Have you ever heard of the phrase, “the customer is always right?” It may not be true, but it’s a rule in which many store owners abide by. This “unspoken” law does not allow retail workers to defend themselves against rude or entitled customers, and they would often have to apologize for things that they were not responsible for. But there are some instances where they get exactly what they deserved, and many times it has happened right in front of the worker their attacks were aimed at. Here are some of the craziest stories of ill-mannered customers who got exactly what they deserved.
40. Blowing Out A Tire
“I work at an auto parts store. This one guy stole approximately sixty dollars worth of headlights and sprinted out the door. When we went to look outside to try and get his license plate, we saw him speed off, hit a curb, and blow out his tire.
We called the cops, and not only did he get arrested, but his car was also towed.”
39. Throwing Out the Trash
“I was working the window at McDonald’s during a late-night shift when a guy ordered something at the drive-thru then pulled up to the window. During my shift, I was cooking and handling the window, so I wasn’t there when he pulled up. When I walked up to the window, I didn’t see that he had trash in his lap. I open the window to take his card/cash, and out of nowhere, he throws a bag of trash at me.
I take a step back, bothered that I just got trash thrown at me, and I watch his car speed off. I’m pissed, but there’s nothing I can do. A couple of seconds later, I hear a small bang of metal on metal. I walk to the lobby and look out the windows. The guy slammed into a police cruiser who was about to loop around and use the drive-thru himself. Of course, I also went to tell the officer what just happened inside.”
38. Why Aren’t You Going To Do Anything?
“One night, an angry woman walked into the pizza store where I worked saying, ‘This isn’t the freaking pizza I ordered, what the hell are you going to do about?’ I look at the pizza then at my buddy Nick and turn back to her and say, ‘Nothing.’
She then goes on a long rant telling us that we are going to be fired, how stupid and incompetent we were. S
he actually told me I must be retarded, then asked why the hell we weren’t going to do anything? I said, ‘Because that pizza came from the pizza shop across the street.’ I think she managed to shrink in size and slink out looking so pathetic and beaten I almost felt bad for laughing till tears dripped down my face as she slunk off.”
37. AppleCare or Pass?
“I worked for a telecommunications company in Canada when one morning a lady comes in with a broken iPhone demanding to get a new one for free. If you don’t know, in Canada the iPhone 6 was going for about $400 upfront on a two-year contract at a minimum $80 plan. She had a good plan, but it didn’t cover free replacements. She called up our loyalty team in-store and spent the next two hours screaming at them.
Finally, they agree to a deal, and she is getting it for $0. She looks at me and goes ‘I do not want a case, and AppleCare is a scam.’ She keeps telling me to hurry up through the setup and I was trying to get her out of the store with everything transferred over and set up. She grabs the phone and starts marching off, saying I was a terrible employee. She gets three steps out of the store and drops the phone. Shattered screen, and white screen of death. She ran back in, asking what I can do. I shrugged and went ‘Sorry, but AppleCare sure would have helped eh?’”
36. Beware the Grazers
“I was working at a grocery store in the Southeastern US, helping a customer find some popcorn when an older man keeled over in the deli and bashed his head on the table. Two managers and three employees appeared within five seconds with first-aid and blood cleaning kits; we call an ambulance to haul him out thinking that he’d had a stroke or something similar.
While the EMTs get on the scene, he starts choking on something. The EMTs clear out his airway and pull out the relatively fresh remains of a donut hole. We found an open, half-empty box a reasonable distance away (10-15 yards), which made it pretty clear he wasn’t planning on purchasing them. This guy was what we call a ‘grazer,’ he went around grocery stores opening up food containers, eating what he wanted, and leaving the half-open containers lying around the store. He bit off more than he could chew (literally), choked, and fell with enough force to dislodge the donut hole.”
