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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.

Join The Discussion

Comments 97

  1. Heather J.

    I agree, you must always take into consideration that the person behind the register is also a human being. That being said, I think in this day in age, employees just need to be better trained in coupon usage AND have their coupon policy be common knowledge. In the long run it not only makes transactions run more smoothly, us friendly and fair couponers are more likely to take our business there!

  2. Stephanie

    I couldn’t agree more! Well said. We all need to remember that we are only human and sometimes we make mistakes, on BOTH sides of the register!!

  3. Kenna Peters

    While at Wags a couple weeks ago, the cashier skipped a coupon, then had a horrible time fixing the problem. I repeatedly thanked her for trying so hard to make it right. When everything was fixed, she thanked me for not being rude or mean to her. It always pays to be as polite as possible, even when things don’t go your way.

    • Be nice all the time

      I wonder if you shop at the same Wags as I do! I had a cashier compliment me for being a knowledgable, patient couponer. (She herself was a coupon friendly cashier & I made sure to tell her!!!) it’s a shame we now have to thank each other for not being rude. So sad.

  4. Lolita

    Wonderful post. I used to be a lot more demanding on customer service etc, until I realized that I needed to start thinking more about how the other person might be feeling. And like mentioned above, sometimes the ignorance doesn’t fall squarely on the shoulders of the cashier etc, it might be the fault of management or corporate for not informing the cashier, or worse, for misinforming them. Or maybe, just maybe, the cashier is right because that is the company’s policy or we as the shoppers messed up (I know it has happened to me before lol).

  5. beth

    well written!

  6. Teri

    Thanks for the reminder, Melody! I have had instances where a cashier is rude to me in the beginning of the transaction and because I keep my demeanor professional and pleasant, they change their attitude at the end. This also helps whenever I have my 3 year old with me. My little one loves to laugh and play with everyone when we’re out. It’s really hard to be mad when you have a little person who is constantly smiling at you during the whole transaction! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Barb

    Well said; however, everyone is not courteous these days. And yes people sometimes take couponing too seriously. I do agree that the employees should be better trained to know their company’s coupon policies though.

  8. cynthia

    Well if I were to base my couponing on todays experience at my local Kroger it would be negative. I would have to say that there are more cashiers out there that think they will get a “leg up” in the company if they give a person with a coupon a hard time. Some actually take the coupon and stare and stare and read and read rather than let the scanner do its job. I am frusterated today so I am not being “kind” to this type of cashier. It is rude and ignorant on their part to treat one in such a way. Today at Kroger the cashier told me that I can not have more than $10 in printable coupons per day????? Where in the world did this come from. She stormed off to customer service herself when I questioned her. The Manager came back and said yes only 10 printable coupons per day! NOT $10 as she had stated but now it changed to 10 printable coupons!! It is ignorance and that is hard to swallow for a coupon user! We sure arent ignorant! We are the smart ones and unfortunately it is hard to swallow on somedays. I called Kroger corporate and they assured me and YOU ALL OUT THERE ๐Ÿ˜‰ that there is indeed NO NO NO LIMIT ON HOW MANY OR HOW MUCH printable coupons you can use. So feel empowered we are the “smart” ones and walk away from the ignorant ones.

    • Karen

      Cynthia ~ Unfortunately that is not quite true…..it depends on your region. I am in Cincinnati (Kroger HQ location, interestingly) and they do, in fact, have a printed policy stating “only 2 internet coupons per manufacturer, per customer, per day”; they additionally limit 5 manufacturer coupons for the same product. Again, this is for the Dayton/Cincinnati OH market.

    • Jen M

      I would like to add that just because a coupons scans doesn’t mean the coupon was used correctly. Cashiers have every right to read over a coupon. Some might take it to an extreme, but they’re doing their job. Plus, limiting the number of coupons helps prevent shelf-clearing and we ALL benefit from that.

      • Monique

        Agreed!!

      • Sonya

        The company sets up their machines,they should be efficient enough to scan the correct coupons and if not,that’s not the customers problem. The cashiers job is to look at the coupons and make sure it’s correct,not read and re-read it and get all judgey on it. Limiting amounts bought helps w/shelf clearing,not coupons.

