Monday, July 17, 2006

Crazy bike lady

The one was a peach. The crazy people were out in force all weekend. Does anyone know if it was a full moon on 7/15 and 7/16?

I call this one the crazy bike lady, because she was crazy for thinking she was going to pull this off AND crazy in the sense that she need a padded room.

It is like 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon, and the rush has begun. ON PAIN OF DEATH, do not hit a SuperCenter on a Sunday afternoon after 2 p.m. by the time you want to check out, the lines will be horrendous.

She rolls this NASTY bike up to the service desk, then she start unpacking this bag FULL of stuff. She tosses a seat cover, a water bottle, a light kit and other stuff up on the counter. All the accessories are new, but the seat cover is so worn out that I can barely make out the logo on the back of it. The bike is ten times worse.

The spokes are rusted. So is the chain. The handlebars look like they've been broken and welded back together. The woman herself doesn't look like she does too much bike riding. I don't know why the seat is so worn, but I suspect the bike itself has been propped against a door for at least six months.

So she starts her sob story. "The brakes on this bike are bad. I bought it on July 10. (A freaking week ago? Where did you ride it? Through the Kalahari Desert?) It almost threw me off and got me killed. The seat cover hurts my butt. (Yes, she used the word butt, although ample rear end would have been a better description. J Lo has less junk in her trunk) And the light kit doesn't work. She's still going.

I finally manage to cut her off. "Do you have the receipt ma'am?"

Of course not. "But I bought it just a week ago," she chirps. "There's one just like over there now."

I sigh internally, because I KNOW she's an idiot who hasn't ridden this bike within 90 days, much less BOUGHT one within 90 days. But I can't prove that.

"OK ma'am. I need you to go get that other bike. I also need you go get me a seat cover and all the other accessories so I know how much credit to give you. I'll also need your drivers license when you get back. We can give you a store credit for all of this." Remember this. I was making an incredibly generous offer.

This was her REMARKABLY foolish reply. "I don't want a credit. This bike is junk. I want cash." Ohhhhhhhh honey. You just sealed your doom. See. You could have gotten away by dealing with just me. Once you screw around and have me call some else, they're know you're running game.

So I called a supervisor who I knew would call her on trying to return this rusted bike. Her story changed. This was version two. "I've bought three bikes here. I bought this bike a month ago. There's something wrong with it."

My supervisor is like "We cannot refund this without the receipt. We will repair it but we will not refund it. We will not even give you a credit on it. We are also not going to refund any of the accessories because they have obviously been used."

At that point, she started to go somewhat ballistic. "So you're telling me you can't do anything?" My supervisor told her again "The bike is obviously very used. It is rusted all over. We will repair it for you. We are not going to refund it or give you a credit for it. Do you want us to repair it?"

She goes a bit more toward ballistic. "I want a manager, NOW." That's fine ma'am. He calls one on the radio and walks away.

There were only two on Sunday afternoon -- and it took like 15 minutes for this one to get up there. She tried everything she could to get this. "Do you know where he is and I will go see him?" "My father is in a big hurry." "I really need to go." Well, you ought to have taken what I offered you the first time, witch.

And this is the best part. When the manager got up there, it was one that has been pretty good about standing up for stuff. He looked at the bike, looked at her, and was like "What's this?"

This is version three of her story. "I spend hundreds of dollars here every month. I bought this bike two months ago. I want my money back on it."

He tells her "Ma'am, there's rust all over the bike. It is in very poor condition. The paint is even coming off. It looks more than two months old."

Then she brings out the hysterical tears. "So you're saying that although I bought three bikes and I spent thousands of dollars at Wal-Mart you're not going to take care of me just this once?"

He goes "No ma'am, we can't help you with this particular bike. If you find the receipt, we'd be happy to."

She takes Daddy and stomps off in a cloud of tears.

After she left, this Haitian woman sitting on one of the benches waiting for her sister to call with a MoneyGram number told the manager. "I see whole thing. She lie every time. Always change. She tell many stories. That bike very old. She lie, lie, lie." I just laughed.

I think it was particularly telling that during the ENTIRE experience this woman's father (he wasn't too old, she was maybe 45-50) NEVER SAID A WORD. I think he KNEW that his daughter was dishonest cow and that he had enabled her growing up and was ashamed to see her in action. He didn't even offer to help her argue. Of course, maybe he had Alzheimer's.


FARfetched said...

Hooray, one in the 'win' column!

Anonymous said...

I'm an Office Staff at Publix (ya, ya, sure, we have it sooo easy), but those few managers who actually hold their ground and don't cave in are really the best! I loving reading your blog because I can relate with so many of your stories.

paulo said...

After reading so many of your stories of idiots getting away with ridiculous scams, this one really brought a smile to my face.

Anonymous said...

I swear if you were in another state, I would think that a distant relative was running a scam on you. Don't know how you put up with it. A

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Someone in USA said...
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Someone in USA said...

Were you honestly going to go ahead with the return without calling a supervisor? I suppose the register would prompt one anyway when you processed the transaction, but I would be having a serious discussion with any service desk associate that would let it get to that point.

Anonymous said...

I am also an Office Staff at Publix and we too have a crazy bike lady, but she parks her bike behind our customer service counter because she thinks she's special, and she buys all organic things then complains that they are too expensive or priced wrong. We ALWAYS walk her to the product and prove her wrong, yet she keeps coming back. She's trashy and very strange. Why is it these people haunt retail stores??