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There Are Two Sides to the Register…

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If you check out Hip2Save.com regularly, you likely had a chance to read the post that I published yesterday entitled “What Would You Do In This Situation?” I really enjoyed reading through the comments and getting a chance to hear all the different perspectives and opinions on how to handle an uncomfortable situation at the register.

Last night, I received this email below from reader, Melody (note that I am posting a condensed version of the email). I encourage all of you to read this email as it is a great reminder that we are all human, we all have good days and bad days, we all make mistakes, and that we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

I am writing to you because of the post that you made on January 28th about a person that felt belittled from the cashier.

Now, I could think of any number of horrid things to call people on both sides [bad guests and cashier alike]…instead, I feel it would be best to remind everyone to be courteous.

Yes, there are numerous cashiers out there that lack patience and knowledge about how to deal with coupons. More often than not, it’s not entirely the cashier’s fault, if at all. Management and training can be spotty, unhelpful and policies can be ever-changing. If you should ever feel that the cashier is incorrect in their assessment of how to handle a particular coupon [and if they get snippy with you], call a manager. If the manager is of even less help [as I have seen happen], try for someone over their head. The bigger the store, the more of a likelihood that the higher up ones will know EXACTLY what the policy is and how to handle it.

Now, on the flip side, there are customers that take couponing as a die-hard sport and do at times forget the humanity of the other side of the register. In one particular instance, I saw a guest scream so hard at my fellow guest service’s cashier due to an issue that was clearly in the wrong for the guest [she misread the specifics of how many items she'd need to buy for a gift card] that my co-worker started sobbing and ran off to the bathroom. There is NO excuse for this sort of behavior. If you feel yourself growing heated and can see the fraying nerves in the cashier, pause for a moment and ask if they can set aside your order so that you can gather yourself. Or at the very least…recognize and apologize. Often, this can set a clean slate for both of you. Cashiers rarely receive apologies or compliments.

No one tries to have a bad day, despite what side of the register they are on. So let us all do our part to try to keep the day moving smoothly by remembering that there is a person on both sides during each transaction.

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97 Hip Readers Commented

  • Joan says:

    Well said!

  • Yenay says:

    Well said

  • lj says:

    I’ve found that if a cashier is questioning my coupon, all I have to do is say “well, I don’t want to use the wrong coupon on the wrong product. (this) is what I think the coupon means.” “I don’t want you to get in trouble.” I usually try to explain what the coupon is saying, “educate” the cashier. And if she still questions it, just tell her it’s ok, I don’t have to use it. I “don’t want to get her in trouble”. This usually diffuses the situation and lets the cashier know that I’m not trying to take advantage of the store or her. If she still refuses my coupon, then I have the right to not purchase the item. It’s really that simple. (and yes, I mean it. I really DONT want to get anybody in trouble over a little coupon)

    I’m sooo thankful for my Bilo. The last two times I’ve been there, the cashiers were young and they gave me a little bit of a hard time about my formula checks. (they said ANY enfamil formula and I was using it on the little concentrate cans that were marked down) I was so glad to see the manager come over. I’ve gotten to know almost all the managers there because they always have to come over and key in my Target coupons. And they know me by now :) I’ve shopped at the bilo in the next town over and I’m just going to stick with my Bilo. Their cashiers are familiar and friendly, the managers always wave or smile and say Hi when I walk in the door. They have my store loyalty, for sure!!

  • Lucky says:

    Well all this reminded me of an incident that happened to me even though it didn’t involved any coupons the lady was buying a cake and the cashier while scanning it tilted it so it got a little squished not that much but she was mad at the cashier who was in her 50s but still she apologized to her and asked her whether she can get her another one but still she was mad to take it out of my order yelling and even then the
    cashier didn’t lose her cool even though I could see that she was about to cry but asked her would you need help madam and that lady rudely says no thanks for what you did so badly that even I felt bad for the cashier ok I know it was her fault that the cake got a little squished but it wasn’t a birthday cake it was a normal Boston creme cake that she offered her to give another one and she was so senior like my mom and seeing somebody yell at her for no reason made me feel really mad at that woman and then I tried to cheer her up by talking about my son who was being naughty at that time and I can see that being courteous and nice to her totally changed her mood and she was thankful for people like us so please all of you whether you are using coupons or not please try to be nice even if the cashier is not like ilone time in target there was a cashier who told me I can’t use both target coupons and man coupons then I asked her nicely it is your policy and if you don’t know about it then please ask the manager and that’s what she did and the manager corrected her out and she never questioned my coupons again so there is two sides to this thing but the final discretion is if you are nice and polite and stay firm if you know the policy then you know you are gonna win some and maybe make friends to them

  • Whenever I do my couponing I always try to keep in mind other customers. I try to go at times where the store won’t be crazy busy. I will admit at certain stores I go to certain cashiers because they know their coupon policies and they themselves coupon. I am always patient and kind to the cashiers….always. I have seen others yell, and get pretty nasty because they will not allow something. My thinking is know your policies, make sure you read your coupons and be sure you have the right items when checking out. You won’t get anywhere yelling at someone. There are cashiers that might not know the policies. No biggies. Ask for the manager or someone else that can help. Talk it out and the problem will be solved.

