How Not To Deal With A Rude Customer [Video]

One of the golden rules of retail is that the customer is always right — especially when they're upset about an aspect of your service. Alternatively, you could threaten to leak their personal contact information to everyone else in the store, as this GameStop lady did. Click on the video to watch the train-wreck unfold...

According to the moral crusaders of the world, violent video games have the potential to turn everyone into antisocial psychopaths. We usually scoff at such hysterical hyperbole, but the above clash in a GameStop store does made us stop and briefly wonder.

The brouhaha started when a customer was asked to provide photo ID for his pre-order of Grand Theft Auto V. For whatever reason, this seems to have caused a heated argument between the patron and the employee serving him (annoyingly, the video has been edited to remove this key segment).

The customer attempts to leave in a huff, at which point the altercation would have ended. However, the cashier then offers to hand over his personal email address to other customers for "holding up the line". Unfortunately for her, the customer was still in earshot.

Curiously, the majority of the crowd appears to be on the cashier's side (we're guessing the aforementioned line holdup probably factored in her favour.) As we've discussed in the past, it's usually counterproductive for a customer to throw a tantrum, but there's really no excuse for how this lady responded. Whoever you think is in the right, threatening to hand over a customer's personal information to strangers is grossly unprofessional.

According to GAF, the employee ended up losing her job which just goes to show that a rictus smile is the best policy when dealing with customer complaints. Put simply: if you work in retail, save the bitching until you get home — your better half can bear the brunt instead.

See also: This Is What Happens When You Try To Pay A Parking Fine In Loose Change [Video] | Why Midnight Launches Are A Waste Of Time | How To Listen When Someone Is Venting

[Via Kotaku]


    I thought the golden rule of retail was that the customer was an arse. At least, that's pretty much my experience from working in ToysRUs and JB HiFi over Christmas. Doesn't mean you don't treat them kindly, just means that they're invariably wrong (and an arse).

      +1. I worked several years in customer service and far from being "always right", most of the time the customer has no idea what the hell they're talking about.


      Personally, I work by "The customer is always right... except for when they're wrong".

      When you go shop apart from toyrus and jbhifi would that make you an arse too ?

      Exactly. You work on the assumption that the customers are stupid and don't really know what to do, but you treat them the same way you would want to be treated if you were stupid and lost: with empathy.

    100% on the side of the cashier here.

    There was absolutely no reason for the guy to act the way that he did. He was threatening and demanding. Retailers should have the option of leaking details about customers who are pigs (see, for example, the people who took pictures of people who left snarky comments instead of tips in the US).

    We appear to have a culture which suppresses our ability to shame people for inappropriate, anti-social behaviour. If you act like a threatening arse in public, we should be able to shame those people. Hiding behind words like 'unprofessional' and mantras like 'the customer is always right' is cowardly. If the guy were less of a dudebro, he wouldn't have had to worry about people leaking his top secret data.

      Bear in mind that the video has been edited so that we don't actually see what caused the issue (furthermore, the videographer was clearly on the cashier's side, which makes the editing a bit suss). The guy was already upset before she started using sarcasm -- there's more to the story that we aren't seeing.

        Sure, but I guess I can't imagine what the cashier could have done to warrant that reaction from the customer.

        Abstracting from the individual case to the broader case -- and the message that seems to be behind your post -- I'm back to my original comments about the use of shame to enforce socially acceptable behaviour. Retail staff should feel supported to use social pressure to maintain an equality with customers. 'If you behave like an ass, we will use social media, &c., to name and shame you.' People shouldn't feel entitled to treat people like crap (cf. the tipping incidents I mentioned above).

          "If you behave like an ass, we will use social media, &c., to name and shame you."

          And when that turns into online bulling because everyone jumps on the bandwagon, then what?

          Ill tell you what, if they guy behaves like an ass she should have the right to not serve him and if he persists and becomes a disturbance to the employees or other customers she should have the right to call security and have him removed from the store and if he becomes violent she has the right to call the cops and have him banned from the store.

            I agree completely. Rather than engaging with the customer's bad behaviour, just refuse to serve them and move on, calling security if necessary.

            The only way to win is if you don't play.

          your comments a hypocritical

          threatening to pass around personal information with the subsequent effect that would probably entail bullying is in itself antisocial and acting like a pig

          so this woman should have just abstained from those comments and everythign would have been ok. In fact it doesnt seem like the guy did anything wrong to begin with and is within his right to respond to her insincerity of "oh we TRULLLLY appreciate your business".

          Those guys recoridng in the video are clearly jerks who like to make "brave" comments ("go shoot some people") while confidently hiding behind the herd. Im sure they would feel differently if they were in his shoes. Your not a tough guy when you are adding uneccessary extra crap ontop of whatever crap is being spewed on the customer. THats bullying

          also encountering bad customers (a customer unhappy with your service is not a bad customer) is part of the job. You are getting PAID to do it. THe other person is PAYING for your service, which you are not providing.

      There's a difference between disapproval of what someone has done and violating their privacy by dispensing their contact information simply because they were unpleasant, yes people can be assholes but no that doesn't give you the right to hand out their contact information to everyone within earshot.

