Had one of the most tackiest customers come into the store I work in today and just had to share this story!
[BG] I work in a well known British clothing store, which also has a catalogue (directory) from which you can order items that we may not carry in the store. However, even though we are the same company, the store and Directory are separate. If there is a fault with an item the customer has bought, they would need to either send it back via courier, or bring it to their local store and we process the return and send it back to the Directory's warehouse, and the customer can reorder the item if necessary. [/END BG]
So, a lady comes down to the shoe room where I am working, and approaches me. She explains that she bought a pack of two multiway bras online, but one of the straps on the bras is faulty. I tell her that she is able to return the bras now at the cash desk and I will refund her as long as she has her receipt. She tells me she is wearing the other bra right now. I say, no problem, next time she is here just bring them in and I will refund her and offer to order another pack of bras. I check to see if there are any available to order, but because it is now a sale item, that particular line has sold out.
I tell her this, and she then asks me: "Can I not just take a strap off of one of the bras you have here?"
I politely explain that we simply cannot take parts off of a garment as it would make THAT garment faulty. Once again I say that she is more than welcome to a refund.
Her reply? "Oh well, that is stupid. I mean, the bra is faulty and it's out of stock. I'm not saying it's your fault, but surely it would be okay just to swap them over?" This is accompanied by one of those sickly sweet smiles- like a child would when asking for sweets from its mother.
"I'm really sorry," I reply, "but I cannot just take a strap off of a bra. It is against the store's policy."
What she said next just totally bemused me more than anything.
"I'm only asking you if I can because I am an honest person, I could simply just walk over and take a strap off a bra without you even knowing, but I'm not like that. If I return these bras then how would the Directory be able to re-sell them? They wouldn't? So you would be losing TWO items instead of just one."
Despite this, I stand by my decision. She asks to see the manager so I call her down, and she reiterates what I've just said. I have to go and serve another customer, so I leave them to discuss the issue. 15 minutes or so pass, and I am at the till unpacking some delivery. I then see the same woman approach me with a bra in her hand.
"I just took a strap off of this bra, I hope you don't mind, but your manager said it was okay." she says. I am horrified. Surely my manager wouldn't say that?
Once again, she gives me THAT smile. She leans in close over the till point and says in a hushed tone, "I know it's not right, but I'm an honest person and I am letting you know before I take the strap. Your manager just said, oh take it. I feel guilty, but seeing as I cannot order it again..."
I feel sick. There is a camera right above the till and I'm thinking this must look seriously dodgy. My conscience tells me to speak up.
"I'm afraid that I cannot let you do that." I say, boldly but politely. "To do something like that wouldn't be so honest, as you say."
I can feel myself shaking, but I know what she is doing is not right. If she took the strap, our store would lose a sale, and that camera would catch me.
She sighs, and takes the strap she has removed from the bra off of her bra and puts the dud one back on. "You know what, I won't. Your manager is making me feel guilty and you're making me feel guilty..." She takes her things and leaves.
My colleague, who unbeknown to me had been observing and listening in on the whole thing, turned and said to me, "good on you, you did the right thing. She could buy spare straps."
I just couldn't believe that someone was willing to steal a bra strap!