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5 Common Customer Scams and How to Stop Them.

  • Let's get one thing straight. The customer is not always right. In fact, the customer is blatantly wrong in some cases. Nonetheless, thousands of business owners appease unruly customers or scammers in a futile attempt to uphold the previous dogma. Business owners, beware. There are scammers out there who wish to loot your company through complicated schemes. Here are some common customer scams and how you can stop them.

    The Free Meal Trick

    One of the oldest scams that some customers try to use is known as the "free meal trick". In this scenario, a customer will eat a whole meal that they purchased then complain about its quality. The customer will then go ahead to demand a refund from the restaurant even though they have eaten the order. This scam generally has a high success rate, mainly because restaurants yield to their demands too quickly.

    To remedy this problem, you must show that a customer cannot receive a refund if they have eaten their meal. Essentially, you can surmise that if the customer was truly unsatisfied with the meal, they wouldn't have eaten it.

    The Return Item Trick

    In most cases, clothing stores let customers return purchased items in exchange for a refund. While this is a respectful practice, it also opens up the door for scam artists. Scammers will buy clothing items and return them to a store months later, claiming that the item was unsatisfactory. However, the customer by that time has gotten full use from the clothing.

    In order to solve this dilemma, you can set up time restrictions for return items, which will keep customers from returning items months later. Also, regularly check inventory on your items (after all, you can't receive what you didn't sell). This way, your store can separate legitimate customers' needs from the attempts of scam artists.

    The Customer Service Trick

    In a nutshell, some customers falsely complain about the service quality and demand a refund. Even on the grounds of sub-par customer service, however, a refund is not suitable. In this scenario, instruct your employees to humbly apologize to the customer but deny a refund. If the issue persists, enforce this policy and let the customer know that they cannot receive a refund.

    The Foreign Object Trick

    One scam that has become common place over the last few years is the "foreign object trick." In this scenario, customers will add items such as hair, chemicals, or even body parts into their food and complain, ultimately demanding their money back. To solve this issue, calmly assess the situation. If the situation is unreasonable, deny any refund. Cases involving body parts, chemicals, and insects being placed into food are extremely rare yet possible. Use your best judgment if this happens.

    The Chargeback Trick

    The chargeback trick is a ploy where scammers buy items from sellers using a payment method such as PayPal, receive the goods, and then file chargeback claims with their credit card companies. This is an extremely difficult scam to defuse. To remedy this problem, do not sell anything to shady or suspicious customers. You can also use software such as High Risk Pay to mitigate the issue.

    Be mindful of these common customer scams. Try the above methods to lower the chances of any scam affecting your business.