The Internet became obsessed this week with an N.C. shopper who confused butternut squash with cheese, and had the audacity to claim the store should not only refund his money, but should cube up a block of cheese and give it to him to replace the item.
Coverage of the in-store debate was documented live on Twitter by another shopper, SBNation staffer James Dator, of Greenville, N.C.
Dator did not name the shopper or the store (a tweet immediately prior to the incident showed he was at a Harris Teeter). But the store debate touched a nerve with social media, and led to coverage on a few dozen websites, including Time.com, the Huffington Post and Food and Wine.
Some writers called the shopper “clueless,” while others claimed the anecdote only served to illustrate the unreasonable expectations of American shoppers.
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“Some mistakes are easy to make: confusing sugar with salt, for example,” wrote the Daily Mail in the United Kingdom. “But Twitter users were left amused and baffled when a shopper revealed a fellow customer had mistaken cubes of butternut squash for cheese...Twitter was gripped by the saga.”
Dator’s original tweet from Friday has been retweeted 1,300 times and liked 3,200 times.
He says he and other waiting shoppers were eavesdropping on the conversation between the confused man and a store clerk. The shopper started with demanding a refund for what he called “rabbit food,” claiming the clearly labeled bag of yellow cubes was visually misleading.
“They’ve agreed to refund his money. Now he’s demanding they honor 2 pounds of cubed cheese for $2.97 as if it was priced like squash,” tweeted Dator, a UNC-Greensboro grad. “He wants them to give him two pounds of block cheese and have the deli counter slice it into cubes for him.”
The man ultimately left in a huff, with no refund, no cheese and his bag of cubed squash, Dator tweeted.
Many of those who responded to the story told of their own crazy customer moments, and the feeling of entitlement customer’s often bring to stores, even when the mistakes made are clearly their own:
“I’m Customer Service Staff at Publix. I once had a lady return chicken because ‘it looks like an animal’,” tweeted Chris Hilling.
“Working customer service I had a lady try to return bottles of wine saying they’re bad. Not thinking we would open. She had replaced with water,” tweeted someone identified only as John.
“I’ve seen plenty of people return a box that came with 20 apples but they bring back 2 saying ‘they were no good’,” tweeted Arash Yazz.