I Almost Couldn't Believe My Eyes When I Read These 19 "Nightmare Customer" Stories, Like Is Anyone OK??
I recently posted an article where I asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell me about the worst customers they've ever dealt with in a customer service job.NBC / Via giphy.com
I got a loooooot of submissions, and after it was published, even more people shared their stories.
So here are 20 more stories about people's "nightmare customers" that will make you ask, "IS ANYONE OK?!?!"Advanced Medien / Via giphy.com
1. "I waited tables at a steakhouse when I was 17. A man who'd downed eight Manhattans in record time ordered a steak well done. He decided it wasn't well done enough, and grabbed my arm as I passed by so hard that he left his handprint on me. Nobody could find his server, and nobody could find the manager, so all I could do was take the steak back to the chefs and have it remade. When I got the steak back to him, it apparently STILL wasn't well done enough (what did he want, a charcoal briquette??), so he stood up, grabbed me again , and was screaming about it while stabbing his steak knife way too close to my face for emphasis. Turns out he'd treated his actual server so badly that she was hiding in the broom closet crying. I found the manager and told him everything, and the asshat's reaction was to apologize to the dude and offer him another freaking drink. I quit on the spot."
2. "I worked for a small retail clothing store for over a year, and after the sudden and unexpected death of my partner's mother (my MIL) I took one day off to be with him and help him start to sort through her things. Because of this, the store was closed on a random Tuesday. When I came in the next day, two ladies were waiting at the door, and forced me to open early. One of them had the audacity to say to me (after I told her my MIL passed just two days before) 'I don’t care about what happened, you should have been here regardless.' Another customer told me I was being 'extremely selfish' when I explained I wasn’t going to see my family over Christmas because both my parents are getting older, and my 102-year-old grandfather was celebrating with them (this was when COVID was raging and there was no vaccine). I cried myself to sleep that night because I was already upset about missing a holiday but that was the tip of the iceberg. I’ll never forget that."
3. "I’ve had lots of customer service jobs, but Starbucks was the worst. I got yelled at for many, many cups of coffee. One customer I won’t forget was a woman who ordered a caramel Frappuccino with non-dairy milk (coconut to be specific). Here's the thing: frappuccinos require whole milk or heavy cream to stay solid longer, meaning non-dairy will melt way faster. When she ordered it, I informed her of this. She worked next door so she ran back to work, but of course, came back a short time later. Her frappuccino had melted (like I told her it would) and she screamed and shouted that it wasn’t what she ordered and she demanded another one. We made it and again, and surprise, surprise it melted once AGAIN. She demanded a refund, but did not get one since we told her twice that this is what would happen, and eventually she left with her melted frappuccino."
4. "When I worked in retail, there was a woman who would come into my store regularly, and whenever I rang her up she’d argue about the prices. Like, 'No, it’s $3.95!' I'd show her the tag and she’d snap, 'I didn’t ask what the tag says. I don’t care. You'll ring it at $3.95 because that’s all it’s worth.' While trying to explain why I couldn’t do that, she'd accuse me of being rude, talking back, lying, and lecture me about how stupid and worthless store clerks are (yes, those were her words).
Then she’d screech for THE MANAGERRRR!! He'd give her the same explanation we did, but she took it from him, not us. She'd rant while her order was wrapped up about 'dumb, trashy people' and how she could always tell who’ll never amount to anything in life. When handing her the bag, she'd give you a hard rap on the arm or rake her nails down it and say, 'Oh, did I scratch you?' The store owner didn’t care."
5. "I work at a restaurant that does to-go orders and had a lady try and return day-old food yesterday. She found out it was more expensive than she realized so she wanted her money back."
