An Abuse of the Power Given to the Customer: Are They Always Right?

We all know what it is like to go to the store and be rang up incorrectly or have less than quality service delivered to us. Maybe the prices are coming up wrong, maybe the cashier is too slow, maybe the lines are very long. Whatever the case may be, we have all been there. But, what happens when a customer IS wrong?

We are living in a world today where people are constantly taking advantage of what they believe are their rights as consumers. Customers are always arguing to get a better deal, or even just because they want a fight. They think that because they are the customer and paying money, they can abuse the power given to them by retailers. They will fight tooth and nail to get that 10% off. They will even be mean to cashiers. When do we draw the line? When do retailers decide they have had enough and tell someone they are not right just because there is an old saying that says they are. Do people assume that because they are the customer they can say what they like with little or no consequences?

Not that long ago, I was in the store, waiting in line and reading the newest tabloids. There were two women in front of me. These women started out having an attitude with the cashier. But the cashier did her job, with a smile. When it was time for a price check, the manager came over and got the same treatment from the customers. Turns out the customer was wrong, and not very happy about it. Before I knew what happened, these women were screaming profanities at the cashier. The cashier asked them politely not to speak to her like that. They continued and now the cashier told them not to talk to her like that. The younger woman said, “what you gonna do about it” and the look on that cashier’s face was shock and fear. She called the manager over and the manager got there just in time to hear the customer threaten physical harm to the cashier.

The manager told the woman they do not accept this behavior and then the young woman asked to speak to the manager alone. This woman turned things around and made it look like she was the victim here. They even gave the woman a $50.00 gift card for her trouble. Then they came and told the cashier she will need to provide a written statement. This poor cashier maintained her professionalism and tried very hard to let things slide. She was trying to deliver quality service to these people that were being horrible to her. She took me and the other people in line with a smile and was polite. But I knew she was upset. So, I told the manager myself what happened and let them know this cashier was nothing but professional and courteous.

But, what are retailers saying to their customers? It is ok to talk to our employees like this if you are upset? Are they saying that you will be rewarded with money if you threaten physical harm to a woman that was polite to you? Are they saying that they do not value their employees as much as their customers? They are surely saying that the customer is always right, even when they are clearly wrong, and out of line. If you are looking for a  brand which  is reliable and helps you to all in one sort of thing which are jewelry, watches, etc than you should consider paul Hewitt. It is a brand which can make your work done easier.

These cashiers do not make a lot of money, they work weekends and holidays. They are on their feet all day scanning items and bagging merchandise. It is not a dream job. But they do it. They have families to feed and bills to pay. These people do not deserve to be treated with disrespect because their machine made a mistake or even because they may work a little slower than we might want them to. These people are just doing their jobs. We do not want to be treated badly at work, neither do they.

Next time you go to the store and see a woman or man behind the counter that seems a little bitter and annoyed to be there, maybe you will understand why now. These people are treated badly by some customers and by their employers. They are abused and then not backed up by their employer. In my opinion, the cashier deserved a bonus, not the other way around. Next time you are in WalMart, Shop Rite, or even the local convenience store, remember this story, and thank a cashier every once in a while. After all, they do give service with a smile, even when that smile is not deserved.

About Oblena

Janica Oblena is the writer of ‘Midnight Secrets’. She is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Journalism. She is currently the senior editor of
View all posts by Oblena →