The Couponator 12: The Special Competition

, , , , | Right | February 1, 2019

(I am a manager at a pet supply store. We are in close proximity to a competitor pet store, and part of our coupon policy is to accept competitor coupons. I get paged to the front and when I arrive, my cashier is holding a competitor coupon and a customer is talking over her, so it takes me a moment to figure out what’s going on.)

Customer: “I want the coupon!”

Cashier: “She has this coupon from [Competitor].”

Customer: “That’s my coupon.”

Me: “Okay. We do accept competitor coupons. That’s fine; accept it.”

Cashier: “I did.”

Customer: “I want it back!”

Me: “What? Wait. You used the coupon here?”

Customer: “Yes! And I want it back!”

Me: “But you redeemed it here. You don’t get a coupon back when you use it.”

(The customer behind her points at her and laughs, in the style of Nelson from “The Simpsons,” and I try not to laugh.)

Customer: “But it’s my coupon!”

Me: “You used it here. I need the coupon to balance the drawer at the end of the night. I need to account for all the money, and she’ll be $7 short if you take the coupon.”

Customer: “But I want to go use it at [Competitor]!”

Me: “But you already used it here. You have to surrender a coupon when you use it.”

Customer: “But it isn’t your coupon!”

Me: “Yes, it’s for [Competitor], but we accept it as a convenience.”

Customer: “They do it, too, so don’t think you’re something special!”

Me: “Okay. I’m not special. We’re keeping the coupon.”

Customer: “This is such a scam! You’re scamming me!”

Me: “You received the $7 off your transaction.”

Customer: “Can’t you just take a picture of the coupon and give it back?”

Me: *kind of confused* “Uh, no.”

Customer: “Can I just take it and use it there and bring it back?”

Me: “No, they would also need to keep the coupon to balance their drawer.”

Customer: “Oh… This is such a scam. It’s not right. You’re stealing my coupon.”

Me: “I will be happy to refund your purchase, charge you the full price, and return your coupon.”

Customer: “No! That’s not fair! They give me my coupon back all the time!”

Me: “No, they really don’t. You have to surrender the coupon at the time of the purchase. Any coupon is like that. I can’t think of a place where you can use a coupon and get it back.”

Customer: “You’re a scammer! This isn’t right! I’ll be calling your boss, and I’m going to shop at [Competitor] now! You always do this to me!”

(I imagine the customer went across the street to the competitor and berated the poor cashier there to give her the discount that I “stole” from her.)

Related:
The Couponator 11: Barcode Of Duty
The Couponator 10: Expiration Day
The Couponator 9: The Passive Aggression

Didn’t Read The Small Print ‘Once’

, , , , | Right | January 27, 2019

(What some people don’t realize is that if you look at the fine print of coupons, it will tell you how many of that coupon you can use per purchase. Many people overlook this and try to use as many as the can to pay basically nothing for a little more pricey items like medicine. I’ve noticed the same group of customers doing this every time medicine in my store goes on sale. My managers start telling us to look over the coupons if customers have multiple of the same item. Today I decided to let them know we are on to what they are doing.)

Me: *scanning the last of the cold medicine* “Okay, your total is now [price].”

Customer: “Oh, I have coupons.” *hands over a stack of coupons*

(I am on an express lane and even though she only has sixteen items, one over the amount allowed on the line, the customers behind her groan at the sight of the coupons.)

Me: *starts reading the coupons to see which can be used* “Okay, it looks like you can only use multiples of this coupon for [Item #1]. The rest you can only use one.”

Customer: “But I have four of each and have four coupons for them. I should be able to use all of them!”

Me: “If you look at the bottom it says you can only use one per purchase. The others say the limit is one, while the coupons for [Item #1] can have four be used in one purchase.” *shows her the small print on each*

Customer: “Right, per purchase. Meaning I can use four in this one.”

Me: “Ma’am, it says clearly you can only use one. If not, you would be paying a few cents for four boxes of medicine.”

Customer: “What do you know?! Just scan my coupons!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t.”

Customer: “I want your manager, now!”

(It is a busy afternoon and she won’t hear anything till I get a manager. I flash my light and a manager comes over. Now, mind you, he is a really nice guy but can be stern when customers try something like this, and always gets frustrated when they just leave after we refuse to scan them all.)

Manager: “What’s wrong?”

Customer: “She is refusing to scan my coupons! I have four for each and the right amount of items!”

Manager: *sighs, too tired to deal with her* “Ma’am, it says clearly in the coupons you can’t use it. You have a long line behind you and my cashier has told you already that we can’t scan them. We’re tired of having people come in and try to pay next to nothing for items. Now, either accept that fact and pay, or let me void the transaction and leave.”

(The look on her face when he denied her the coupons was hilarious. My manager voided her order per her request and she only bought the item with the multiple coupons that were allowed. After she paid, I quickly went through my line and was finally allowed to take my hour-delayed break. I later found out she went to one of the owners of the store and complained, but they just repeated to her what both I and my manager said. I hope this helps some people realize that you really need to read your coupons. The print is there for a reason, after all.)

Won’t Let Him Make A Meal Out Of It

, , , , | Right | January 23, 2019

(We have an event going on where we have our chain character dressed up to do a little something for the kids. There is a giveaway and some face painting, music, and coupons for free food in our store. We also have some coupons circulating in the mail that many people can bring in, as well. It is packed, with barely any elbow room for anyone. A man has brought his family for the event and he has a coupon from the mail. It states in large letters, “Buy one meal, receive a free sandwich.” Simple enough, right? He puts in his order and I read it back to him, and he says okay and pays. After I hand him the receipt and his drinks:)

Customer: “Excuse me, you forgot a cup.”

