For retail workers, the woes are usually gone when those angry customers walk through the exit door.
But sometimes they come back, and their reasons are beyond belief. Check out 21 of the absolute nuttiest reasons that a customer came back to return a product!
1. I had a woman want to return a pizza because it was delivered to her ‘too hot’.
2. One time we had a guy try to return a camp toilet/potty thing claiming it had collapsed after it had been used. He brought it back in a garbage bag, and judging from the smell, it was still…full.
We didn’t know what to do. No one was going to be checking inside that bag. So the manager at the time refunded him just to get him out of there, on the condition he disposed of the bag himself. He kept trying to put the bag up on the counter and open it up so we could see.
3. “Not as described”
It was a necklace featuring a word in a script font hanging on a chain. The customer’s complaint was that in the photos you could see the word when the model was wearing it, but when she tried hers on she could only see the word when looking in the mirror.
Yeah, she was wearing it backwards.
4. Guy tried to return flowers a week later because “they had died”.
Our flowers do not have any kind of “will last 5 days” guarantee or anything.
Called my manager and the customer argued with him for over half an hour about his 2 bouquet of flowers. My manager just sat there completely deadpan and every time the guy stopped talking said simply “I’m not refunding you for dead flowers”.
When the guy eventually left (throwing his flowers on the floor) my boss cracked up and couldn’t stop laughing for several minutes.
5. Not really sure if this counts but I’ve had a couple of people try to scam me by returning eBay items I sold them. Before I sell something I always take photos of the model number(s) and small unique marks that tell me that item is 100% my item.
I sold somebody my old Nintendo Wii which worked perfectly fine and they claimed it was broken and wouldn’t run any discs. I told them they could send it back to me and I’d test it and give a refund if this were the case. I also mentioned I had photos of the exact Wii I sold them so I’d know if they were swapping it with a broken one to get their money back. They never replied or sent the Wii back.
Perhaps not a crazy story but still pretty weird that people go through all that effort to send you back a swapped item.
6. The chicken she bought expired six days after she bought it, and she brought it back complaining. Who would’ve thought raw chicken would expire within a week?
7. I used to be friends with a woman who took a part-time job at a sex toy shop around the holiday season. She said the funniest exchange came when she was working on a Saturday with a guy who was pretty outgoing.
In short, a guy came in with an open box of some type of extremely large specialty condoms that were sold there and tried to return them specifically to her because they were “too small”. Being new, she asked her coworker for help. So he pranced over, looked at the box, took a condom out of it, opened it up, and then proceeded to stretch it around his fist and all the way up to his elbow.
Then he looked at the customer and said, “If these are too small, then why don’t you come by my place later?”
8. A guy ate a taco twelve pack, then wanted me to refund it because it didn’t look like the picture.
9. When I worked at Target in high school I was doing the customer service desk and this woman came in and returned five of the DiGiorno frozen pizza/giant cookie cakes. They were all thawed and in soggy boxes and told me the reason is that they didn’t cook all the way through…
Now I’ve eaten a lot of frozen pizza in my day and I’ve never seen one that didn’t cook all the way through, you may need to adjust times a bit but I think as an adult she should have been able to figure that out. Also, who buys that many of the same frozen pizza without knowing if they like it/having it before?
But it’s Target so we return whatever, I mark it for disposal, make a comment to the other person working the desk about what just happened, laughed for a second, and then moved on to the next person.
10. A woman tried to return a three year old working grass cutter because her fingers had become too weak to pry open the case where the nylon cutter goes. We had tried for 20 minutes to make the case easier to open, but she wasn’t satisfied.
She also had no receipt, and expected us to locate it on our network through her membership. When we told her she couldn’t possibly get a refund, she got mad and called us useless.
11. A couple months ago I was in Olive Garden and the lady at the table next to me sent her food back because it “didn’t look the same as the photo of it in the menu” and then refused another entree, because she “doesn’t know what they would do to it back there”.
The woman ordered something that was stuffed with cheese and mushrooms. The cheese melted and, as cheese does when in liquid form, did not stay neatly inside the chicken breast or whatever it was. She was upset about the physics of cheese.
