10.00, regular price $40.00
Ok, sounds fair. His problem was that the one that he bought was a darker albaster brass colour and is too dark for the ceiling fan that he wanted to use it with.
Ok, sure we can accept a return on it.
But no.... he wanted to exchange it for the polished shiny brass one that we had in stock which still retails for $40.
I got called up to the front desk, to look into this, and I immediately smelled scammer.
He demanded to speak to the manager.
Well, the manager said that it can not be done. He said, we could take the return of the super discounted as-is clearance light back, but we can't just give away our new one at the clearance price.
Then the customer tries to get tough. He agrees to do the return of the $10 one, and buy the one he really wanted for $40, and threatened to never come back again.
You shit head!!! With that kinda scam you are trying to pull, I wouldn't want you to come back.
The mere fact, that he admitted that the unit he bought was "probably missing something so that is why it was on sale for $10" just goes to prove that he KNEW that the deal was too good to be true.
So what makes him think that he could do a "one to one trade" for a NEW unit at another store?
Man, when God was handing out morality, this guy was must have forgot to line up.
Even more stupid was that he actually still wanted to buy the $40 light for his ceiling fan. You know, I wish I was more forward, and I should have told that
dumb fuck, if he was going to threaten to never come back, then what he should have done was just get his refund and leave. Forget about the fan and light and stuff that he wanted. It just shows he had no balls.
Now in retrospect what is even worse, he will have this stupid ceiling fan in his house hanging on his ceiling, which has all this "bad" karma and "bad" experience with it, so every time he sees it , it will just fustrate him more. Ahh.. good for him that goof. Maybe it will elevate his stress level and blood pressure some more!
My take on this...
It is obvious that the North Vancouver store reduce THIS particular light fixture to $10. I don't know the reason, nor I bet, the customer even knows why.
But what ever the reason, it was so bad, that they were willing to lose $10 to $15 margin/profit just to get rid of it.
I mean, lets say I had a porche 911, 2004 model. Nice car! I am selling it for $1000, no questions asked, and real possession papers too (ie. it isn't stolen).
Now a "real" person, (ie. this scammer I am talking about is below human rationality)
would probably have warning bells going off in his head "WARNING! THIS DEAL IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!"
Yet, you go for it anyway. Then you find out, that this Porche car, was the car
that was stolen by some 15 year old kid, who took it street racing, ran a light, and killed some little girl at the crosswalk, then the police tried to take the driver down, but he paniked and tried to drive away (hit and run), but the cops shot him in the head and killed the kid driver too.
So... yea... All of the sudden, you have a change in heart and you don't want THIS Porche 911, so you go to the Porche dealership, and tell them that you want to EXCHANGE "one for one", your 2004 bloody red 911 for a brand new off the lot 2004 porche 911.
Can you say "hahahahahahahhahahahaaaa Not a fucking chance!!"
Get lost , you are a scamming loser!
Also this week, was another person who I guess didn't really have it all together.
This middle aged man came up to me looking a motion detector sensor light.
Ok, he picked out the one he liked, and he started to ask.
It is pretty easy to hook up right? I mean, I have hooked up car stuff and I never got zapped. It's just black wire to black wire and red wire to red wire right?
Then I told him, well, house power is about 10 times stronger than car power, it will kill you if you don't turn the power off at the panel before you begin playing with it.
to which he replies, "But it's just like I have to keep my red and black wires from touching each other right?
Ahh.. no.... I continued, by telling him to turn off his power at the panel.
He then replies, "Do I turn off all the power?
Then I corrected myself, "No, you only need to turn off the power to the light.
Then he replies, "I don't know which one that is."
ok, this is an honest answer. So I told him, "well, a cheap and easy way to find out which one it is, you turn one breaker off, and you have a friend stand by the light with the light on. Throw the breaker, and then ask your friend if the light went out. If it did you are in luck. If it didn't turn that one back on, and go to the next breaker and turn that one off. repeat until you find the one that turns it off.
To that he smiles and goes off.
Ok, he comes back the next day and buys the light.
Another day goes by and then I notice him in again buying light bulbs for it.
He asks me again.
What is the difference between these light bulbs.
So, I show him to the halogens and the regular incadencent flood light bulbs that are used in it.
Then he picks up two the halogen bulbs, one 75 and one 90 watt one, and asks, what is the difference between the two bulbs?
Ok..... I would have thought the big letters 75W and 90W would have been enough to tell him one is brighter than the other, but I guess this guy's light bulb in his brain burnt out a long time ago.

