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What Would YOU Do in this Situation?

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I received the email below from a reader and can completely relate to what she had to say. If you’re a couponer, then I’m guessing you’ll be able to relate too…

I read your website religiously, and have gotten over being treated like a criminal when I use a lot of coupons by managers/cashiers. What I am having a hard time with, however, is “letting it go”, when I know I am right regarding a certain deal.

I went into Target this past weekend with my sleepwear coupon and Tums MC/TQ among others. The cashier said I couldn’t use the sleepwear coupon because it wasn’t pants as shown on the picture. I nicely explained to her the bakery coupons show a whole cake, does that mean that is what I have to buy? She then said I couldn’t because I would be getting it for “too cheap”. Pardon?? She then set that coupon and my Tums coupon aside and called a manager. I was glad because I thought she would set her straight, given Target’s recent coupon problems.

The manager proceeded to say I couldn’t use that one or 2 Tums Coupons because I would be getting it “free”. She said she would only take one coupon for the Tums and not the sleepwear at all. I pulled out the policy, but nothing I could say would sway her. She said “the problem is, you people don’t listen!’

By this time I was livid, and called customer service while in the store. She said she was a supervisor and read from the manual, and said it is up to a managers discretion to accept a coupon if it beeps, with no apology whatsoever for the horrible customer service.

My question is, what do you do when you are very honest ( I call it CWI, couponing with integrity) but you know you have every right to a deal, and get treated with such disrespect? What happened to Customer Service? What would you do?

Here are my thoughts…

I am a very positive person and well, don’t spend too much time or energy on being angry. It’s not worth it to me. Now don’t get me wrong, I have been angry upon leaving a store before, however, letting it ruin my whole day doesn’t do any good and really makes me feel as if I’m letting the store “Win”. Instead I try to focus on the positive shopping experiences I’ve had and the amazing cashiers and employees I’ve dealt with. There is always going to be a not so coupon friendly cashier out there and maybe even one that is downright disrespectful… but there is also always going to be a kind and very coupon friendly cashier. Focus on those great experiences and the bad ones will start to feel like distant memories. Being positive, laughing, smiling… it can do wonders… even to grumpy cashiers! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now it’s your turn – what would YOU do in this situation?

Join The Discussion

Comments 694

  1. Rebekah

    hmm…whatever happen to the customer is always right saying too? I mean i can understand that if we are wrong we are wrong..but in this case you seem pretty right. i think we all know how it feels that “im getting a great deal” when they other side is saying “you are ripping us off because i don’t wanna take the time and try to figure out how to do what you do and save money b/c i’m lazy and just want other people to do the hard work for me”…most of the time they want a hand out too..i’m over giving hand outs. I’m on the fence with Target. I like their deals but if they can get there act together it would be great. Sounds like they might need employees to go back thru elementary school and learn how to read and comprehend again…just sayin…
    Thanks for Hip2Save too:) if it wasn’t for sites likes this we all would be paying full price ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ruth

      I have had more negative coupon experiences with Target, than anyone else. The sleepwear coupon could not be used on clearance items I was told. I didn’t notice that printed on it?? Many times the coupons are adjusted down to a different amount. Sometimes I am told I cannot use a coupon if a free item is involved. The checkout person next to me was checking out a couple with two carts full of identical items. I guess it depends on the person? Last week a cashier actually ripped the bag away from me and told me something didn’t ring up because my total wasn’t enough. I explained to her about this site and she stopped to write it down. It would be helpful if they would come up with a policy and follow it in all of their stores.

  2. Melanie

    Since the cashier & manager were trying to say that the coupon was only good on pajama pants bcuz that’s what is pictured on the coupon, then I would have replied with adding that “I guess that also means that the coupon is only good for the exact designs pictured on the coupon as well, correct?” That would have to be the case in order for their logic to be accurate. Basically, I would have countered their ignorance with logic & would have done so relentlessly until they gave in. I have had to do this before at Target dealing with a cashier & manager. I just remained calm & used my smarts to show them how their “logic” was not logical at all & they had nothing to counter with. I don’t back down easily & can be quite patient, usually much more patient than the cashier & manager. : )

  3. Lara Babot

    I had a similar issue at Walgreens the other day, so I told the cashier that I didn’t want the items that she wouldn’t let me use the coupons on, and I wanted my coupons back. I then told her that I would buy them somewhere else. The whole time I kept a smile and at the end I told her Merry Christmas…just stay positive ๐Ÿ™‚ You don’ t have to buy something just b/c you brought it to the register though…let them put it back if they won’t take your coupons…

  4. Paige

    Just yesterday I heard grumbling from another shopper. She said “All those crazy coupon ladies buy up EVERYTHING, and then I come in for just one thing, and they are out of it.” I felt like telling her that it wasn’t just the “crazy coupon ladies” buying things, and if the store was out of something, she couldn’t really blame it on the bargain shoppers, could she?

