One of my biggest pet peeves with customers is when I need to see their driver’s license for something, per company policy or state/federal law, and they don’t want to give it to me. Not only do they not want to give it to me, they get angry at me for even asking. This happens, typically, in two instances.
One of those instances is when you need their ID to process a return for them because they do not have their receipt, the card the merchandise was purchased on or they did not give their phone number while paying cash. Now, I know not all retail stores even offer all of those options for assisting with returns so it’s even more mind boggling that they dare act so outraged when I ask for their license, which is the only other possible way for me to complete the transaction. I’ve been told to fuck myself, I’ve had the merchandise ripped out of my hand, I’ve been given a speech on “the man” and how they don’t want their information floating around in our system. My favorite is when they tell me they don’t have it on them. Now, true, they could have gotten a ride to the store but 9/10 that’s not the case. (I can’t even count the number of times I wish I could have asked, “Oh, so you drove here without it? Good job! How’s being an adult going for you otherwise?”) “I can just tell you the number, I have it memorized.” No, sir, you cannot. The whole point is that I need to be able to see that the picture on the ID matches the actual person standing in front of me. One of the reasons for this is return fraud. Most retailers have a system in place now where if you return something 3, or more, times without any proof of purchase you will get blocked for a certain period of time. Why do they do this? To stop the dirtbags who steal merchandise and then return it. How often could that possibly happen? ALL OF THE TIME. Stores lose thousands of dollars each year in return scams. “Do I look like someone who would steal something?” No, ma’am, you don’t. However, a lot of people don’t because they are professional criminals who actually do this for a living, some scumbags even use their kids! Our Loss Prevention manager was involved in busting a returns fraud ring where every one of the people who came in to do the returns were well groomed, dressed in a suit and always on “an important business” call while doing their return. (Don’t even get me started on people who talk on their cell phones while checking out or being helped at a customer service counter, I promise you I will get to that in a future post as well.)
The second instance where people give you shit for needing to see their driver’s license is when they’re, either, applying for a credit card (where typing in your social security number is also a major issue as if you can apply for any other credit card on the planet without that information) or doing something with the account like making changes or needing a temporary card so they can shop. Why does this piss people off?! Can someone clue me in as to why you would be furious that I’m trying to verify it’s really you so that your credit card information isn’t stolen or that someone can’t open up a credit card in your name? This is also why stores, and credit card companies alike, have started to require you to come into the store and provide a photo ID when making changes to your account. Do you honestly think I want to sit here with you, for ten minutes or more, while you argue with the credit card company about something? I don’t! It’s awkward for me and I don’t give a crap about your overdraft fee. Pay your bills on time. You forgot? Oh well! Lesson learned! Such is life! Suck it up, cupcake! I know I seem super fired up and insensitive about this (maybe you were just on vacation and forgot, happens to all of us) but you have no idea how many times I’ve had to deal with being berated and treated like a piece of crap just because I’m following a policy that protects YOU. I told you guys at the start of this blog, customer service wears you down and turns you into a monster that you really don’t want to be. It’s inevitable.
The only saving grace here is the next customer in line usually has some form of their sanity intact and will commiserate with you on how crazy pants the customer you just finished helping was. To those people, I say thank you! You are the ones I have no problem going out of my way to help. You realize that the general public can talk to us customer service folk like actual human beings. Imagine that?