Fake Coupon Gets You Fake Service

, , , , , , | Right | November 23, 2018

(I am a manager in a well-known store which has a well-known coffee shop inside. It’s Black Friday, and we are very busy. A woman comes up to the coffee shop counter, and the cashier calls me over to verify a coupon.)

Customer: “I have a coupon from [Web Coupon Company] for a buy-one-get-one-free coffee. See?”

(She shows me her phone and I can tell it’s obviously not a legitimate [Web Coupon Company] coupon. It’s a scanned version of my store’s coupon that was mailed out months ago. Each coupon has a unique barcode, which allows it to be used only once. The coupon states “[Store] coupon” at the top, and the image is crooked as if it was hastily scanned. I inspect it, and knowing it won’t work, ask the cashier to scan it. Unsurprisingly, it shows it’s already been used.)

Me: “Ma’am, this coupon has already been used. We cannot accept it.”

Customer: “It hasn’t already been used. See? You’re just doing that on purpose!”

(She shows me how she just tapped on her screen to bring it up.)

Me: “Ma’am, we aren’t able to accept it. If you want both drinks, you’ll need to pay for them another way.”

Customer: “You’re doing that on purpose! Now you’re doing that on purpose!”

(The line is getting much longer behind the customer, who is quite irate. I know the coupon isn’t legitimate, but I don’t want to directly accuse her of trying to scam us.)

Me: “Ma’am, it does not matter to me personally whether you use a coupon. But this is not a coupon we can accept. I’m sorry.”

(With that, I walked back to my post. She didn’t get the free drink.)

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