        • mary g.

          agree, sonya ๐Ÿ™‚ last december i tried to use a coupon for parent’s choice formula at walmart – this is walmart’s store brand. the coupon was sent to me in the mail in the form of a postcard and was for $5 off. this same high value coupon was on coupons.com at the same time it was mailed to me. at the store, i was told that the register wouldn’t recognize the coupon because of the high value. the manager on duty was extremely rude, even accused me of coupon fraud (!!!). i called the store manager the next day and was told that if the register doesn’t accept it, its no good. i called corporate and they told me the same thing. i am still very confused as to how a coupon sent to me BY walmart can be refused AT walmart. i strongly feel that the coupon fraud is on them for sending out coupons and then not honoring them. i have since been on a boycott from walmart for the past 13 months and it feels great!

      • Megann

        I work in retail and you are right just because a coupon scans doesn’t mean that it was used correctly. They are programmed by people after all. I don’t know if people don’t realize this but if coupons are used incorrectly and a cashier doesn’t catch it or their drawer comes up short they are responsible for that and could possibly lose their job. No cashier wants reprimanded or written up because they forced a coupon threw to make a rude customer happy. Retail is not an easy job. People can make it challenging. Both sides of the register need to work together to make the shopping experience a good one.

    • Jennifer Parrelly

      I am also down on Kroger right now. I have not shopped there in a few weeks. I emailed customer service about a coupon issue I had. I did not argue with the cashier, I just did not purchase the items in question. The email I received back from customer service was accusing me of trying to clear the shelves, even though I made it clear I was only trying to buy 3 of that item. I emailed back that I was disappointed that Kroger considered purchasing 3 of an item clearing the shelves even though there were probably 100 of the product on the shelves. I never received a return email. I am not sure if/when I will return to shop at Kroger. I would rather spend my money at a store that values their customers and does not accuse them of shelf-clearing.

    • ccooper

      I live in the Columbia SC area and our coupon policy the same at the OH market from above. 2 internet coupons per item/mftr for a total of 5 combined. They changed it about a year ago and sometimes it makes shopping at Kroger more difficult.

  9. Navia

    I agree that it is not always up to the cashier how strict that should be with the coupon policy. Some cashiers I have encountered are deathly afraid of their manager because it is the manager who tells them in what way to actually interpret the coupon policy.

    However I will say that this is preaching to the choir. The majority of couponers know the value of a nice cashier. Myself and others go out of their way to thank, praise and most of the time write good surveys about the cashier and/or store so they can get recognized. Most couponers do and should cultivate a good relationship with cashiers.

    I will not shop Wags though, despite having hundreds in my vicinity, because the managers instruct the cashiers to treat coupning customers as if they have a lesser value than other customers. I have experienced it a few times and did not care for it. Often time, it is not the cashiers fault, but the corporate policy that determines how friendly a store can be.

    • Amy L

      At my local grocery store the other day, a cashier was unsure if she should accept one of my coupons… she said, “well, it looks okay to me, but I’ll get a lecture if its wrong”. I offered to speak to her manager or at the very least give my name and phone number to attach to the coupon if there was an issue. She was so happy that someone was understanding of their side of things and that there was a reason she was “scared” to accept it.

  10. Britnee

    Thank you for this post!

  11. Nicole D.

    Fantastic! It’s both sides. I’ve had bad cashiers, yes – ones that have absolutely no idea and make up reasons to not take a coupon. But also having been a cashier, rude couponers are frustrating. Couponers need to have manners too. I always make sure I have everything out, sorted and ready-to-go at the register. I’ve actually had customers hand me a big stack of coupons and expect me as the cashier to sort out what they got, then even yell at me when I was explaining which coupons I couldn’t take and why.
    If you go to the register knowledgeable and prepared, the problems will be minimalized. Believe it or not, I actually got excited seeing couponers do things right and save a ton of money. I was constantly learning what the good deals were and seeing how other people save money. The good couponers knew which cashier I was and came to me. But the bad ones wanted to argue – most of them were actually trying to get things through they didn’t buy and as a cashier, you can tell they know they are wrong – stuttering and trying not to show a brand name because they obviously purchased the wrong thing… So noncouponing cashiers may even see these bad people and think all couponers are like that. Not true, but when that’s a lot of what they see, it’s understandable how some think I’m trying to rip them off – because there are people that do.
    I love that – stressing that it’s both sides! People many times just need to keep quiet and observe the situation before going to irrational conclusions that the couponer or cashier has some sort of agenda to rip you off.

    • Heather C.

      VERY good point about a cashier having a bad experience with a “shadey” couponer… making them think ALL couponers (even the good ones) are trying to pull one over on them when they’re at their register. Makes a lot of sense as to why some cashiers might have an attitude when they see someone walk up with a stack of coupons in hand. This is why I always have my transactions sorted out and ready with the proper coupons BEFORE I get to the register (to make sure checking out goes as smoothly as possible) and approach with a smile on my face! I’m always friendly, and thank my cashier for what they do. Kindness really does go a long way… Great insight Nicole D!

