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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

June 16, 2011

Peculiar Things Our Customers Say and Do

By Patrick Donston


I thought I would share some odd or funny things our customers have said or done in the shop over the past year. These anecdotes have let us scratching our heads and wondering.
1. A customer was observing the algae magnet we've displayed on a tank. As he proceeded to try it, the inside magnet dislodged and floated to top of the water. He then let go of the outside magnet, looking up in the air to see if it would float. As the magnet dropped to the ground, he looked stunned. We watched his actions from behind the counter and almost burst out laughing. We had to leave the area so we wouldn't offend the customer.
 2. A customer complained our feeder fish were 2 cents more than the shop down the road. I noticed he was coming in every week with the same complaint. When I asked him why he didn't buy the ones down the road, he said, “They never have them.” I wanted to say, “Well we'll sell you the ones we don't have either for 2 cents less.”
 3. A customer calls on the phone, one of my guys answers and can hear the power filter rattling in the background. The customer couldn't get the filter to run and was getting electric-shocked. Through a series of questions, we find out he had the back of the filter with the motor in the tank under water and the siphon was hanging over the back of the tank—outside. Hmmm, no air flow?
 4. One customer (not a child) asked one of my associates, “How do their skulls fit in their heads?”
 5. On a crowded Sunday, a customer came running in the store with delight and said. “Hey everyone, come out here and see this rainbow.” The line of customers—as well as the store’s associates—just looked on in disbelief. He then said, “No really, you all should come out and look at this.”
 6. I was trying to explain the nitrogen cycle to a family new to the hobby. The dad remarked that he wasn't interested because nitrogen is used to make bombs. He wouldn't put his family in danger. FYI: I did finally get him to understand.
 7. A lady would not buy any of our goldfish because they were not gold—they were orange, black, or white.  She said it was false advertising. (That's when I appealed to our industry to change the name to Orange-Black-White fish.)
 8. There is a review about our store that called us “pirates” because they think our prices are too high. A customer I know came in and called me “Patrick Sparrow.” (Now I like that—that's good.)
 9. A customer brought in a piece of live rock covered in algae with a receipt from another store and asked us to replace the coral that died on the rock. We asked her if she purchased it from us and she said no. She thought that if we cared so much about reef conservation, we would replace it anyway.

Yes, these are all true and really did happen, Absurd or unimaginable comments made by our clients lead us to question their common sense and reality. My customers make me smile, laugh and, at times, frustrated. At the end of the day, week or year, all I know is I'll never understand them all. That's okay; I love ‘em anyway.

I would love to hear some of your funny client stories—what they’ve said or done. Please comment below. (Gotta' love retail.)

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