35. No Dogs Allowed!
“Warehouse worker here. Customers have to show a card to shop, and even though we’re not technically a grocery store, we don’t allow pets. One man tried to power walk past the employee at the entrance door holding a big pit bull puppy on a leash. We stopped him and told him he couldn’t bring his dog inside and that’s when he LOST IT. He’s our best customer, coming in at least five times a week, and he owns stock. He demanded to know why we don’t allow dogs. We explained how it’s a food safety issue, especially with an untrained puppy.
At this point, our manager came over and just waved him through because the customer is always right. Well, not even 5 minutes later this dog squats in the middle of the main aisle, pees, and poops on the floor. The man turned so red and dragged the dog towards the exit, abandoning his groceries. We stopped him and asked him nicely to please clean up after his pup. ‘that’s the reason we don’t allow them, sir.’”
34. Calling the Fire Marshall
“I worked at Best Buy 10 or so years ago, and Black Friday is always our busiest day of the year. Most of the customers were in bad moods since they’d been waiting for hours to come in and stand in more lines. But this one lady was a raging bull.
After yelling at everyone in my department about how she NEEDED the laptop that was on sale despite it being sold out, she proceeds to tell us she’ll have the store closed down because she ‘works with the city and knows the fire Marshall personally’ and we have too many people in the store. So, she calls him, we tell her to leave, and nothing happens to the store. We also called them as well to report what she’d said, and she got fired from her job for abuse of power.”
33. Holding Up the Hostess
“I worked at a restaurant that was very popular for brunch, and Mother’s Day was probably our busiest day of the year. I had a customer call the evening before and asked for a table for six, and he was incredibly rude when I informed him that this would be an impossibility. He kept getting more and more worked up, asking me to speak to my manager. At first, I didn’t want to pass the phone over, but my manager came up behind me and demanded to know why I had been on the phone for so long.
I was like ‘This customer isn’t going to listen to me anyway’ and gave the phone to Mac. Mac asked how he could help, listened for about 15 seconds before telling this dude something like, ‘so you’re tying up my hostess in the middle of dinner even though she’s already told you nicely that we can’t fit you and your goddamn family in the night before our busiest day of the year? Bye buddy,’ And hung up the phone.”
32. Normal Bodily Function
“I was doing the opening shift at McDonald’s when a mother and son ordered their food and later sat down to eat. She comes up to me and starts yelling that another customer farted. She wanted me to kick him out because it’s disgusting, and she shouldn’t have to put up with that. I explained to her that it’s a normal bodily function and I can’t kick a customer out for farting.
The poor man stands up, says sorry, and goes to eat on the bench outside. About 10 minutes later, her son farts as well, and one of our regulars who witnessed the entire ordeal walks up to her and ends up making her sit outside to finish her meal. There was only one table outside, and she had to sit with the man who farted earlier.”
31. Tipping in Your Favor
“More than a few decades ago, I worked at Denny’s. I had two male customers who decided to dine and dash. I got their license plate number and reported it to the cops and jokingly mentioned that they didn’t even leave a tip! Later that night, they got pulled over for DUI, and the police recognized the license plate number from the report.
The cops brought them both back to the restaurant and forced them to pay the bill. After he was done paying, the cop just stood there and looked at them and said ‘well?’ The guy sheepishly handed me my tip.”
30. I Want the Premium Stuff
“I worked at a gas station some odd years ago, and the week before it had been snowing a lot, so the gas tankers got delayed due to safety reasons. A customer came in a pretty new Mercedes-Benz, something like SLS 400 and wanted the premium gas.
I explained to him that the tankers are delayed, and we currently don’t have any premium gasoline and that he could try the next station down the block. He started swearing at me like I was control over the gas delivery. He sped off only to have his rear tire hit the curb. His rim got messed up really bad, and he couldn’t drive it. I laughed at him.”
29. “He Isn’t Your Buddy.”
“I was a server during college at an upscale restaurant, and I rarely had problems with customers as I’m genuinely very friendly. During one of my evening shifts, I had a table for four with only three patrons there, an older couple with their adult daughter. I served them beverages and was told we were to wait for the fourth patron, the son. About 40 minutes and two refills later, I say ‘I bet you guys are starving by now, would you like me to bring you lettuce wraps they are small enough that they don’t ruin your appetite, or are we still waiting for my buddy?’
