28 Funny Ways Customers Tried to Scam Retail Workers

There’s always going to be a customer who thinks they can beat the system, and hey, sometimes it works. Plenty of people have done the old clothing-tag switcheroo to pay less or conveniently forgotten to scan an item at self-checkout. But on occasion, a customer declares themself a retail-scamming genius and rewrites the script completely. Like the guy in South Carolina who called into customer service on September 12, 2001 to claim that his weed wacker was in the Twin Towers the day before and needed to be replaced under warranty. 

These are the kinds of bozo stories that Reddit’s retail workers have hilariously regaled us with, and they include a tech mogul mix-up and an attempted rotisserie chicken return.


whyhellotherem8e в 2y ago I work at a gas station. A woman said that her card wasn't working at the pump and so she wanted to pay inside. She pumped the pre-pay amount. Even had her on camera pumping the gas (and not using her card at the pump) she then proceeds to come back inside saying she got her card working at the pump and demanded her prepaid money back. First off that's not even possible when you prepay inside. Second off: I watched her pump the gas. The camera saw it too. 5 Reply Share ...


blindskate101 6y ago I was working at a place that has soft serve as a part of the menu. I was working one day and a lady came up to the counter and said something along the lines of 'hey I'm really sorry my daughter dropped her ice cream and she's really sad about it, do u think u could give me another?' I was about to then realized an important fact: the ice cream was broken that day and we weren't selling any. I looked back at her and told her that it must not be from us because


ShadyLady709Q49 6y ago Edited 6y ago At my old job, they used to have sales pretty often and would also give out coupons for specific dates. For Boxing Day, they had a 30% off sale and we'd also given out coupons that would start the next day. Lady comes in on Boxing Day and we worked out that she'd get more of a deal if she used the coupon instead, so I offered to hold her items for her. I explicitly told her that she wouldn't be able to get the 30% off and she decided to use the coupon


Awit1992 6y ago Worked at Aldi which has a return policy where you get your money back + get to pick an item of equal or lesser value. One customer routinely returned a gallon of milk with just a quarter remaining claiming it was rancid. He'd then get a new gallon and his money back. This went on almost daily for 2 weeks until the DM finally put his foot down. Aldi will do ANYTHING to please the customer. It's insane. 322 Share ...


Perschnickity 6y ago A woman came in, grabbed an herb- roasted rotisserie chicken, moseyed over to the casual seating, ate 85% of it with her bare hands, then brought the carcass to customer service and tried to return it. Share 13K ...


Yeah_its_you 6y ago I had a woman try to return something without the item. When I told her I could in no way do that, she brought something up to me and was like it was one of these, can you return it. She tried so hard to get me to return something she said she would bring in later if I gave her her money back then. It was ridiculous. 68 Share ...


spraynard_kreuger . 6y ago Worked at a gas station. A guy came in, grabbed a footlong sub from the sandwich case, opened it up, then pulled out his own hair and stuffed it in the sandwich. Не came up to the register and demanded a refund... 9 Share ...


schweinerneer13 6y ago We don't deliver the pizzas we make, it's carryout only. Had a customer call and have a long/angry conversation with me because I wouldn't deliver to her. She proceeds to say (a couple times) you must be new here. I know the owner personally, to which I responded well I'm the owners daughter and we don't deliver. 18K Share ...


MateriaBubbles 6y ago A customer brought back a jumpsuit for a refund because it had shit in it. Apparently it had been like that when she bought it. It stank so bad that you could smell it through the taped up plastic bags that she had put it in. The levels of how impossible that would have been to be unnoticed by changing room staff, to then be put on the shop floor, to then be picked up by the customer , to being bought via a cashier still unnoticed. The worst part is some idiot on the refunds counter downstairs


RudgerZ 6y ago I used to work a game store a little more than 10 years ago. Once had a woman come in dressed fairly trendy and ask for 2 PlayStation Portables (PSP), 2 Xbox 360s, and a handful of games and accessories. My store was pretty slow so this would be a pretty big sale for the day and I was excited about it. She goes to pay and hands me a credit card which was not laminated and appeared to be printed out on a home color printer. I told her it wouldn't work and she said just


coydog33 в 6y ago Idiot comes in with a coupon for a free iPod. Fine print says Guaranteed and payable by Bill Gates. I asked why would Bill Gates guarantee and Apple product. Idiot left. Share 1.4K ...


[deleted] 6y ago Had a customer return a vacuum cleaner once, my supervisor did the return thankfully. The box went back on the floor unchecked. The next customer who wanted to buy it checked it out before they went to the register. The whole fucking thing had been replaced with a catering size tin of beetroot. Share 9K ...


Valhallan1984 6y ago Sold a guy a phone years ago when I worked for a wireless carrier. Spent an hour getting all his information transferred and set up his new phone. Не comes in the next day with a shattered screen. Apparently he didn't remember that I was the rep who helped him and proceeded to tell me that is how it looked when he left the store. Needless to say the phone was not replaced. 14K Share ...