  12. Pinky

    Thanks for posting this. It is so true and sometimes we have to remember is a bottle of shampoo worth all the heart ache on our part or theirs. After all tomorrow there will be another sale.

  13. Debbie

    I would disagree. There is not 2 sides to the register, only one. I have owned my own businesses for 32 years. What we have are people who are not given the authority to deal with the customer in an efficient manner. This is why a lot of small businesses fail.

  14. Craig

    100% AGREED! Could not put it any better. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Tonya H

    Thanks for the reminder. Had a situation at Walgreens once where the cashier gave me a hard time about their coupon policy, so I just asked for a manager instead of arguing with her. He gave me same wrong answer. I just shook my head and left and thought it’s no wonder the cashier didn’t know because her manager didn’t either. (Wouldn’t let me stack store and manufacturer coupons)

    • Karen

      I simply don’t shop at Wags or Target for coupon items for this exact reason. It isn’t worth my aggravation or effort.

      • guest24

        Me either , Karen.Same problems over and over. Not worth the aggrevation.

  16. b

    I have never gone into a store “extreme couponing” Likely at the most about 10 coupons and not frequently. But I sometimes would still get a very rude cashier.

  17. Sara

    I worked as a cashier all through high school and my early twenties. I was also a manger. You would not believe the things people pull. From “forgetting” to pay for the things under thei cart to using coupons on stuff they didn’t buy. All of that made me so jaded I had to find a different job. I was yelled at so many times also reducing me to tears. It’s awful and embarrassing. Here’s what we were told about coupons…scan it and if it goes ok. If not, look at it and if the words match push it through. That’s it. Now for the free coupons enter the amount of the product. I’ve noticed now the computers at alot of stores take max amount. Stores get reimbursed for that amount. The coupons go into a big bag so really there’s no way to compare it to any receipts. If the cashier neglected to write the amount, the bookkeeper would just write the max amount on it and send it in. As a cashier it was usually women who called me names, lied to manager about what happened or threw an actual temper tantrum. I’ve had good expierences and bad but the bad was really bad and one bad customer can ruin your day. I coupon and I try to feel like I’m in their shoes. It’s like being a mom and your kid has been screaming in your ear all day and someone calls on the phone offering a car warranty and you slam down the phone. A polite no thank you even when you don’t mean it goes a long way.

  18. Jenni Nelson

    This is just too ironic! Earlier today I stopped at my local CVS in AL and made a purchase. My associate was Brittany and after reading all the comments about rude and non-coupon-friendly cashiers yesterday; I decided to let Britt know how much I appreciate her. I told her about the horror stories I have heard regarding couponing at CVS and how I thought that I bet cashiers have horror stories of their own too. I wanted to let her know that I have never had a problem at her store and I always feel welcomed.

    She was so sweet and told me that her and her co-workers appreciate me too. She said some couponers will come to the register un-organized and disgruntle and demand coupons be pushed through without regard to the fine print.

    Though I was a little taken aback to be known as a couponer and not just another shopper (I hate attention); I’m thrilled to know I’m a pleasant couponer. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sara

      I was in cvs once with my coupon buddy and I heard one cashier say “oh no,more couponers” and the other cashier said “oh they’re fine. They always do it right and are so nice”. That made my year!

  19. Erica Byrd

    Love this post! I’ve had my share of misinformed and rude cashiers AND I’ve definitely seen fellow couponers in stores that make us all look bad! It definitely goes both ways!!

  20. Jennifer

    Don’t forget that there are also people out there that misuse and even use “fake” coupons that the cashier can get in trouble for taking. The cashier can get in some serious trouble because of this dishonesty. A lot of them are already guarded to the use of coupons because of this. It can litterally cost them their job. Just remember that most of them are just trying to protect themselves and their job when they double check these coupons.

  21. Cheryl Eversole

    Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

  22. kathylovescoupons

    I agree that a LOT of cashier’s are not trained properly. It is not proper training that is the difficult thing to deal with, everyone has to learn and follow rules. It is however the attitude that I have encountered many times at particular stores that is where I think there is NO excuse when you are in customer service. Never should a cashier or manager belittle a customer, accuse them of getting “too many free” items, tell them they are ripping off a store, or it is “people like you”. These are things I have been told, overheard and read many times on here from fellow couponers. Should we keep our cool- yes, should there be any excuse for this behavior- no. No matter how much “stress” someone is under they should NEVER treat a customer unkindly.

