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Ask DSM Readers: How Do You Deal with Tough Cashiers?

by Tara Kuczykowski on May 20, 2010 · 183 comments

Coupons & Cashiers

Every Thursday I'll pose a question for you to share your experiences and tips. If you have a question that you'd like me to post, I'd love to hear from you!

If you've been couponing for very long, chances are you've come across a tough cashier -- one who acts like you're wasting their time or doing something illegal, who huffs and puffs as they scan your coupons or, worse, says that they can't accept coupons that you know are valid and acceptable under the store's policy. Running into too many of these types of cashiers can make couponing an awful experience instead of an enjoyable one, and more than one couponer has quit because they prefer to avoid confrontation.

So how do you deal with tough cashiers? Do you have tips to spot them and avoid them altogether? What do you do to try to "set the mood" before you check out? How do you handle their bad attitudes or refusal to accept coupons?

Join the discussion -- add your two cents to previous Ask DSM Readers questions too!

{ 183 comments… read them below or add one }

1 susan May 20, 2010 at 11:47 pm

I like my safeway amd fred meyer they are great for couponing.
My walgreens is the worst, customer service is terrible, they think the coupons are coming out of their pocket. So I travel 20+ miles to go to a nice one. My walmart is questionable. If i go to the manager they will take my coupons and adjust them, some checkers won't take them.

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2 Sue October 26, 2011 at 10:41 pm

I just discovered that Walgreens, at least the one I usually shop at, will not issue rainchecks on items that have the register reward bucks. CVS will, including the reward bucks, but not Walgreens which isn't fair at all. At King Kullen supermarke they double coupons including dollar ones but limit the amount. Most of the time some won't double even though there are no exclusions so it's an onging battle to make sure they are done properly. I've probably lost more than I should with their strange system.

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3 SHANNON December 19, 2012 at 7:24 pm

register rewards are coupons that print out specifically only for that weeks sale..so if the ad is over there is no way for us to "print" a register reward..but at my store we have wrote a rain check for the final sale price that is advertised minus the regl. reward..

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4 Melissa May 21, 2010 at 1:41 am

I think the worst was when I used too many coupons for the register at Bj's and I spent an hour being embarrased by the floor manager who was trying to find a reason that I couldn't use each coupon that I had. She kept trying to tell me that I couldn't use a bj's and a manufacturers for each item I had. and then tried to tell me that some of my in the mail from the manufacturer coupons were BJ's coupons! Ultimately I still saved $245 and she still couldn't ring it up, apparently their computers have only so many lines they can fill and I OVERFILLED the amount of space available. I know I shouldn't have been embarrassed but when they make a public spectacle it's hard not to be.

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5 Jen May 21, 2010 at 2:08 am

I try to deal with tough cashiers by simply not going to them. Avoidance is my main tactic. I avoid this one store during the day because I know the older grouchy ladies are the cashiers. When i first go into a store, I scope out the cashiers to see who is there. I like to shop when it's busy and I have more of a choice of cashiers. You know, it shouldn't be this way! We shouldn't have to make such a science out of finding good cashiers...they should all treat us well, but it just doesn't happen! How does this same grouchy cashier treat someone who is using food stamps? Do they roll their eyes, sigh, act like it's a big hassle, and hold up the line by reading the fine print on the food stamps?

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6 jackie May 29, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Thats how Dollar General treats me! They are so rude and grumpy! I dread every time I go there! ug!

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7 jennifer May 21, 2010 at 5:54 am

I have developed a "strategy" for each of the stores I frequent.

At WAGS - I avoid one elderly cashier. When I walk in the store, if she is there, I see if there is another cashier at the cosmetic counter - if not, I simply leave the store. She is grouchy even when I'm not using any coupons!!!!!

At CVS - I love the middle-aged women, they are terrific. Actually, I feel confident having almost anyone at CVS check me out.

At Meijer - I simply check and recheck my receipt. If it isn't right, I just walk over to the customer service counter and they fix it every time.

At Target - AVOID middle-aged, heavy-set women. I'm not sure what the deal is with them at Target but they all seem to be mis-informed and not interested in learning what their company's policies and procedures are. If possible, I look for young men to check me out - when this is not possible, I break up my transactions so that I can carefully watch what happens and one more than one occasion have had the cashier give me cash out of the register because a coupon didn't scan.

Bottom line for me, as a consumer, it is my responsibility to know what a stores policy is and to follow-it. When they don't, I make them correct it. I NEVER feel bad when a line is held up at any store for my purchases to be handled appropriately. I NEVER feel bad when a cashier makes a mistake and it needs to be fixed. I NEVER feel bad when I make a mistake and it needs to be fixed. I NEVER feel bad when I need to report poor customer service to a manager or even a corporate office. I am always courteous and pleasant and do not let other people determine what my attitude or response to poor customer service will be - who wants to be a "Debbie Downer" over making smart purchases?