12. The other day, someone returned a birthday cake because it was stale. Was still in date and unopened. Somehow they knew it was stale without touching or tasting it.
13. I’ve got a few:
Woman wanted to return some meat she had bought about a week prior, complaining it had gone bad.
A dude wanted to return his watermelon because it smelled funny. The watermelon came from another store (we could tell by the little sticker). He handed me a receipt…from a different store.
A guy tried to return about 100$ worth of meat that had been for a party that got cancelled. We saw him on camera put the meat in his cart, then walk up to the customer service desk to “return” it.
14. This just happened the other day and it’s somewhat amusing so I’ll post it. We have a local store called “Bargain Bin” that buys lots of returned items and such from other stores.
I bought something the other day from there that still had the little return slip taped to it. One of those hard plastic packages that you practically injure yourself trying to open. It had cut marks, stab marks and the plastic was melted in a spot but it was still unopened. Reason returned?
“Customer did not like the way it was packaged.”
15. I worked at Taco Bell in high school. A lady ordered a bunch of tacos and such and asked for salt packets. I forgot to put them in the bag cause who puts salt on tacos. She came back an hour later with a bag of cold food demanding we give her new food for free because she didn’t get her salt packets and she had to drive all the way back.
16. When returning tillers (or any yard equipment) and it is scratched all to hell with dirt all over it and saying ” It is not doing what I need it to”, also known as “you are done with what you needed it for.”
17. I used to work at a McDonald’s.
One time, someone ordered a tea with an absolutely absurd amount of milk. I don’t remember exactly how much, but the cup was basically half-filled with milk before I poured the hot water in. She sat down, sipped it once, and then demanded a refund because her tea was lukewarm.
Another time, a woman ordered a meal with fries. When we gave her the meal, she said, “I’ll be right back” and then went off to the washroom. About ten minutes later she comes back, picks up her meal, and then complains that her fries are cold.
Thermal equilibrium, everybody!
18. This woman returned a rockmelon (cantaloupe) because she said that it was giving off a radioactive smell.
Also she returned some blue berries because apparently they were leaking poison. Yeah she didn’t know that water builds up at the bottom of the packet when you take it out of the fridge.
19. “So um, I bought a beef joint a few weeks ago, and put it in the freezer. I took it out of the freezer yesterday and then realized it said ‘unsuitable for freezing’ so I threw it out. Can I get a refund on that?”
No, but thanks for trying!
20. I used to work at a homeware/hardware store. This guy came in with this dirty electric kettle that was clearly some years old and covered in limescale. We had a one year guarantee on our electrical items, and the receipt which, yes, he still had told us he bought the kettle three years prior. When my manager explains to him that he can’t get a new kettle since it’s past it’s warranty and clearly in a well-used state, this guy flips, saying “Well, what does the warranty have to do with anything?” He swore at my manager and demanded that he give him his name so he could write to the CEO of the company to complain, which my manager refused to do. I think my manager had to ask him to leave, before which another customer says to the guy “You’re a pathetic worm of a man” or something along those lines, which made my day.
21. I worked a pet store and this couple came in to try and “return” their puppy they had bought a few days prior because they were under the impression that they came pre-house broken. At eight weeks old.
22. I worked for a cell phone company back in 1999 when they still sold pagers. One of my customers came in wanting to return the pager because it stopped working. He didn’t realize you had to change the batteries in it. Not sure how he thought the thing was powered.
23. The store I used to work at always had a “Buy one, get one half off” sale. So if each shirt was $20, the next was ten. Some people thought they were really clever and would buy two shirts, then return one, expecting $20 back. Nope. You get $10 back, since you’re only technically buying one at that point. People were PISSED.
24. Waiting tables 20 plus years ago and two ladies each order a glass of the Zinfandel. I bring out the only Zinfandel we have it is a dark almost black red wine. They both drink it then complain that I brought them the wrong wine and that it should be pink in colour like a “white Zinfandel.” I stand my ground and show them the bottle that it comes in. It is clearly dark and not pink. They then claim that the wine is defective. Manager walks up to them and tells them the way it is and we would have been happy to replace the original glasses of wine but because they drank them they were out of luck.