The father said ‘we are going to wait, and he isn’t you buddy. Frankly, you don’t know him; he’s a hardworking man and will be respected.’ Shocked, I said, ‘You’re right sir, forgive me.’ The dad continued by saying, ‘He actually has a real job.’ I then said, ‘I understand sir, it won’t happen again.’ As I was returning with their third refill, the son was arriving, and he so happened to be an old high school friend. Before taking his seat, he hugged me right in front of his dad. I looked at the father and said, ‘small world, huh, I can’t believe you’re my old buddy [name] ’s, family.’ It’s too bad that our restaurant didn’t serve crow.”
28. Recognizing Her From Earlier
“I used to work in a women’s shoe store, in an outlet mall, near a casino. One evening, a woman came in and bought shoes about an hour before we closed. The entire time she was rude, disrespectful, and left a mess everywhere she went. She even spilled coffee on me and didn’t apologize. She ended up at the register with three pairs of shoes, so I cash her out, and for some reason, her receipt didn’t print out. I had just started working there, so I had no idea why it didn’t print.
When I told her the receipt didn’t print she lost her mind, she told me I was a crook, and I did it on purpose so she couldn’t return the shoes if they didn’t fit, she also told me how I was going to burn in hell for being such a piece of poo person. When I told her not to talk to me that way, she said I was “getting too aggressive,” so she ran into the hall and grabbed a security guard near the casino. The security guard ended up recognizing her as a shoplifter from another store, detained her and had her arrested. It turns out she stole about $4000’ worth of merchandise from a few of the higher-end shops in the mall a week earlier.”
27. An Unexplainable Charge
“I was a bank worker, and I had a customer throwing a fit once because he saw a charge for $50 on his account and blames us for not keeping his account secure. He throws a fit that rages on for a half-hour, talking about how he is going to get his lawyers involved.
After getting a customer service representative involved, we discovered that he used the $50 for a male webcam service. I guess he must have forgotten about that.”
26. The Accidental Damage Protection Plan
“I was selling a woman a Nintendo 3DS for her son. While I was ringing her up, I had given the son the box because he was so happy to get his new toy. When it came time to talk about the accidental damage protection plan, she gave me an unreasonably hard time, making it sound like I accused her child of not being able to take care of his toys.
The second she was done talking, her child threw the box across the store into some shelves and knocked down a bunch of games. She bought the 4-year plan.”
25. My Guardian Angel
“I worked as the attendant at a self-checkout at a department store. A customer became irate when I told him that we could not accept a coupon that had expired more than six months ago, which he responded by calling me a ‘vapid hunt (you know what I mean).’
Neither he nor I knew up until that moment that my tall, muscular, highly protective older brother was standing in earshot. He grabbed the customer by the shoulder, spun him around by the back of his shirt, leaned down to get at his eye level and growled ‘WHAT did you just say to my little sister,’ right in his face. The dude practically pissed himself and ran out of the store.”
24. Making Sparks Fly
“I worked in an automotive parts store, and I had to inform a customer that he could not return the spark plugs he purchased due to him not having a receipt, the plugs being used for YEARS, and it was brand that we no longer sold.
He was irate, and he began to swear so much that it would make a longshoreman blush. Upon storming out of the store, he threw the loose spark plugs across the parking lot, striking another customers windshield and shattering it. The other customer saw and was not too pleased.”
23. Under the Wrong Name
“When I was a cashier at Borders (bookstore), I had this one customer that had either put something on reserve or had special ordered. She became very rude when I couldn’t find it and because I had to ask her multiple times what the name was.
After doing some digging, it turned out that it was placed under her husband’s name, so it wasn’t my fault I couldn’t find it at all. She didn’t apologize or anything, so it felt nice when I swiped her card, and it was declined. She felt so embarrassed that she just stormed off.”
