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The Couponator 22: Coupons Of Mass Consumption

, , , , , | Right | December 20, 2020

A common thing pet food companies do at times is attach certain coupons to every other product, such as a “buy one get one free” offer for a little package of cat food, and people can redeem them with their next purchase.

A customer walks up to my register with her cart absolutely chock full of this one type of cat food, which is unfortunately common. As her husband begins placing the cat food on the register:

Customer: “Hello, I have a couple of coupons to use!”

We usually accept several different coupons on a purchase if the parameters are met, so I’m not surprised and happily agree to take them.

She then takes out several fistfuls of coupons from her purse and piles them ALL on the counter as I’m ringing up her order. I’m talking along the lines of a small mountain of coupons on my register for her cartload of cat food.

Realizing this is going to take a while, and seeing three people queuing up behind her, I call another cashier to help everyone else while I sort through this lady’s coupons and purchase.

The coupons are all the same “BOGO” manufacturer coupons that sometimes come attached to products — she must have bought an unholy amount of cat food to have gotten this many — but I dutifully begin ringing her up and putting in the coupons.

After the first one, the register won’t scan in any of the other coupons, and upon closer inspection, it clearly says on the coupon that it is “limit one per customer per purchase,” i.e., that she could only use one of these coupons when she clearly planned on getting HALF of all of her cat food for free.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but it appears that these coupons limit one per purchase, so you can only use one.”

Customer: *Unfazed* “Oh, I was worried about that, too, so when I was in here last week I asked one of the workers and they said it was okay to use several!”

Me: “I’m sorry. If it was just one of our salespeople they may simply have been misinformed, as it clearly states that it’s a limit of one per purchase here. Only a manager would be authorized to tell you that.”

Customer: “Oh, you know what? Now that I think of it, it was a manager!”

Our store isn’t that big, and we have three managers, one of whom is a woman and two of whom are men of very different statures and appearances. All of them always wear name tags with their names on them, so I ask her if she remembers which manager it was.

Customer: “Oh, I don’t remember their name!”

Me: “Was it a man or a woman?”

Customer: “I’m not sure, sorry, but they did say I could use several coupons at once, so please ring them up!”

By now I’m suspicious since she can’t even remember who she spoke to, and since the computer requires a manager’s code to override instructions for coupon parameters that are already met, I call over my manager. I explain what’s going on, and the manager says the same thing to the customer, who keeps insisting she was told she could use these fifty-plus coupons.

The manager then goes to the office and calls the store manager, who isn’t working that night, to ask him if he’s allowed to authorize this sale.

Manager: *Returning* “The store manager says you aren’t allowed to use more than one, but just this once he said we could use five. But please know that, after this, you can only use one per purchase.”

The customer complies, and, after deciding not to buy about 70% of the cat food that she brought up, leaves, after an ordeal that took at least half an hour.

Later that night, my manager approaches me.

Manager: “You know that lady with the coupons?”

Me: “Yes?”

Manager: “Last week is when we last got a shipment of that cat food with those coupons, and I stuck them on myself in the morning. Later that day, all the coupons on the cat food packages were ripped off every package on the shelf. I guess that lady came in, took them all without buying the product, and decided to use them all a week later. Guess it didn’t work out for her!”

The Couponator 21: The FINAL Sale
The Couponator 20: Coupons Of Mass Consumption
The Couponator 19: Fast Food & Furious
The Couponator 18: The Digital Revolution
The Couponator 17: Attack Of The “Programmer”

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