25. I worked at Sephora and a lady wanted to return a moisturizer because it was empty. Not because she BOUGHT it empty, but because she went home, used it everyday but now it’s empty. Like, it was meant to be some sort of never ending supply of moisturizer for $30.
It took an hour to explain why we couldn’t return the product.
26. We had a regular come in and whenever there was a woman in customer service, he’d try to return an opened box of condoms with the excuse: “they were too small and he needed to exchange them for the Magnums” instead.
We let him do it once but then once it became an obvious habit and pick-up line, no more.
27. I used to work for a big food branch in UK. A custome bought an avocado wrap, ate half of it (note that the wrap comes cut in two pieces) and then, came to the counter and said “Excuse, but this wrap tastes like…. green”
My team leader took me aside knowing that I was about to explode, apologised to the customer and then proceeded to gave ANOTHER avocado wrap to the customer, who put it on a her bag, and then left the place… I hate when people do this, no matter what. Lying or complaining just to get something for free is not right.
Complain with reason, and you will get what you actually need/deserve, that simple.
28. We have a customer who will not give us her apt number (I deliver pizza). We can’t get ahold of her, we go back to the store, she calls complaining about her food being late, and my pushover boss gives it to her for free. Rinse and repeat.
Well one day he sees her calling and he knows where the apt is this time (she had previously ordered infrequently enough to stay under the radar. He got the pizza there in 20 minutes, to her astonishment. She still asked if she was getting it for free.
29. Last year, when I was still working at a grocery store, an older couple came in and went straight to the service desk. They tried to return a loaf of bread because they found mold on it.
They totally would’ve been able to exchange it for a new loaf had they not eaten all but three slices. The date on their receipt was from two weeks before.
30. Lady tried to $60 worth of steak with no receipt, 3 months after it had expired, saying that they had been frozen right after they were bought. They were rotten as fuck, supervisor said no so she asked for a manager, manager said no, she cursed up a storm so loud people could hear here in the back of the store. She’s banned, almost got arrested.
31. “The machine is not working fine, we’re not happy with the production yield so we’re giving it back and we’re not gonna pay a dime for it”.
This said of a 120k machine for anti-reflex coating. After the customer used it at full regime (this means 24/7) for two years. And modified almost ALL parts of it. We took the machine back and ceased all communication with this customer.
32. My friend’s parents owned a mom-pop/fast food/chicken shop in a bad part of the city, and he sometimes worked there to help out. He told me of this one customer that bought a combo meal that included fried chicken, french fries, and coke. Whatever he didn’t finish, he brought back for a refund. It ended up being like leftover ice from the drink and a half eaten chicken thigh.
When my friend told the customer that they don’t refund leftovers, the customer was pissed… yelling/shouting. Just to get the crazy guy out of there, he gave him a partial refund of a dollar.
33. When I worked on a deli in a large supermarket we had massive Melton Mowbray pork pies on sale before christmas that cost around 10 quid (they were huge). After Christmas we have to reduce these right down as we have a lot left and one day this lady comes in demanding that we reduce her pork pie – that she bought before Christmas – because it was now reduced down. I was gobsmacked when management refunded the difference , I didn’t realise you could just go into a shop and dictate how much you want to pay for something after you already bought it!
34. Had an old dude come in yelling with another companies catalogue one day and the phone one of my coworkers had given him. The guy was pissed because it wasn’t the exact phone in the catalogue he had, and we didn’t have that exact model. The model was a brand only sold by the other company, when I mentioned this to the customer he kept waving the catalogue in my face and saying “no it’s not, it’s here in your catalogue” and when I pointed out that it was not our catalogue but a different store’s he got pissed and demanded to speak to a manager.
35. I work in a grocery store. I hear I lot of crazy reasons for refunds, but nothing is like the time customer came up to our customer service desk and said that she wanted to refund a whole bag full of items. We generally ask for a reason so we can decide what to do with the product once it is returned. I ask her – and she said: “I forgot I don’t have a fridge” How do you forget you don’t have a fridge!?