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry. Let me double check.”

(After looking over the order, I determine that I have given him the right amount.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I only rung you up for that amount of drinks. Would you like me to charge you for another one?”

Customer: “No! I want what I ordered!”

(He looks over the receipt and finds the issue.)

Customer: “See here! You only put the sandwich for free! It was for a free meal!”

Me: “No, sir, this coupon has come through many times and I assure you: it is to buy a meal, get a free sandwich.”

Customer: “No, you’re wrong, b****!”

(I am taken aback by his rude comment and I have no time for this because I have more customers to assist.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I’m not. Next!”

(Luckily, he left it at that.)

Threatening Retail Workers Is The Only Power Some People Have

, , , , | Right | January 17, 2019

(While I’m working on unloading the stock, a customer approaches me.)

Customer: “Is that the only cashier you have in the whole store? There’s a line, and I’m in a hurry!”

(I look up and see that the line currently consists of two people, not including the customer herself. I head to the registers for backup, grabbing the second person in line and directing them to another register, as per policy. Eventually, I get done with him, and the customer who called me over reaches me.)

Customer: “I have a coupon, as well.”

(I ring up her items and try to take her coupon, but she keeps a vice grip on it.)

Me: “Ma’am, if you want to use it, I have to take it.”

Customer: “No, you don’t! I can use it as many times as I want!”

Me: “That’s not true. We keep the coupons.”

Customer: “Well, they let me do it before! You obviously need to learn to do your job!”

Me: “I don’t know who let you keep the coupon before, ma’am, but that’s not how this works. You use the coupon, and we keep it.”

Customer: “They let me do it before, so just do your job!”

(Whenever a customer is being unreasonable and I have a choice to stand my ground or let them have what they want, I ask myself, “Is this worth getting a complaint to corporate later?” Resolving a corporate complaint involves a lecture from our district manager, who would do anything to save a sale. It also requires calling the customer afterward to apologize and offer them something for free, even if the customer is wrong. Her coupon will save her less than five dollars, so I conclude that it’s not worth the hassle. I scan it and let her keep it.)

Customer: *smugly* “I’m going to call to complain about you!”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Who’s your manager?”

Me: “I’m the manager on duty.”

Customer: *literally throws her head back to scoff loudly* “Ha! You’re a sorry excuse for a manager. You should learn how to do your job! You’re supposed to let customers keep their coupons! This isn’t [Grocery Store]!”

Me: “…?”

Customer: “My coupon is still good until [next month]! I can keep using it. Now hurry up and ring up my coupon!”

Me: “I did.”

Customer: “Well, then, do the thing you do at your register!”

(I glance at my register, spin the PIN pad around to read it, and then spin it back to show her where it reads, “Please swipe or insert your card.”)

Me: “You need to swipe or insert your card.”

Customer: “Who’s your manager?”

Me: “[Boss].”

Customer: *victorious smile* “Well, he’ll be hearing all about this!”

(She started to stomp away, nearly forgetting her receipt until she spun around, saw me holding it out to her, and snatched it out of my hands. I honestly wish I had stood my ground and made her give up the coupon, but my boss and district manager would both have wanted me to save the sale, so I know this was the correct route to avoid getting in trouble. I just don’t know why she felt compelled to fuss so much at me AFTER I gave her what she wanted! I guess threatening retail workers is the only thing that makes her feel powerful.)

The Price Of Not Reading Your Emails

, , , , | Right | January 9, 2019

(I am serving a regular customer who is notoriously fussy and demanding.)

Me: “Did you find everything you were looking for?”

Customer: “Yes. Oh, and I have a coupon for a free mug. Let me find it…”

(While we did have a promotion for our rewards program members for a free mug with a purchase over a certain price, it ended several weeks ago.)

Me: “Unfortunately, that particular sale ended, and the promotion code was taken out of the registers.”

(Since she’s taking so long scrolling through her email, I flag down the only other employee on the floor, the manager on duty, to help ring up the line behind the customer.)

Customer: “No, no, I have a coupon. I want my free mug!”

(She finally pulls up the email from last month’s promotion. The date the promotion ends is clearly marked on the advertisement.)

Me: “Unfortunately, the promotion requires a code on the register. When it ended, that code was removed from our system. I can try to honor it if you’d like, but it might not work.”

Customer: “I want my free mug!”

(I try to ring up the mug with the promotion and type in the coupon code. Unsurprisingly, the register rejects it as invalid.)

Me: “I’m sorry about all this; I can void the mug if you’d like.”

Customer: “This always happens! You send me all these expired coupons!”

(My manager comes over to see if she can help.)

Manager: “Can I see the email?” *the customer hands her the phone* “This was sent several weeks ago, just before the promotion began. The dates are clearly listed on here, so there’s no way the coupon was expired before you received it.”

Customer: “I didn’t read the email until yesterday! You should’ve told me to check it last time I was here!” *petulantly* “Fine, I don’t want the mug.”

(I get her rung up and she goes on her way.)

Manager: “That customer always makes me want to tear my hair out.”

Me: “It’s our fault she doesn’t read her emails?”

 

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