This week has been one of those, ones where you can say "I got this bad feeling."
Today, an old man comes in. Doesn't speak great English but his idea was to buy one of the small electric powered chain saws. Hmmm....
Just saying the word chain saws just has the evil aura of an accident waiting to happen.
Anyway, this old man has this idea of taping the trigger on the saw "ON" and taping the safety trigger "ON" and attaching a long pole to the saw, and then getting an extension cord with a switch in the middle of it to cut the power to the saw.
Sounds kind of an ingenious way to cut branches from the ground or what not.
However, think about it. The electrical part of the circuit is easy enough. Just a toggle switch in the power cord.
But the hard part, is how to securely fasten the saw to the pole. Hmmm... Not to include the idea of taping the safety "ON" so that saw will never turn off if an accident happens... HHHMMMMM.
Now, if the guy was already having problems visualizing and constructing the extension cord with a switch in it. I really wonder what he is going to come up with for a mount for this...
If it was the Red Green Show, he would be using duct tape strapped to a long pole.
Oh, well. I hope he doesn't kill himself trimming his branches.

This was probably less of a less a stupid customer rather a customer who was just pressed for time and ran out of places to run.
Either that, it should have been a Radio Shack customer story...
Anyway, a teacher from a local school comes in around noon. He has in his hand a light bulb, some weird switch with a light bulb socket and a D-size battery. Ok, the obvious, he is trying to teach his kids electricity by using the battery to the power the light bulb trick.
problem was he was using a 4W - 120V night light bulb. Yea, a bit too much for a measly 1.5V D-size battery to handle.
anyway. I told him that what he needs is something like a flash light bulb because those will run on a couple batteries. However, we don't carry the cheap basic bulbs for flashlights, just the expensive Mag-Light brand ones.
I told him, the best bet would have been to go to Radio Shack, (probably the first place he should have went to).
anyway, he wanders away.
He comes back a few moments later, with a string of christmas lights.
OK, those might work... So, I grabbed some scrap speaker wire and cut a bit off so I could better wire up the Christmas bulb up.
With a good wrap around the legs of the Christmas bulb, it worked.
so he was happy and he ran away again.
Then a few moments later, he comes back again. He wants to buy that bundle of scrap speaker wire I had.
ok, i wrote him up the slip for that and he ran off again. I guess his lunch break was just about over.
Then later on, he was still wandering around. He says, "I lost my ride."
I smiled and waved at him.
I guess people have those days where your brain isn't thinking more than 10 seconds into the future.
Ok, I should not just rule out that the customers are stupid. Sometimes the checkout cashiers are pretty stupid.
Ok, sometimes a customer will pick up and buy something thing that has no UPC code or maybe the UPC is all messed up so the checkout people can
not scan it properly. It happens. Ok, so the cashier will then call up the department and try to get us to look up the SKU for them so they can type it in.
Alright, sometime those cashiers REALLY need to get a clue.
Today, one girl calls up and says she needs a SKU for a light bulb.
ok, we have an entire isle of light bulbs. So, I ask her to describe the light bulb...
to which she answers, well, it has a screw in part and a glass bulb part...
NO.... Really?!?! And I am a Chinese guy with black hair and glasses? I am sure that description would help the police find me in Vancouver...
Then I can only say "can you be a little more descriptive?"
to which I get back, "oh.. ummm..... It's round."
Ahhhh!!!! At this point, I have a feeling it would take less time to walk up to the front cashier myself and look at the thing and walk back and call her back with the SKU....
Sheesh, some people need a little more "training" than others....
The phone call starts off easy enough
It is a woman calling in looking for a regular old clock.
Well, we don't carry plain old clocks. Everything is digital this or that with all the extra stuff on it like timers or temperature or humidity or something like that.
