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What Would YOU Do in this Situation?

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I received the email below from a reader and thought that all of you could offer her some great advice and encouragement!

Dear Collin,
I was recently shopping at my local Walgreens and went to check out after spending about an hour in the store getting my transaction of items all organized. I was so proud of myself as I had spent so much time making sure all my coupons matched with each item being purchased. Unfortunately, my positive outlook took a turn for the worst as the cashier was not very friendly and was quite intimidating. As she was about to scan one of my coupons, she stated that it could not be used for the item I was purchasing because it was not the item pictured on the coupon. I nicely explained that actually, it could be used on this item as it was not excluded in the actual text of the coupon.

Seeing that she was not going to budge, I politely asked if I could speak with a manager. As soon as the manager arrived, I could tell that she was annoyed and did not intend to listen to my explanation. She stated that I was incorrect and was trying to use the coupon improperly. So… I gave up. ๐Ÿ™ I opted not to purchase that particular item, paid for my other items and left.

In that moment, I felt so crummy and belittled – all I wanted to do was grab my purse, abandon my cart, and run out the door. After this experience, I am not even sure that I want to go back to Walgreens ever again. Have you ever had this sort of experience? If so, how do you handle yourself at the register? Do you think I should have done something differently?

What would YOU do in this situation?

Join The Discussion

Comments 603

  1. Cb.

    The cashier and manager did not want to deal with the situation. It’s always customer first. I’ve worked retail before and I have had customers that are the total opposite of kind also. I had a customers cuss me out and tell me all these nasty things. For instance, I did not allow this woman to use the coupon she had. The coupon she had was $10.00 off a $10.00 purchase. The customer complained that many of her items where wrongly priced so I gladly changed them. Her total came to 4.98.. She had a fit five year old and then left. It gets really hard not to get upset or frustrated at other customers when you have so many people yelling at you all day because they can’t read the fine print or exclusions. Also cashiers cannot do everything. Managers have to override everything we do. If a certain coupon won’t go through they have to approve it. If the manager can’t do it, all the cashier can do is apologize. Managers sometimes are not helpful at all like the one In the story above. Another thing I learned while working in business class, work ect. If you won’t spend your dollar someone else will spend theirs. Be kind, use empathy. Don’t be a rude customer, be patient in line. Also, if you have a problem with the manager that came always ask to speak to her or his manager that should solve the problem quickly. Theirs no reason to yell or fight or act like you are three. Kindness and patience goes a long way. When we have customers waiting at our store for a manager I usually bring them a chair or offer them some chocolate. Treat someone like you want to be treated.

    • Laura W.

      Walgreen’s will want to know of this. I think you should contact their 1-800 # (or 1-866#) they have for customers and/or staff because of the way the treatment made you feel. They will send someone to evaluate the situation and make change where needed. Sorry I do not have that phone number for sure. I googled this one just now: 1-877-250-5823. Try this page:

  2. Shirl

    So sad! I would of stood there, for an hour if needed to make sure THEY understood the coupon policy.

  3. Katrina F

    im commenting late in the game. oh well …. as for the situation – (before being a coupon user) I would have picked apart the wording to catch the key words for using the coupon. Now as an avid coupon user I look for the code on the computer printed to make sure they are different. I am a cashier at a store and i have had customer call me names because i won’t take the coupons that i can see have been “copied”. What gets me is the customer admits they copied it and don’t see the problem with it. My bosses have gotten to the point they don’t question me on coupon usage. I explain how the things should work and they say well you know what you’re doing. I wish they would train the other cashiers though because 90% of my co-workers dont watch the codes. I try to carry some coupons in my pocket to use through out my shift for customers. They always appreciate it and makes me feel better for helping them out.

  4. Nancy

    I would have done exactly what you did. I would then go home and email corporate, amazing how fast you hear from the Store Manager instead of the Shift Manager. It’s not worth my time to argue with them, once they have said no they aren’t going to budge.

  5. gatormomx2

    Same thing has happened to me. I have never set foot inside a Walgreens since and refuse to give them my business. CVS gets all my money now!

    • sheryl

      i’m so sorry to hear of your dreadful experience. sadly, many of us are feeling the effects of unhappy and unhelpful workers these days. i think you did the right thing in asking for a manager, and even though she was not helpful, you didn’t argue with her. if there is another store in your area, i would try them or come back to the same one at a different time of day and try a different cashier. hopefully, they will be more polite and helpful. definitely call or send your complaint to the higher ups and i wouldn’t be surprised if you received many incentives to shop at their store again. hold your head up, you did nothing wrong. KEEP COUPONING!

  6. Brenda

    I had this same scenario happen to me at a CVS. The manager there would not take a may belling coupon for nail polish bc it pictured lipstick but in the coupon it says for ALL maybelline products . She would not even scan the coupon and she made me feel like I was a criminal and I was stealing out of her own pocket. I avoid that CVS if at all possible bc I feel as if she thinks I am a troublemaker when I was just trying to explain the coupon. I go to another CVS even though it is farther but I will never forget how embarrassed she made me feel!!

  7. Connie

    All we can do is stay and fight. I have couponed for over 20 years it has gotten harder over the years to get the deals because a lot of people are dishonest with coupons. I feel that you have to stay strong and be confident. At least once a week I have to fight for the right to us a coupon. And I will stay until they do it. Because I know I am right and I am honest with counpons. Don’t let them bully you. If you are doing it right. And you are confident stay and fight.

