The Couponator 17: Attack Of The “Programmer”

, , , , , , | Right | June 26, 2020

Our store has a loyalty program for customers, and when you sign up you receive some coupons to be used on your following purchases. They can’t be used the day you sign up; there is one coupon for each of the following three months. The customer needs to bring their coupon into the store to redeem it.

However, some customers forget their coupons, and while we have the ability to check their account and their purchase history, it’s frowned upon by management and it’s easier for everyone if they bring the coupon to the store.

I overhear this transaction between a woman and my coworker. 

Customer: “Oh, and I have a coupon to use today.”

Coworker: “Great. Do you have the coupon with you?”

Customer: “No, I left it at home.”

Coworker: “Oh, you really need to bring the coupon with you to the store. I’ll check your account to make sure you haven’t already used it. I’ll do it today, but in future, you’ll need to bring it with you.”

The customer sighs and crosses her arms. 

Customer: “Well, that’s ridiculous. What if I forget it next time? Does that mean I won’t be able to use it?!”

Coworker: “Well… yes. They need to be treated like any other coupon or gift card.”

The customer is getting increasingly more annoyed.

Customer: “That’s just stupid that I’m expected to bring them in. You should just log it all in my system. I work in programming so I know it’s possible!”

Coworker: “Just don’t forget it next time.”

Customer: “I think I’m going to write to your corporate about this. This system is ridiculous.”

Coworker: “Okay. Don’t forget your coupon next time!”

The Couponator 16: Enter The Entree
The Couponator 15: The Transaction Void
The Couponator 14: Multiple Attack
The Couponator 13: Coupons Of Purchases Past
The Couponator 12: The Special Competition

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A Hot Slice Of Justice, Part 5

, , , , | Right | May 26, 2020

A customer is trying to stack up multiple coupons, even though they all say clearly “one per purchase.” He has escalated his complaint all the way up to the owner of the franchise, who has told him the exact same thing as all the other members of staff before him.

Customer: “I know my rights! You legally have to accept these coupons!”

Owner: “Sir, I—”

Customer: “I am friends with the district attorney! You can’t afford to mess with me!”

Owner: “Sir, you can’t even afford a pizza.”

The customer huffed, but finally gave up and stormed out, throwing the coupons all over the floor.

A Hot Slice Of Justice, Part 4
A Hot Slice Of Justice, Part 3
A Hot Slice Of Justice, Part 2

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Cross-Border Couponing

, , , , | Right | April 21, 2020

I’m a cashier at a superstore. Someone hands me a coupon for some crayons that, of course, I have to check. Still valid, yes, it’s the right item… Oh, wait, only valid in the US — we’re in Canada — and the mail address is for Florida.

Me: “I’m sorry, but this coupon is only valid in the US. Don’t worry, though; it doesn’t expire for a year so on your next visit, you could use it!”

Customer #1: “Oh… okay.”

The next customer in line speaks up.

Customer #2: “I don’t believe you. You’re [Superstore]! You should be able to accept coupons for America because [Superstore] is in America, too.”

Me: “My manager says coupons can only be accepted if the mailing address on them is for Canada, and this one is for Florida so I cannot accept the coupon.” *To [Customer #1]* “Your total comes to [total].”

Customer #2: “I want to speak to your supervisor. This is ridiculous; just accept the coupon!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I cannot accept any coupons under any circumstances that are not valid in Canada. Also, my manager is extremely busy right now and it would take at least five minutes for her to come over here and confirm that this coupon is not valid.”

A different manager walks by and sees this little argument.

Manager: “What’s the problem here?”

Me: “This lady has a coupon that says it’s only valid in the US and has a mailing address in Florida. Can we accept that?”

Manager: “Nope.” 

The manager walked away, and I tried not to look too smug.

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There Should Be A Scan Ban

, , , , , | Right | April 8, 2020

(About a year ago, the supermarket company I work for “updated” how coupons are processed on the tills system. Whilst it meant coupons couldn’t be reused, it also meant that the system would only accept internal coupons and wouldn’t accept external vouchers. I think this was in part to stop people just manually couponing off the value of the coupon without reading the terms and conditions, but it also means that we spend a lot of our time refusing coupons and annoying people.

Plus, the ability to manually coupon off a voucher still exists; it just requires a supervisor’s code most of the time. As a supervisor myself, if a coupon is £2 or less, I will still manually coupon it off as it stops people complaining and getting more in goodwill. It’s a slow day on checkouts, and I notice a woman scanning a LOT of coupons on a self-scan machine. I go over as she finishes.)

Me: “Hi! You have a lot of coupons, I see! It’s going to ask for a colleague to verify them in a moment, so if I could just have a look and check that they’re okay?”

(The woman stands aside:)

Customer: “Yeah, sorry there’s so many. It just kept letting me scan them so I figured it’d accept them! One of them has [Competitor]’s name on it, though, so I’m not sure about that.”

Me: “Oh, well, the system lets you scan them all but asks for verification at the end from us. I’m afraid it has rejected all of them. If I could just have a look at the coupons?”

(I print out a mid-transaction receipt and realise that this customer has scanned about forty coupons amounting to the value of £48. I go over each voucher. Twelve of the vouchers were for [Competitor], and literally every single other one states it can only be used once per customer, for a few different particular baby products.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can only accept three of these coupons, since you have the corresponding products. The others you will have to take back.”

Customer: *cheerily* “Oh, that’s okay! I guess I’ll try them elsewhere!”

(I manually couponed off the three coupons, which amounted to £5, and handed the rest back to her. When I told my manager about it later, she was shocked that somebody would try to redeem so many at once. We both agreed that the woman probably hoped the system would automatically accept them and had probably had them rejected at [Competitor] to begin with!)

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In Retrospect, We Don’t Discount Retrospectively

, , , , | Right | April 5, 2020

(A customer comes in and approaches my coworker’s register.)

Customer: “I have this coupon.”

Coworker: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am, but that coupon’s expired and no longer in our system. I can offer you this other coupon, instead.”

Customer: “Fine, whatever. Oh, and my son came in and dropped off clothes the other day. He already picked them up but forgot to bring the coupon, can I use it for them now?”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we are only able to accept coupons at drop-off, so I can only use it for your items today.”

Customer: “So, you don’t honor your coupons?!”

Coworker: “No, ma’am, as I explained, we do honor our coupons but we can only accept them at drop-off, as that’s when you pay. We can’t accept them at pickup or after you’ve already left the store with your clothes.”

Customer: “Whatever.”

(The customer paid for her current order and then stormed out in a huff. Two minutes later, she called the store to speak to a manager and once again argued that we should take her coupon for the order from two days ago that had already been picked up, and then hung up when my manager gave her the same answer my coworker did.)

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