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?”


The Couponator: The College Years

, , , , | Working | January 5, 2019

(In Slovenia we have student coupons; the government gives 2,63€ toward your meal as many times a month as there are working days in a month, up to twice a day, with a four-hour cooldown, between eight am and nine pm. The coupons are tied to your identity and phone number, which are confirmed by devices, kind of like the ones for paying with mobile phones, hence the term ”calling” for coupons. Since eating out with a coupon is often cheaper than cooking at home, students end up being the majority of customers in a lot of places. One day after work I go to a kebab place just down the street. It’s already 20:50, so I’m in a hurry to use my coupon since the price difference can be more than 5€ for a full meal.)

Me: *in Slovene* “Hi. I’d like to order with student coupons.”

Cashier: *English* “Huh? I don’t understand?”

Me: *English* “Student coupons?”

Cashier: “I don’t know how to do that. The guy who knows just stepped out. Would you mind waiting?”

Me: “No problem, but could I just call for coupons? It only works until nine pm.”

Cashier: “Sure. So, what do I do?”

Me: “I call—“ *pointing to the machine* “—and then you confirm my identity.”

Cashier: “Okay, do that.”

(I try but I see that it’s turned off. He has no idea how to turn it on, so I do it. When it comes to confirming my identity, however…)

Cashier: “So, what now?”

Me: “You look at my ID and hit confirm.”

Cashier: “Can’t you do it?”

Me: “Not really; it has to be you. I can’t confirm my own identity, can I?”

Cashier: “I guess that makes sense.” *hits confirm* “So, what would you like?”

Me: “Menu five, please.”

Cashier: “What comes with menu five?”

Me: “Kebab and fries, and since it’s a student meal it should have soup and salad, too.”

Cashier: “We don’t have any soup or salad.”

(They do; offering a menu with soup and salad is. a requirement for entering the program.)

Cashier: “But I guess I could make something. Uh, it looks like the other guy is not coming back. How much do you owe me?”

Me: *already regretting my decision to eat at this place* “3,30€.”

(Note that without student coupons a combo would cost 7,50€, so I could easily be trying to fleece him, but he doesn’t even question it.)

Cashier: “So, you give me 3.30€?”

Me: “Yes, and you give me a receipt.”

Cashier: “I only know how to do receipts for normal orders. Do you really need it?”

Me: “It’s the law that you have to give me a receipt and I have to take it. I don’t want to get you in trouble.”

Cashier: “Oh, right. But I don’t know how to do that for student coupons.”

Me: *trying to remember how these terminals worked from my old job* “There should be a button saying, ‘student meal,’ or something like that. They’re all the same price regardless of what is being ordered.”

Cashier: “I think I found it. It says 5,93€ for a student meal, but you said 3,30€. Am I doing this right?”

Me: “The government gives 2,63€, so I give you the rest. You should apply the student discount to the meal.”

Cashier: “I see. Sorry about. I’m new here, and I have no idea how the system works. I’m not from Slovenia; I just moved here a month ago.”

Me: “It’s all right. I’m just happy I got my food.”

(The food was all right, but I still don’t understand why would they leave an untrained worker to work alone without even an explanation of how the student coupon system works, especially when that is where most of your revenue comes from!)

The Couponator 10: Expiration Day
The Couponator 9: The Passive Aggression
The Couponator 8: The Fabric Of Reality

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