6. "This one makes you wonder what in the world people are thinking. I work at a home goods store where we were having one of our annual sales and most of the top-selling items were near the front of the store. By one entrance was this big table where towels were displayed, and one day, it suddenly started to rain pretty heavily. Customers rushed inside the store for cover, and one of them started to use the towels that were FOR SALE to dry himself off. Then a number of others also thought it was a brilliant idea and proceeded to dry themselves with said towels too, hence making them unsellable. SMH. Gotta love ‘em."giphy.com
7. "I worked in a movie theater that was privately owned and didn’t offer discounts on afternoon movies. This one lady swore at me for 'false advertising' on matinee showings. She insisted, 'It’s not a matinee if it’s full price!' I told her matinee just means it shows in the afternoon. She proceeded to call me stupid and that she’d have us all arrested for false advertising. I hope she really did try to call the cops."
8. "I used to work at a very upscale store in a very upscale neighborhood. We had a customer come in one day and 'release his bowels' in a garbage can in our changing room. It was the most vile thing I ever smelled in my life.
If that's not enough, I had a friend who worked at a tanning salon in the same area and after a customer left, she went to go clean the bed and shook out the towel they had left behind, and a huge piece of poop flew out! Not sure how people can just relieve themselves anywhere!"
"I KNOW!!! This happens fairly often in the dressing rooms at my job. How this came to be a regular thing we have to deal with is beyond me."
"When I was 22 I worked at a Texaco where I was a gas attendant and cashier. I was working inside the mini-mart ringing up customers when I noticed a smell. I didn't say anything because if someone just 'ripped ass' I didn't want to embarrass them or I thought maybe someone had dog doo on their shoes or something. But as the customers cleared out, the smell did not. I went to investigate and what I found was an entire human turd on the floor in front of the beer cooler!! Someone shit their pants, had poop falling out their pant leg, and just continued to wait in line and make their purchase."tenor.com
9. "When I was a teenager I worked at the layaway counter on Christmas Eve. I went six hours without even a restroom break and our line was at least 10 people long the whole day. When someone finally came to relieve me for a bathroom break (and I had to go SO BAD), a customer grabbed my arm and told me, 'Get back in there!' I wanted to slap her, but I just yanked my arm away and walked off. Don’t fucking touch retail employees, they are only human!"
10. "When I was in college I worked at a burger/cocktail joint, sort of like TGIFridays, and it was in the middle of a business district so we got a lot of people daily.
I don't know how else to say it, but the customers were horrible people. I had one lady (who was very pregnant) order a burger and list all the toppings she wanted added. I read the order back to her and she asked if I was dumb and, 'Is that why you're repeating the order back?' insinuating I couldn't remember what she asked for. I said, 'No, this is what this restaurant makes us do.' When her burger came, she LOST it because there were pickles on it. She starts sobbing and screaming at me. She took the pickles off and threw them at my face, demanding a new burger. Her family remained dead silent. I tried to calm her down by telling her I would get her another burger. The kitchen remade her order and the manager delivered it to her this time because of the chaos she caused before, but I was right next to him as he did so. Her first comment was, 'Well that took forever.' She then opened the burger and asked where the pickles were... I kid you not. Everyone around the table tried to say things like 'Sweetie, you just told them you didn’t want pickles,' and she was like 'Yeah, but I want them now! They are just dumb servers who are incapable of getting an order right!' My manager brought her a side of pickles to which she replied, 'Thanks for taking your sweet ass time for a hungry pregnant lady” and then she didn’t tip. There were so many other horrible ones, but she was horrid."
11. "I worked at a Macy's and it was one of the most miserable experiences I've had at a job. I worked in the dress department and I was yelled at every day during prom and wedding season by mothers of the bride and bridezillas. Most of the time I was left on my own to cashier, clean soiled dresses stained with vaginal discharge, pee, and period blood, while also emptying racks of dresses back onto the sales floor. One time I was even written up by one of my many floor managers after a mom complained because I told her that her young daughter was damaging a display of Adriana Pappell shoes."
12. "I worked in retail banking for five years. I once had a customer scream across the branch that my breasts were distracting him from his banking. My sweater was in no way a dress code violation and it was mortifying. My 20-year-old coworker had an older male customer stalk her, and she not only ended up having to file a restraining order, she had to move to a different branch for a period of time. The man proceeded to call every single branch in the area trying to find her. I was also asked out several times by customers and it was always, ALWAYS awkward and uncomfortable. Sliding a note to a bank teller to ask them out is usually not a good idea."
