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There Should Be A Scan Ban

, , , , , | Right | April 8, 2020

(About a year ago, the supermarket company I work for “updated” how coupons are processed on the tills system. Whilst it meant coupons couldn’t be reused, it also meant that the system would only accept internal coupons and wouldn’t accept external vouchers. I think this was in part to stop people just manually couponing off the value of the coupon without reading the terms and conditions, but it also means that we spend a lot of our time refusing coupons and annoying people.

Plus, the ability to manually coupon off a voucher still exists; it just requires a supervisor’s code most of the time. As a supervisor myself, if a coupon is £2 or less, I will still manually coupon it off as it stops people complaining and getting more in goodwill. It’s a slow day on checkouts, and I notice a woman scanning a LOT of coupons on a self-scan machine. I go over as she finishes.)

Me: “Hi! You have a lot of coupons, I see! It’s going to ask for a colleague to verify them in a moment, so if I could just have a look and check that they’re okay?”

(The woman stands aside:)

Customer: “Yeah, sorry there’s so many. It just kept letting me scan them so I figured it’d accept them! One of them has [Competitor]’s name on it, though, so I’m not sure about that.”

Me: “Oh, well, the system lets you scan them all but asks for verification at the end from us. I’m afraid it has rejected all of them. If I could just have a look at the coupons?”

(I print out a mid-transaction receipt and realise that this customer has scanned about forty coupons amounting to the value of £48. I go over each voucher. Twelve of the vouchers were for [Competitor], and literally every single other one states it can only be used once per customer, for a few different particular baby products.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can only accept three of these coupons, since you have the corresponding products. The others you will have to take back.”

Customer: *cheerily* “Oh, that’s okay! I guess I’ll try them elsewhere!”

(I manually couponed off the three coupons, which amounted to £5, and handed the rest back to her. When I told my manager about it later, she was shocked that somebody would try to redeem so many at once. We both agreed that the woman probably hoped the system would automatically accept them and had probably had them rejected at [Competitor] to begin with!)

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