The Couponator 18: The Digital Revolution

, , , , , , , | Right | July 26, 2020

I work at a bulk membership club. The club is taking extra steps to ensure the health and safety of employees and customers during the current health crisis.

One of these steps is making all coupons digital-only: use the membership app and load them onto the card. However, some customers are so entrenched in the old way of physically clipping coupons that every day we get some variation of, “Well, I wasn’t informed…”

Me: “All right, that will be [amount].”

Customer: “Oh, wait. I have all these coupons.”

Me: “Ma’am, due to the outbreak, all of our coupons are done digitally now.”

Customer: “What? Since f****** when?”

Me: “Since the beginning of March, ma’am.”

Customer: “Well, nobody ever told me that.”

Me: “Ma’am, it says so on the first page of the coupon book, on the large sign at the front of the store, on the TVs that you passed by on your way in, and on the PA system every half-hour.”

Customer: “Well, I didn’t see or hear any of that, so you have to take my coupons.”

As I’m about to call a manager, the PA system starts the prerecorded spiel about digital coupons. I watch as the customer claps her hands over her ears.

Customer: *Very loudly* “This is age discrimination, you know. I’m too old to know how to use these app things and if you keep this s*** up, I’m going to complain to the State about this!”

My manager arrives and she says the following:

Manager: “Ma’am, first of all, I won’t have you swear at my cashier. He has tried to help you. And in reference to your last statement, I see you’re not carrying a flip phone, so your [Expensive Smartphone] should be able to handle our app.”

Customer: “No! This policy is f****** stupid, and I won’t download your stupid app just to use my coupons!”

Manager: *To me* “Void her transaction and ring up the next person in line.”

Customer: “How dare you?! I’m a f****** paying customer!”

Manager: “You’re verbally abusing my cashier because you’re unwilling to learn new things, so he’s going to ring the next person in line while I show you how to use the app. Then, you’re going to apologize to him for swearing at him for something that is out of his hands. Then, and only then, will he ring you out, and then you will be a ‘paying customer.’ Do I make myself clear?”

The customer was at least five inches taller than the manager, but the sternness in her voice made the customer back down and move out of the line. Ten minutes later, she very meekly apologized and checked out, not making eye contact with me. A small victory for essential workers, but it felt good.

Related:
The Couponator 17: Attack Of The “Programmer”
The Couponator 16: Enter The Entree
The Couponator 15: The Transaction Void
The Couponator 14: Multiple Attack
The Couponator 13: Coupons Of Purchases Past


This story is part of our July 2020 Roundup – the best stories of the month!

Read the next July 2020 Roundup story!

Read the July 2020 Roundup!

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When Women (Men)Swear By It

, , , , , | Right | July 11, 2020

My store has recently had a three-day promotion on womenswear; we have been giving out vouchers that give a customer £10 off if they spend £50 or more on womenswear. The promotion has now ended. A customer comes to my till.

Me: “That’ll be [price], please.”

The customer hands over a £10 voucher.

Me: “Sorry, madam, this offer has finished.”

Customer: “But I want my £10 off!”

Me: “It wouldn’t be valid anyway.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “Well, for a start, your total is less than £50, and you’ve bought menswear.”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “The voucher was for £50 spent on womenswear between [dates].”

Customer: “Where does it say that?”

I point out the details — in big, clear letters — on the voucher.

Customer: “That’s disgraceful! You should make it more obvious!” *Leaves*

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There Is No Escape From The Terms And Conditions, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | July 9, 2020

I work customer service in a store where coupons are common and almost always used. They’re always off “one single item,” but there are the rare “off entire purchase” coupons. If customers forget their coupons, we always try to get them to come back and do an adjustment to their receipt.

Me: “Hello, what can I help you with today?”

Customer: “I was in here a few days ago and I forgot my coupon.”

Me: “Ah, coupon adjustment.”

Customer: “Yes.”

She hands me the long receipt with the coupon and I look and see it’s only off one single item.

Me: “I assume you want it off the highest-priced item?”

Customer: “No, I want it off the entire order.”

Me: “This coupon is only for one single item.”

I point to where it says that on the coupon.

Customer: “Unbelievable! Your store always does this to me! Why can’t you guys just hold coupons behind the counter like [Competitive Store]? Or better yet, just drop the prices 20% and get rid of the coupons! Your store always complicates things!”

She grabs her receipt and coupon and walks out the door. I then turn to my coworker.

Coworker: “They don’t realize you’re doing exactly what you were trained to do.”

Me: “They act like I have control over pricing and coupons.”

Related:
There Is No Escape From The Terms And Conditions

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Store Coupons Work In Store, As In OUR Store

, , , | Right | July 6, 2020

Me: “Thank you for calling [Retail Company]; my name is [My Name]. What can I help you with today?”

Caller: “Hey, are you associated with [Clothing Retailer]? Or [Furniture Store]?”

Me: “No, I’m afraid we’re not. Our sister companies are—” *Lists off four different stores*

Caller: “Do you know if [Clothing Retailer] accepts your coupons?”

Me: “Well, they’re a different company, so I don’t think they would. I’m not sure if they accept competitors’ coupons.”

Caller: “Find out.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I can’t find out. They’re not one of our stores. There’s no way for us to find out if they take our coupons.”

Caller: “Well, call them and find out!”

Me: “I’m… sorry? I have no way to find out from them. I can’t call them to find out if they take our coupons. They’re not associated with us.”

Caller: “Then, get me your boss! They’ll know!”

Me: “Uh… Okay. It’ll be just a moment.”

Caller: “Send me to your leaderrrr!”

I transferred him over to our supervisor, who told him the same thing I had about which companies are associated with us. He then yelled at her and told her that we didn’t care about our “customers” and hung up on her.

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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!”

Related:
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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