Saturday, June 5, 2010

Stand Your Ground

I am sure if you use coupons that you have had at least one run in with a cashier that is not into you saving money, whether it be because they haven't been properly trained on how coupons work or that they are just generally upset that they must put forth some effort and scan coupons.
I have been pretty fortunate and have not had many of these encounters but I did have one at Target recently.

I had valid coupons that come up as "item not found" and was told they could not accept them. I did end up getting my deal but it was frustrating and a bit embarrassing.

Here are some tips on what can be done when you get some push back when using coupons:
  • Be nice to the cashiers and make small talk. If you are nice they are more willing to work with you than if you start off with the attitude that something is going to go wrong.
  • Organize your coupons before getting into the checkout lane. Nothing can be more annoying than having someone hand you a stack of messy coupons or having someone searching for coupons to use while you wait to finish the order. Keep all items that you have free coupons for together and let the cashier know before hand what will be free.
  • If a coupon is refused ask why nicely- the cashier may be confused on how many items you bought or the wording, etc. If the cashier needs help with a coupon and needs to call a manager don't get upset- cashiers are sometimes not trained very well.
  • If the coupon is still refused state your case calmly to the cashier/manager on why it is in fact a valid coupon. If need be, once your transaction is complete head to the customer service desk and see what they can do for you. They are usually more willing to look into an issue and usually have a better grasp on coupons.
  • Talk to the store manager about your experience and ask for clarification on the store's coupon policy. Either do this in person or call.
  • Let corporate know about the situation if you feel that nothing is being done at the store level.
  • Know who the anti coupon cashiers are. I am not saying go to someone that you know will put through everything because you know that you can you incorrect coupons on products. I am saying that there are some cashiers who are clueless and make up their own rules or study every word on every coupon which holds you up and holds up the line. If you are using valid coupons go to a more cooperative cashier.
  • And lastly- if it turns out you were wrong admit it. I have given coupons that were incorrect before due mostly to being in a rush or having the kids with me (can you say frazzled while shopping). When I am wrong I make a joke about being an air head, apologize and take back the coupon.

If you've had a run in do not be embarrassed to go back to that store- especially because you did nothing wrong. (my husband couldn't believe that I went beck to Target after what happened the last time) As I get older I have learned that you can't control others' perceptions of you- if they want to think you are trying to pull one over on their store even though you are not that is their issue. Continue to use your coupons ethically and they won't have a leg to stand on.

I look at using coupons as my job. I take time to try and be the best at my job by staying informed of store coupon policies and procedures. A lot of people who work at stores do not take time to do this which to me is like them messing with my livelihood. Whether I have a .50 coupon or a $5.00 coupon it doesn't matter- it is money that I want in my pocket for my family.

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