  8. Baron

    It’s okay if that happens. The more you coupon, the more experience you have in dealing with situations like this. I’m by no means a pro, and I do sometimes get a bit anxious when I’m up there at the register with a stack of coupons, but just remind yourself that you’re doing NOTHING wrong! The smart ones are pinching their pennies anyway, and there is no shame in that even though a cashier might try to belittle you! I deal with cashiers often that do not want to do there job.
    I coupon in New Orleans, and I am constantly having to stand up for myself at the register. My advice to you collin would be to be STERN and be CONFIDANT! If a cashier talks down to you stay polite but be tactful in getting your point across. Only because now they may see your not playing around and that You do know what youre talking about when it comes to using valid coupons.
    If you still have problems I’d make it a point to contact the manager, district manager or regional manger or even call customer service about the situation. Before doing that though, tell the cashier and manager you will be doing this once you leave the store and be sure to get everyone’s name involved. if they ask why, just say “u have showed me me a lack of respect as your customer and your refusal to scan a valid coupon is against your store policy. You’re lack of knowledge and training in what you do should and needs to be reported.” Hopefully That might show them a thing or two, or even better they might just end up taking ur coupons!

    • Laura W.

      Yes, that’s a nice way to go about it. You are not doing anything wrong by couponing and it’s YOUR money. I never look down because it’s my right to use them. I have often said to chashier’s (not always at Walgreen’s), “I guess it’s job security, isn’t it?” and I share a light, matter- of- fact (not rude) laugh to lighten the statement. It’s true. The coupons bring customers to certain stores for certain deals. It is job security to most of them and I am happy to support that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Nina

    I have always had trouble at Walgreens. I would have/ have done the abandon ship and left them with everything to put back. It is rude however if you are organized there shoulld not be a problem. They are getting PAID for checking you out and the money from the coupon is not coming out of their pocket. People who abuse coupons ruin it for the people who are organized and just want their free stuff!!!

  10. amanda

    I have worked retail for years. I have dealt with many of rude and upset customers; over coupons, return policy, etc. As hard as it can be; It is NOT right for employees to treat customers in such manner. They are being paid for their time there and am sure that ‘customer service’ is part of their job description. They need to be fired and acquire a job not in retail; its not for everyone! I would take advice to call corporate. But i would make said employees think long and hard about what they had just done by personally going into said store (hopefully you can get same rude manager). Ask them for their direct office corporate number and their store number, along with both employees names. Im sure your rude cashier’s name is on your receipt. Along with reporting a formal complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

  11. jessica

    I recently had this happen to me and I decided that they didnt want to deal with the coupons and so I decided to walk away politely asking for my coupons back.

  12. Megan G

    I too have had a bad experience at Walgreens and questioned going back. I tried using register rewards to pay for a different product that also printed off register rewards. The cashier wouldn’t do it and when the manager came he was very confrontational. He leaned over the counter and got in my face. Then he told me I didn’t even need it and suggested that I just forget about it. So I contacted the district manager by email and was given an apology. They have security tapes (at least at my store) that they watched and then gave the man new training. I’ve been back since and haven’t had a problem. Maybe contacting them would be a good option, just to let them know that they need to look into the matter so it doesn’t keep happening.

  13. Steph

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought of this, but I sent a link for this to Walgreen’s customer service. Thought they might like to see what people think of them lately. You think they’ll change?

    • Laura

      I think they’ll take this seriously, indeed. Perhaps when training, there’s little emphasis on how to manage the customer who presents with coupon(s). At several retail stores, I get the feeling that the chasier wants to say “ugh!” when I hand over the coupons (not always, of course). And worse is it when the manager has to be called for help redeeming the coupon. The negative stigma of coupons being an inconvenience to the cashier, needs to be replaced with the realization that at least 1 of those coupons brought the customer into their store which in turn, contributes to an element of their job security. Afterall, they need customers to shop, hence the need for cashiers.

      One more variable is the overall employee’s attitude towards the consumer. Eye contact, or lack of, and body language say a lot also. It’s critical during the hiring process to assess the persons’ ability to handle things that don’t go smoothly and to learn to value the customer.

      Another element to this could be that coupons, being non-universal in regards to redemption software/cash registers, are sometimes difficult to process. This would be something the vendor and manufacturer need to iron out. If this is a reason for the cashier’s irritability it inturn may be taken out on the customer who is using coupons.

      I must share the following: I had a recent visit to a Walgreen’s in eastern Iowa and the customer service was outstanding. I was so impressed with the camera area employee going out of her way to help me, and the cosmetics gal, that I took the online survey right when I got home. A+! They walked me through the new savings program there. So, as we mentioned, this is not to bash all of the Walgreen’s stores. This happens at many other stores as well, I can attest. It’s just that the original post took place at one Walgreen’s store and it hit a nerve as us couponers could relate.

      We’d like to hear back from you, Walgreen’s. Your insight and perspective would be appreciated.

  14. lea

    Wal-Green’s is always like this. one transaction a coupon will work the next one it doesn’t. The majority of their employees are coupon illiterate. They are rude and always act like you don’t understand how to use coupons. Really, the majority of their staff, even their 1-800 number are idiots. once they kept telling that I couldn’t use a manufacturer coupon with a coupon from theri monthly booklet because it states on it that it’s a manufacturers coupon also. I called and cmplained to the 1-800 and they said the cashier was right. but then as Iwas scanning the weekly ad, It gave the example of using a manufacturer coupon and walgreens monthly booklet coupon together. i was so aggravated. Wal-greens employees need better training. ๐Ÿ™

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