If you use coupons, it is inevitable that you will someday encounter some difficulties at the checkout. There are several reasons this happens in my opinion.

  • Improper Cashier Training
  • Confusion over the wording on a coupon
  • Coupons with a value higher than the item cost
  • Using a coupon for a clearance item
  • Using 2 coupons on a BOGO sale
  • Manufacturer's coupons with the logo of a specific store on them

I have had coupons denied for all of these reasons. I believe it is how you react to each situation that determines the outcome.

What I mean by this, is that if you are going to get angry at a cashier for not accepting your coupon and you start an argument or even worse, you begin yelling, how far do you think you will get?

Discuss your coupon situation with the cashier.

The first thing I do in a situation like this is simply discuss it with the cashier. You should do this politely without accusation. No coupon or sale is worth an argument or risk of ruining your day...or the cashiers. If the cashier still does not see it your way (and we will assume you are using your coupons properly), your next step would be to ask to speak with the manager.
Typically the first level of management that will come to the register is the MOD-or Manager On Duty. You can then explain your coupon situation to them and hope they see it your way. Fear not.....you still have options up your sleeve before you leave the store!

Ask to speak directly to the store manager.

In most cases, I have had success with this level of management. Once you explain your situation, again, to this manager you will usually get the results you are after--the item purchased with the coupon in question. I never let the cashier or first level management explain my situation to the store manager. I feel it is best if he/she hears it right from me......leaving no room for misinterpretation. Again, be kind. Don't be hostile. Just explain, and be nice...it really works......trust me. Would you rather have someone talk nice to you or get in your face about something?

Ask for direct contact information for the District Manager.

If the Store Manager is not able to be convinced that the coupon you are trying to use in this situation is appropriate for the product you are trying to purchase, you have 2 options. Finish your transaction and leave, or ask for the contact information for the District Manager. I can tell you first hand after working as a store manager in retail for over 15 years, that the store manager standing in front of you will not want you calling the District Manager over a coupon issue! The District Manager has far greater things to worry about than if you are going to get your .75 off of the 1.00 product! I would surely hope that store manager agrees. If he/she does not...then proceed with getting the contact information to the District Manager. Once you have this information, USE IT.

Follow the situation through to the end.

It will do you no good to go through all these steps and levels of management if you go home, simmer down, and forget about it. You should follow up with the situation for best results. When you are in the store gathering the District Managers contact information, remember to get as much information about the specific transaction you were trying to complete. Some information you should gather and write down (preferably in the store or as soon as you get to your car so you don't forget) is:
  • The cashiers name
  • The MOD's name that came to the register first
  • The Store Manager's name
  • The register you were at, if possible
  • Information from the coupon you were trying to use and the product you wanted to purchase (kind/color/size etc.) with it
  • The date and time of your issue
  • Any other notes you can remember about the situation, for example.."Suzy the cashier was very courteous during my incident, however Joe the MOD was quite rude" ( Remember to point out if something positive occurred, even if it seems insignificant, it will bode well in your favor)
Once you get home, contact that District Manager. Write an email or call directly. An email works great, because you can save the conversation in print to keep with you should you encounter a similar situation again in the same store. Explain what happened, sticking only to the actual details of the issue. (that is why it is important to collect the information above while it is fresh in your mind) Without being able to guarantee results in your favor, I would say from my experience as both a manager and customer, using this process should get you the desired result......the use of your coupon on the item it was intended for.

In the end, if you have done everything mentioned above, and you still do not have the desired result..............think of it this way, there will always be another sale, another great deal and many more opportunities to use your coupons. Know that you have given it your best, honest effort and be happy with that. Life is too short to haggle over this one itty bitty issue.

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Anonymous said...

My daughter did her monthly shopping at Walmart. over $400 worth and the cashier tried to put her coupons in the trash if they did not work at first. We asked for them back. We reported her later.

Treasure said...

Sorry to hear you had trouble. It can be hit or miss, all I can say is don't give up, and just make sure you are using your coupons properly and know you are doing nothing wrong. I would never let a cashier take my coupons !!