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8 Hilary May 21, 2010 at 8:11 am

I only go to the self check out at Pathmark which takes longer but there is never any issues with coupon attitudes.
If an occasional coupon doesn't scan the customer service gals (who know me & my couponing well) are very pleasant.
I've been saving half or more on every grocery trip since becoming a deal seeking mom reader combined with going to the self check out.

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9 Sara May 21, 2010 at 10:56 am

I have been a cashier before and sometimes, you're just having a bad day! If you are in a job where you have too bee super-friendly on those days, around hour 5 of an 8 hour shift you may be at your limit! I'm not excusing rudeness, but sometimes we misinterpret when we're on the other side of the counter. That said, if I have complicated transactions I wait until it's not busy. Most people don't mind ringing up more than one transaction, but as customers we need to be respectful of the fact that the cashier has to keep his/ her line moving. I've been able to warm up a few cold shoulders by being really friendly, and maybe throwing in a "I was so excited to find this deal...we're almost out of money for the month." Then the employee remembers that a lot of us do this for good reason. However, I've never had really awful, aggressive run-ins described above in couponing. I *have* had terrible, consistently rude treatment by 2 or 3 staff members at my doctors office. Just yesterday, while I was spending the fourth day in a row trying to get my prescription refill, the nurse hung up on me. Luckily, I don't ever need to go back there and my doctor will be getting a registered letter re: why I am leaving his practice. Point is, we can make all the allowances in the world for someone behaving badly, but in the end, there is no reason to give them our money.

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10 Megan May 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Sara - I do agree on some occasions that the person is just having a bad day. Yesterday, I was at Walmart and had a guy who basically declared that he had no ability to do anything, because he could not be trusted with any responsibility. I'm guessing this might have been something someone had said to him. Well, he worked through the problem and I got my items for free after coupons, and I had two wonderful ladies behind me in line who said they understood and new it wasn't my fault either. I just stood patiently, not giving the guy a difficult time and thanked them all for their patience before I left. All was good and I just hope that guy has a better day today.

I do often find it does help to acknowledge the people in line behind you and apologize for the inconvenience this has created, but stand with confidence that I know what I'm doing is right. (not always easy though)

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11 finallygettingtoeven.com May 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm

For the most part i have not had a lot of problems dealing with the cashiers not accepting my coupons (however, i don't use a TON of coupons either).

Grumpy cashiers are just part of the whole shopping experience. I know, i used to be one. (a CASHIER...not a GRUMPY cashier).

The key is to always greet the cashier in a warm friendly manner. Remember they are just people too. They have good days and bad days, encounter extremely friendly folks and downright nasty individuals throughout the course of any given day. They have rude individuals that spend the entire checkout time talking on their cell phones, or chatting with everyone around them but never even acknowledging the cashier's presence. I will get a 'feel' for the personality of the cashier and quickly try to determine what kind of mood they are and then play it accordingly. I usually will come off with something witty and get them to crack a smile. Once they realize that you are not going to be the enemy for the next 5 minutes they usually are quite cordial (even if you witnessed them being less than friendly to the 12 people in line in front of you).

Treat them with respect and kindness and they will return the favor, and in addition, the best part of all, they won't smash your bread.....

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12 Stephanie May 21, 2010 at 9:23 pm

I have found that giving the cashiers tips on how they can get the same deals we do is a great way to get them to warm up to you. Give them blog sites, tell them where you got the valuable coupon you just used, etc.

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13 Herald May 22, 2010 at 7:51 am

I avoid older cashiers. I have found that a lot of them are very skeptical about printed coupons from the [evil] internet -- their generation is not as computer savvy an they just don't trust it.

The easiest cashiers are young guys - LOL!!!

I have 3 Walreens stores within a 15 mile radius. 1 is horrible about taking coupons, 1 is mediocre and the other one simply rocks.....so I always go there first and use the other 2 as a last resort.

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14 Buddie May 22, 2010 at 10:55 am

Lately I've been getting a lot of coupons that say "up to $$$" which means that the cashier has to write in the price the item is ringing up for at the store. Instead of waiting until the end and having the cashier try to locate the item I give them the coupons before hand and tell them they need to write the price in. Then while they are scanning the items I remind them when the item comes up. The usually scan it, write the amount on the coupon and then keep scanning. Then at the end when they ring in all the coupons they can easily type in the dollar amount. The cashiers tend to be very greatful about this little gesture.

