Extreme couponing can be considered a sport by some. It really seems that people will do anything to save a few extra bucks nowadays. However, some people take it incredibly way too far and things can seriously get out of hand. The following retail workers know this all too well. Read on to hear their stories of the bad, the ugly and the downright nightmare encounters with a "couponer." Content edited for clarity.
Specifics In The Fine Print
“This is a story from my days at a grocery store that is very popular in New York and New Jersey. The week this story took place, the store had sent out in its Sunday Coupons with a coupon for some money off 8 rolls of toilet paper. When this man got to my register this is what went down:
Me: ‘Hello! Do you have any coupons, rain checks or your store card?’
Customer: ‘Yes I have this coupon for this toilet paper.’
When he hands the coupon over, I check the date on the coupon and read all the fine print. I immediately see that the coupon says the discount is for 8 or more rolls, but I can clearly see that he is putting a 4 pack onto the belt.
Me: ‘Excuse me sir, do you have another package of rolls with you? This coupon will need 8 or more rolls to be authorized.’
Customer: ‘No, it says 4 rolls equals 16, so I have enough.’ (The package does say 4 equals 16, but we both know it means the PHYSICAL rolls not what they can replace)
Me: ‘I’m sorry, but the coupon is looking for what is actually being purchased, not what you are replacing. You will need to get some more rolls to make this coupon work.’
Customer: ‘But I have 16 rolls.’
Me: ‘No you don’t, you have 4.’
Customer: ‘But it says 16!’ (He was getting a bit upset at this point)
Me: ‘Sir, it could say 16, 32 or 2340. You still would only have 4 rolls in the package.’ (I am still calm at this point, but getting a bit frustrated that this man can’t count physical objects)
Me: ‘Would you want me to get a Manager to help explain things?’
I am about to call a manager, when the Store Manager comes over having seen the commotion.
Manager: ‘Is there an issue?’
Customer: ‘He won’t let me use my coupon!’
Me: ‘It says its for 8 or more rolls and he only has 4.’
Manager: ‘You will need 8 or more to use this coupon. I’m sorry that is just how to coupon will work.’
Customer: ‘Okay. (Turns to me) Why didn’t you just say so!’
Me: (wishing my eyes could burn people into ashes) ‘Sorry I wasn’t clearer in my wording.’
The customer then went and got some more rolls and the transaction went through fine.”
Can You Not Read?!
“A few years ago in my retail days at the now defunct toy store empire Toys R Us, an older looking couple came up to checkout with a few toddler aged items. She more or less shoves them at me and slams two coupons on top for her items. I take one look at them and begin to say :
Me: ‘Ma’am I cannot accep-‘
Old lady: ‘I ALREADY CHECKED the expiration date before I came here! They’re still valid you HAVE to accept them.’
Me: ‘No but-‘
Old lady: ‘Look at the date! Can you not read?!’
Me: ‘These coupons are for Target.’
Not another word was said by either for the entire transaction as I rang up her items, and she swiped her card. Felt good honestly with all the harassment I put up with regularly.”
The Lowly Underpaid Teacher And Her Quest To Save $4
“So I work Michael’s that really had the best coupon policy. We have had some wicked sales lately and it has been bringing out the worst in people. I could write a full 10-page essay and still not cover everything that has happened lately. But I shall just cover a recent one.
This woman came in with her husband and kid. She began to place items on the register as I asked if she found everything okay. She said yes and then mentioned she was a teacher and needed the discount. I asked if she could show me the barcode for the discount on her app. This is how the discount is provided and has been for months. This completely sets her off.
Customer: ‘I refuse to download the app. I haven’t needed too before. They just give me the discount. I don’t have to show them the barcode to scan.’
Me: ‘I’m sorry, I can’t do that. I need a barcode or I can’t apply the discount.’
Customer: ‘Can you not just scan something by the register? Do you not have a coupon somewhere? I have friends coming in later doing the same thing and I will have to let them know you won’t give them their discount.’
Me: ‘No. I can’t scan anything. I won’t risk my job over this. If they saw on the camera that I didn’t scan the proper barcode, I could be terminated. It is not worth it.’
Customer: ‘Not worth it to help a customer, nay a lowly, underpaid teacher, save money. Hmph.’