22. The Pregnant Lady Near the Entrance
“This happened at a grocery store I worked at. One customer came in and had three entire carts of food all packed to the brim. She constantly complained about how slow we were and correcting us on bagging. She eventually proceeded to pay and walk out (two-baggers had to help her).
At that moment, a very pregnant woman standing next to her in the entryway projectile vomited onto the rude customer and much of her shopping. She lost her mind and ended up getting arrested for trying to attack a pregnant woman.”
21. Do You Know Those Girls?
“One day, these two young teenage girls came to my register in the store that I worked at. They had TONS of stuff, and I mean TONS and their total came out to a little under $1200. One of the girls paid with Apple Pay, and the whole time, they were giggling about how their dad was going to be so mad that they spent so much. The next day, a man comes up to me, screaming and yelling obscenities. I finally get him to calm down and gather that he’s upset because someone had stolen his credit card and shopped at my store. He was furious that we allowed the transaction to go through.
I ask him if he knows the amount that his card was charged, and he tells me a little under $1200, and it turned out to be the same amount that the girls had spent the day before. I then described the two girls and asked if they could be his daughters, making sure to mention that the older one paid with her phone. I have never seen a man go so pale before in my life. His face just stopped, lost all its color, and shut down.”
20. When It Hits Close to Home
“I was working in a pub the day the Thailand tsunami hit, and management decided to put a bucket behind the till to raise some money towards the relief. A massive prick regular tries to impress his friends by tipping me a drink to which I thank him, but suggest he instead puts the tip in the bucket to help with the tragedy. He lost it; he called me all sorts of names and then told me ‘why the hell should we help people in other countries anyway.’
Thirty minutes later, his phone rang, and he discovered that a close friend had been in the area of one of the beaches that were hit, and the outlook became grimmer as the day went on. Suddenly he seemed quite keen to add tips with each round. I felt a bit sorry for him, but he was an idiot.”
19. Sidewalk Karma
“I worked at a Robeks back when I was in high school (Robeks is smoothies/frozen yogurt, similar to Jamba Juice). From the second she walked in, not only was she rude to me but the entire staff, for no reason. After I made her smoothie, she took it and walked outside.
It wasn’t two seconds later that I saw through the window, she tripped a bit and dropped her smoothie, spilling it all over the sidewalk. She came back in demanding a free smoothie, but I made her pay for the replacement.”
18. Because It’s the Law!
“Working at a video game store, you get many customers asking for discounts, but not many have been as memorable as this lady that I am about to describe. She brings up two games for me to ring up, both of which have stickers saying they are $40. I scan the first one and find that it is actually coming up as $50, so I tell her, and she’s furious. Usually, I’m sympathetic and will try to find a way to give a discount, but before I can explain anything, she starts cursing up a storm and saying how it’s illegal to do that, and I HAVE to charge her the sticker price because it’s the law.
As she’s yelling at me, I scan the next game, and it comes up as $15. I start grinning wide and cut her off to say, ‘well, this game is coming up as only $15, but since IT’S THE LAW I have to charge you more.’ She starts huffing and demands she has it both ways (the first for $40, and the second for $15), and I stick with her ‘it’s the law!’ She left the store empty-handed.”
17. Flipping Me Off
“I worked at a well-known rent-a-car chain in a wealthy neighborhood. The customer, a bright yellow H2 owner, wanted an SUV that we couldn’t rent to him because it was reserved for someone else. He wanted an upgrade and needed to speak to the manager.
He started accusing me of sabotaging his weekend since I was a ‘foreigner in his land.’ After a coworker mentioned I was in the service for most of my twenties, he gave me a smug look when walking out, and he didn’t bother to get the Damage Waiver. He smashed into the fence on his way out while too busy flipping me off. Talk about instant karma.”
16. It Will Only Take A Minute
“I worked at a hardware store where customers would often park in front of the store in the fire lane because they insisted, they would ‘only be a minute.’ I told one guy he couldn’t park there, and he started giving me a tough time about how he does it all the time, and it’s fine.