    • Marcee

      Oh my goodness… what is with people. I went to Rite Aid, one of my favorite stores, to buy some Olay cleanser and they were out. And this was the first day of the new ad. So I asked when they would get more in and she told me they only ever get one in at a time! Only one? What is that! So I got a raincheck for it. It had a $10+up reward and there was a mail in rebate. I went back twice a week for a month. They never got any more back in. My raincheck finally expired. I was out the +upreward and the rebate. So it’s not just us “crazy coupon ladies”… sometimes its the store itself not stocking enough of the product.

  5. EAMom1

    I believe that every couponer has probably had an issue with using coupons. It definately helps to “check out” your cashier before letting them “check you out”. As I am in line, I am watching the cashier and the ones around to see their overall attitude. I used to be a Wal-Mart shopper since it was just 15 minutes away and they matched competitor ads. I have had several complaints there over me using my re-usable shopping bags there and “coupons too!”. I have called management each time and got the same line of- we’ll be addressing this in a meeting. I have been shopping at CVS & Walgreen for their weekly deals, but have been traveling to Meijer and Target once a week for my other shopping needs. I feel like I am making my point by not shopping there, but sometimes it is just too convenient. I will get a few items there and I have a couple cashiers who welcome the coupons! They need “coupon friendly” checkout lanes, maybe.
    Target used to give me problems especially when I had quite a few deals in the same transaction. I would notice an issue on the receipt and I was having trouble keeping track of all the coupons. My kiddos and I now figure out how many transactions we will be doing when we walk in the door. I find it is eaiser to keep track of your coupons and savings at Target when it is in a smaller transaction. Funny note- my Son has several items on his Christmas list for Santa and he wanted to know if Santa could do two transactions! with his Christmas list. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I have left without purchasing any of my items when I was cross-examined about using coupons. It is hard to “get over” it especially because you are being accused of doing something wrong, when you are NOT doing anything wrong. Reading comments and knowing that there are so may Hip2save fans who sometimes go through the same things makes it easier to remember that it IS Hip 2 Save even if there are some bumps along the way.

    • andrea

      I feel the same way about it being hard to get over when you know you aren’t doing anything wrong. It really bothers me. I am too shy to stand up and make a fuss about it so if I have any doubt that a deal will work I don’t usually try it. On another note, I remember a couple months back something in our local paper (SW Ohio) about Target getting caught for cheating couponers—if I remember right the registers weren’t ringing the full value of the coupons or something and it was a chain-wide issue. I rarely shop there.

      • CharityH

        I have had that happen to me here in Savannah, GA. I had coupons for 75 cents off 2 Powerades. I had them price match a sale at Krogers (69 cents each for Powerades). When I looked at my receipt, they had price matched the items correctly, but the amount taken off was 69 cents per coupon. I calmly discussed it with them for 15 minutes, but they said there was nothing they could do about it. I finally just left. I don’t shop there very often.

  6. Sue

    I have had similar situtation with Target. Like you I have called customer service and gave them the coupon policy. I just find that it is easier just not to shop at Target. I know alot of you are saying that I miss out on some good deals but for me the hassle is not worth it. I get my deals at other stores.

    • Amanda H.

      I totally agree. I’m shopping at Target less and less these day, especially with the problem of using 1 coupon for 2 items , sometimes I don’t receive full credit because the computer adjusts it down. I’ve had quite a few coupon problems there and I’m just tired of it. I can never find a friendly associate that is willing to help me in the aisles either. I agree I’ll go somewhere else.

      • Andrea

        I agree Target is on my bad list right now along with Walmart. Lately, Kroger, Meijer and the drug stores are my top picks. My brother even works at Target but they give me such hassles there, cheat me out of money on my coupons (I haven’t been there since last month when they completely neglected to scan my coupons but DID take them!), and they never stock sale items well.

  7. Katiria

    The same thing happened to me, months ago at Target too! The cashier told me the same thing. I had a $5 off coupon for those mini monopoly games and they were on sale for 5.24 she wouldn’t take the coupon because she said I “would be getting it too cheap” the manager was in the office and he wouldn’t come out only called on the phone and supposedly told her not to do it because she wouldn’t scan it and the manager didn’t even talk to me! I called customer service and they were nice to me though they said she should have scanned the coupon and sent me $3 off my next purchase. But I was mad for DAYS! I couldn’t believe she wouldn’t even scan it for me, what was her problem? Doesn’t she understand? is she rich and doesn’t need coupons? She should know people need these deals or else they wouldn’t be able to buy anything and stores WANT us in there shopping, don’t they?
    The rich get richer and the poor get poorer

    • andrea

      LOL if she is working at Target she is not rich!! I think people are uneducated about coupons and embarrassed to use them. I remember when I first started using them I was a little embarrassed thinking I was becoming like my grandmother or something!!!! I have seen many people in the checkout line who are not rich (many are poor, using WIC/food stamps etc.) and not a coupon in sight. I would just like to educate them on how much more food they could buy if they carefully matched sales with coupons.