    My husband is the manager of a sandwhich shop. They hired him to fix what the other manager had done- totally ruined their reputation in that area for poor customer service, smart remarks and just not putting the customer first. In 6 months they went from #50 to #6 in rank. He did this by putting customer service and politeness above all else. Now the profit is up, the employees actually like their jobs better because it is ok to take care of the customer even if they are sure they were in the right, and it’s ok to make mistakes because their customers quickly come to find out they will do whatever they need to to make that customer happy and want to return. This is what so many places I shop seem to have forgotten- treating your customers as if they are your bread and butter (because they are) and the whole reason you have a job.

    I am VERY loyal to a particular Rite Aid & Harris Teeter (grocery store)- I go to each weekly if not more. They know my name and I know most of theirs. Both places I have frequented for over 8 years. I never have a problem. If they say “i don’t think this is the right coupon” I quickly check and if it’s not (we all make mistakes on both sides) I apologize to them, if I think it is ok they will try and if it doesn’t go through call a manager. I think that is something that makes my shopping at these stores a pretty stressless event. I have a relationship with most that I took the time to establish. That helps a lot when you shop frequently at certain stores.

    • S.B.

      I agree with you 100% good customer service needs to make a come back! It seems more often I have lack luster or bad customer service rather than good customer service!

    • mar

      totally agree! when i started couponing at the Rite Aid near me, they gave me a pretty hard time with coupons (it was explained to me later on that a lot of people who use coupons there unknowingly/knowingly used the coupons incorrectly). now that they know i’m very careful with the wording and following the verbiage of the coupons and limits set forth, I’m always given the benefit of the doubt when there’s an issue with a coupon not scanning, ups not printing, etc. it really helps with a smooth and enjoyable trip ๐Ÿ™‚

      • kathylovescoupons

        There was one manager at the Rite Aid I go too that at first I thought I would never win over with kindness. Then one day after ringing me up I asked if she used a specific product I had bought. She looked at me funny and I said “because I have two coupons I can’t use that expire tomorrow and with the ups they are free”. That did it. I later found out her husband was battling cancer for the last 6 months, money was super tight, rite aid was giving her a very hard time about maybe loosing her job if she kept taking time off to take him to apt’s, etc. Now years later she asks about my family, I still check on how her husband is, and the first thing she says when I walk in the door is “ok, so what’s the good deals I need to get this week” ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Renee

    I had a very pleasant experience at my local Target (Ohio) yesterday. According to a sign on the shelves, you would receive a $5 gift card when you bought 2 participating items. I bought 2 of the items (among other things) and walked out of the store before I realized that I didn’t get my gift card. I went right back in to the same cashier and she produced their current catalog which said you had to buy 3 items. I explained to her that the signs on the shelves said differently. She called her manager over and he apologized saying that they had not yet changed all of their signs to reflect the ad in the catalog. He told the cashier to give me the $5 gift card. While I was waiting for her to ring up the gift card, the manager came over and apologized again for the inconvenience and gave me a coupon for an additional $3 off my purchase. I was very impressed by the professional and pleasant attitude of both the manager and the cashier and it’s one of the reasons that’s my favorite Target store to shop at. I have not encountered a rude or unpleasant person there yet. In fact, there is one cashier who makes sure to say hi whenever I walk in to the store, even if I’m nowhere near her.

    • kathylovescoupons

      I am glad to hear you had such a good experience. This is the type of thing that makes you look forward to returning to a store, when you know the people who work there really care about your experience.

  24. Jen

    I’m glad to see this. I was so disheartened to see that post and all those negative comments. I agree 100%. we’re all human. I’ve seen couponers use coupons that clearly said excludes trial/sample etc and justify it with, well it went through/scanned. That’s not right either. If you want companies to follow their rules, follow the guidelines (company’s and manufacturer).

  25. beth

    thank you for posting both of those emails! I have been in both of those positions and try very hard to be polite to the cashiers where ever I go. I do tell them when I have several orders and coupons or price matches. I have spoken to the managers several times and there has been a time when I was incorrect due to price matching and looking at other adds. I just want everyone to remember that it’s ok to say your sorry or to be a little more patient. if you put all the time into this and know you are right whats a little more time and if your wrong your wrong. I mean we are all human…
    Once again thank you I think it’s a good reminder on both ends not to give up but to also treat others with respect.

