A Cents-ible Decision

, , , , , | Right | April 18, 2019

(While waiting to pay for an energy drink, I am amazed by a drive-thru customer handing her cell phone to the cashier.)

Me: *incredulously* “She gave you her phone?”

Clerk: *rolling her eyes* “Yep. She has a fifty-cent coupon on there.”

Me: “So, for fifty cents off, she lets a stranger have control of a device with her personal info on it?!”

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Common Sense Has Expired

, , , , | Right | March 23, 2019

(I work at a popular pharmacy/health store chain. The company policy used to be that we would take any store coupon even years after their expiration date, but at the end of last August the entire company changed the policy so that coupons did, in fact, expire at the written date and we were not allowed to override them for any reason, even one day later. Almost an entire year later, this sort of interaction still happens at least once every time I work. A customer hands me a coupon that expired several months ago.)

Me: “I’m sorry, this coupon actually expired back in [Month] and I won’t be able to apply it to this purchase. Would you like me to throw it out for you?”

Customer: “What? Your coupons never expire!”

Me: “There actually was a company-wide policy change, way over our heads, at the end of last August. We used to take expired coupons, but we’re not allowed to anymore. I’m sorry.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous. You can never keep track of these. I’ve been meaning to use them for weeks, and now you’re telling me you can’t?”

Me: “Again, I’m really sorry. I know it can get confusing because we used to be able to take them, but it’s been almost a year now and I really can’t do anything about it.”

Customer: “You know that’s illegal?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I just have to follow the company policies.”

Customer: “Fine, whatever. You’re not in charge. Sure, throw it out, and these, too.” *hands me a handful of other coupons, most of which have not yet expired*

Me: “You still have [time] to use these other ones!”

Customer: “I’ll just lose them or there’ll be some other problem. What’s the point!?”

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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?”

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

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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.”

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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?”

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