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The Coupons Are Coup-off

, , , , , | Right | January 25, 2020

About a year ago, the store I work at got remodeled with all new self-checkout machines and registers at the front end. We have two kinds of self-checkouts: the traditional compact scanners that most people associate with the term and a smaller number of belted registers where customers with larger purchases can ring themselves up. 

The other day, when I was assigned to monitor and help people at the belted self-checkouts, a couple came up with a basket of items and a handful of coupons. Our register systems, even for self-checkout, are actually pretty smart. If someone tries to cheat the system with a fake coupon, it’s detected and someone is supposed to go verify whether the coupons are, in fact, genuine. The couple in question had dumped out their basket onto the belt and split it into two piles. Basically their “haul” consisted of about ten scented wax candle melts, ten yogurts, and a $50 store gift card… each. 

Even before we’re put on a register, we’re trained on coupons: how to scan them, which ones are valid, what to do if we can’t get a coupon to scan, etc. 

Right away, I could tell the coupons were invalid. Our wax melts are maybe $2 and each coupon they had was supposed to take $5 off… Same with the yogurts. They’re normally priced at $1 and each coupon took $3 off. Riiiiight…

I informed them as politely as I could that the coupons were invalid, saying that the register wouldn’t let them scan — which was partially true. Immediately, the woman got very defensive, saying they were sent to them straight from the manufacturer. 

In the past, we’ve had a lot of problems with fake coupons so, fortunately, I knew how to handle the situation. I paged my manager over so I would be free to help other customers and the couple grabbed their coupons, storming out of the store and cursing.

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