Nightmare_Gerbil 6y ago September 12, 2001. USA. A guy in Spartanburg South Carolina calls and says that his weed trimmer was in the twin towers in NYC the day before and got destroyed by terrorists. And demanded I replace it under warranty. 3.7K Share ...


luvmuz 2y ago This is a scam that was pulled and possibly could still be happening now. When I worked at @V$, there was a guy who instead of begging for money would ask for specific items in our store. Не would get someone to buy big packs of paper towels, toilet tissue paper, diapers, or detergents. Then he would get the receipt and then take it to another store for a return for cash or their store brand gift card. Не would do this maybe a couple times a day for multiple days a week. Since it was a


AtelesJubatus 6y ago Worked in a bottle shop. One afternoon a shady character entered and spent 10 minutes browsing the liquor section. I stayed at the checkout and watched him on the CCTV. Не ended up shoving two bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue down his pants and walked out. Store policy is not to confront shoplifters; that's what insurance is for. I called the police and burnt the footage onto a DVD for them to collect. About an hour later the same guy returns with the bottles demanding a cash refund because he 'purchased the wrong type'. Just as I


Pineapple_Pistol 6y ago Years ago I worked at a Walmart and this guy comes in trying to return his Wii that doesn't work. I just bought this for my kids last week and it's already broken but they won't take it back because I lost my receipt. The Wii in question was the most beat up and disgusting looking Gamecube I have ever seen, like he found it in a landfill or something. I should also point out that I wasn't working the return desk or even a cashier. I was stocking the food department. Turns out he was trying


CadeRooney 6y ago I was working customer service and part of my job is to answer any incoming phone calls. We get a call and the guy on the phone identifies himself as technical support. Не tells me that he wants to update our systems and to do this I need to follow his instructions. I obviously knew this was a scam but decided to play along. Не tells me to login in to our computer ring up a gift card for $100 and say he paid cash, then he wanted me to recite the gift card number for him


peezuhparty 6y ago I was once at Little Caesars and this lady came in with her pizza box and proceeded to tell the cashier that she bought the pizza yesterday and it was burnt and she wanted a new one. There were 2 slices left, and it was a day old. They still gave her a new pizza. Not worth the fight for a $5 hot n ready haha. 10 Share ...


saucebald 6y ago I worked at Arby's, and our store was getting a remodel, so we were closed for a week. We were all there one day during that week to help get ready to open, and someone called saying they came through the drive thru yesterday and that we screwed up their order and that they want us to remake it for free. The manager who answered told him that we've been closed for a week, and he had to keep himself from laughing. 14 Share ...


i-guess-so- o 6y ago Once I saw someone trying to return an empty 10 lb bag of ice because it had melted too quickly. 5 Share ...


PoolAddict41 6y ago I had a customer come to purchase some stuff, and they had found a coupon from 3 years ago on Google Images for 50% off whole purchase. I told her I can't do that, and the only one we had going at the time was not viable for her purchase. She yelled stupid loud, stormed out cursing, and I felt good. She emailed corprate, and I got in trouble for making her upset... 3.8K Share ...


FinsterHall 6y ago I worked in a grocery store. One night, a guy keeps walking back and forth in front of the doors, kind of jerking a plastic bag. Finally, about his third try, a big jug of wine breaks through the bottom of the bag and smashes right in front of the doors. Не starts yelling that our bags are crap and we better get him another bottle. I walked him outside and told him we couldn't replace it because we didn't have any wine jugs filled with black cherry kool-aid. No, Paisano doesn't smell like that. 85 Share


Straight_Ace 1y ago Just yesterday I had a guy try to hand me several counterfeit $100s. Right before he handed me the very obviously fake bills he said oh have you had counterfeiters in here before? 1 Reply Share ...


mayorcallaghan 2y ago Homie pulled up 5 minutes before we closed looking to buy 2 iPads. It was mid August, a 90 degree night. Не comes up to my register wearing a black hoodie, black sweatpants, black baseball hat, and sunglasses at 11pm. I ring up his two iPads with the total just over $1,000. Не hands me a $100 Visa gift card. When I ask him how he'd like to pay the remaining balance he says it's okay, you can put it all on that card. The register has a security feature where if the balance is above a


kiwikitchencup 2y ago me, a cashier at a grocery store ringing a man up, and him proceeding to ask in the most serious tone if we offered a sexy discount......mind you this man was atleast 50....with his wife next to him. neither were laughing too??? i was so confused .. 3 Reply Share ...


Thatguyeatingcheetos 2y ago As of now, A guy came in late at night (closing time) and got 250 dollars worth of groceries and tried scanning all of the groceries as kool-aid packets and erasers. We told him off in the nicest way possible there and then. Не then tried doing the same thing next day and was promptly arrested. 1 Reply Share ...


ampmetaphene 6y ago Oh boy, back in highschool when I worked part time at a KFC, there was this one fat man who would come in, order a 2 piece quarter pack, and then claim we forgot his chicken. Like, when we turned around to fetch his drink at the end of the order, he would open the box, take out the chicken pieces and hide them in his pockets. Hot chicken. Right in his pockets. I got so fed up with everyone just giving him extra chicken all the time that I demanded he turned out his pockets one