Her total was 13 dollars. She would have saved less than 4 bucks, just for perspective. She stormed over to the other register to complain loudly to her friends about how I refused to help her and laughed at me. I wanted to ask her if a child in her class forgot their permission slip signature would she just sign it if they asked or would she not risk her job for that.”
“IT’S MY COUPON”
“So this happened a while back when I was still fairly new to retail, but I like telling the story so here goes.
I was on my lane like any other day, giving my pre-recorded ‘Happy Associate’ speech that we all have. Nothing special. My store has these coupon printers next to the receipt printers, and if you scan your shoppers card mid order, the coupons will print off as your things are scanned. This is never a problem, because most customers either don’t care about the coupons, or are going to stuff them in their purse and go through them when they get home. If they are to ask for them mid-order though, I’m supposed to hand them to them, but I can’t scan freshly printed ones until their next order.
So, this one lady comes through my lane with two things: a cartload of groceries, and a handful of coupons. I give her my speech, start scanning her things, and don’t think much of anything about who or what I just brought upon myself. Before I can really react, she reaches around my scanner and scans her card herself. Then, the coupons begin to print. She isn’t paying any attention to anything but those little slips of paper. Suddenly, a red, 15% off Hot Pockets coupon prints out and rests next to me. She jumps a little.
Her: ‘Hey, can you hand me those coupons?’
Me: ‘No problem! Here you are.’
She shuffles through them and picks out our aforementioned Hot Pockets coupon.
Her: ‘Scan this one.’
Me: ‘Haha, I wish I could but I’m sorry. Those are for your next transaction. It’s against store policy for me to use them now.’
Her, very firmly: ‘Use it.’
Me, caught off guard: ‘I really wish I could bu-‘
Her: ‘IT’S MY COUPON. WHY CAN’T YOU!?’
Me: ‘The reason is that this transaction hasn’t gone through yet. Since you’re a plus customer you get these discounts based on what you buy previously. It would be like if a Buy One Get One printed off after scanning two of these, I couldn’t just give you a free one since you haven’t paid for the first two yet.’
This was not enough.
She’s getting red in the face, and asks for the coupon back. I oblige. She then reaches around and scans it for me, thinking it will work. Coupons have to be scanned at the end, so all it does is bring up an error message that says ‘Coupon scanned, take total.’
I don’t say a word though, I just let her think it happened and send her on her way after paying. She then goes right to Customer Service and demands that I be pulled off my lane and brought over for mistreating her. I’m friends with the guy back there and he knows I’m pretty much the least likely person on earth to badmouth a customer, so he tells her I’ll be taken care of and sends her on her way.
A days worth of customers and carnage later… I’ve received an online complaint, rated highly unsatisfied, and they make me a bagger for a week…”
The Ultimate Scam
“I work at the customer service desk. I have ta sales register, refund register and a bunch of extra machines that I usually operate simultaneously. We were backed up one hectic day so I opened my sales register. This lady comes up into my line with 50+ items – all pet related too. I’m thinking ugh this is going to suck, because I have to hand scan each item (no register scanners, MEH)/ But I put on my kissing butt smile and cheerfully say ‘Hi how are you today? Do you have your rewards card?’
Customer: ‘347 -‘
Me: ‘One minute ma’am let me get that screen.’ (Please don’t spew out your number to me, I can’t enter it in the second you start talking, plus I’m a human, greet me back please.) ‘Now, the number ma’am?’
So I’m scanning and bagging and finally give her the total of three hundred something dollars.
Customer: ‘But I didn’t want those Denta Bones! (She never said anything to me regarding them, she placed them on the counter and watched me scan/bag the 8 boxes.)
Me: ‘I’m sorry ma’am, just wait one minute, I have to have a manager override and void out the total since its more than 2 items.’
Customer: ‘That’s fine…’ (eye roll)
I call for the override and tell the customer I’m going to take a return while we wait. Enter my dynamite awesome manager.
Manager: ‘Sorry about that ma’am, here you go, she’ll go ahead and finish your transaction. Seeing as how all the items are bagged I ask for payment but no, that’s simply unacceptable.
Customer: ‘No you can’t do that.’
Me: ‘I’m sorry ma’am?’
Customer: ‘I want new bags. Those are dirty now.’
The bags are all neatly in her cart, which I put in there since she won’t do anything to help/be nice.
