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“Return” Of The Couponator

, , , , | Right | July 26, 2021

I have just finished a transaction for a customer who has purchased roughly ten items. Some are fragile, so they were wrapped in paper before being bagged.

Me: “Here’s your receipt and your bags, and you’re all set. Thanks so much, have a great day!”

Customer: “Oh… I had a coupon!”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “Can I still use my coupon?”

Me: “Well, the way our system is set up, I have to return everything and then re-ring it with the coupon. If you want to do it that way, we can use the coupon.”

Customer: “Yes, please. I’m sorry.”

I’m annoyed, especially because I’m the only cashier on duty and there’s a line forming, but one does what one must and at least she’s being polite. Rather than unwrap everything, I put on my reading glasses and type each UPC from the receipt to process the return, which goes smoothly. The line is getting longer and I call for backup, but no one answers.

Me: “All right, now we’ll ring everything out again and apply your coupon.”

I type each UPC once again and then ask her for the coupon.

Customer: “Here it is. Thank you.”

I scan the coupon. A message pops up on the screen: “COUPON HAS ALREADY BEEN REDEEMED.” I inform the customer, and she gets a deer-in-headlights look.

Customer: “I can’t use it again?”

Me: “No, ma’am. Our coupons are single-use.”

This is not the first time this has happened, either. Where are these people shopping that they can use a coupon more than once?

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