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7 remarkable scams customers have tried to pull on retail workers

From returning a ‘Wii’ to replacing a vacuum cleaner with beetroot.


(javitrapero/Getty Images)

(javitrapero/Getty Images)

(javitrapero/Getty Images)

Working in retail, the old saying goes that “the customer is always right” – but what about when said customer is trying to swindle you?

A discussion on Reddit has seen retail workers sharing their stories of just such situations and the scams they reveal range from dim-witted to mind-boggling.


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2. From user AtelesJubatus

“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.

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“He 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 was telling him I can’t do a refund without a receipt the police walked in to collect the footage.

“He left with them in handcuffs.”

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4. From user Valhallan1984

“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.

“He 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.

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“Needless to say the phone was not replaced.”


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6. From user DaisyDee85

“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 f****** thing had been replaced with a catering size tin of beetroot.!

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