Me: ‘I’m sorry ma’am?’
Customer: ‘Well I work for the humane society and they all need to be clean.’
Ah yes, makes perfect sense. I swallow it and move on.
Me: ‘Would you like to use your tax ID so that the company doesn’t have to pay tax?’
So she wants to pay the 30 something dollars in tax…suspicious. Nothing makes sense anymore. So, I redo the ENTIRE transaction, re-ringing and bagging her items per her request.
Me: (Big smile for the finale) ‘Your total for today is $334.19’
Customer: ‘I have coupons.’
This woman takes out a freaking fistful – I kid you not – a fistful of coupons from her purse and throws them on the counter. So then I proceed to scan all coupons and hand her back the ones that aren’t eligible (expired/different product).
Customer: ‘Can’t you just see if they scan?’
Me. ‘No ma’am, the store loses money if we accept expired coupons.’
So this pain to my existence keeps up with her nonchalant attitude while I’m scanning and growing a returns line.
Me: ‘So the total is $140.34’ (great savings but she’s been total witch)
She pays. I say bye have a nice day bleh bleh bleh and I go to the return line, turning my back to her ridiculousness.
BUT IT’S NOT OVER!!!
She waits there, I work through my line, then hesitatingly turn to her and ask her if there is something else she needed.
Customer: ‘I’d like to return these.’
Me: ‘What in particular ma’am?’
Customer: ‘All of it.’ Then she actually SMILES for the first time since she came in and says, ‘and I get the full amount before coupons back.’
OH HECK TO THE NO. While it’s true that the computer doesn’t automatically deduct the coupons it’s up to the service person to alter the price to the correct amount.
Me: ‘Ma’am that’s entirely fraudulent. If you no longer want the products I’ll be happy to return them for you but you aren’t getting any more back than what you paid.’
She proceeds to have a temper tantrum. Ripping her RE-BAGGED bags all over the floor. I’m in the middle of calling security when an assistant store manager comes up. Let’s call him Push Over hint hint and he asks what the problem is.
Customer: ‘She won’t give me my money back!!’
I patiently explain the situation to him, and he comes back with…
Push Over: ‘I’m sorry ma’am, we’ll go ahead and give you the full return.’
EXCUSE ME, SAY WHAT? I’m livid.
He can tell. ‘Do the full amount Ms. E.’
He watches me do her return and makes sure I give her the full amount back. So she leaves – up $200.00 and a fat smile on her face. I’m fuming.
Me to Push Over: Why did you let her have the full money back?’
Push Over: ‘Because $200.00 is not worth losing a customer over.’
Are you kidding? I’m sorry but since when do we want scammers to come back?”
The Joys Of Retail
“Picture it: Autumn 2015 …
‘Boy! Boy, c’mere!’
I look up, a box-cutter in my hand; it’s 9:04am on a Monday morning – we’ve barely been open long enough to clear the boxes we’re stocking from the truck into a passable path for shoppers and now? This?
A tall, inelegantly draped woman in polyester and rayon – her wish-it-were-ash-blonde hair thrown into the laziest of chignons – snaps her fingers impatiently from eight aisles (some forty feet) away. You have got to be kidding me.
‘Ma’am?’ I slip the cutter into my vest pocket and stand up. I’m also trying to keep my tone neutrally audible, non-confrontational but hearable from SUCH A DISTANCE as I begin to pick my way towards her. I’m also trying to avoid the natural impulse to snarkily raise an eyebrow and lower my lips into a disapproving scowl. It’s not easy right now. There isn’t enough coffee coursing through my veins to cope with this for long today.
‘Boy,’ she continues, snapping again, as I cautiously approach. Custys, and especially entitled ones, in the wild are easily spooked and tend to go immediately on the offensive. Also – ‘boy’? Really? I’m a kempt hair, bearded gay man very obviously in his 30’s (despite my best efforts to appear otherwise), and not easily confused with a diminutive form of a tow-headed youth, even from forty feet away.
Bless this entitled wannabe rich witch’s heart.
‘What can I help you with?’ I ask, as placidly kind as I can muster, approaching her as she stands in the middle of our Fall Seasonal Valley which is filled with faux pumpkins and maple leaves in bright oranges, muted reds and brown-toned golds.
