I think it is high time for all of us to fight back against the stores denying us the use of our legitimate coupons so I am asking everyone to "Prepare To Defend Yourself Against Possible Reverse Coupon Fraud"! We each need to stand up for our "Consumer Rights" or no one will.
So today I am going to go on a rant against what I perceive as either an intentional attempt to deny consumers the full use of legitimate store and/or manufacturers coupons or denial as a result of store employee ignorance about coupons and/or store policy.
From what I have been reading and hearing lately there are a lot of you that are fed up with the hassles of using coupons when you go shopping. I feel as though the stores think that just because there are some "fake or fraudulent" coupons floating around out there that every customer that uses coupons is a potential criminal and is looked upon with disdain.
I can not tell you how many times I have gotten into, let's call them "discussions", with store cashiers, front-end managers, customer service managers and store managers over using a perfectly legitimate store or manufacturers coupon, but it happens far too often for my liking.
Have you every had two or more store employees get into a huddle and whisper to each other about your coupon(s)? It makes me want to say "Excuse me, but can someone please tell me what the problem is here?"
First, look up and print out the store policy on the use of coupons and carry it with you when you go shopping. We should not have to carry around "their" corporate policy, but oftentimes the cashiers have no clue what they are doing or misinterpret what they have either read or heard and having that document will normally set them straight.
Have you ever had a cashier scan a coupon, but it did not register or did not register in the correct amount? I have had many cashiers either throw the coupon away or just put it in their coupon drawer without every telling me that there was an issue. I have to keep track of how many coupons I had and how much each was worth and then check my register receipt before I leave the store. I have actually caught the cashier doing this as the items were being rung up and stopped them right there and resolved the issue. Make sure you watch not only the prices being rung up, but watch and make sure all your coupons ring up or you know why they didn't.
Have you ever had a problem with a coupon scanning and the cashier tells you that it is store policy that they only accept coupons that scan and that they can not enter the coupon by hand. That is not always true and you need to challenge the cashier and get the manager involved. I have coupons that failed to scan, but after having the cashier rescan, sometimes up to five times before the scanner will pickup the bar code. Sometimes the scanners on the register do not work for whatever reason (dirty, scratched glass, etc), but the hand-held scanner will work or vice versa. Sometimes I have had to go to another register or go to the customer service desk to get the issue resolved.
Have you every had an issue with the cashier not wanting to accept Internet coupons? I had one instance where the front-end manager at a grocery store got involved after the cashier told me that she couldn't accept the coupon because it was a copy. The front-end manager agreed with the cashier and told me that the only Internet coupons that they could accept were originals. When I asked how they could tell that the Internet coupons were copies the front-end manager said "look at these coupons, you see some are in black and white and some are in color? Well the ones in black and white are copies!". I tried to explain that all of them would have been black and white if I had remembered to change my printer setting to print in black only to save on colored ink. I could see that my explanation had missed it's point and asked for the store manager (who I know) and the decision to not accept the coupons was quickly reversed - "...but only this time, Sir".
Later after things calmed down a bit and I thought the front-end manager had time to digest my comments I approached her on the way out of the store and told her another way of determining if the coupons are copies is too look for the unique code number printed on the coupons. Since then I have not had a problem at this particular store with my Internet coupons. I know your thinking, yes, but they could have still been copied and you'd be right, but they shouldn't scan no matter how many times you try. Did you know that each coupon that is printed out has a unique identifier that identifies who printed out the coupon, where it was printed out, when it was printed out so it can be tracked?
Now here is a coupon quiz question for all of you:
"What is the difference between trial size and travel size products?"
You can find the answer to the quiz question below, but first think about what your response would be if the cashier told you that you could not use that coupon for $1 Off on that deodorant stick that was on sale for $0.97 because the coupon excludes using it on "trial size" and this little container is "trial size". Even if you picked it out a bin in the "travel size" aisle. Are you going to accept that argument?
I spend a lot of time, put in a fair amount of effort, not to mention my hard earned money to acquire the coupons and I want to use every one of them fully. It would really be nice if I could do it without all the hassles, but that will probably never happen, but I can tell you one thing - "I will be prepared to defend myself".
Until next time. So long and may the force be with you.
Trial Size - Smaller than usual size of a package. A trial-size package of a product may be used as a sample to be given away or may be sold at a low price to attract prospective customers. Think of all the freebies you get in the mail that sometimes make you wonder why you even bothered asking for them in the first place.
Travel Size - think of what the TSA allows you take on-board the airplane. Containers containing 3 ounces of product or less. Like the products you see in all those little bins conveniently located in the - "travel size section".