The general thinking is that many cashiers are just not “in the know” about how coupons work and it’s “our job” to explain it to them. And if that doesn’t get anywhere, we’re supposed to call over a manager and get it resolved, right?
After mulling this topic over for some time now, I have a few additional thoughts to add. And after opening the topic up on my Facebook page, I have a few more.
1. Could it be, my friend, that YOU are wrong? Guess what. Mistakes happen! I’ve personally headed to checkout with the wrong product before or worse – an expired coupon! I would have never attempted such coupon redemption knowingly, but thankfully, vigilant cashiers have caught my mistakes before. The next time a cashier scrutinizes your coupon and searches for your bag to make sure you bought the right item, let him/her! If you are right and have handled yourself graciously, you are on your way to building a positive relationship with the store.
2. Remember, coupon fraud is a REAL thing. While I know none of you would commit coupon fraud, there are people out there up to no good. According to Fraud Fighter, there was a 400% increase of coupon fraud incidents in 2009 over 2008, and they estimate this cost manufacturers tens of millions of dollars. So here you come to the store with your coupons when fraud has been HOT on everyone’s mind…doesn’t it make sense they would look at the coupons and make sure they are legit?
3. It’s possible employees could be disciplined for improper coupon acceptance. An employee who does not perform his or her job correctly could be subject to counseling and even termination. Given today’s job market, folks can’t afford to lose their jobs. I think it’s fair and reasonable for cashiers to look at the coupons and verify items as needed.
4. Even if your cashier wrong, does he or she deserve disrespect? There are times when you KNOW your cashier is wrong. And it can be frustrating. I’ve been there! By all means, speak up for yourself, but remember a little respect and courtesy go a long way.
Now for all the caveats, right? Like many of you, I have had VERY poor interactions with cashiers in my day. I have asked for managers before, and called Customer Service. I’ve stopped transactions that I felt weren’t being processed correctly. Are cashiers sometimes not informed about coupon policies? Yes, absolutely. Are there cashiers that could benefit from a class or two in customer service? Not going to argue with you.
Many of you told me that it truly depends on the cashier’s attitude, too. You can tell if the cashier is trying to do their job or just give you a hard time in their attitude. Good point.
That being said, I think too often we blame the cashiers and stores without considering things from their point of view. Don’t you think they talk in the breakroom about rude and obnoxious couponers that they’d seen in their day? It goes both ways, folks.
My goal is to help you build positive relationships with the stores you frequent. Keep showing up with your coupons, your best smile, and let’s work to give couponers a good name everywhere.
What do you think – do you think couponers should give cashiers more credit? And if you ARE a cashier, I’d love to hear your response to my post.