“You should be ashamed!” Irate customer blames me over the phone for another store’s

I had been meaning to share this little story on here after I honestly never thought I would have my own little experience of mistaken identity but, here we are. Back in March, I started to work at a local grocery store’s online orders department, helping fulfill customer’s curbside orders so they can be ready for pickup. From what my manager and supervisor have said, before Covid hit, the department was rather quiet with only a team of 3-4 really needed for things to run smoothly. However, it all quickly changed that we now need a team of 6-7 every day just to barely function most of the time. This is due to the naturally massive influx of orders we’ve been getting in all of sudden as many people now make the switch to online ordering due to our current times.

Due to this sudden increased demand though, virtually every online order department hasn’t been able to keep up half of the time so orders being late have become quite common. This can naturally leave customers rather frustrated as they expected to have their groceries ready only to be informed that they’re late. From my experience, most can be quite understanding but, you occasionally get those angry people who want an ear to berate. Just to give you a little context, there are two major parts to my job.

Part 1 – Picking an order, going around the store to retrieve the items a customer ordered before dropping them off in our department

Part 2 – Taking an order, assembling the order for when a customer arrives to retrieve their groceries before taking it out to whoever designated parking spot they’re in. For the past several months, Part 2 is what I’ve been doing as it’s often times the least enjoyed part of the job and has the most customer interactions

Now, I work in Store A and during the week this call happened, things had been rather quiet, we didn’t get as many orders as we usually do and were able to do quite well for the past several days. To help speed things along, I was in the middle of picking a smaller order so my team could focus on the bigger ones when the mobile phone rang. Nothing new usually, just a customer calling to pick up their order. Today wasn’t one of those moments.

“Hello, thank you for calling Store A’s Curbside Pickup, my name is _____. Are you here to pick up an order?”

“You know, you guys should really be awfully ashamed of yourself for how you do this online order stuff! ”

“Excuse me? Wha-”

“The other day, I came to your store to pick up my order. It was supposed to be ready at 1PM. However, I get to the store and I’m told my order isn’t ready yet! My order was supposed to be ready but, it wasn’t!”

“I’m sorry sir but, I think you called the wrong store. Which store did this happen at?”

The man completely ignores what I had to say and just continues to ramble

“Now I wasn’t too happy about that so I went inside to the customer service to complain about this because this is absolutely ridiculous! I placed in my order for 1PM only for you guys to tell me that it wasn’t ready! How!?”

“Sir, I think you might have called the wrong store. We didn’t have any late orders yesterday.”

“So after complaining at customer service, some more people come on to complain about their orders being late too! As we’re complaining, I see barely any employee wearing a mask on despite them being required now! Do you want this whole thing to last longer!? Do you want to spread Covid to everyone around you like that idiot in Chief we elected!? People like you are why so many are sick right now!”

The phone rings again, an actual customer is here to pick up their order but, my manager sees I’m still tied up with this guy to answer so he takes the call.

“I filmed the whole thing, how no employees were wearing masks when this one loud manager lady comes down to tell ME to be quiet! That I’m being too damn loud when her voice is practically rattling the windows! She wasn’t even wearing a mask too! Idiots like you are why we’ll be having Covid til 2022! I already posted the footage to that Twitter and many are angry like me! You’re going to get a call from police and the court soon because of it! ”

The guy hung up immediately after that. I’m still beyond confused but, the guy listened to absolutely nothing I said and just kept rambling on about something that happened at another store. Things go normal as I inform my manager about the Irate customer just incase he calls the store directly. I’m making my way back to take out orders only for the guy to call again, I give my usual script only to be cut off.

“I came yesterday to pick up my order schedule for 1PM but, you Store B people told me it wasn’t ready!”

It all made sense now, he thought he was yelling into the ear of someone from Store B, not realizing he had called my store, Store A.

“I’m sorry sir but, this isn’t Store B. You called the wrong number.”

“After going inside to complain, absolutely nobody was wearing any sort of masks! Do you people just want this to last forever because that kind of mentality will make it last forever! Your manager was also extremely rude to me! She wanted me to be quiet when she was practically yelling over everyone! What kind of store do you people run!? ”

As this guy rambles, I see more people have shown up to retrieve their orders and this guy just won’t stop and listen at all. Not even offering to pass the phone to my manager will make him stop as he’s essentially now repeating everything he said before almost word for word. My supervisor finally just mimes for me to pass the phone to my manager so he can deal with this guy while, I get back to my job. My manager has nearly a decade of of retail experience with several years in HR so he knew how to handle these kind of people. For the next 30 minutes, he was on the phone with this guy, listening to him complain endlessly into his ear and talking like a broken record at points as he repeats multiple points again and again. All the while, my manager simply says “Okay” each and every single time.

I had been informed that after 30 minutes, my manager was finally able to get the guy to realize he had been calling the wrong store this whole time. He was complaining into the ears of people who had no clue what he was talking about. Apparently, he didn’t even apologize but, did like how nice my manager was to him that he wanted to place his orders with us instead. After needing some help, he finally did with the whole thing going rather smoothly yet, never showed up ever again. My guess was that the embarrassment of the whole situation finally caught up to him and he didn’t want to come back, I’m probably wrong but, I can hope.

TL;DR – The title says everything.

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  1. The sad thing is, if they had called a shoe store instead of the restaurant they would do the same thing. Can’t be bothered to listen, and if you get a word in edgewise and tell them they called the wrong place they would refuse to believe it.

  2. I work at a hardware type shop in the UK and omfg the shit I put up with during lockdown. Every customer wanted either 10 bags of 25kg concrete or 250kg of compost of 100lts of paint and we were fucking exhausted dragging it all from one end of the store to the other (im 40kgs to give persective) and go and drag the stock to the car park when they arrived only to be yelled at for taking 6 minutes to drag 250kgs from the warehouse to their car (about 300 meters). Fuck I cried to a number of customers and asked them to stop being so mean and that we are trying our hardest. I got yelled at that too, while standing there crying barely able to walk from muscle strain. I feel for you, what a horrible time to be in retail. I lost about 10kgs during that and am severely underweight and my mental health is frazzled still

  3. This is interesting to me because I find the type of people who won’t listen in general, including to an employee telling them they have the wrong number, are also the type of people who won’t listen to the CDC or obey mask mandates. The fact that he’s so committed to wearing his mask and insisting others do the same tells me he CAN listen and follow directions, he just refused to do that with you guys for some reason.

  4. I worked at a pizza place and somebody called about a different chain and complained about how “we” delivered the wrong thing and it was cold. My boss had a strict, “Don’t hang up on a customer…ever!” After that customer called 6 times in a row (got mad, hung up, and called again because we put him on hold when he started rambling), a coworker finally just set the phone down on the counter and walked away. “Hey, [Boss], that a****** is on the phone again complaining about [other pizza place] delivering to an area of town we have never delivered to. Do you think you can talk some sense into this dumb***?” Never heard from him again.

  5. Reminds me of that scene from Mean Girls. She doesn’t even go here!

    Sounds like he just wanted someone to listen, could have used a therapy hotline.

  6. > he didn’t even apologize but, did like how nice my manager was to him that he wanted to place his orders with us instead.

    “Not going to happen. We don’t do business with assholes who think they’re entitled to abuse our staff.”

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