I ran both the men's dept and shoe department at Brooks Brothers for a few years, and heard many stories similar to those in this thread. Some of my all time faves:
1. A customer returning four made-to-measure suits that were 22 years old.
2. Old ladies routinely bringing in the unopened but years-old and yellowed shirts and underwear of their deceased husbands (this we did no questions asked)
3. "These shoes (shell) wore out in only one year---I was led to believe they would last much longer." "That's odd, with proper care, they normally last many years. Tell me, how often do you wear them in your rotation?" "Oh, I wear them every day."
4. Customer returns what appear to be "elf shoes". I complete the return, but mention that shoe trees are a great way to help shoes keep their shape. "But I do use them!" Right.....
5. "These pants are poor quality." They are obviously at least 25 years old. "Sir, I will gladly offer you an exchange. Please understand these pants, while very well made, will not last forever." "Well I think they should last forever."
6. Customers attempted to return at least 5-6 fitted, tailored and worn tuxedos (complete with accessories AND shoes) every January 2. Reason for each return: "It didn't fit"
7. A customer trying to return a Spring '95 sportcoat in Fall '94. (It was stolen from a photo shoot) "It was a gift."
8. Whenever a guy would angrily insist he was a 34 waist when he was really a 38, even when we showed him the measuring tape. (instead of arguing, we'd tear the label off so he couldn't see it)
9. We barred all women from the fitting area because they shot down so many sales. They would all make that same annoying skeptical face and say the same thing every time. "I'm not sure I like it. But if you REALLY want it...."
10. Blood stained, piss stained, shit stained clothing. I'm not kidding.
"This job would be great if it wasn't for the fucking customers." - Randall