Customers from Hell

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Sure, we've all had our fair share of bad (or even horrible) customer service experiences. There's even an annual list of the top 10 consumer complaints that ranks which areas of the marketplace we find most frazzling in any given year.

But what about tales from the other side of the counter? We asked our readers who work in the restaurant, retail or service industry to share their worst "crazy customer" stories. We chuckled, guffawed and sat with our mouths wide open as we read through your submissions, then we picked our 12 favorites.

Poke and Sniff
Reader remotecandy says: "I was shopping in the meat department ... when I noticed a woman picking up various packages of meat, poking holes in the wraps and sniffing each package before she put the package back where she got it. I was not only appalled, but was disgusted ... I notified the meat department manager and he talked to this woman ... She lost it, calling the meat manager every name in the book, and proceeded to randomly poke holes in meat packages that she had no intention of buying. Because the store security people couldn't handle this woman, they called the police, but the woman made it out of the store just in the nick of time."

Fishy Business
Reader Bballxlovex25 says: "A customer ordered anchovies on a pizza from our pizza place. She called back after receiving her delivery order to complain. She stated that she ordered anchovies on her pizza and received fish. We told her that anchovies were indeed fish and that was what she ordered. She proceeded to yell that she, "Did not want these f***ing fish!" on her pizza. Her son proceeded to tell her that she ordered anchovies and that they were fish. She threatened the manager by saying she was going to beat up the manager's mother and husband."

No, It's Your Fault!
Reader AJH89 says:
"I work at a restaurant and this lady and a little boy, about four or five, came in to eat. The little boy sat down with his mom and peed in his pants. The lady told me it was my fault because I did not tell her that the little boy looked liked he needed to go to the bathroom. She wanted us to give her dinner [for] free. I could not believe it."

(Chicken) Bills
Reader Gerrydee1 says: "As a young girl right out of school, I worked in the Customer Relations Department of Sears-Roebuck in Philadelphia. This was the mail order division. My job was to handle complaints via letter from customers and route them to the correct place for their problems to be solved. I received a note from a farmer that said his latest sale from the catalog of poultry ... included some dead on arrival. My supervisor told me to write him back and asked him to send the bills from the sale indicating how many, and we would gladly replace them ... A package arrived with my name on it soon. It smelled funny even before I opened it. When I did, the dope sent me the actual bills (beaks) from the poor little chickens. It smelled to high heaven and freaked me out."

She's "Wheely" Crazy

Reader JCDIFFEY says: "[This] lady came into our station for full service lube and oil change and wanted her tires rotated. She returned about two hours later, went to her car and came inside the shop, really mad. She wanted all the wheels with the design on them to all FACE UP. [We] tried to explain, the first time you drive the car [they] will change and [will] not be the same. She refused to pay the bill unless we corrected the problem. We pulled the car on the rack and made all the wheels look the same. She paid bill and departed a happy customer. We let her drive it off the rack."

What a Gas
Reader TLWidner32824 says: "I had a customer (guest) come into one of my stores at MGM Studios, Orlando with armfuls of merchandise to purchase. She laid her stuff on my counter and whipped out a Mobil gas card to pay for her purchases. I kindly told her that Mobil cards are good for Mobil gas stations to buy gas and products. She could not understand why she could not use her gas card. Even after explaining and re-explaining, she still did not get it. She left, as that was her only 'form of payment.'"

Too Much "O" in the H2O
Reader PANJO says: "While running my family's restaurant in NYC, I had a customer call me over one time to her table ... She holds a glass of water that the busboy had brought over when she sat down, and asks in very grave tone, 'Do you see what I see?' Being in the restaurant business, I figured maybe there was lipstick on the glass [or] something had fallen in it, but ... I couldn't see anything ... She said, 'I can't believe you can't see, but there is way too much oxygen in the water!'"

Guess That's Not What He Wanted to Hear
Reader Chrisandkim04 says: "I had an older gentleman who had purchased his glasses from one of our companies eight years ago. He came in all upset, because his glasses had broken ... He proceeded to tell me his story [about] how he bought the glasses several years ago and how he had never had a problem with them until now ... His dog got a hold of his glasses and chewed them up beyond recognition ... I explained that the frame was no longer being made and in order to get him a new pair he would have to see the doctor ... He flipped out. He threw the remaining fragments of his glasses at me and kicked his chair at my other associate."

Not Worth the Argument
Reader Bgk9876 says: "A customer wanted to return a canteen which she had recently purchased. When I asked her why she wanted to to return it she said it leaked. After inspecting the canteen, [I] noticed [it had] a hole in the center big enough to put your index finger in. When this was pointed out to the customer, she responded by saying, 'Well, that's not where it leaks.' She got a full refund."

She Did What??
Reader WAYDOWNTOWN2 says: "A woman came into the restaurant drunk, and when asked to leave she hiked her skirt up, squatted down and proceeded to pee in the middle of the dining room. "Oh yeah, she was arrested."





The Wrong End of Things
Reader Marcanewman1 says: "I spent many years in drug stores and had many 'confused customers.' A few -- 'Why didn't the direction label say take the foil off the suppository first, it really hurt?' 'I choked, why didn't the instructions say take the pill with water?' 'Why didn't the label say Insert in rectum, I swallowed it ?' [This] customer orally took a suppository with the foil on it!"

Pizza Pain
Reader Bnchudson says:
"I work for a restaurant that has a website for people to place online orders. I had a customer who placed their order online for one size then yelled at us because she had [accidentally] ordered a bigger size and thought we had purposely changed her ticket. When we showed her the original copy she still didn't believe it. We then even offered to remake it for her at no additional cost, and she flipped out saying she had already paid for the larger size (which she was shown she had not) and deserved a refund of her money as well. Needless to say she left with no refund and the smaller size."

Have an even better "customer from hell" story? Share your true tale in our comments section below or on our message board.
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