Thursday, July 13, 2006

But it was actually cheaper

"Your cashier charged me the wrong price for these swimsuits."

I can't tell you how many conversations I have on any give day that start off this way. It is usually "women of a certain age" and income level who start off every conversation as if they were negotiating the peace of Versailles and they were the ones who not only won the war but were holding an sharp ax to the head of the chief diplomat threatening that if he didn't sign the document, his wife and child would get the chop.

Now, for starters, the cashiers at the store I work at are barely competent to run the register, much less OVERCHARGE you for something. What usually happens is that the merchandise supervisor or department manager does the price change and changes the shelf label and then forgets to change it in the computer or there is a computer glitch.

Also, especially in the clothes, people move stuff around ALL THE TIME.

Customer 1: "I think I'lll take these pants for $15. Ohhh, these are only $11. I'll just leave these $15 pants here and put the $11 ones in my cart."

An hour later, Customer 2 comes by. Khaki pants are khaki pants. She doesn't know that Mary Lamebrain laid an expensive pair down on a discount table. So she gets all offended when she is "overcharged" for the pants — EVEN THOUGH THE STORE DID NOTHING WRONG.

Now Wal-Mart, because the corporation as a whole values the stupidity dollar more than the souls of its workers, will usually honor these type of price "confusions," especially if the difference is under $10. After all, the average markup on anything bigger than a light bulb is about 65%. Yeah, you read that right. Always low prices my @#$%@#$.

Anyway. This cow is all up in my face screeching that she got "overcharged" for two swimsuits.

She's going on and on and on. "I want my money back. I don't understand how she did that. I told her it was $13.78, not $15.97. I told her and she still rang it up wrong."

I finally pry the receipt out of her hand. And then the fun starts.

Sure enough, one swimsuit was rung up for $15.97. That's not a problem, although all that summer mess is NOT on sale at the moment and it probably just got on the wrong rack.

It's the OTHER swimsuit that's the good one. "Ma'am, she didn't overcharge you for the second swimsuit." She's not even listening to me.

"I want to pay the correct price for both swimsuits. I have a problem every time I come in here." She's not even listening to me.

On her receipt, this receipt that she is convinced she was "overcharged" on, the girl rang up the second swimsuit at $13.10. I tell the woman this, and I add "Ma'am, she even gave you more of a discount on the second suit. Was there some sort of confusion at the register?" I don't know where the ten cents came from. I think the girl might have made a typo.

She's so lost in her own world of "being cheated" that she snarls at me again "I want to pay the correct price for BOTH suits. I was overcharged on BOTH suits and I want my money back." She's still not listening to me.

I'm gamely wade back in. "Ma,am, you were NOT overcharged on the second swimsuit. It is no problem for me to give you the price difference on the first swimsuit. You only paid $13.10 for the second one, which is less than the $13.78 you say they were on the rack."

She's still not listening. "What about the second swimsuit."

I try again, and I see the woman behind her looking at this woman like "Are you that stupid, you witch, you really don't get it, do you?" "Ma,am, you only paid $13 for the second swimsuit. Are you telling me that you want to pay MORE for it?"

Finally, the words "PAY MORE" penetrate her addled brain and she shuts up. I give her back about three dollars and she leaves.

The next woman comes up, smiles at me and says "Some people ..."


Lindsay said...

NO sh*t... some people!
Do you just sit at your job and laugh silently to your self about certain customers the entire shift??? I mean some of the people all Walmart are a site to be scene!
You are a brave soul!! I love everything you write and so does anyone I pass your link on to!
you need to write a book like a Walmart Journal... it would surely get you the big bucks!

Anonymous said...

Thought you might like to know...

Report: Wal-Mart loosens shoplifting policy.
No. 1 retailer will only press charges if shoplifters take at least $25, in change to zero-tolerance policy.
Link to Cnn

Anonymous said...

I think sometimes people just want to be heard. They feel invisible in these big corporate giant stores. It's more about letting someone know they are people and not invisible dollar signs.

paulo said...

You should have complied with her request to pay the correct price for both. That would have been comedy gold.

FARfetched said...

People don't just leave stuff wherever at Walmart. On a couple of occasions, we've come close to buying something that was more expensive than what's labelled on the rack. We always try to check the price tags nowadays.

When The Boy worked at a Kroger (supermarket), one of the more irritating aspects of his job was finding stuff that people would take out of their carts and put on the nearest shelf, regardless of where it belonged. It bothered him so much that he would put things back even when he was off the clock, just there getting groceries with us.

Verification word: "owfogmg," which was probably what went through this woman's mind when you said "pay more."