13. "Once when I worked at K-Mart, there was only one register open because two cashiers had quit on the spot. There was a long line and this one woman decided to create a second line that just merged into the already existing one, making the people who have already been in line wait even longer. I was like, "Ma'am you can't do that," and instead of moving, more customers lined up behind her. She gave me this smug look like she 'won.' When I called a manager about what to do, they told me not to waste their time (he was watching a Denver Broncos game in his office!!!) and to just check everyone out. So not only did this woman and all the people behind her successfully cut the line, but I got chewed out by the rest of the customers who HAD been waiting saying I should have told her to go to the back of the line. You can't win in retail."
14. "At the store I work in, we have one regular customer who will literally cry for discounts. No matter what sales are going on, it’s never enough and she tries to guilt-trip us into giving her illegal discounts. She would alternate between the same two stories: 'my husband will be so upset' and 'I’m getting divorced and don’t have any money.' Maybe read the tags before you have me ring up $300 worth of lingerie? Last time I saw her my store manager was FINALLY there and she launched into her whole spiel with them. My manager shut that down quick, telling her it was policy and there was nothing she could do. Thank god I had warned her about this woman multiple times so she was prepared when she walked in. Haven’t seen that woman since and thank god."
15. "I worked in a garden center for 28 years and I had to deal with irate people pretty frequently. Many of them would buy azaleas while in bloom and then return them a week or two later because the flowers died. I had to explain to them that azaleas only flower for about two weeks once a year. Lol."
16. "I once had an older lady spit at me because we wouldn't allow half of her 10-person party to bring in outside food for Mother's Day brunch. As in, this woman wanted five people to bring in food from another place and eat it in our restaurant, which is clearly ridiculous. They all got to eat outside, as we kicked them right out. People are wild."
17. "My 'favorite' story is from when I worked at Staples. Someone put the wrong item on hold for a customer and she was pissed, even though it took about three minutes to realize the error and grab the correct one. I asked if there was anything else she needed, and she said, 'No, I wish you guys sold guns though, because I'm really fucking angry right now.' I told my manager about her later, and he thought it was funny."
18. "When I was a teenager I worked at Blockbuster Video. We would get really long lines the night before a long weekend or a holiday, and it would wrap around the store several times. We rang people up as fast as we could, but it was still a long wait. By the time everyone got up to the register to pay, many were in foul moods. This one lady got up to pay at my register and just went off on me about her wait before I could ring up her videos or say anything. She then took her videos and threw them at me, hitting my stomach, and ran out of the store. I was in shock but two of my coworkers ran out after her to try and get her license plate number."
19. "I once had a customer throw coffee on me because K-Mart layaway had a $5 fee. I told her I was going to press charges and my manager GRABBED me by my arm, dragged me to the back, and proceeded to yell at me while I was awkwardly grabbing tissues to clean myself off. He yelled at me for threatening the customer and said if I pressed charges, I would be fired. This was YEARS ago when I needed the job. Luckily the coffee didn't blister or burn me too badly, so I went back to work. At the end of the day, that same manager called me to the office and proceeded to write me up. Why? Because my K-Mart shirt was stained with coffee and it was 'against policy' to wear a dirty uniform when working. Now there are only three K-Marts left in the country. K-Mart can suck it."giphy.com
And because all of these customers are truly awful, here's one just for laughs:
20. "Here's one that's funny rather than infuriating: once when I was working at a car dealership, the service department had a customer come in who was complaining that her Bluetooth wasn't working. I was known as the dealership's tech expert, so they asked me to help her out with it. I went out and met this little old lady, and got into the car with her. She wanted to figure out how to listen to audiobooks over Bluetooth, but couldn't get it to work. So I helped her set it up and the audiobook started playing. Turns out it's some smutty romance novel, complete with 'thrusting,' 'throbbing,' and 'heaving bosoms,' etc. It took all of my control not to burst out laughing and to maintain professionalism."
Thank you again to everyone who shared their stories! I hope you all get a major raise!
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.