    If I had one wish I do wish other customers could have more patience. I do not get mad or upset, but at times it honestly has bothered me a little. I know my transactions might take an extra 5 or 10 minutes. Do I deserve that dirty look or that horrible long sigh? Or my favorite is when they say to their child with such hate, ‘Let’s go, this is just stupid!”

    Kudos to all the awesome cashiers, managers,couponers, coupon clippers and of course all those AWESOME men and women bloggers such as Collin@ Hip2Save that guide and help us! :)

  • Kristin says:

    Totally agree!!! People in general need to learn how to treat other people period! As someone who has worked in customer service for many years, I’ve seen and heard some of the most ridiculous stuff (on both ends of employee and customer).. It’s crazy how rude some people can be over the smallest stuff.

  • heidi says:

    I really think when you have a confusing coupon It would be a good idea to contact the company who issued it. Ask them what they meant. Tell them when the pictures and the wording in the coupon are not the same it creates problems. I honestly think compnaies do not know the problems the consumer has using their coupons and we should take the time to let them know. I think if we did this – all of us – took the time to email customer service this problem would get better.

  • Brittany says:

    The only problems I’ve had since I started couponing last year were all with free coupons. Not printables, mind you, but coupons that I received from the manufacturer to get something free. Free 12-packs from my Coke points, and a free 2000 flushes because the first one I bought was all sorts of messed up.

    The 2000 flushes I wound up going to three different stores before one would take it, because they all claimed that when their coupon policy said no printables for free items that meant no free item coupons at all. I wound up paying $0.50 for it (it would have been free at the other stores) because the only one that would take it was Walgreen’s, and they were more expensive.

    And then when I went to Walmart with my four free 12 pack coupons that I got when they were on sale for Christmas, the cashier called over a CSM and they stood there and argued with me for close to ten minutes about whether they were fake coupons or not. I had to actually open one of the 12 packs to show them the code on the inside before they’d believe me!

  • Arnela says:

    I had a similar issue happen to me in Target. The cashier did not know that I can use a Target & Manufacturers coupon on 1 item and called the floor supervisor and she didn’t know her own policy either. She claimed I can use the coupons but I need to have the same items as coupons (like Walgreen’s policy) and I politely told her she was wrong. She got snippy and nasty with me because I was correcting her. She then called over someone else who was above her and notified her of the Target coupon policy. Even after she was correct and I politely thanked them all, she was still giving me a snotty face.

    It’s hard now-a-days with the coupons because of scammers and vulchers. Every cashier that takes a fake coupon (for not knowing – and not their fault) or makes a mistake, the stores take drastic measures. If this continues the way it is, couponing may be over before we know it.

    • Jojo says:

      Samething happened to me in a local Target store last week. Cashier and floor manager gave me a very snippy face after ran into problem with Target and Manuf Coupon. They even rolled their eye at me and talk about me as soon as I turned my back. It was just a bit upsetting…

      • arnela says:

        Agreed. That is why I now bring up that I have a smart phone and can access their coupon policy and show them their errors. I dislike using coupons at Target!

  • Sarah G. says:

    We all just need to treat each other with the kindness and patience we would want to be treated with as well. Just last night (before a snowstorm hit) I went to Bakers to get a few needed things and score some great deals. Well the black ink in my printer is low and my $1.50 off coupon was not scanning. The cashier, Nick was great, trying everything and talking kindly to my son. The lady behind me was totally upset and even slammed her cart to the side. No way was I apologizing for saving money, but I did thank Nick and the lady for their extra time when my transaction was finished. I saw her smile, relax and say “sure no problem.” and I think she felt better. I know I did.

  • Renee says:

    There are certain people who think that they are better than everyone else and have no problem treating anyone who works retail as second class. I worked for a short time at Target guest services and had a “guest” go off on me because the bridal registry was down due to remodeling-down for just that 1 day. The mother of the groom threw such a fit that we had to call the 800 number for the registry for her to make sure the wedding gifts were recorded RIGHT NOW! Best of all- her new DIL was with her so I hope she realized what a nightmare she is in for if she marries this women’s son….

  • SMS says:

    I just had a cashier at CVS tell me after my transaction was complete that “Next time you can only use one, but I’ll let it go this time”, referring to a Sally Hansen coupon that read “may not be reproduced”. I explained that I believe that it meant the coupon could not be reproduced as in photocopied, but I had printed two coupons from the Sally Hansen website. She said “Oh, I didn’t think of it like that”. I deal with her a lot when couponing and I’m sure (I KNOW) I bother her, but I try to be nice and if its not ringing up right, no biggie. I either won’t purchase the item or will pay a little extra. It’s not the end of the world.

  • Ashley says:

    the customer yelling at the cashier is actually why i hate that couponing is becoming way more common. when i first started my job a few years ago, there were only a few coupons i’d come across in a day.. but yesterday i had a lady that had everything go wrong in the system with her order and coupons (and we have a limit of how many coupons we can manually do, and i hit it… but it was also a iffy situation too that the system wouldn’t take it, so i said i couldn’t because of that & already hitting my manual limit). and i also had a guy hand me at 20 coupons for items he did not have or just tried to give me 5 coupons where he could only use 1… i completely lost my train of thought of where this was going… oh well.. i hate when people try to misuse coupons! maybe that was my thought? because that guy got angry with me. and i just stared at him and said no to all of the doubles and extras.

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