The superstore that I work in happens to have a deli/bakery area where customers can order food platters and specially decorated cakes from. Instances where I have to handle a return or exchange from that area are few and far between, but it does happen. Today's story happens to be about one of those experiences.
A few days ago, she had come and placed an order for the cake. The majority of the icing was supposed to be white, with the rest of the trimming and designs being solid lavender. The message on the cake, also in lavender, was to say, "Stepping Into Spring."
On the cake she picked up, the trimmings, designs and writing were a mixture of light blue and lavender. The message on the cake said, "Stepping In Spring."
She had the receipt with her, and I was more than happy to refund her for the cake. While I was going through the transaction, she continued on about how unhappy she was of how the cake turned out. She had ordered it for a get together her church was having to celebrate the arrival of spring and the blue in the coloring didn't match the color scheme for their party at all, apparently. I also agreed with her that the wording error was pretty terrible, too. As I finished the transaction, she continued on about how she didn't have time to wait for another cake. She was already late for the party as it was. I offered up my apologies on behalf of the store for the mishap and was ready to send them on their way when something annoying happened.
I was in the process of picking up the cake to move it off the counter, but the woman stopped me. She reiterated that she didn't have time to wait for another cake, and motioned for her husband to place it back in her basket. Having just given her the money back for it, I can't say that I wasn't caught off guard. Quickly regaining my wits, I informed the woman that I couldn't possibly let them walk out of the store with something they didn't pay for, regardless of the situation. Up until that point, she'd only been agitated with the bakery employees, but it became fairly obvious that my reaction trampled on one of her few remaining nerves. I ended up having to contact a member of management about the situation. With his permission, I was reluctantly able to allow them to take the cake as a courtesy.
I can understand her reasoning for not wanting to have to pay for the cake. If she'd mentioned her intentions prior to me going through the refund, I would have had no problem calling management about it. What it boils down to is that it really just gets under my skin that she just brazenly assumed that she was going to walk off with the flipping thing with out giving me the least bit of heads up. In retrospect, I should have accidentally dropped it on the floor...