‘Do you have any more of these,’ she thrusts an ad copy in my face – our Sunday ads often vie with magazines for their heft and abundance – and points to the Christmas trees display. The photo features a large, pre-lit and flocked tree photoshopped into absolute Winter Wonderland perfection. It also has a bright red-and-white bubble declaring ‘Introducing our newest tree, coming November 1st’: today is October 19th.
‘No, ma’am – I’m sorry,’ I try and have a kind tone and apologetic smile as I look her in the (obviously contacts-because-that’s-not-a-natural-shade-of-blue) eyes. ‘We don’t have those trees in yet – we’re expecting them on one of the coming trucks; either next Monday or the Monday after.’ I pause, then continue, ‘I’m sorry about that,’ just to drive home the retail-politeness they brow-beat into us.
You’d think, from her expression and shift in demeanor, that I’d just slapped her or stabbed her firstborn in front of her before bathing in its blood.
‘Ex. Cuse. Me?’
‘Ma’am?’ I’m reeeeeeeally hoping that my irritation bubbling beneath the surface isn’t readable because this woman is working my nerve.
‘It’s right here, in print, that you have this tree. Why would you advertise it if you don’t have it?’ She speaks in clipped, slow tones as if I were an errant toddler who had just soiled the rug with a mud pie.
‘I’m sorry, ma’am, but if you look closely at the ad,’ I try to keep a non-toothy smile pasted on my face as I meet her steely, rather inhuman gaze. An old manager drilled into our heads that ‘showing teeth is a form of aggression in the wild; always smile with your whole face, instead’, so I try to smile with my eyes and the freckles and dimples above my beard.
‘See, here? There’s an announcement bubble’” I point to the bright spot of color hoping the heat in my cheeks aren’t two more bright spots of color for her to see. ‘Coming November 1st. We won’t be putting up the Tree Forest until at least next week – we still have so much Fall around,’ I gesture to our surroundings with a deferential – and hopefully amused, not irritated – look on my face. ‘But don’t worry, Christmas is coming.’
She makes a sound that can only be described as a strangled, cat-like sigh.
Did this Soccer Mom Custy in wish-it-were-Pashmina with badly-dyed hair (yeah, I said it, so what?) just roll her gotdayum eyes at me?
‘Ma’am?’ I try and edge concern into my voice, as if I truly care about what’s bothering her; instead of mentally shoving her rude self off a cliff in my imagination. See, if you aren’t abruptly rude for no reason, retail workers don’t have to fake caring/being nice to you; we actually will be. Instead, we have to fake it for so many, many rude Custys like this – air quotes – ‘kind soul’.
‘Let me speak with your manager. This is some false advertising bull.’
Oh, so that’s how this is going to be, is it? Okay.
‘I’m so sorry you feel like that. Let me see if our store AGM, Ms. August, is free.’ Don’t show teeth. Don’t show teeth. Don’t show teeth. Don’t show teeth even if you want to yell at her dumb self so loudly she cries and curls into the fetal position. Don’t. Show. Teeth.
‘August,’ I press the microphone on the radio earpiece I’m wearing. ‘Would you be able to meet a customer at the Fall Seasonal Valley? She has some…’ I pause, searching for the right word. ‘She has some concerns regarding the promotional ad and our Christmas trees.’
‘She does know that they don’t go out for another two weeks, right?’ August’s sensible and naturally polite voice, thankfully, can’t be heard outside of the crackling earpiece by the Custy.
‘I do believe that that may be the root of her concerns – she wanted to speak with you.’
Despite the years of training and her generally sweet nature, I can picture August rolling her eyes with exasperation – I’m pretty sure I can hear the eye roll, actually.
‘Aaaand it’s already one of those days, isn’t it? Of course it is. Let her know that I’m on my way,’ her voice takes on that strained, false chipperness retail workers have ingrained and branded onto our souls.
‘Ma’am, Ms. August is on her way; I’m sure that she’ll be able to answer your concerns,’ I smile and turn away. I’m pretty sure I bared my teeth just as I said that, despite my best efforts, but my giveahoot is suddenly broken.
‘Well, that was a giant timesuck,’ August quietly mutters as she joins me in the Floral Department almost ten minutes later.
‘That fun, eh?’
‘How hard is it to read the bold print superimposed over the picture you’re obsessed with?’