      • Andrea

        I use coupons and have WIC and totally agree that I wish I could show them all how much they could save just by using coupons. Much more than WIC ever saves me although I’m soooo grateful for it because it’s hard to find deals on thinks like milk, eggs, and cheese sometimes.

    • Jennifer Jones

      I believe from personal experience and quite frankly ignorance on my part when I was a retail employee, that the cashiers feel a little like the money in the till is thiers. I also think that store and district managers really beat up their employees about things so that they take everything to heart becoming overprotective when ringing up customers. Learning about coupons I now know how foolish I was. They get reimbursed for the cpn so “getting it for too cheap” is no excuse. Also every store has a “shrink” or amount of lost, damaged or stolen property. These stores need to better educate their employees about the difference between shrink and coupons. Plus can someone answer me this. If we know ahead of time what cpns will be coming out, don’t the stores? Then why do they put things on sale at the same time? Hmmm maybe to get our money.

    • Anonymous

      I personally think that they are jelaous and don’t want the rest of us to get what we have worked hard for.

  8. Melissa S

    I had a negative store experience lately that turned out well in the end, but it did leave me with some questions. A couple weeks ago I had purchased 3 boxes of hair color at Walgreens. Since I had never used the particular brand before, I wasn’t sure what color to get and bought 3 different colors. After trying the first box I decided I really liked that color and wouldn’t be using the other two colors. So I took the two boxes along with the receipt to one of the Walgreens near me to exchange them for the color I wanted. Everything seemed fine until the manager told me that I owed Walgreens $4. I patiently explained that I was just doing a simple exchange for the same exact product. Only the colors were different. He insisted that I owed the store money because the price I had purchased the hair color at was less than what it was that week. I continued to try to get him to see the obvious, but he acted as if I were trying to rob the store. I finally calmly said, “Nevermind. Give me back the 2 boxes and my receipt. I will take them to another Walgreens”. He literally threw the boxes back into the bag and threw my receipt on the counter!!!

    The story does get better. I took the haircolor to my favorite Walgreens. Not only did they exchange them without any problem, but the manager insisted on giving me money back because the particular color I exchanged for was on clearance, and the price I had paid (with coupons of course) was more than the clearance price.

    Leaving the second Walgreens I truly felt victorious after my frustrating experience with the manager at the first store! However, I still am curious about the whole experience. Has anyone else had trouble just trying to do what should have been a simple straightforward exchange at Walgreens?

    • Jodi

      What’s weird about Wags is that 2 different stores can have different prices on the SAME item! If one store has a surplus that isn’t moving, that store can mark it down and you have to pay more at another store! But even if the item had been on sale when you bought it, it still should have been rung as an even exchange. Glad it worked out in the end!

    • taurus49

      you need to report that incident to walgreens district manager, find a phone number and let them know the person you dealt with, i have a nephew who is a manager at walgreens and he tells me to report those bad incidents, because he says the customer is alway right and that is the way it always was before

  9. Mary

    Season’s greetings to all my fellow coupon shoppers. I too have had a few really bad experiences with uninformed cashiers who think coupons are bad. They need to be reminded that the stores are getting reimbursed by the manufacturers. We are not stealing! Without coupons, I would not shop: the store would have less revenue: a lot of cashiers would not be employed. For every action there is a reaction. Thanks Collin for all that you do.

  10. Anonymous

    Before I begin, I am not defending poor service or rudeness in any manor. I love this site and use coupons often. I am also a retail manager. It is scary sometimes to take too many coupons because it feels like our jobs are at risk. i always tell my girls to call me if they are unsure on coupons. I also make a point to know most of my customers and ring out most coupon shoppers myself. No one should be treated the way many of you have been but next time, especially this time of year when we are getting yelled at constantly, that it may be that people are scared for their livelyhoods. Know your coupon policies and stand you ground but try and remember that these people are trying to earn their living and would like to keep their jobs. Policies are always changing. We try to keep up but I can tell you i learned of policy changes on Hip2Save before I knew from my company. Happy shopping!

    • DP

      I am the person that wrote the letter, and I have also been in Retail Management for 20 years. With all due respect, it is one thing to enforce existing coupon policies, it is quite another so blatantly disregard that policies that have been put in place by your own corporation.

  11. Amanda K.

    I think I would have just taken my coupons back and tried again later. I know that means going out of your way for another trip, but it is better than standing there forever arguing with people who are clearly not going to change their minds. I have had to do this before and I don’t let it get to me. Just politely tell them to take the items off your total and give you the coupons back. You can always go back later and find a friendlier cashier. I have certainly learned which ones to go to in our Target, it is a priceless bit of info to have.

  12. J Cardens Barto

    Target is the worst. I am not the type of shopper to use very many coupons. I typically use coupons for only 10% of the items I buy. But after having negative experiences with cashiers and having difficulty finding sales associates in the isles, I no longer shop there. I am doing more and more online shopping ( but still not Target) using the promo codes. The word is getting around to more and more moms in Miami that Target isn’t the place to save anymore. Target is totally missing out on revenue by being so unfriendly to couponers.