After going back into the store, I look out the window, and there’s a cop writing him a ticket. It made me feel good.”
15. Leaving Something Behind
“A friend of mine worked in bottle shops, and it was a quiet night before two young girls came in and tried to steal a few bottles of alcohol.
During their daring escape on foot, one of them dropped her driver’s license. It ended up plastered all over Facebook, especially in my city’s online bartending community.”
14. Knock Yourself Out
“An older lady was pissed at me because we didn’t have any garlic powder at the Subway that I worked at, and she was also mad that I wouldn’t cut her meatballs in half. She was yelling, turning red in the face, the whole nine yards.
After I finish her sandwich, she slams her money down yelling she was going to call corporate as she was leaving. She walked right into the front door of the shop, almost knocking herself out. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen working at that store.”
13. Quarrelsome Thieves
“I watched two girls walk around my store, stealing for over an hour. After they finished the stealing, they went to the registers to purchase a couple of cheap items. For almost 30 minutes the girls argued with the cashier and the front-end manager about some coupons and other trivial things all the while swearing and calling the cashier a stupid ‘trucker.’
Finally done they go to leave, and my partner and I stop them and bring them to the office. Since they were girls, we had to have a female present in the office. Imagine their surprise to see the same cashier they’d been cursing enter the room to watch them get arrested.”
12. Would You Like Some Ice For That?
“When I was sixteen, I worked at an ice cream shop that may or may not rhyme with Bold Drone. A lady came in with her 9 to 10-year-old son, as she was ordering she gets a phone call and proceeds to take it. I’m just sitting behind the counter staring at her as she’s talking. She begins to order while still talking on the phone.
I ask her politely if she could stop using her phone as it is hard to understand what she is saying. She freaks out on me and rushes to go out the door giving me the finger and calling me a prick. As she’s walking out, she trips over a chair that someone moved back and lands right on her face. I offered her some ice for her smashed nose.”
11. Dropping the Box
“I work at Dominos as a delivery driver, when one evening, a large order, about 125 bucks came in. After taking it there, I was angered when I got no tip, but I couldn’t go off on him or anything, so I kept quiet.
The guy must have known what I was thinking based on my look because he looked at me and said, ‘yeah, I didn’t give you a tip, I ordered a lot so why should I?’ He turns around to leave and drops five boxes of pizza all over the floor. I was laughing my butt off as he slammed the door shut.”
10. Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot
“I work for Starbucks. We get all sorts of characters, but this one stands out in my mind. A rude customer came in, and after getting his coffee, he began to complain that his coffee was not hot, and he wanted a refund. As he proceeded to slam the cup down on the counter saying, ‘the cup doesn’t feel hot enough’ (well, that is because, in order to prevent you from burning your hands, we double cupped it and put a sleeve on it).
It exploded all over his hands, and he was jumping around yelling ‘HOT, HOT, HOT, HOT, HOT!!!’ One of our regulars, a lovely old lady, watching all this happen, said ‘It is hot enough now isn’t it?’ He yelled some insults at her and left the store after threatening to sue the store.”
9. Carpark Comeback
“I had a woman come out of a theater and start scolding me when I would not refund her the ticket money because there were only 15 minutes left in the movie. By the time she was done informing me that I was nothing compared to her kids, and how I must be “retarded” because I worked there.
She then left the building and right when she entered the parking lot, which is not our responsibility, she fell face-first into the concrete and busted her face up. I called security for her, and that’s all. The security guard told me she kept saying she was going to sue, which I hope she did because if she tried to sue us, she would waste her money then lose.”
8. Forgetting to Hit The Breaks
“I work in the biggest gas station in my city, and I see rude customers all the time. Living in southern Texas, a lot of racists come in and say terrible stuff, but this one time aimed at me. Mind you, I’m half white and half Hispanic but look 100% white. This guy was freaking out because he didn’t want a Mexican to help him at the checkout.