      If you work for yourself, then sure, feel free to represent your company any way you want. But you're working for a larger retail chain which has the right to instruct its staff to not be rude to customers in return, even if the employee disagrees.

      At the end of the day it's not hard to not engage with a customer's bad behaviour. You simply let it play out, and then move on to the next person. If it gets too severe, then you ask them to leave and call security.

      By reacting back, you're certainly not "winning".

    Yep, there's definitely a difference between being assertive (not letting somebody walk all over you) and being sarcastic and snarky back to somebody. Both these people came out looking like petty idiots. Although I gotta say, after working in customer service for upwards of seven years... I'm usually gonna side with the worker over the customer. Even if it's only by the finest hair.

      He doesn't look petty to me at all.

      He looks brave to me.

      The easiest thing for him to have done would have been to walk out being heckled.

      But no. He went back in and calmly and eloquently highlighted the errors of the cashier and got what he needed to ensure that what ought to happen (that she get fired) did happen.

      That's a brave dude.

      For those customer service reps that side with the cashier, you ought to watch the video again, or give serious consideration to your chosen profession.

        I am with you Davedrastic, I watched again and he did handle himself well and did not raise is voice or grandstand. She got fired because.... he has a point, and was within his rights :)

      Due to not being able to see what the issue was I honestly can't comment on who I would side with. Working in telecommunications though, and where I work and have worked in the industry, you NEVER joke about revealing peoples personal details. Taking that into account she crossed the line there and for that she should be reprimanded.

      The guy could've easily have taken her name and he knows the store and made a complaint like rather than make an huff and puff and allow himself to be further ridicules by the onlookers. Taken that into consideration, he set himself up for insult by the other clients.

    Thought she was the customer for a minute. SHE is being a dickhead. Usually customers behave that way. This is why most stores have their staff wear name badges. SHE absolutely DID have to give him her first & last name when asked. SHE is a fail at her job, and makes gamestop in the US look like a joke. Asking people how she's going against him??!? WTF is that? Staff need to be able to handle themselves a lot better in those situations. Other customers in the store were also a joke. He should not have slammed the counter at all though. Getting physical in any way instantly ruins reasonable outcomes.

      For her to call on support from the crowd was extremely dangerous.

      They were extremely lucky that this incident didn't escalate further.

      You do not have to give you name to customers. That is false. To further this point Telstra strongly trains staff that if you do not feel comfortable providing your name they will make an alias for yourself within the company and provide you with a alias email as well. There is not a single place in any law anywhere within Australia or America that dictates the consultant to provide their full details(incl personal phone). It shows trust and helps build rapport but thats all it is. It can be implemented as policy and yes you may get fired for not providing it but it is not a LAW.

      Then again, if you can cite precedence of this going to court then please do and I will recant my statement. I also doubt that it would be a LAW within the USA.

        I know thatan alias can be provided. Also, iI don't think he asked for her personal phone number, just a number in which he could contact her directly. From what I saw, she refused to provide this information. My point was that she has to provide something that enables the customer to contact or reference her directly. That could have been an alias. I would like to see this video from 15 mins earlier, to get the just of why the other customers hate him.

    I think both are in the wrong. He should have just handed over his ID when asked, and she should have remained professional. And as mentioned in the article, save your complaining for when you're at home or something. At the very least, make sure the customer you're complaining about is long gone, and certainly don't do it around other customers.

    Jeez, No matter what the situation is, You don't act like this ass clown in customer service. I have seen it all and a very demanding retail environment. Acting like that gets you no where... Completely unprofessional and simply shows this 'manager' how poorly they handle difficult situations.

    Customer Service is a combination of skill and talent and unfortunately it is something that is dying out... I understand that this is largely due to the way people shop and often the low wages paid to to customer service representatives. A business and its products are only ever as good as the people representing them... Who cares how great a product is if you have to deal with a rude asshole to access it! I really admire people that take pride in their customer service because it is one of the hardest jobs to do well.

    I work in retail and seriously the bitchier a customer becomes the drier and nicer I get. Nothing makes a customer angrier than smiling and being borderline facetious. If you have a genuine problem, I have no problem helping you. Be courteous, civil and Ill never have an issue with you. If on the other hand you are blaming me for what sounds like syria, please move on.

      ^^This! This was how I tried to operate when I did my time in customer service. But in my less... uh... well-behaved moments, I used to love driving the asshole customers absolutely mental in such a way that would only affect them and be completely untraceable back to the staff...

      For example, one douchey customer gave me attitude when using our computers most every day. When I knew he was coming back just happened to be the day someone co-incidentally took a screencap of his desktop and then removed all the icons so he was just frantically clicking on a picture...

      Ahhh... I kinda miss it still. :p

        Haha yeah know what you mean.... That's pretty awesome dude. Oh man he would have been frantic. Would have loved to have been there.

    She's must perma shitty as she is 40ish and still working in a video game store, not whatever she had planned for her self back in the day, probably HR haha

    I've been stuck behind people like this guy at Midnight launches.
    If the cashier asks for your photo ID to get your game then do it and get out of the way as fast as possible.

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