‘Judging from that wonderful Custy’s demeanor, I’d say selective literacy is her superpower.’
‘With a bonus talent for being both condescending and incredibly obstinate.’
‘Wow – we hit the jackpot with her, didn’t we?’
‘Yeah, totally,’ August starts as our earpieces vibrate.
‘I need a sign check,’ the nervous voice of our morning cashier carries over the radio. Lily is sweet, but oh-so-young (I guessed her at 12 her first morning – I was only 5 years off) and still easily intimidated by the rackous attitudes of the Custys. ‘A customer says that Fall Baskets are supposed to be 50% off, but, it doesn’t ring that way when I scanned it.’
Both August and I turn and look down the adjacent aisle at the display of Fall Baskets, then I spring into action.
‘I’m over here and the signs say ‘Buy One Get One 50% Off’ – did she get two or just one basket?’
‘Okay, hold on,’ she’s still holding her mike button down as I hear a tinny, angry voice declare that ‘that isn’t what the sign said’.
‘If you want, I can grab a second, cheap, basket and bring it and the sign up to you?’
‘Um,’ I can hear the indistinct voice of the Custy in the background being abrasive and impatient.
‘Just to be safe, I’m on my way,’ I roll my eyes to August as we exchange a world-weary look. Okay, not so much world-weary as Custy-weary, rude-as-all-get-out-people-weary.
In other words, retail-weary.
I pass several milling customers as I make my way up to the front of the store, all smiles and determined shopping; they’re in their own worlds and happy to be there. Although, I almost stopped in my tracks when I saw the sticky-with-candy toddler holding one of our foam model kid displays – the Haunted Mansion – his mother had pulled down for him to drool and possibly chew on.
Eww. Just plain eww.
‘Here you go, Lily.’ I set down both a small basket and the sign at her register as I pass behind her doing my best to not catch her rude Custy’s eye.
‘Oh, of course you’d be the one.’
The way she said ‘you’d’ makes me look up – oh.
That makes sense, doesn’t it?
Don’t show teeth.
It’s the only thing that comes to mind that isn’t a biting retort or scathingly-delivered, profanity-laced rip. So, I continue on past Lily, offering a quick (and hopefully reassuring) shoulder squeeze as I step up to the counter to type my codes into a register.
‘I’ll help the next guest on five,’ I loudly proclaim and get lost in the queue and shuffle.
If I can ignore her, and any other rude Custys the spawn from the Retail Underworld, perhaps I’ll make it through this morning and escape without snapping. I’m on autopilot; smiling, scanning, smiling, faux small-talk, smiling, bagging, smiling, and wishing customers a good day out there in the real world when a sharp intake of breath breaks my lack-of-concentration as the last of my customers walks away.
‘Excuse me,’ a woman with hair the color of sallow dishwater and a sour expression on her face – like she constantly was getting whiffs of sour milk or burnt hair on her upper lip – suddenly stood in front of me. She appeared, like a badly mimeographed apparition.
‘Yes, ma’am? What can I help you with?’
‘That young lady,’ she pointed at Lily. ‘I want to complain that that young lady said these copic markers weren’t on sale, and yet,’ she pauses and suddenly glares, all beady eyes and pursed lips, to gesture emphatically with the tin in her hand. ‘When I went back there, the sign clearly said that the packs were indeed eight dollars and not seventeen.’
She thrusts the package at me.
‘Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am – let me scan it and see what’s going on,’ I pull the scanner and watch my screen to see what it says.
‘Ahh, here we go,’ I point to the large screen above her head where the results are displayed. ‘On our side of the screen, until we hit ‘TOTAL’ it won’t show the sale price, but if you look at the price as it shows on your side, it has the sale pri-‘
‘Well, why doesn’t it say that on my receipt?’ She interrupts. ‘Eight dollars really is a huge difference in price.’
‘Well, let me see – we can scan the receipt and return it so that-‘
Her frozen movement reminds me of a computer locking up – she was halfway to handing me the receipt when she simply stops.
‘Well then,’ she reboots. ‘It says right here on the receipt the sale price.’
Of course it does.
I really must not show teeth.
‘As I was saying, Lily saw on her screen-‘
‘See, you were wrong,” she interrupts (again); this time waving the receipt at Lily, her hand inches from Lily’s shocked face. ‘You said it was full price and it wasn’t. You were wrong.’