  26. Diana

    We are all supposed to behave like civilized adults. Customers and cashiers alike. Sometimes it’s not just about the coupons or a bad day. Most people have enough life experience to tell when someone is just plain old giving them a hard time. Sometimes you’re better off walking away and sometimes you just need to SAY your peace. It’s always your call. Also if you can’t get what you wanted with a coupon give the cashier back the item and say ok I won’t take it. Sometimes it’s then imm. worked out that they take the coupon. Your sanity and your health come first. Coupons are a bonus opportunity to make ends meet/donate and enhance your savings.

  27. Katelyn Bellingham

    Have had such a hard time at my local Target with a couple of cashiers being incredibly rude to me regarding my coupons! On one occasion this one woman…She started getting aggravated saying I could not use a coupon for Hormel pepperoni and the B2G1 Digorno pizza coupon in the same transaction…these items are not related to each other at all. I had to explain to her very carefully and nicely even though there are pepperoni on the pizza, that they’re not the same thing. Took the manager coming over too to get it resolved! Most of the time though I read the fine print on my coupons and read the circular and make sure I’m armed with good info! That and a positive attitude makes shopping as easy as possible!!

    • Sarah

      I am sorry, but this made me ”LOL” for real. She was trying to say you couldn’t use a coupon for a totally different item because the pizza had pepperoni on it? I have heard some doozies before while couponing, but I think this takes the cake.

  28. Tonya

    Well said, Melody! I like both sides of this. I dont know much about retail, but ive worked in the food service industry for a long time and know how harsh people can be sometimes. I also know that sometimes another human being is having a bad day and they just happen to have to be at work, so i try to give them a break, even when they are really rude to me. Compassion and courtesy can truly go a long way….and sometimes even flip someone elses frown upside down! Thank you for the post Collin.

  29. Shawna Redding

    This is ONE OF MANY reasons I quit retail, and will do everything in my power to not have to go back! I was lucky on any one given day to have 1 couponer be nice to me and very lucky to get a simple “thank you”. Sad part is, I am a couponer, so I was always happy when customers presented me with their stack, and tried very hard to make sure they had a good experience. I think people would really be surprised what a simple “hello” and “thank you” mean to a cashier or even sales floor person! It would always serve as a reset to me, reminding me to pass it on!

  30. ccooper

    The worst experience I ever had wasn’t a problem with a cashier, or even a manager. It was another customer that got frustrated because a store coupon at Wags wouldn’t scan and give me the soda deal I was trying to buy, so a manager had to be called. Then the store got busy and one thing led to another and I got stranded at a register with no cashier, no manager and rude customer standing behind me yelling about “stupid people that use coupons.” I rudely answered him back and let him know that I wasn’t made of money, but if he would like to pay full price for my items that wouldn’t discount, I would be happy to take his money. LOL.

    I ended up having to leave without my purchase or my coupons because I waited for 30 min and still didn’t get my items rang up correctly. I was disappointed and embarrassed by the whole thing. However, I was nice to the cashier and the manager during the whole process.

  31. Sandy M

    I agree with the writer that posted about both sides. It’s important to treat others as you want to be treated, whether using coupons or just going about your daily activities.

    But, I think it’s important to note that the writer who had trouble with the cashier did nothing wrong. She was polite and tried to explain the wording on the coupon, so there was no excuse for treating her poorly. In that situation it would do her no good to try to educate the employees about coupon wording because no one cared.

    In these cases, I politely ask the manager their name, and write it down in front of them. Then, with a smile, I say, “I hope you don’t mind if I check with the corporate office. I want to make sure I’m using my coupons correctly.”

    No matter how polite a person is, there will always be instances where someone is rude. Don’t play the game and let them upset or intimidate you, and don’t let them dictate whether you’ll use coupons in the future — they’re not paying your bills! Simply take down their name and report it later. Report it, check to make sure the staff will be informed of the mistake, then let it go. On the flip side, if someone provides excellent customer service, ask for their name and report it too!! Let those awesome employees know they’re appreciated!

  32. Gigi

    If a cashier has a problem with a coupon, I never fight it, I just say “oh well and ask if they can put it back for me.” I hate the feeling of having to fight for a coupon. It makes me feel like the employee thinks I’m trying to steal from the store. No deal is worth making myself feel that way… or making someone else feel bad.