  13. LisaM

    Every coupon story sounds so familiar!!! Imagaine that!! Inconsistentcy among stores employees is one thing, but their reasoning just floors me!!! A lot of us couponers have had an employee say they can’t take the coupon because (we), the customer are getting the item too cheap. What should it matter to an employee if I’m paying for the cost of the merchandise or the manufacture is? In the end, they get their money right? So what if the manufacture pays for the bigger portion, why should it bother the employee? Common sense dictates that if an item I’m purchasing costs $10.00 and I have a manufactures coupon for that amount, aren’t they (the stores) still getting their $10.00? Isn’t the manufactures money the same as ours?
    I can feel some sympathy for the employee that just doesn’t know or have the authority to do a transaction (so many during the holidays are just temps and don’t recieve the proper training), but for a store manager to say “you are getting it too cheap” just doesn’t make any sense!!!! They obviously don’t understand bottom line net profit!!!
    Am I missing something here about how stores redeem or get there money back from the coupons? If I am, somebody please explain it to me so I can make some sense of it!!!
    I hope one day there is some sort of “universal couponing” policy that exists among stores. It sure would save a lot of headaches for store owners and for us couponers!!!!!
    Happy couponing everyone!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Marcee

    I have an experience all the time at one of my local Rite Aid stores (OR.). Everytime I walk in the door and see a certain checker, who is also a manager/assist. manager, I know I won’t be able to use all, if any, of my coupons. The thing is she won’t even scan my coupons, just tells me that they won’t work. On one trip I was buying the gillette deoderant, 6 of them at 2/$7. I had two buy two get one free coupons and 4 $2/1 coupons. All legit. For some reason the $2 ones beeped. They called her back and she said I couldn’t use them. I went back that night when she was gone and the other assist manager wondered why they beeped and said they were legit coupons and manually entered them in. The one checker has an issue with me. Another time I had the $5.00/1 olay wyb one secret product and she said I couldn’t use it because the amount was too high. What is that? Oh well. I try to shop when she isn’t there.

    I went to our other Rite Aid and tried to use the $5.00 olay coupon and she said that I had to buy the secret that was on the coupon. I explained to her that there was no size restriction and that I could even buy secret spray, it wasn’t limited to deoderant, and she didn’t agree. But this was the lady who wouldn’t use the $5/$25 cuopons first, would make you wait until the end and then wouldn’t even scan them because the total was then past the $25 point. some people make me crazy, but you can’t let it affect you. MOve on. Try another time fo day to shop or another checker!

    • vaylene

      I’ve had the same problem. I had a cashier accuse me of “making illigal copies” because one of my $5 off 25 wouldn’t work. I was STEAMING!! Plus the week before she undercharged me so I went back into PAY for the product. Then the next week I’ve gone from “good person that comes back” to instant theif and copier. I have never set foot in that store again. Of all the nerve!

    • Crystal

      Marcee, is this in the Beaverton/Hillsboro are? I sure hope not…that’s where I shop : )

      • Marcee

        No Crystal, I am in Southern OR, Grants Pass. And it’s only when the one girl is there. Otherwise, it’s the BEST store here!

      • Anonymous

        The Rite Aid in Hillsboro at the Sunset Esplanade is the BEST. Most of the cashiers are super nice and helpful. They know all about us couponers and treat us well!

  15. Rachel K

    I can so relate!!! I usually have very positive experience, however once at Walmart I was told I was “trying to cheat the system”. They did give me my travel size Tide for free, but I felt really aweful when I left. Collin is right, I just remembered that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and millions of people are getting that deal with no problems. I love this site and am so greatful for all the savings it has brought to us just in time for Christmas!!! Thanks so much Collin…words cannot describe how much I appreciate this site ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Melissa S

    One of the ironies of certain stores giving trouble to their customers who use coupons is that the websites of all of these stores actively promote the use of coupons! Then they turn around and act as if you are trying to do something shady by actually using the coupons they encourage you to print and use!

  17. Debbie Mc.

    My answer is very simple. I gather up my things, retrieve my coupons since they didn’t want them, and go somewhere else. In the area that I live, there are several Target locations, so I would go to a different Target store. That has worked for me in the past. Some people don’t have that luxury, and in those cases, you make the complaints that need to be made WITHOUT verbally bashing some poor retail associate (Yes, I have compassion on those who work in retail. They put up with more junk than they should for what they get paid.), and move on to another store where my business is more appreciated. It’s just dirty green paper and pieces of metal with dead presidents on them, and that’s not worthmy day or anyone else’s day being ruined. My mother taught me that people are more important than things ALL OF THE TIME!

  18. Amelia

    Target has been good to me. Yes, there are times I’ve encountered cashiers who won’t accept my coupons but I’ve always called customer service and they’ve always been able to honor my coupons. Did anyone notice Target’s ad actually said they’d be happy to accept 1 manufacturer’s coupon and 1 target coupon per item? It’s actually on their ad which is the first time I’ve seen it. One last note, I spoke to customer service a while ago and they told me that if the coupon beeps, their policy is for the cashier to enter it manually. If, at that point, it’s not accepted then there’s nothing that can be done for you.

