Have you ever been shopping and felt like you were treated rudely simply because you have tried to redeem a coupon? Perhaps the store clerk is having a bad day, or the policy has changed and the shopper doesn’t realize it. Whatever the case, there is something you can do.
First of all, many stores have their coupon policies readily available on line. I always recommend that you print and keep these handy so that if you have issues when you shop, you can review the policy with the cashier. Here are policies of some of the stores I’d recommend that you print:
Even when you have the policy in front of you, there are times when the clerk does not want to work with you. You may even escalate it to the manager and still have problems. Unfortunately, some managers deem themselves “coupon police” and try to change the policy and decide what they will accept and what they will not.
I actually had a manager tell me today that she doesn’t like internet coupons because so many of them are fake. I honestly didn’t say a word to her as she was not going to listen to what I had to say anyhow. It didn’t affect them accepting my coupons, so I really didn’t have an issue other than a manager with a bad attitude! LOL!
So, what are you to do if you have a store that doesn’t want to work with you? Or worse, a cashier who is rude or unwilling to accept your coupons. Well, you have a voice (or fingers) — so use them!
Take a deep breath.
When someone is accusing you of fraud or trying to tell you that you are wrong, it can make your blood boil. Before you say anything at all, take a deep breath. It can even help to count to ten. That way, you are calm when you speak with them.
Show them their own store policy.
Once you know you can speak rationally, show them their store coupon policy. You can look it over together and may find that the problem is a lack of understanding on either your or the cashier’s part.
Ask for a manager.
If, after you have tried to be rational (or if the cashier is being difficult), ask for a store manager. In most instances, the matter can be resolved right there in the store. Of course, there are times that even this may not address the issue. In that moment, you can bite your lip, pay and leave. You can also opt to just walk out and leave your items at the store.
If your issue was not resolved in the store (or you were not treated in the write way), contact corporate. Each store has a website with contact information. Before you do anything at all, calm down. Your e-mail will be much more rational and easier to type and read.
When you type your email, be sure you have the correct store location, date and time that you shopped. You will also want to be sure to let them know the name of the cashier or manager who was causing you problems. But, you don’t have remember all of these details. Just look at your receipt to find everything you need.
On every receipt is the date/time you shopped, store location information and most importantly – cashier ID code. You can simply provide that to the company when you send your email or visit with them.
I have been told time and time again that the managers appreciate this as most of the time, it is a lack of understanding on behalf of that cashier and this helps them determine who did what. You can also find the manager’s name on the receipt as well (in most cases). Even if not, when your email is sent, the manager’s information is always available as it is directly tied to that store’s number.
Your e-mail should never include curse words. Ever. They will not help your situation and in fact, can make it worse. Instead, write it and then read it aloud to yourself. This can help you make sure you are saying what you intend, in the tone you mean for it to come across. Emails can be very hard to interpret, so it is important that you take an extra minute to ensure it is well written.
If you call to talk to someone, it is just as important to stay calm. Remember that you are complaining about something that happened and angry at another person and not the person who happens to answer your call. You will still need to have the same information (store number, date/time, cashier info, etc) handy to share it with them.
I have been told that the stores actually appreciate you talking to them rather than letting situations brew and fester. Or worse – losing you as a customer over it. They actually ask you to speak up and contact them so that they can make it right. It is like I tell my husband, if you are angry or upset with me and don’t tell me about it – how will I know and how can I avoid it from happening again? The same holds true with stores and their managers.
My experience has taught me that more often than not, it is a lack of training/understanding of cashiers that is the issue than anything else. And, through calm and rational conversations, my issues have been resolved. As a result, I am willing to go back to that store and shop again.
Use your voice – it CAN make a difference.