    • Tricia

      I used to feel that way too until I realized that they will still get the $ back from the manufacturer so they are not losing money we are just saving money. If I have a problem from a cashier I just move to another cashier. I also found that older woman hate coupons so I look for a younger girl cashier. I feel it’s my job as a wife and mom with low income to do what is best for my family and as long as I am doing it correctly I will fight it but I always fight it in a very nice and calm manner and that usually ends in the cashier putting it through for me anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Mel

    I am guilty of being a person who has lost their temper with a few customer service individuals. After voicing my frustration, more times than not, I apologize for being rude. It just really gets under my skin when someone in customer service gives me incorrect information instead of just saying they don’t know and asking someone for the correct information.

    • Hope

      I agree. I’ve lost my temper with a few cashiers, but only if they were down right nasty to me first for no reason. I can tolerate a cashier who just isn’t sure if they should accept a coupon or not, or those who are just afraid to, that’s fine. I’ll just talk to a manager or go to another store. But I can not take a cashier talking rudely to me/talking down to me just because I have a coupon.

  34. Kristen

    Love it! I contact my favorite grocery store on a regular basis just to compliment the cashiers. I know them each by name and they are all so sweet and polite yet they don’t bend the coupon rules, but don’t inspect each one. I feel bad for this cashier though, and I’m not even a cashier. Can’t we all just get along? Lol well written post!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Be nice all the time

    This is also the reason I now fill out almost every survey on my store receipts. I always make sure to get my cashier’s name so I can mention them specifically by name should that be an option. I do this to leave GOOD comments, as in the past I’ve emailed corporate offices due to poor service & never heard from them. Now I just don’t shop there. It takes the same amount of time to compliment as it does to complain. I’m the victim of this scenario all the time. I’m now spreading the love instead of negativity!!!

  36. june k

    i say that lady is rite and in this economy a company will fire u if they think u r in the wrong with these qpons, people don’t understand as a cashier u r worried the company mite think u r the 1 trying 2 defraud them. and u r worried if u will b able 2 find another job, so remember that 4 the next time a cashier gives u a hard time over a qpon. she or he mite just b worried about losing their job and it is nothing personal . and we r just people 2.

  37. Jan

    I had a $1/2 coupon and a doubler and picked up two of the items at a Kroger affiliate. The items were priced at $1 each and the doubler had a top value of $0.50. The clerk wouldn’t let me use the doubler because the total would be more than the cost of a single item and would not listen as I explained the coupon was for two products. I finally asked for all my goceries and coupons back and went to another clerk, but I was frustrated and angry and told the first clerk so. The next day I took her an appology card. I might have been right about the coupon transaction, but it is never right to take it out on the clerk.

  38. Emily

    Yes, there’s always two sides to a story…but what Melody wrote was only partially true. I am a very calm and collected person overall, and I was treated badly at Walgreens on several occasions. I don’t like to contact Corporate because I don’t like to make a BIG SCENE.

    Long story short, my most recent WAGS trip went down like this…

    I had 2 FREE item HERBAL ESSENCES coupons. Those were completely free without any type of purchase. I went to the beauty counter to check out and handed my 2 free coupons with the rest of my stuff for purchase. I bought 6 items and only used 2 coupons(the free ones). After the transaction was completed my total seem a bit high. I asked the cashier to double check(she didn’t like the request by the look on her face) and it turned out she only gave me ONE free product for my 2 coupons. I politely told her that she forgot to scan the other coupon as I handed her 2 coupons. By then she gave me a nasty glared with a statement “I already gave u one free product. You want 2 free ones? Geez. We’re open for business not to hand out stuff for free.” I looked at her in amazement. On the back of my head thinking did she really say that? I informed her by pointing at the coupons I gave her…”Ma’am, you aren’t giving me anything for free. It’s my coupons. If anything, it’s the manufacturer that is giving me the products.” She attacked me back by saying “I am a senior beauty adviser here so don’t tell me how coupons are supposed to be used.” I’ve seen her a few times so I’m sure she’s been a long time employee. At the moment, I felt like I didn’t want to argue with her so I asked for my coupons back. She wouldn’t give it back to me saying she already scanned it. So I stood there staring at her and she stared at me for 30 seconds. She finally spoke again saying “Look, I already gave u one free product.” I suggested to see a manager and she told me the manager stepped out. She keeps repeatedly saying she’s been here for a long time so she knows more about coupons than I do. Both of us won’t budge.
    Out of nowhere a random lady customer approached the register saying “Lady, you better give this young lady her free products. I heard the whole conversation. There’s clearly 2 free coupons on the counter so you must take off 2. You are not giving her anything. You don’t own the company nor gave out the coupons. If you don’t then I will stay here with this customer and wait for your manager.”
    Cashier finally hesitantly scanned the other coupon, but she was mumbling under her breath. She didn’t look happy and it sounded like she was talking about us. I didn’t care what she was saying bc I was in a hurry. I just wanted to head out to go to work. I didn’t want to complain about the cashier bc she was an elder lady. Maybe she was just having a bad day or she thought I could be someone to take it out on? Who knows. One thing for sure is I dread shopping at Walgreens bc there’s always problems even if my coupon usage was minimal.