  19. Joy

    It is a good idea to have “other purchases”, when you realize, you may owe very little at the register when they are done ringing the stuff up and taking off your coupons..They seem to question your coupons that should not be questionable in the first place if you owe them at least something. I then take the stuff back that I did not need. I always pay with cash, so returns are easier. This seems silly, uneccessary, and a waste of my time, but it usually pays for itself in that I have less trouble checking out, especially when some old hag at the register, who is obviously miserable in her own life, is looking to turn your coupons down every chance they get. I have been ripped off by target before, not getting credit for my all the coupons I used, and when this occurs I take back much of the stuff I purchased, and they have to give me either the coupons back or the money. I only do this when they have ripped me off, and I only return what is fair and due me.
    I do believe that the manufacturers will be ending coupons soon, as too much fraud is happening between customers and retailers, which in my opinion are the biggest frauders themselves, this is my opinion . The ending of manufacturers coupons was suggested many years ago and I believe it is only a matter of time.

    • vaylene

      i’ve had catalina’s not “rung” up as well as other coupons and it makes me wonder if they purposly do that. I watch like a hawk now.

  20. marybeltowski

    Oh my! There is a lot of discussion here…I too, have had issues at Target. What I have learned though is to find the “right cashier”, hand over each coupon one at a time and watch them come off (the right amount) and if they are unwilling to take something I simply ask them to take it off the receipt ~ I don’t want it or I will purchase it elsewhere. It is not worth getting upset over~ in the end it is their loss! I have been shopping at Target less and less because of a bad couponing experience, yet the other night I went and had no problems. I think it just depends on when you go, how much you are getting and the cashiers attitude.

  21. nreyes

    it happend to me. i wrote the company thru email, mail and faceebook… i called and called and after i talked to the rivght person, they had a coupon seminar for all the staff and everytime i go to the store, i now feel relieved… before, i dont want to shop there anymore… NOW, I FEEL FREE!!!

    TRY AND TRY AND TALK TO THE RIGHT PERSON!

  22. jcc253

    Wow! My Target hasn’t given me any problems yet but have only been helpful so far. I did the Tag deal also and the young male cashier said “Wow, that is really a great deal” he was definitely impressed. Also, tho trying, my local Walgreens has bent over backwards to help me do my deals as well as my local Rite Aid.

  23. Courtney M-L

    So I was embarrassed to write this but I saw somebody mention it: food stamps. I am a single mom of twins (and a teen that visits once a month). I need to stretch my money/food stamps as far as I can. I tried using coupon sense but it was too expensive to pay for a site. I have a friend that blogs about coupons/savings and I found this and other sites like it thru facebook. The problem with food stamps and coupons for me is that I get charged tax on the coupons. I can do a grocery store transaction – only food items – should be non-tax and paid for only using food stamps – then I use coupons to reduce my total and get taxed ! I have finished my transaction to have the cashier tell me “you owe 37 cents, you owe 2.15”. Some days if I am really broke – I can’t afford it.

    • DP

      Don’t be embarrassed. It is a very valid question. To my knowlege, if the food you are purchasing is food-stampable and non-taxable then the coupons should be the same, and you should not be charged tax on these items. If the cashier, however, incorrectly keyed the coupon in as taxable, that may be where the problem lies. Or it may be the item itself is taxable AND food-stampable such as candy and soda, Hope this makes sense,

      • Eileen Vargas

        From my experience with foodstamps ive always been taxed for using my coupons at walmart, target, jewel, food4less etc. Now at target some foodstampable items arent marked and the cashier isnt trained how to do that so u end up paying 8 bucks out ur pocket that should have been covered by food stamps

    • txwysiwyg

      I am not sure what state you are in, but in TX food in non-taxable regardless of SNAP benefits. I can not believe the store charges you tax for using coupons when you are buying food much less paying with EBT. That is nuts! You would think everyone would be applauding you for trying to stretch your benefits! I am sorry this happens to you. Have you looked online to see if the stores can do this in your state?

      • Courtney M-L

        We live in AZ. When I questioned it at the store – they said the state’s policy changed. It doesn’t make sense to me. I have saved $20 – $40 in coupons plus store loyalty discounts before – can you imagine the tax that could be charged. No food in AZ should be taxed. It ends up being the coupons – because you can look at the receipt and see that all the food is coded as “F” – which should be covered in full on EBT.

        Also – what do you do when you have a coupon for a free non-food item when you buy certain foods ? Earlier this year their was a Toy Story 3 promo. If you bought certain crackers/cookies you could get a TS3 toy for free (up to 5.99). Well, I bought all the food and used the coupon. It took the coupon 5.99 off of my food total and then tried to charge me 5.99 in cash. The CS Mgr said “it wasn’t fair” for me to get something free that was non-food when using EBT. I think she was also mad because I would come in and use tons of coupons.

