The Couponator 13: Coupons Of Purchases Past

, , , , , | Right | March 12, 2019

(Recently our registers started printing out coupons and promotions along with the receipts. Once a customer hits a certain dollar amount, they get an extra coupon. We are currently giving a coupon for 50% off a regular-priced item for customers spending over $20. We are in the middle of the expiration dates listed on the coupon, so it is “live” and can be used immediately. However, the fine print specifically states that it cannot be used on a previous purchase. I’ve had several people want to immediately return what they just purchased to and then repurchase with the coupon they just received, but this transaction goes above and beyond. A woman approaches the register with a store bag full of yarn. Seeing all of the signs of a return, I greet her:)

Me: “Are you making a return today?”

Customer: “Yes, I purchased these yesterday and I got a coupon for half off, so I wanted to apply it to my purchase.”

Me: “I’m sorry, those coupons are good for future purchases and cannot be used on previous purchases.”

Customer: “Well, I didn’t have the coupon until I bought the yarn. It printed with the receipt, so I couldn’t have used it with my purchase!”

(I’m thinking, “EXACTLY!” but lately corporate has been very pro-customer and we have basically been told to never say no and to make the customer happy no matter what. So, even though it is against policy, I know that once I ask my manager, I’ll be told to go ahead and break it, return the item, and then apply the coupon. Still, I have to do a token refusal so the customer feels like they are getting their way.)

Me: “Well, let me see your receipt and I’ll ask my manager what we can do.”

Customer: “I actually don’t have my receipt; can’t you just look it up? I bought it yesterday, and my name is [Customer].”

Me: “Ma’am, I have no way of looking up a transaction by a customer’s name; we simply don’t take that information. And I wouldn’t be able to process a return without a receipt and do what you’re asking; all returns without receipt are automatically priced at the lowest price it could have been purchased at in the past 90 days, which would likely be half-off, so you would end up not getting any money back by repurchasing and applying a half-off coupon. It would zero out.”

Customer: “I just don’t understand why you can’t just give me the difference.”

Me: “Ma’am, if you show me your coupon I can show you what the conditions of the coupon are.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t have the coupon with me; it printed with the receipt, so it’s wherever that is!”

Me: “I want to make sure I understand what you’re asking. You want me to return an item you purchased, to apply a coupon you only got because you purchased the item, and you want me to do this without a receipt showing the purchase or the coupon you want me to apply?”

Customer: “Yes! That’s not hard, is it?”

The Couponator 12: The Special Competition
The Couponator 11: Barcode Of Duty
The Couponator 10: Expiration Day

They’re All Upcharged Up

, , , , , , | Right | March 7, 2019

(While at grad school I work the overnight shift at a cheap hotel chain. Rooms are about $50 a night, but there is a coupon for $39.99 in a popular hotel coupon book that’s available all along the interstate. It clearly states on the coupon that this is only for non-renovated rooms, and that there is a $5 upcharge for the renovated rooms. One night I have this conversation.)

Customer: “Hi. I’d like one of your coupon rooms, please.”

Me: “Okay, we are currently sold out of our non-renovated rooms, so is a renovated room okay for the $5 more?”

Customer: “What? No. Your coupon says $39.99. That’s what I want.”

Me: *resisting the urge to sigh because this is a common argument and it’s one am* “I’m sorry, but those rooms are sold out. I can give you a renovated room for $44.99.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I’m calling your corporate office and reporting you for false advertising!”

Me: “It clearly states on the coupon that—“

Customer: *flips phone open and dials corporate, glaring at me*

Me: *soldiers on* “The renovated rooms are a $5 upcharge.”

(I give up, because I know how this will go with corporate; it’s happened before, though, granted, not with the customer standing right in front of me while calling.)

Customer: *talking on the phone to corporate* “Hello. I’m at your hotel in Syracuse and they won’t honor a coupon from this coupon book. Yes, I’ll hold.” *continues to glare at me*

(The hotel landline rings. I pick it up, looking steadily back at the customer.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Hotel]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Corporate: “Hey, this is [Corporate] from corporate. We just got a customer complaint about a coupon?”

