Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Yes, I coupon and yes, I know the rules

I must admit I've read horror stories on other blogs about how a cashier or management treats someone when using coupons. I've been relatively lucky during my adventures in couponing. Usually, I have found that if you are polite and ask them to just try, they will. I used to work in retail. I know that cashiers usually get very little training due to payroll constraints and other factors. It really can be a tricky situation because they usually are doing what they THINK they can do and if they don't do something right, well the management will let them know. Trust me, because not only did I work in retail, I did HR. So I had all that in the back of my mind today while I was checking out at Publix today.

I bought two bags of Beneful, it was buy/get one at 5.49. I had two coupons to use with them, then I bought sushi for lunch and some bananas as I knew I would have overage. My cashier rings me up and tells me my total which was around 13 dollars. I hand over my coupons, she looks at them then her screen. She tells me I can't use coupons on a sale item. I give her a confused look, before I can even ask her to just scan them. She decides she is going to find a manager. I stand there, waiting for her to return. Finally, after what feels like hours the manager comes over. Looks at the coupons, looks at her and tells her to scan them. They go through just fine. She then starts telling the manager she doesn't feel it's right that I can use them because the coupon is for more than the item. The manager looks at her and goes, we get reimbursed for the value of the coupon, really it is fine. Then she points to my total and goes, yeah but look at how much it took off?! He looks at me and goes "Yes, it's fine". I pay for my purchase.

I am really grateful that manager knew the correct coupon policy and how to react to the situation. I'm sure he has dealt with a lot worse than this. However, I could not believe how the cashier was treating me, the customer. As if I was stealing dog food from their shelves and then demanding they give me free bananas while I was at it. Clearly, this was not only a training issue but an attidude issue from the cashier. It's unfortunate, as the economic stays stagnant, more people will be using coupons. More people will be looking for ways to save money. I wrote Publix to let them know how much I appreciate this manager and how their cashier may need a little assistance with training on the proper use of coupons.

The important thing is to not let situations like this deter you from using coupons. Know what your rights are as a consumer and always remain polite with management. Usually, management will be on your side if you explain your position and are working within the stores boundaries. Stay the course in coupoing, because that 7.00 I saved today was worth the hassle and the free dog food.


  1. Sorry to hear of this experience! Seriously, I don't understand why cashiers aren't trained and why they aren't excited when they see people save. I would be happy to see that customers were able to find a good deal- especially in this economy.

  2. I'm not sure which I found more offensive. The fact that she treated me so poorly or that she was trying to tell the manager it was "wrong". I loved it when people got great deals when I was a cashier. It made them so happy to see their totals whittle down. But perhaps that is because my mother was a coupon queen. :)