        Plus I have learned to divide items into two transactions. Sometimes if I have non-food items with coupons – it will reduce my food total. So I end up paying full cash price. One big issue was the Glade stuff (in the last year). If you bought the plug-in and refills – then used three coupons – you would walk out paying less than a dollar (or something like that). They scanned my coupons and tried to charge me $14 (approx). I had her remove all the non-food items, redo the transaction and I had a zero balance after EBT. Then we did non-food and coupons and I paid a small fraction if the cost ($1).

    • Yvette

      That must be a system gliche. If food is not taxable in your state, it is illegal for the store to turn around and tax you for a non-taxable item. What you should do is bring this question up with your case worker and see what they say and report them. That is illegal. Whether you use a foodstamp card with coupons or a bank card with food stamp should not affect what you pay. Prices do not change because of paying method. it might have to do with how the coupons are classified in target’s system, claiming the item purchased with the coupon is a non-food item.

  24. Dewey

    I wonder if it is a gender thing. I am one of the few male couponers (even though the picture by my name is a female). I shop at 3-4 stores a week and very rarely get called out on my coupon usage. Of the few times that I have been called out (usually for using a coupon on a free item, etc.), I have been able to reason the cashier into accepting it (usually by threatening to run another transaction which will take up time for the people standing behind me). I seem to get a different response from cashiers too, even ones that didn’t appear to be coupon friendly with female customers in front of me. I am firm in my dealings when I need to reason, calm and I don’t try to do anything that isn’t legit. Not that you can help what gender you are, but just an observation.

  25. Molly Henry

    I would send an email to Corporate Target and let them know. If they get enough similar complaints, I’m sure it will have an effect.

  26. LaurChc5

    I sent an email to Walgreens from their website about my recent bad shopping experience using coupons and the manager just called me to apologize, assure me that his employee would be reprimanded, and send me a gift card for my trouble! Karma!

  27. Cheryl

    I would have just gone to a different cashier..or left the store and went to another Target. Sometimes you know it’s no use to argue with people like that. It’s best to just move on and try somewhere else. It always works and less stressful!!

  28. Keli Sparks

    One time I bought something, with coupons, and realized on my way out that I didn’t get as good of a deal as I thought I was going to. So, I decided to return it, and they wouldn’t give me all my money back? This was at Walgreens. In the end, she gave me my money back, but told me I was wrong and didn’t understand how it worked when I returned something after using a coupon. Why is it I can pass college level math courses, but can’t seem to understand how to use a coupon at Walgreens? I have trouble getting over things too! I’m going to try to use the advise of Colin and not let them “Win” by putting me in a bad mood.

    • joy

      I am soooo done with Walgreens forcing you to buy “fillers” because the coupon exceeds the product!! If I buy something and am forced to buy a “nonsense filler”, I will return the stupid thing the next day and and if enough people do the same, they will rethink their policy~

  29. D

    Collin would you send this link with the post and it’s 600+ comments to the CEO of Target? Perhaps they need to a wake up call as to how many consumers stop shopping at their stores and then complain to all of their friends without ever contacting the corporate offices. I am another that rarely shops there anymore because of the inconsistency of their policies from store to store.

    • Desiree

      I agree, this post and it’s 600+ comments should definitely be sent to the CEO of Target. After reading many of the commenst it surprises me how many people have stopped going to their local Target, and all for the same reason.

  30. nitasave

    This is the most dreaded part of couponing. The nasty, rude or just plain ignorant cashier. It has made me feel very ugly at times to have to argue with the cashier and sometimes store manager (who SHOULD have better customer relation skills) over proper coupon use. What do I do? I kindly take my coupon back and tell them I no longer want the item/s and forget about the much coveted deal. Just let it go. Sometimes even after you drop it they keep trying to explain their reasoning to you. One tip that has come in very useful to me though is to always, always smile at the cashier first, make eye contact and start up a small conversation before you even begin checking out ( think I read that on this blog, not sure) that way they are more inclined to be nice to you, because they will remember you.

  31. Stacy

    I can’t help but be irritated by cashiers and managers acting like coupon users are taking money from their personal paychecks!! I work retail and sometimes I ring people up. I am always thrilled when people use coupons! I love coupons myself, they’re exciting! Naturally I double check the coupons to make sure the expiration date is in tact and that the coupon is for what the person is buying but I would never treat someone like a criminal because they are using them. If someone is either trying to pull a fast on on me or simply accidentally misuses a coupon I explain to them respectfully how to use it correctly and offer to let them go get the right product.

    I have come across a manager or two that have not been able to wrap their heads around the coupon deals I have seen on many sites. I have explained to them what the person is doing and that it is legit. I have also told them about hip2save so that they can see the scenarios for themselves and see that it is all legal.