    Thanks for reading!

    • Rebekah Wright

      That’s CRAZY! The only explanation for that is that she wanted to keep the coupon, and take a free product home for herself!

    • Cindy

      Wow, I’m sorry you had to go through that experience. I surely hope that when people come across those kinds of situations (myself included), that the employee was just having a bad day and that it’s not how they treat their customers normally.

  39. Tiffany

    I really dont get why stores are so anti coupons… They make money on them! Jeez…. I get there are abusers but, if you check the coupon, scan it and it goes, it’s probably fine!

    It’s those of us with a stack of them at the register, that know exactly what is what….clearly.

    Glad I shop at Publix, they are super coupon friendly…never ever have problems! One of the managers actually sees me and comes up to see if I need the new store coupon book and asks if I’ve heard about such and such deal…..i love Publix

  40. Lindsay

    I used to work retail for years before I became a SAHM so I know what it is like “on the other side” and I can tell you this (the golden rule of couponing): KILL ‘EM WITH KINDNESS (the cashier that is). I always start each transaction by greeting them first and asking them how they are. Simple as that. 99% of the time, it usually works. In fact most cashiers usually ask me where I get my coupons from and are in awe of how much money I save. Last week at the grocery store I was the one who read a coupon wrong – it was a value pack of meat instead of a regular one I was supposed to buy – the cashier said “I know you got it but I don’t think it’s the right one. I’ll put it in for you anyway because you’re so nice…” She didn’t have to, it was my mistake and I sincerely apologized. But we are all human and kindness does get you places in this world!

    • beth

      Wow thank you for stating that… It’s the golden rule we all teach our kids right treat others how you want to be treated? So why as adults are we not doing this?

    • kathylovescoupons

      Lindsay- totally agree with teh kill em with kindness ๐Ÿ™‚ If a cashier who doesn’t know me starts giving me the stink eye when scanning my pile of coupons I start talking about how much I have been able to save with a few sites online that really do alot of the work for me. Then I ask if they want me to write down the sites. Even teenagers at the grocery store almost always say “yes” that it will really help their mom or such. This usually moves it from being a pain to ring me up to a way to see what coupons I used and how little I pay and they can too. May not work for everyone but has really seemed to work most times for me. It’s funny a lot of time you can turn avoid a situation before it happens if you spend the time they are ringing you up to be friendly, make eye contact and establish that you value them and what they do. I too worked fast food as a teen, then when I started to be a SAHM I worked part time at a drug store and then as a grocery store for 3 years. Even though I know am back to my medical profession, I do remember those days. I also remember them from both sides so I know how I wanted to be treated but also how to treat customers.

  41. Courtney

    Thank you so much for posting this one. A good reminder in all situations, not just at the register.

  42. Cara

    I was behind someone at Target the other day who was having an issue with a coupon scanning and then the register froze. Someone came over to help and then took me to another lane and started to ring up my items and something went wrong with that register, causing her to have to reset and rescan everything she had already scanned. I helped pull everything back out of my cart, and she thanked me profusely for being so understanding. I said “Of course! It’s not your fault!”
    We continued the transaction, and she kept thanking me and I said “I used to work retail, I know it’s not always easy or fun!”
    And I do not always remember that when I’m frustrated by an issue, but I sure felt good that day when I did and it was such a good reminder to me that it felt much better to make the cashier feel better than it does to stand there and roll my eyes internally;)

  43. Jennifer

    I have had some negative experiences at the register (mainly at Rite Aid). However, I have also had some awesome cashiers too! I worked in retail for close to 20 years before deciding to stay at home with my kids. We were told to always check coupons for sizes, expiration dates, etc., but I always tried to be subtle about it–I never wanted to give anyone the impression that I thought there was anything wrong with the coupons given to me. If there was a problem, I always tried to be diplomatic and politely explain the problem with the coupon (I was taught the customer is always right, so even if I couldn’t take the coupon, I would smooth things over so as not to offend the customer–just common sense). So when I get a rude cashier who doesn’t even understand coupon policies for their store and does something stupid like make coupon fraud accusations, I find it especially insulting. If I’m in the wrong, I will always admit it. However, all of my negative experiences have included me being correct in my knowledge of the store’s coupon policy, and the cashier is misinformed. Still I understand that with shows like Extreme Couponing, all of us that use coupons now appear shady plus cashiers are desperately trying to keep their jobs in this economy. That makes for a lot of tension at cash registers anymore. I just wish that every employee could use common sense and courtesies I think that is all any couponer wants!