So, you would think the person would be finished and say something normal and say thank you very much and they go look else where.
Nope, she rambles on about how my voice sounds familiar and it reminds me of this other person. And that she hates digital clocks because she feels that it is putting out some kinda digital radiation that is killing our brain cells and making us more stupid.
And continues on to tell me that her house is devoid of such electronical things because she fears that the radiatiion from all the technology will give her cancer.
and continues on to tell me that her husband died 5 years ago and she has been living in this haunted house.
Now, like 10 minutes later, she finally finally comes to ask me another legitimate question, "Do you sell heaters?" and of course I am still being pleasant, and say "yes we do, we carry a variety of heaters."
ok, and she is delighted that we do. But instead of what a normal person would do and ask more questions about what kinda heaters we carry. Nope. She first had to tell me that she hates how she had to change her house from gas, to natural gas to electricity. And that she doesn't like all this flammable stuff in her house. She feels that the electric power is dangerous and it is waiting to shock her and kill her.
This goes on for another 10 minutes, and finally she is finished. She happily says she will have to come down and look at the things we carried. She was not sure where we were located. I described that we were close to the Skytrain station at Renfrew.
And she was having problems visualizing where the London Drugs was. HUh?!
Yes, she thought she was calling London Drugs all this time.
ahhhh... some people just doesn't pay to get out of bed.....
I get another East Indian guy who is not too swift at English.
Anyway he comes in and asks for the "thing" that holds a light. I thought he meant the socket you screw the light bulb into. Well, apparently not.
He finally points at an outdoor light fixture using the high powered sodium lights. He wants that bracket hook piece that secures the shaft of the light fixture to the wall.
I told him we don't carry that part.
Then he says, "Why don't you have it?"
Then I explain to him, that is part that comes with that lamp. If he want that exact piece, it could be ordered from that company who makes it.
I also comment that another department in the store might have something similar that might work.
Then he goes, "Well, don't you know if they have it? Why don't you use the computer?"
Ok, this guy is getting a stupid here. First of all, in the six isles of electrical we don't carry that bracket "thing" that he is looking for. And how am I suppose to look up such a "thing" in the computer? call it a light holding thing? how about that wall holding whatchamacallit, or how about that crappy ass piece of metal holding your stupid pole to the wall contraption?
Obviously this guy has no resourceful brain cells in his head, to match his low English comprehension.
Anyway, I explain that can't be done because we don't know what that "thing" is called so the computer is of no use.
However, I offered to walk him down to millworks to see if they might have something close to that. I was thinking of things like flag post holders, metal fence binders or plumbing pipe holders for side of walls or something like that.
Of course, he goes and toodles off somewhere. I go around some of the departments looking for such a device to mount pipes to the side of building. Plumbing and millworks had a few "things" that would work.
But it looks like Bigwinder decided not to come back.
Oh well. I suppose that is what happens. Maybe he will seek and find the item. Oh well, maybe he will someone else to install his stupid light up.
Ok, this is not so much a stupid customer but a brave one.

A guy is gonna try to hook up a ceiling venting fan in his bathroom. Ok, sounds normal. Like the most versed people will do they do their research. He comes in with manuals for his fan and a "how to" book about electrical home improvement. All he has coming out of his wall switch is 2 wires black and white to the switch which controls the light switch. Well, logic dictates that this should be live switch for the light. Of course, he wants to try to tap off this switch for power. He seems to indicate he has a meter of some sort but I sense he isn't clear how to read and interept the readings. I guess that's what the "how to" manual is for.

