Thursday, May 28, 2015

What do some cashiers have against couponers? My CVS experience that began this rant...

Last night, I went to my favorite Drug Store for couponing (CVS) to use some coupons, spend some ECB's, and mostly because we were down to 2 diapers and I couldn't put it off any longer.

I was excited to get some great deals. I had my CVS phone app loaded with some offers, my printable coupons clipped and ready, a 20% CVS coupon that had come in the mail, and $5 ECB's to use.

I quickly went through the store, grabbing a toothbrush ($2 off coupon from the CVS app= FREE), some of the new CVS Abound Popcorn bags (had six $1 off coupons, so 6 small bags for free), and two big boxes of Huggies Diapers. I also picked up a 2 liter of A&W (only $0.69 after coupon printing from the magic coupon machine) and two small Nivea Creme's that I had a rain check for (buy 2, get $5 ECB's. This would have been a moneymaker, since the cremes were only $1 something each).

I headed to checkout and was rung up by the manager.

Now, readers, level with me here and tell me that I'm not alone in this.... You all can tell which cashiers are coupon friendly and which aren't just by looking at them, right?

The non friendly cashier looks annoyed with his/her job, appears to be in a hurry, and is not very personable or talkative.

I admit it = I profile my cashiers. I avoid the non coupon friendly cashiers like I avoid stepping in dog poo, or like I avoid bees, or cleaning the bathrooms, or any other unpleasant experience.

Because, honestly, non coupon friendly cashiers take the joy right out of couponing. I'm sure these cashiers are lovely people, but for some reason, they dislike coupons. And those who use them.

So, back to last night. I smiled and asked my cashier how her day was going. She gave a smile smirk and said fine. I took my bags and handed over my raincheck for the Nivea first. She immediately told me it wasn't valid on the Cremes I was buying (although I've done this same deal in the past). I politely answered that I believed it was valid and that the reason they were all out of the cremes when the deal was going on (hence my need for a raincheck) was because it was valid and people were buying them. My logic didn't compute with her, so I decided not to press the issue.

Next I handed her my coupons and she began to ring them up. Here's the part of the transaction where the serious couponer tunes everything else out and zeroes in on the coupon scanner and the screen where your total should be going lower and lower. I watched my coupons go through and my total go down and down.

When she got to the CVS Abound Snack coupons, 3 of them wouldn't go through. She told me the coupons were duplicates and they couldn't be used. I sweetly explained to her that they weren't "duplicates" (a duplicate is if you xerox a coupon, which is a big no-no) but that you can print each coupon twice per computer. I had two $2/2 coupons and two $1/1 coupons, so I bought 6 bags. I asked her if I could ring them up separately afterwards to show her that they could go through, just not in the same transaction. (CVS coupons will sometimes do this; you may only be able to use 1 per transaction). She didn't say anything, but sat the popcorn snacks on the ground while she totaled me out and I paid. Then she huffily rang up my other 3 popcorn bags, scanned my coupons (which went through just fine, thank you) and finished my transaction.

I went home very happy with my total ($19 for over $47 in product) but partially dissatisfied with my service. I ate a half a bag of this yummy popcorn while I mulled it over.

I guess I just don't get it. Why do some cashiers have against coupons and couponers? Did the manager last night feel such a loyalty to her company that she felt I was somehow scamming CVS by using coupons (which, by the way, they get reimbursed for by the manufacturer... unless it's a store coupon, which CVS issues to get shoppers in their doors in the hopes that they'll buy things-- that's what a store exists to do, right? Sell people things? CVS doesn't HAVE to put out coupons, and ECB's, and a fancy new app-- they do it because IT MAKES THEM MONEY.)

Did I waste her time? She had her personal cell phone in her hand the entire time she rang me up. I guess I slowed her down from getting back to her Facebook feed or something (on company time!?!?). There was not a soul behind me, so I wasn't holding up the line. And even if there were a few people waiting, does that mean I can't use coupons because it takes an extra minute?

I've never worked in retail or as a cashier (unless you count when I worked at a small deli counter in the business college at WMU, but no coupons were accepted there....), but I think if I did, I'd be encouraging couponers who shopped at my store! "WOW! Look at that! You saved $20 with those coupons! Way to go!" (picture: high-five to customer). In fact, I'd probably be bringing in my extra coupons and matching them to the items that customers were shopping for! "Hold on one second, I have a coupon you can have for that Colgate Toothpaste!" (picture: scrounge through coupon folder for Colgate coupon).

I know ITGSOF (in the grand scheme of things), this isn't really that important. Really, it's not. But when I take the time to match the deals to the coupons, clip the coupons, get 1/2 hour by myself to shop without the kiddos, get everything on my list that I was looking for, only to have a grumpy non coupon friendly cashier make me feel like I'm committing high way robbery, like I'm taking the money that's been deducted by my coupons straight out of her paycheck, it really saddens me.

I try to always be friendly to cashiers. I don't argue with them or throw a tantrum when they won't accept my coupons. I truly don't want to give couponers a bad rap. I don't clear the shelves or do multiple transactions. I just wish cashiers would understand how coupons work and realize that if they really cared about their company, they'd be friendly too. There are certain stores that I will no longer shop at, period, because they are so non coupon friendly.

Thus here ends my rant. I hope you understand where I'm coming from.... but then again, I don't. I hope that your cashiers are coupon friendly, always ring you up with a smile, encourage your savvy spending and coupon-ese, and that you look forward to great shopping experiences at your local stores (that sounds like a strange wedding toast).

If you want to read more about how coupons work (or if you can't fall asleep at night), GO HERE for this fascinating look into coupons!!

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