‘Ma’am, as I was trying to tell you-‘
‘She really doesn’t know what she’s doing,’ she turns back to me, her beady gaze boring into me. ‘She needs a LOT more training.’ If her puckered face could look more like an angry dog’s behind, I don’t want to know.
‘As I was saying, she could only see-‘
‘Eight dollars is really a big difference,’ she waves the receipt at both of us as she turns towards the doors.
The line gone, and the queue empty of customers, all we can do, Lily and I, is stare at her as she triumphantly waves the receipt while she walks out into the parking lot. Neither an acknowledgment nor an apology would ever pass those puckered lips.
‘You have that right, Lily – just another fun day in retail.'”
“I work at a pharmacy retailer in Canada.
This woman came in and bought 2 shampoos, and had a $2 off coupon. I go through the transaction as usual, but she comes back and asks why I took the $2 off at the end of the transaction, rather than before, because it affects the amount of tax. I tell her this is the procedure, and she proceeds to comment that a good cashier would know that the coupon comes off before totaling the transaction, and that the cashier at a different grocery store does it that way. Once she says that I’m done being nice; You do not tell me that I don’t know what I’m doing when I’ve worked here for over 5 years.
I snap and say ‘You have to pay the tax on the full value of the product’. She then shows me the fine print of the coupon which literally says ‘To the consumer: Applicable taxes charged on full value before coupon redemption.’
I read it out loud to her, and she starts grabbing her things off the counter and starts walking away.
As she does, she again says that I did it wrong and that a good cashier would take the value of the coupon off the product before adding tax. I bet she says that a lot.
Forget you lady.”
“It’s Not Fair!”
“Our store has coupons every week that come out in the paper. They used to give them away at customer service, and we usually had a few to spare at the registers. When they stop giving them to us for some random reason, we now have to explain that we don’t have coupons to give away. I cannot re-scan coupons, I will lose my job.
One day an associate was buying some things and had forgotten her coupons. A nearby manager said she had extra coupons and I scanned them. Unfortunately for me, a customer behind her viewed this exchange.
Customer: ‘Do you have any extra coupons?’
Me: ‘No, I don’t. They don’t give them to use anymore.’
Customer: ‘Yes you do.’
Customer: ‘You gave some to the girl before me.’
Me: ‘She’s an associate and is using a manager’s coupons, it’s a little different.’
Customer: ‘She told me in the dressing room that you had a bunch of coupons I could use at your register. This isn’t fair!’
(That’s right, the associate flat out lied to the customer, thanks a lot)
Me: ‘Well she wasn’t telling the truth. Like I said-they don’t give them to us anymore, if we want coupons for ourselves we have to get them out of the paper like everyone else.’
Customer: ‘But you have a whole bag of them right there!’
Me: ‘Those are used coupons, I can’t re-scan them.’
Customer: ‘Yes you can!’
Me: ‘No, I can’t. I will lose my job.’
Customer: ‘But you just did it for her!’
(this exchange goes on for a few minutes)
Me: ‘Like I said, they don’t give them to use anymore.’
(At this point she looks like she’s going to cry)
Customer: ‘It’s not fair! You come in early and take all the coupons for yourselves so the customers can’t have any!’
Me: ‘We don’t have coupons at the store at all. I don’t have this stash of coupons that I hide for the sake of it.’
Customer: ‘Well, I thought [dept. store] needed my money. I was probably going to spend over $300 today and you just lost my business. I’m very disappointed.’
Me: ‘And I’m disappointed basic education failed you so horribly-so I guess we’re even.’
There was no freaking way she was going to be spending $300. Maybe she was so used to leeching off of the government for welfare she expects handouts. Not from this girl. I partially blame this on magazines with shopping ‘tips’ that say if you annoy the clerk enough you’ll get your way.”
The Extreme Couponer
“It was just another normal Thursday running the frontend of my local major grocer. Suddenly there was a blinking light in the express lane. I approach the register and see 15 packages of double stuff Oreo’s. My associate tells me that the customer thinks they are ringing up the wrong price. We are currently running a special on Nabisco products where if you buy 3 you get them for $1.99 each. I look at the total and do basic math in my head and can tell instantly they are the right price. Customer proceeds to show a receipt from earlier where she got an extra $3 off Belvita. The coupon code was just for Belvita, if it was for all Nabisco products then it would say ‘Nabisco’ in the coupon code. She then tells me that the tag said it, so I proceed to the aisle and grab a tag to show her that she’s not reading it right. The tag only references $1.99 when you buy 3. I go to check our weekly ad, and she immediately laughs and says it’s not in the ad. I tell her then there’s nothing I can do for her because there is no signage with the sale on it.