Anyway, I draw him a diagram how and what must be needed, since there may be no neutral in his circuit. Unfortunately, it appears he can't interept the diagram either on paper or the ones in the "how to" manual...


I think at this time, this is where I, personally, would throw my hands up in the air and surrender and let a professional do it. Unlike many other home improvment areas like fencing, painting, and gardening; electrical is one of those that you stand a very good chance of killing yourself if you don't know what the hell you are doing. Of course, when the professional is in doing his tinkering, observe and learn.

Anyway, he was happy to take the diagram away, and went back to try again. I hope he figures it out without zapping himself or burning his house down.
Well, how many stupid Americans could you have? Well, it could be why they are hated everywhere in the world.

A couple comes in, they got a load of crap they are buying. They clean us out all of the chrome recessed ceiling lights. The guy says, we need 50 more of them. Sure, I can take a look in computer to see if any of our other locations has them. Well, it looks like Abbotsford with 32 and Richmond with 10 were like the only places in the entire province which even bothers the carry them.

Then he complains, "Well order them in! We don't wanna be driving all over the place to be getting lights." Understandable... So I told him yes, that can be done, but it can two weeks using the company truck to get those in. Then he barks on, "Well, I need them in one week. Rush them here. What kinda business is this? You want my business?" Then I guess he looks at my name tag, I am still wearing the "Hi. I am new here" name tag.

For idiots like this, I am going to keep this name tag for as long as I can...

Anyway, GI Joe goes on, "Hey, are you on commission?". Of course, I answered, "No we aren't." to which he answers "Well, you guys should be, like the Americans. You should learn from the Americans." hahahhaaa.

What a dumb fuck. He clearly doesn't know where he is shopping. The company slogan even says "We are proudly Canadian", and not American owned. This ain't no Future Shop, A&B Sound, Best Buy, or Radio Shack who have all been bought out by Americans. No lousy commission staff who are interested in closing the sale, getting their stupid extended warranty and getting their kick back spiffs. I have worked for Radio Shack and commissioned work can SUCK. Besides, it is not like he is going to get any better service at the American owned competition. Where does he think he is? Oh oh... Let me guess. In America!! huh huh huh!

In the alight of all the staff downgrades happening at the "American" store, he wasn't gonna be better off there either.

Anyway, I passed off the loser to Customer Service, because it clearly was going tobe easier to let them special order the crap for him rather than having me waste anymore time with GI Joe.

His female counterpart he was with was at least more polite and much more pleasant to deal with. Although, I would have to say she has the intelligence of an American.

She begins with the simple and normal question of "I would like the brightest light for this fixture." refering to the chrome recessed light that she is buying. The fixture takes a maximum of a 75W incadescent bulb or a 50W halogen. The big factor is, the heat creates a fire hazard. Knowing this, she then asks, so what is wrong with putting in 100W bulb? Ok, maybe she was slow or maybe I wasn't clear on what MAXIMUM wattage was or maybe she the type of person things need to be repeated twice before it clicks in. So in different words, I explained the problems that can occur with using such a powerful bulb.

So then she asks, if she could put in a 75W halogen instead of a 75 incandescent. Alright, I must have missed explaining that the MAXIMUM was a 50W halogen or maybe she is slow and needs a second round, or maybe the definition of what halogen and incandescent means. So, I pulled a 50W and 75W regular bulbs and a 50W halogen out. I plugged them all into a strip vanity light for side by side comparison.

Well, she quickly saw that the regular 75W was brighter than the regular 50W, NO DUH! and that the 50W halogen produced a very pure white and a fairly bright light too, even comparable to the 75W.

Well, she finally convinced herself that she wants the brightness of the 50W halogen but doesn't like the heat that it puts out and doesn't like the price of halogens when compared to the incadescent ordinary light bulbs. ahh... I guess the concept of you get what you pay is not in her repertoire.

C) Working At Radio Shack

Product Customer Reason for returning it Category Customer is a Moron!