Me: *still looking steadily at the customer* “Yes, as I explained to the customer, the room that the coupon refers to is sold out for the night. We do have renovated rooms available at a $5 upcharge from the coupon price. It explains that on the coupon.”

Corporate: “Okay. I’ll let her know, thanks.” *hangs up*

Me: *hangs up*

Customer: *obviously just taken off of hold* “Yes, I’m here.” *I can faintly hear corporate repeating word for word what I’ve now explained three times* “Fine.” *hangs up* “I’ll take a renovated room.”

Me: *smiles* “Of course.”

Nuts About Coupons

, , , | Right | February 26, 2019

(I am ringing up a customer’s purchase: candy, and some cold medicine.)

Customer: “Oh, you didn’t scan this yet.” *offers me a coupon*

Me: *scans the coupon without looking, then glances at it* “Oh, this is for nuts. You didn’t get any, so the computer won’t take it off.”

Customer: “Then why is it showing up on your screen?”

Me: “The computer does that, but it says, ‘Pending Validation.’ Since you didn’t get the item, it won’t take it off.”

(I total the purchase and show her the red notification saying it won’t take the coupon.)

Customer: “But you can validate it, can’t you?”

Me: “No, sorry, I can’t. The computer won’t let me.”

Customer: “But I got nuts, look!” *shows me a bag of peanut M&Ms* “Nuts!”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Where is your manager?”

Cashier Cons Customer Into Canine Coupon

, , , , , , | Working | February 25, 2019

(After searching for months, I finally find the perfect puppy. I drive two hours one way to pick up my precious new friend and stop at a local pet store on the way home to get everything I need. The floor staff fawn over her, helping me load up on food and toys and all kinds of goodies. When I get to the cash register, however, things change.)

Cashier: “Hi! Did you find everything you were looking for?”

Me: “I did!”

Cashier: “Excellent. Oh! New puppy! How cute! Did anyone tell you about our coupon booklets?”

Me: “No, what’s that?”

Cashier: *handing me a laminated list of coupons* “Oh, they’re these little books of coupons we offer to new pet parents. You get money off all the things you need for your new friend — $15 off food, $15 off training, a free bath — it’s a ridiculous amount of savings. Like $300, plus you get more coupons when you use the ones in here. You can also start saving today; I see at least $50 in savings in your cart.”

Me: “Okay, sure!”

Cashier: “Great!” *scans book* Let’s get saving!”

Me: “Wait. Why are you charging me $19.99 for a book of coupons?”

Cashier: “That’s the price of the book.”

Me: “I have to pay for coupons?”

Cashier: “I know it seems silly, but there is a charge.” *shrugs*

Me: “I’m not paying for coupons.”

Cashier: “Okay.” *voids coupon book*

Me: “I can’t believe you just tried to scam me like that.”

Cashier: “I wasn’t trying to scam you. I offered you a product, and you said yes.”

Me: “Get your manager.”

(Awkward silent waiting.)

Manager: “Hi there. How can I help you?”

Me: “Why am I paying for coupons? That’s ridiculous.”

Manager: “We do have to charge for the book, but you save a lot more than the price of the book. It’s like those big books some organizations sell for fundraisers, you know?”

Me: “But why am I paying for coupons?”

Manager: “We used to give them away, and then corporate changed the policy. If you brought your adoption paperwork, I can ‘make’ a coupon to even out the price.”

Me: “Adoption papers? I didn’t get any papers.”

Manager: “When you adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue—“

Me: “I didn’t adopt her. I bought her from a reputable breeder in [Town]. I have her vaccination paperwork.”

Manager: “Oh. No, sorry. I can’t do anything with that.”

Me: “Okay, then. Thank you for nothing. You can void this transaction and I’ll be taking my business elsewhere.”

(I understand companies need to make money to stay afloat, but I refuse to pay to save money. I left a review on their Facebook page and contacted customer service, but they never responded. I didn’t realize people were so snobby about where dogs come from.)

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.)

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

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