  44. Cindy

    I agree that it’s a two-way street and that both sides should show mutual respect to each other. I can’t stand flat out rude customers (as a customer myself) that act and treat everyone like they’re entitled to everything and take advantage of the employees (if the employees are trying their best to assist and/or weren’t hostile/rude to you to begin with) or trying to scam the company by doing coupon fraud. On the other hand, employees should always exert professionalism under heated, stressful or annoying situations. Regardless of who it is, if you treat someone like dirt, don’t be surprised to have that attitude be thrown back at you. In retrospect, if you treat them nicely, chances are that it’ll be reciprocated back (and really, you can totally make someone’s day while at it).

  45. Rebekah Wright

    I have had no trouble at all at Walmart, where I do the majority of my shopping.

    I have watched a couponer in front of me with her price match list buying things I knew weren’t the correct size or item. Then handing a store coupon to the cashier and giving her a very condescending speech about Walmart accepting competitor coupons (it is the same as a price match – no cents off coupons). I finally stepped in and correctly informed the customer of Walmart’s policy. The poor cashier, said thank you to me, and said she was pretty sure her price matches were a little bogus (they were.)

    I saw another lady using food stamp cards (yup THREE of them!) and literally YELLING at the cashier, while her grandaughter cringed in shame.

    I think the talking down to cashiers is really lame. You should want them on your good side. If ever I was a cashier, I would know the sales and I would call you out if you tried to cheat. But that being said, there is ONE cashier at my store that HATES couponers, and challenges every single price match, looks them all up, and makes your transaction so miserable that you never go back through her line – which is exactly what she wants!

    Also, Walgreens is miserable to me. They “interpret” coupons. I have actually had a manager say “the way I read it is this… so that’s how it’s going to work”. He was wrong, I was nice and I went to a different store!

  46. jac

    Thank you for reminding us to be be kind to others!

    There will always be another good deal, and there are few glitches that can’t be helped with polite communication. As an old-fart couponer (25+ years of clipping!), I can’t think of a single deal I’ve tried to get that would have been worth dehumanizing or otherwise mistreating another person.

    On the other hand, I can think of PLENTY of deals that worked out well for me, and I’m so grateful for that–thanks to Collin & others who share your tips and organizational skills!

  47. Katiria

    I would like to note that for every bad cashier I have encountered, I have also encountered about 5 good cashiers. I guess it’s when we encounter a nasty cashier that it really leaves a bad taste in our mouths.
    I know at least 2 cashiers by name at almost every store I go to. Not just because I am a regular customer but because they have been kind enough to remember me and acknowledge me and have been very helpful to me. They seem to really want to help because that’s just the type of people they are.
    I was a cashier when I was in my teens to early 20’s so I have always known how stores can be unhelpful and how individual people can bring their anger to work and vice versa.

  48. vicki m

    I completely agree with this reader. I work for Wal-Mart and I can tell you some people can be so rude and nasty….it amazes me that people act that way, cashiers and customers. I coupon my little heart out and there have been times where I have mis-read the coupon or had a nasty customer while at work. I try my best to let it roll off my back and kill them the kindness. You will catch more smiles and thank yous if you show the same attitude you want back.

  49. Madason

    100% agree with you girl

  50. Louise

    So many good comments and experiences presented here! My best advice would be to always trust your instinct and couponing experience, be calm, & follow up with management as needed.

    In particular, I was once in a situation in a Walgreens store in which i had a $.99 sale item with a $1 manufacturer coupon & the cashier refused to accept my coupon. I requested to speak to the manager on duty, who happened to be the store manager, …who also refused to accept the coupon!

    Needless to say, I knew that the manufacturer of the product, who put out this coupon as an incentive for customers to buy their product, would be appalled that a store refused their coupon & a potential sale for the sake of -$.01!

    Despite my rising blood pressure, I knew the staff on duty were mis-informed, and calmly requested the # and name of the store’s regional director/representative to discuss/confirm the matter. I was provided the 1-800 # and went to my car, where I made a call.

    The regional manager was shocked at the store management’s response & assured me that I was correct and that the store manager and staff would be properly trained/informed in the future & that I should go back in & purchase my item for “free” after manuf coupon.

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