He finishes pumping gas, and he forgets that he has the hose in his oversized truck. He drives and rips the hose completely off. In his shock, he forgot to hit his breaks and rimmed right into three parked cars. I ran outside to make sure everyone was okay, including him.”
7. Yelling For Too Long
“This happened when I was working as a sales rep at Sears in the home improvement department. A customer walked in, yelling about his lawnmower not working. He wheeled the lawnmower in, and even though he said it was a month old, it looked like he had it for a decade.
He spent 20 minutes screaming at one of the nicest guys in our department and then another 30 minutes yelling at my manager. During his rant, the local police came in and told him that his car was being towed for parking in a fire lane.”
6. Don’t Go To Her Hospital
“I work at a restaurant in a city located on the ground floor of a hotel, which we lease from the same hotel. We also have to share the parking lot. The hotel employs a tow truck driver to tow people who park illegally or park in the parking lot and try and leave their cars there for extended periods of time that aren’t customers. Well, one day, a nurse gets her car towed, and she comes in and starts freaking out about it.
She gets ahold of the driver, and he won’t give her the car back without paying her fee, and she says, ‘if you ever come into my hospital, I’ll let you die,’ and storms out. Well, she comes back a few minutes later and says her purse, which she needs to pay the fee, is in her car. So, the driver says that’s an additional $50. The nurse ends up having to pay over $200 to get her car back when it was all said and done and after I was talking to the tow truck driver and he said if she weren’t so rude, he would’ve happily let her retrieve her purse for free.”
5. Turning Up The Heat
“I was flying from Calgary to Chicago, and this angry drunk Irish guy was complaining to the poor stewardess that the plane was too cold. So, she tells him she’ll ask the pilot to turn up the heat.
A few minutes later, while she was passing out coffee (this was in first-class) to the drunk, the plane banked a little to the left, and she spilled hot coffee for the guy. I thought to myself, ‘turn up the heat, right?’”
4. Can I Have That Back?
“Former food server here. Four teenagers sat in my section, and after making a mess, they threw attitude and tipped me $3 on a $50 bill. After they leave, I notice a retainer on the table. Oops, it fell in the trash.
Not 5 minutes later, the kids came back, not only looking for the retainer but also wanting their tip money back because they were $3 short of buying movie tickets. I handed them back their three dollar bills and smiled as I told them I hadn’t seen their retainer, but I’d keep looking.”
3. The Bottom of the Totem Pole
“I work in a makeup store where I manage the makeover appointments. A lady came in well over 30 mins past her appointment time, and I told her that due to her lateness, we couldn’t do her full face.
She got very agitated and began talking down to me about how I’m just the bottom of the totem pole servant and to grab my manager. You can imagine her surprise when I got to say, ‘Well, I AM the manager, and we won’t be taking your appointment today…or any other day.’”
2. Paying the Price
“When I worked in a big box home improvement store, we had a customer who claimed the price on the door he was buying was far lower than the amount that rang up on the register. We were obliged by local law to sell it for that price is the item was mislabeled. A fellow employee checked – it wasn’t mislabeled, but the manager caved and gave him the price.
He was the last customer before my break, so I went outside for a smoke. He had the door on one of the lumber carts. When he tried to load it, the cart rolled down the slight slope in our parking and hit the concrete drainage channel. The door slid off, hit the ground, and was promptly run over by a truck. He tried to return it, and this time a different manager didn’t give in. Had to pay full price for a second door.”
1. Private Information
“I work at an airport in Canada. I was helping a lady out at our automated border control machines. She’s hassling me, grabbing my arm, swearing and saying how useless everyone is. It turns out that she filled out her customs declaration card wrong, which is why the machine wasn’t accepting it.
She also tried to use the machine without her passport because ‘it contains private information that no one else has to know.’ She eventually gets through the process with my help and lines up to exit. The border officers immediately pull her into Secondary (where they examine your bags and question you) and she leaves an hour later, missing her connection.”