Coupon Catastrophes and Discount Drama – Part II

You are currently reading from The Biggest Lie I’ve Ever Heard Series.

Let’s start with the basics regarding situations in which coupons are actually present.  Coupons are a pain in the ass in this regard because of one simple reason:  there’s what the customer thinks/wants the coupon to mean, and what the coupon actually means.

Perfect example, I was working at an arts and crafts store that bought a page in the local paper – on top was a coupon for 20% off your next purchase.  Then, below that, there was a headline that read “BONUS COUPONS” for 10% off selected items that you can use at other times.

Now, at the bottom of each individual coupon, there was a disclaimer that stated only one coupon per transaction, per customer per visit.

This is the scenario I found myself in the day after the flyer went to print:

A woman in her mid-40s throws a bunch of felt, glue and puffy paints onto the counter and throws the entire flyer in my face with a sigh that suggested the materials about to be purchased weighed a thousand tons and she couldn’t bear to trudge her enormous purchase a moment longer.  She then proceeds to dig her COACH wallet out of her Fendi bag (another pet peeve of mine – seriously ladies, if you can afford a designer bag, you can afford to coordinate).

In an attempt to maintain good customer service, I said, “Hi ma’am, how are you today?”
Exasperated and annoyed, she rolled her eyes and said, “In a hurry.  My kid has a project and I need these like now.”
“Okay,” I sighed, managing to maintain the fake smile on my face as I scanned and bagged her items.  “that’ll be $29.32.  Which one of these coupons would you like to use on your purchase today?”
“Oh, I’m sorry ma’am,” I sighed, “it’s one coupon per transaction per customer.”
“Excuse me?” she snapped, looking up from her iPhone for the first time.
“It’s only one coupon…”
“All right, all right!” she yelled, putting her hand up to stop me from talking.  “So just do separate transactions.”
“I’m really sorry ma’am, but it is only one coupon per transaction, per customer, per visit.”
“So what are you saying?” she scoffed, cocking her leg to the side.  (What do you mean ‘What are you saying?’ – I almost felt like going all Samuel L. Jackson on her ass circa Pulp Fiction.)

I took a deep breath and said, “I’m saying that unfortunately, you can only use one of these coupons at this time.”
“WHAT?!” she shouted.  “That is ridiculous.”

Okay, first of all – no.  What’s ridiculous is that you are holding a $1,500 designer bag, that houses a $375 designer wallet, holding a $599 phone, clutching the keys to your $125,000 car and arguing with me over saving – at most – $6.  That is what’s ridiculous.

“I’m sorry ma’am.” I said, sensing her frustration, “That’s just the story policy.  If you like you can put some things on hold and come back tomorrow and use the other coupons.”
“Are you serious right now?  You can’t just put the coupons through?”
“No, I can’t.”
“Ugh…” she sighs, rolling her eyes, “it’s just a coupon but whatever!  You can’t do someone a favor and just put the coupon through?  It’s not like it’s your money.”

This “It’s not your money.” is a normal response in the retail industry.  What people don’t understand is yeah, it’s not our money…but it is your job.  And while working at a craft store or the Gap or Starbucks or anywhere else might seem stupid and beneath the average person, the point is that that job is what puts food on the table, money in the bank and lessens the balance on the student loans I’m paying off while I work a part-time job trying to get a job in my field against climbing unemployment rates.  And while I could give a shit less about you using a million coupons on one transaction, my manager does and I can’t afford to get fired trying to save you $6 because the company considers putting coupons through for customers against the policy is STEALING.  So, no, it’s not my money but it’s my ass and it’s worth a lot more than saving you some green so suck my dick.

And another thing – why should I help you?  Seriously.  Why are you so special and entitled to not have to pay the same price everyone else pays?  Really – let me know.  If you could articulate a solid argument as to why you shouldn’t have to pay full price – like the other mother in your kid’s class who makes a quarter of what your husband does and is barely making it and didn’t have time to look in the paper because she works 16 hours a day.  If you can give me a legitimate reason then maybe we can work something out.  However, this battle has just begun…

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