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12 Service/Retail Industry Workers Share the Times They Caught Someone Cheating the System

12 Service/Retail Industry Workers Share the Times They Caught Someone Cheating the System : Erik Dreyer / Getty

Erik Dreyer / Getty

I’ve worked several restaurant and retail jobs throughout my life and at every single one I’ve seen either myself, another employee or a customer take advantage of a loophole or a manager. When I worked for a former video rental store, I would take the used DVD’s that were for sale and remove the actual physical DVD out of the case, and just take it home. I’m not proud of it, but there was a time in my life that I really needed a free copy of Welcome to Mooseport. Eventually I was fired because my loss prevention skills were not up to par. Justice was served. Below are some more stories from service industry staff members about the times they’ve caught people trying to scam the system.

At my McDonald’s this guy came with his two young kids and got happy meals and then called me over and said this cheeseburger has no meat and demanded that he get another cheeseburger. Then one of his kids said “dad you just ate it.”

Worked at Office Depot. The rewards program used to give a % of purchases back to the customer in the form of a gift card every quarter. One cashier decided to sign up for the rewards program under her name and scan customer’s purchases throughout the day under her own account. She ended up accruing thousands of dollars in rewards in one quarter (this is with 1% back on most purchases), which was more than any other customer in the South East region of the US. Needless to say, it wasn’t very difficult for management to realize what had happened. 

I used to work as a hostess at a popular wing place. Once we had a family come through and when it was time to pay they handed their server a Denny’s coupon. The server was like “this is for Denny’s, not for here.” And the customer said “oh I just thought I would try it anyways, you never know.”

I work in a fairly high-end restaurant. Have seen upwards of five different people pull a piece of their own hair out and put it in their food so they don’t have to pay the bill.

Shipped a guitar to a customer once and the customer called in saying he never received it, demanding a replacement be sent immediately or else he would sue. Tracking info said it was delivered and signed for, but delivery theft is still pretty common. On a whim though, my co-worker looked him up him on Facebook only to find him holding the guitar in his profile picture, with the caption “my new guitar just arrived.” Management sent him a screen shot of that he was never heard from again.

I scanned a shirt without looking carefully and it rang up at $16.99. The customer politely asked me to check the tag, because it was marked $10. I apologized and took a look. The clearance sticker was placed in entirely the wrong place, leaving the regular price barcode completely exposed, so that’s what the scanner picked up. I apologized again and explained that the tickets didn’t match up but we’d have somebody run a confirmatory price check. That was the first item I had scanned, so I was extra vigilant with his other items, all of which had improperly placed clearance tickets. They were all men’s big and tall sizes, but the clearance tags were from junior miss.

My favorite in my McDonald’s are the people who don’t realize our soda fountain is behind the counter and they ask for a “cup for water.” So we get them a cup of water and hand it to them. They realize they can’t fill it with the soda they wanted and then they go ahead and order a soda anyway. Similarly, people started asking for fries without salt to try to get them to cook a fresh batch. They just started keeping a batch of unsalted fries ready, and I saw a woman throw a fit because of it.

Had a lady call our Pizza Hut claiming that we gave her “hard undercooked wings” that sent her daughter to the hospital and wanted us to pay her medical bills. However, none of the five or six phone numbers she provided showed any orders for wings or anything else in our system or the nearest few stores. I don’t know if she just expected us to give her thousands of dollars on hearsay?

One day, I was working with my dad and a customer told him he would call his manager and get him fired because he’s a good friend of his. My dad owns the store. He laughed and told him to never come back again.

One of my old jobs had an online order system with a “special instructions” box. You wouldn’t believe how many times people typed in “Add Bacon” or “ Double Meat, extra Cheese” expecting to get these things for free. They ALWAYS got pissed if you added these things to their ticket and then they would be like “Well, I don’t want those things if they cost extra.” They would always expect me to give them their already-made sandwich with the extras. 

Worked at Starbucks for a while. Had this one guy always try to scam free stuff. So to get a venti coffee it’s like 2-3 bucks and first thing in the morning we don’t have much cash in the drawers, maybe $50 seeing as its the start of the day. So this guy comes in at 5am and orders just a large coffee, but he only has a $100. Me, being the nice customer-friendly girl I am, just offered it to him for free and sent him on his way. It’s not his fault we don’t have change for him right? Then he literally tries it again the next day. I mean really are you so stupid that you would think I wouldn’t notice it? This time I say “Oh let me get the manager so we can make change for you” Oh, now you suddenly have a $5 bill in you car. 

I once saw a woman at a Longhorn’s walk out with the entire bowl of those small packaged mints. The hostess was in such shock that by the time she walked out to say something the woman already drove off.

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