    I do think it would be better for couponers to separate out their coupon transactions over a few days rather than coming in with a huge stack of coupons because sometimes it is hard for us to quickly verify that the correct amount and or product was actually purchased. Yes, you do have a right to use as many coupons as you want, but I do see how some cashiers can get flustered when trying to ring up a basket full of merchandise and verify proper coupon usage. My company scores us on speed of our checking, and we get written up if our speeds aren’t high enough. So maybe the problem would lesson a bit if you made 2 shopping trips instead of one big one. Try that and see what happens, it might help!

    • DP

      Those are good points, Stacy..

  32. Shelly

    If I were speaking with a manager, getting nowhere, I would smile, and mention that I would be posting my problem on hip2save, where 50,000 people just like me could read about it.

  33. esther

    I’ve had a lot of those you can get “free” items by using coupons, or you’re getting these items “too cheap” etc type comments from cashiers from various stores (RiteAid, Target, Shoprite, Walgreens). I personally don’t like using coupons in my Target store, even though i have the coupon policy with me, they still give me a hard time. Certain Riteaid stores give me trouble by using coupons on personal items/cosmetics, because they are jealous that i save so much, and they tell me i can’t use so many coupons. I show them their store policy, yet the cashier and the manager refuses to read it. At last, I said i’ll call the corporate, and she let me use the coupons, but still yelling at me for “breaking the rule”. I was mad that I called the corporate to complain, one guy called me back and said sorry about my experience in his store, and if i do go back, he will come out to apologize. Couple hours later, another guy called me and said the cashier was right. That i can’t use a riteaid 5 off 25 with manufacturer coupons because on the 5 off 25, it says “not to be combined with any other offers”. There are also other instances that I get mad because the cashier wouldn’t accept my coupons because i “used too many”. Anyway, you just have to find a store that you like and stick with it. But I can totally relate, especially you know you’re right and you don’t want to pass up on a deal.

  34. esther

    does anyone know what’s pathmark’s coupon policy? my husband brought in a 50 cent coupon couple weeks ago, with their doubling policy, the item would be free because it’s $1. The cashier and the manager wouldn’t allow my husband to get that item for free because they said “we don’t allow people to get free stuff using coupons”. It’s very obvious that my husband is getting it for free because he went there for that one thing. Does pathmark have a policy printed anywhere?

    • Anonymous

      meijer adjusts the coupon down to their price of the product, yet sends the coupon in for the full face value!! example a dollar off on an item for 97 cents, they get the dollar but only give you 97 cents off! whats wrong with that picture!?

  35. Alice

    I used to give Wal-Mart about half the check every payday…not anymore. I shop B1G1 at Publix and only go to Wal-Mart for bare essentials that are cheaper and I can’t get somewhere else. My day is joyful and the cashiers at Publix always look excited to see how much you saved.

  36. Eileen Vargas

    Thats just nuts, i work at target and am a very heavy couponer. Ive gotten things for free many times and they have no right to reject your coupons as long as you have the correct items. Now if gone to walmart and they reject my coupons before they even scan them. Ive been told well if they dont scan we cant take them which i think is rude when they havent scanned any yet.

  37. Noella

    Let me start off by saying that I agree that noone has the right to treat someone else like some cashiers do. Here is my recent story. My husband and I went to walgreens last week so I could use the secret/olay cpns. This was not the walgreens by my house but one we were going by about 30 minutes away. I gave the cashier 2 cpns with 2 trial secret and 2 olay. She looked at the cpn, looked at me and said “you have to buy the full size secret”. I replied no it has no size restrictions. She took the cpns and said let me talk to my manager and walked away. Now let me tell you, my husband has no patience and I have enough for ten people. She came back,looked at my husband, then at me put the cpns on the counter,slid them towards me and replied ” my manager told me to tell you to take these to your store because we will not honor them here”. Well my husband said go to xxxx, I said thank you and waked away. We got in the car and he was livid while I on the other hand laughed all the way home.And yes I contacted walgreens about it and am waiting for a reply.

  38. wendy d

    I spent a lot of time pondering this question yesterday. I headed to Target today. My cashier was just ringing up whatever she felt like. I looked at my slip and headed to the front to adjust it. They determined that I could not use a $1 coupon on a 97 cent item. They would not let me use a $5 coupon on a Hasbro card game. Left with nothing after about an hour. Called corporate when I got home and they called the store and asked them to review their coupon policies with the employees. They are sending me some coupons for my trouble. I got to practice all my ideas of how to deal with couponing problems…….So, I really loved this post! It takes time to learn all the ways to deal with the in’s and out’s of couponing. Hang in there!

  39. floridagirl1218

    I would go ahead and let the cashier accept my one coupon for the PJs and not buy the Tums. She said she would accept one but not both. THEN I would go back through another line and buy the Tums. It’s all about prinicple at this point.

  40. txwysiwyg

    Things like this situation are the reason I have chosen not to shop at Target any longer. If they don’t feel the need to train their managers and cashiers in better customer service then they really don’t need my money. It is just not worth my time and frustration. There are a few that get it right, but the vast majority don’t have a clue and that is sad.

