Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dark Side of Couponing: The Nightmare Cashier

So if you are a couponer, seasoned or green as grass, you know that it isn't all sunshine, rainbows, and sparkly unicorn poop.  It can be a huge headache, and sometimes it can even get downright nasty.

This series will cover the "not so nice things" that couponers (and savvy shoppers in general) encounter from time to time.   Introducing...

Picture This...

You are at your local store.  The trip has been going great.  They had everything in stock.  All the prices matched what you thought they should be.  So, with your coupons in hand, you head to the front register full of purpose and triumph.

You greet the cashier with your new found burst of cheerfulness, and precede to load all your new treasures on the belt for scanning.

You hand over your handy-dandy loyalty card, and let them know, "Oh, I have some coupons today as well."  Then, it happens...the cashier gives you that look of disdain, utter disgust, and overall detachment.  And you realize...

You picked the wrong cashier, and this is about to be a nightmare!

What's is a Nightmare Cashier?

This cashier comes in many varieties.  I'll list a few that I have encountered (as a shopper, as a coworker, and as a supervisor/trainer):

The "I Don't Care About Anything" Cashier

This cashier flings your stuff down and even bags your eggs with your canned soup or your bread with your bleach.  (I had one actually fling a gallon of milk once and it burst.  Fun times...)

You will rarely even get a greeting from them, and most of the time they will just roll their eyes and hold out their hand scanner for your card.

They certainly don't check if your coupons are scanning, or if they accidentally picked up two that stuck together.

They don't care about you or if your transaction goes well.  They just want you out of their face as fast as possible and will brush you off at every opportunity even if you call them out on a mistake they made to your order.

The "What's a Coupon?" Cashier

These cashiers look at your coupons like they come from another world.  They don't understand how they work.  They don't know how to scan the codes properly.  They have no clue if the coupon even takes or not.

It's understandable to a point.  Everyone has a "first day" on the job, and training programs at most stores are nonexistent.  So, it's all good until...

They tell you that the coupon has a picture of several products on it.  (ie: $1 off any one cheerios box coupon good for honey nut, original, etc.)  So, they tell you that you have to buy one of all the products on the coupon before they will scan it.

Or: They see "one coupon for item purchased" and tell you that you are only allowed one coupon on your whole order.

Or:  They refuse to try to scan them more than once if it didn't take the first time.

Or:  They refuse to take any of them and think that every coupon is a scam you are pulling.  There is no way that you could be allowed to save such money.  Companies just wouldn't allow that.

(I had this happen about a year ago.  The cashier actually called the manager over, and she asked if she should call the law on me.  It was their own store coupons clipped out of the weekly ad too.)

The "I Hate Coupons!" Cashier

You hand them your coupons, and they proceed to scan them through.  For every one that doesn't take immediately with their lightning fast, haphazard method of scanning, they roll their eyes, sigh, and declare how much they hate coupons.

Sometimes, they even tell you how they wished that no one would be allowed to use coupons, and that people that use them are crazy and just like causing trouble.  Awkward...

Bonus:  After all the coupons go through, the cashier gives you your amazingly low total.  They roll their eyes and tell you how it's unfair you got all of your stuff for cheap, and that it is like stealing.

The "I Pull Rules Out of My Butt to Keep From Having to Do My Job" Cashier

"Oh sorry, we don't accept coupons anymore."

You assure them that they do, and that you were just in the store last week and used so many coupons that they wouldn't fit in one hand.

"Oh really?  Well, we can try them, I guess..."  (Forever trying to brush you off and rolling their eyes all the while...)

Or:  "These coupons won't work," they say when they didn't even look at them in the first place.

Or:  "Well, you can only use one coupon."  They hand you your entire stack back and hope you will go away or something.

Or:  "You can't use a coupon on a sale item." They look positively crushed when you assure them that you sure can and hand your stack back for scanning.

Or:  They get a BOGO that they have to look up the price and write on:  "Oh, we don't allow BOGO coupons at all anymore."

(^^^This actually happened to me tonight! Argh!!!!  I won't even get started, because it was even at a freaking store where I was an employee awhile back.)

(These are probably my most hated ones.  When I worked customer service, I would have to deal with all of the irate customers, justifiably so in this case, with whom these cashiers pulled this crap.  It is pure laziness and indifference.  Drives me nuts on both sides of the register!)

The "I Will Argue With You Forever" Cashier

"Sorry, we don't allow more than one coupon per item," says the cashier at the store where you have been stacking your store and manufacturer coupons together since before video killed the radio star. 

You pull out their coupon policy that you printed the day before and point out that the store DOES allow it.

"How do I know that that policy isn't just something you typed up?  I am not accepting these.  So, do you want to continue the order or not?"'s the supervisor's cue to enter the scene.  Bonus points if the supervisor is just as bad and actually refuses your coupons and rips them in half.

(This actually happened to me once over a can of soup.  I asked to just void the order and to have my coupons returned.  The manager/supervisor then ripped my coupons in half!  And that, folks, was the first time I called a district manager to complain.)


So, I decided to start this post series after the horrible experience I had while shopping today.  I thought it would be good for someone starting out to take into consideration, as well as, seasoned pros to know they are not alone. lets me vent my rage a bit in a healthy way.  :)

(For the curious, it was Food City, and it was a total nightmare.  It happens every time I go there.  You think I would learn.  Funny enough, I used to work there many many moons ago.  Haha!)


Also, this isn't an everyday thing.  I, sometimes go months without a bad experience.  Other times, it seems like there is drama every time I pull out a coupon.


(I am going to pretend I understand what the hashtag phrases actually mean and do.)


Before I end this let me just say, I have worked in retail (grocery, big box, food service) for over a decade.  (And ever still stuck in its clutches!  Stupidly expensive college degree, y u no upgrade my life?!)

So, I am not just one of those annoying, clueless, and entitled customers who complain about everything.

(I am one of those snarky and sassy retail workers that complain about everything.)

Check out the Bright Side of Couponing HERE
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