She then says ‘Ah these stupid secret sales, your computer system must be messed up.’
I respond ‘Ma’am, we don’t have secret sales….’
Her response ‘I’m an extreme couponer, I know these things.’
Crazy Karen And Her Perpetual Hate
“So I work in a retail store that sells clothes for all ages. We have these time periods where people who are given certain coupons during the shopping period are able to redeem them. We will call them store bucks for this purpose. These are typically dollar amounts off when you spend so much, and depending on how much you spend to earn them, that’s how much you have on your coupon.
So for this, mean lady will be Karen and I’ll be me.
Me: ‘Did you have any store bucks you wanted to use today?’
Karen: ‘Yes. I have two.’
Me: ‘Okay no problem! What are the coupons worth?’
Karen. ‘$30 each.’
Me: ‘Okay, so we will have to split up transactions to use both and save you more money because we cannot combine coupons. But this isn’t a problem at all!’
Karen: (with a completely straight face) ‘No, I only want to use one and NOT save money.’
Me: ‘Okay that’s fine too. No problem!’
Karen: ‘That was a joke, jeez.’
Me: ‘Okay so you have hit your mark for the first transaction. Can I have the coupon?’
Karen: ‘I just don’t know why you can’t do them in the same transaction. This is RIDICULOUS!’
At this point she is already huffing at me and acting like I’m being ridiculous.
Me: ‘Well our systems only allow for one coupon per transaction, so we cannot stack them. But again, more than happy to split up the transaction so you can use both today!’
Karen: (after I hand her the bag, with perfectly folded clothing, she turns to her daughter and says, ‘Can you help me refold these clothes? They are going to get wrinkled because she doesn’t know how to fold properly!’
I ignored this comment because I knew that I had folded them perfectly before throwing them in the bag, as I do with every transaction.
Me: ‘Okay now I’m ready for the second coupon!’
(I made sure I took my time with the second bag to show her I was folding each item)
Karen: ‘Can you hand me the second bag already, I need to refold every single item! They will get wrinkled!’
Me: ‘Yes, that’s fine, no problem.’
Karen to her daughter: ‘This is just ridiculous! They should teach folding classes in high school. Apparently she doesn’t know how to fold properly.’
At this point you can just tell her daughter is so embarrassed by her mom’s behavior and is just giving her mom the worst look. I don’t know if she was just mad about not being able to use two coupons in one transaction or if she really thought my folding was that bad. I have been working at this store for years, so I have had my fair share of ‘folding training.'”
She Thought She Found A Loophole
“I work in a bookstore on the register pretty frequently and I always seem to get the customer that wants to use more than one of the same coupon during a transaction, which we don’t accept. One particular day I get a lovely female customer that seems to think that she’s found a loophole. I’ve been working here 2 years, I know all the ‘loopholes.’ This was our exchange after her laying two of those things down:
Me: ‘I’m sorry ma’am. I can’t use two of the same coupons during the same transaction.’
Customer: ‘Well what if I do two transactions? It’ll work then right?’
Me: ‘I’m sorry ma’am, it is stated on the coupon One coupon per customer during valid period.’
Customer: -blank stare-
Me: ‘So I can’t use this second one ma’am. But it does come off your highest priced item.’
Customer: ‘Well, I’m just going to come in later and use it when you’re gone.’ -satisfied smirk-
Me: -Monotone- ‘Yes that is possible.’
Customer: -Bigger grin-
Me: ‘But…. Actually ma’am if you leave and come back I’m going to be here. I’ve already taken my break, I’m here till we close and I’m the only cashier. I don’t forget names or faces. I’m actually here most of my day, most days out of the week really, so I doubt that will be possible.’
Customer: -smirk gone-
Me: ‘So that will be $X.XX’
Customer: -Throws debit card down.-
Me: ‘There you are -insert name-, have a nice day.’
Needless to say, she didn’t come back.”