    • stormb23

      I agree!!! I have totally black balled my local Target… I made my husband drive 30 min instead of 5 min to stand in line at Target on Black Friday… I absolutely refuse to give my local Target any of my business!!!

  41. stormb23

    I have had the same exact experience at my local Target… while reading this I thought it was actually me speaking!! What is crazy is that the Target I live, literally 5 minutes from, is that one I have the most trouble with. But the Target I have to drive 45 minutes to get to, wants their customers to use coupons… they actually get excited when you get things for really cheap or better yet FREE!! I have talked to the manager of the “Good” Target store and told her about the manager at the “other” store and she said that it is wrong and she does not know why the other store is acting that way!! I think Target needs to have a coupon policy and stand by their policy!!!

    • stormb23

      Just to add to my post… I went shopping at the “Good” Target one day and was making small talk with one of the girls ringing me up and found out that the manager from the “other” Target was talking about me. When I confirmed it was me she was talking about, I laughed and said I was flattered… to think I made that much of an impression just confirms that my complaints are being heard… just wish someone would listen!!!!

  42. Laura R.

    I really think that all of these emails should be sent to corporate, because maybe then something would get done about all of these problems. About 2 months ago I went to Target to get some things before I went to work, one of the coupons that I remember that I had was the $1 off tide detergent and same as every other time.. I got the travel size….and a few other travel size items,well they said that I could not use them because the item was less than the coupon and then it would make it free. Yeh and!! I know what I could use and what I could not use and these were coupons that I could use and have used before. The manager came over oh no you can’t use these. I was just going to say ok and get my coupons and leave because I had to work, then it started the manager and the cashier started talking to me like if I new no english, when I WAS speaking to them in english, they made me feel like a thief and that all I wanted was to get what ever I could for free, I was in line with them for more than 20 minutes.Well to make along story short I got to work 30 minutes late. When I got home I called Corporate and gave them an ear full then the next day the manager of the store called me and apologized over and over and offered me an apology coupon I was so mad I said what ever,3 days later I got it in the mail. It was a coupon for $3 off of my next visit. Yep a big $3.. I called her back and said I am sending your coupon back because I don’t want you guys to go broke. And thanks for caring so much for your customers. Now I have figured out that I should not go in the morning, so now I will be at Target at night now.

    • kimme

      I had the same experience almost exactly but at the end they let me use the coupons for those travel items (after the supervisor made a phone call to verify). Was in line for about 10 min, then a whole bunch of apologies followed. I went home and called because I was still angry about how they embarrassed me so badly and made me feel very uncomfortable to shop there and ever use coupons again. The General Mgr kindly asked me to come in whenever I could to see him. I met w/ him, explained EVERYTHING, he assured me it would NEVER happen again that all his employees would have to read and sign a memo stating they’ve read and understood their coupon policy. He ended the meeting w/ a generous $20 gift card and asked me to never stop shopping at their store. I can’t believe they gave you $3.00!!! That’s so insulting!!

  43. Heidi

    I usually just take my coupon and come back later. Most of the time the next time I go in there are no issues. Also try to look for a male cashier they are usually less suspicious.

    • DP

      I think someone did.

  44. Yvette

    I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but the few nice cashiers showed me why sometimes the coupons might be rejected. Almost all new coupons have 2 UPC codes on it, confusing the scanner. All they have to do is either cover the new more secure code or simply type in the old code and push it through. NO problem.

  45. Angie Bingaman

    I was watching how to get things for free on “The View” and one of the things Michael Fazio mentioned was to go to this website and voice your complaints: http://www.gri.pe/
    You can also praise a store if you had great customer service experience. Also, according to Michael Fazio gri.pe gives the company a chance to respond.

    I have called customer service so many times on my local Target and still no results, so I guess my next step is to complain about them in public and on the internet and then maybe they will get the hint.

  46. halloweenfreak

    Im glad to hear im not the only one who has couponing problems. i had a cashier at walmart not take my coupon because she didn’t recognize it. yeah, theres a good reason… she wouldn’t even scan it. when i told her to call the csm she did, but then under her breath mumbled something about ‘its only a lousy $1.00’ i wonder how many ‘lousy dollars’ shes cheated customers out of?

  47. shannon f.

    I agree, all of these posts should be sent to Target Corporate. Better yet, I think there should be a detailed petition/joint letter stating our cases & calls for better management, coupon/sale education, & policy reviews for store employees & managers! Maybe even a combined effort Petition, signed by us Hip2Savers & other friend sites like Totally Target etc. Some stores are doing great and others are far below the bar.
    I too have been accused of getting things “too cheap”, “cheating the system”, or of ripping off the store. I have had both very young & older cashiers telling me BS stories of other couponers messing up their cash registers with false barcodes etc (they don’t realize my cousin works nights there & I knew that particular story was made up). Ive even had a cashier take my coupons that he didnt think would work and refused to return them to me so I wouldnt try to use them in his store again! Yes, life is short, its not the most important thing in the world, but think of the great difference it could make in the day (and wallet) of those who need it.

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