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15 Nettie May 23, 2010 at 12:47 am

I can't stand the walmart here, they are always trying to find a reason for you not to be able to use your coupons, so usually me and my fiance get into it with the cashiers and the managers about it even though my coupons get on his nerves sometimes. He still fights for me in the store when it comes down to it.. I got into it with one cashier at WAGS a few months back when they had B1G1F on purex and she told me i couldnt use a B1G1F coupon. I told her to get her manager because they still would get their money either way back from the coupon.. The manager came up and she told her that I could use it.. The cashier is the one that felt embarrassed.. I smiled and paid like 2.00$ in taxes for 10 boxes of purex ... same thing happened at walmart for snuggles with the 100oz bottles and they ended up costing me 1.00 each... I can't stand cashiers that give me problems with my coupons. I have no problem getting rude right back with them though.. I'm only 31 yrs old and i have been into coupons for almost 10 yrs now.. when my mom was alive she hated going coupon shopping with me.. she has been gone 8 yrs now.. I miss her dearly but I'm sure she doesnt miss my coupons lol

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16 Rikki June 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm

When it comes to WALMART.... I have found the "self check" out to be my saving grace. I always have trouble with the cashiers telling me I can't use coupons. The self check outs let you ring the coupon yourself. Sometimes it doesn't recognize one and the person watching that section just has to come over and put in a code, but it has saved me much frustration doing it this way!

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17 girl May 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I never had a bad experience with cashiers, maybe I'm just a very patient person :)
and I don't really use coupons that often either.

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18 Barbara A. Demblewski June 4, 2010 at 12:19 am

When I encounter one of the many store clerks (or even managers) who claim they cannot honor one of my legitimate coupons and imply that I'm some species of crook, I happen to pull from my purse a Form that I printed up that I ask them to sign. The form states:
I herein refuse to honor ______________(Company's Name, such as
P & G, KRAFT, etc) Manufacturer Coupon in the sum of _________ with an Expiration Date of __________________ .
Signature ________________________________
Store Name_______________________________
Date_____________________________________

Rather than sign my Form and get reported to the manufacturer by me, the clerks and/or managers are pretty quick to change their minds about accepting my coupon(s).

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19 Josh October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I'm a cashier at Walmart. If one of your coupons is rejected by the system, I wouldn't take it. I wouldn't refuse it simply to be a jerk, but because we can get in trouble from the cash office for putting it in manually, which can result in a coaching that is then held against us.

Not only would I refuse to sign your form, but I'd deny your coupon if the system said no, no matter how legit it was. Those are just the breaks of couponing in stores that treat their employees badly. Take it up with a manager or corporate, not your cashier. We are simply cogs in the wheels of life...

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20 Linda October 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Tell em Josh! Walmart is just terrible to their employees. My mom works there and she is terrified of making the smallest decision because they are so hard on their cashiers. I hate that store. The deals aren't even that good. Target is way better. Oh god, I dread having to make a return at walmart. They never know how to do it and always make it like it is my fault.

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21 jackie May 30, 2013 at 12:11 am

great form. thanks.

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22 Evie Sintay June 5, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Yesterday, June 4 I was at Wal-mart with about 30 coupons the cashier had to get the Manager who then got another Manager they started to go over my coupons making such they either were from Smart source or had the little scissors on the top corner of the coupon. I never heard of it, I pulled out a copy of the Wal-mart coupon policy and they told me that these are the only coupons allow from now on. Thank you Barbara A. Demblewski for the refuse coupon form. I have made a copy and some changes and will be sending it to the Wal-mart Corporation telling them about this matter. Anyway after half hour dealing with this issue they ran all the coupons. I sincerely apologized to the customers on line. I was so embarrassed.

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23 Stephanie June 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I believe the problem with coupon-user abuse starts at the management level. Often when I am blocked by a cashier it is because the management does not know their own store policies, and cashiers get written up for legitimate transactions. This is a very frustrating situation because the only appeal is often the customer service number for the chain, and one can even run into misinformed customer service representatives.

The only fool-proof relief I've found is SELF-CHECKOUT.
Generalizations about middle aged women, etc. may seem to be relevant in some situations, but I believe that the root of our frustrations is truly misinformed management.

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24 Rebecca June 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm

LOL - I love the coupon refusal form! I am totally stealing that idea to keep one in my purse! I can think of a few occasions where that would have come in handy :)

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25 Morgan June 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Dont be afraid to express your unhappiness with the way you have been treated. I email the stores corporate headquarters if I feel they have made a specticle of me and my coupons and degrade me. I was yelled at once from across the store in Albertsons by the manager, it was about how my Marcal Manufacturer coupon would not be honored and how she was tired of 'dealing with me'. I emailed the corporate headquarters the next day and received a HUGE apology. I have not been treated that way again.

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26 strandedj June 18, 2010 at 1:31 pm

I don't handle it well. I was at Walgreens and unable to use my 2 dollar off 2 reach toothbrushes cuz there system doesn't allow them to put 1.98 in (the price for 2). They would have to put 2 dollars in and that would be fraud. Give me a break!

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27 dot July 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I try to handle the cashiers w/ humor. I tell them "I am the coupon queen" do you want to turn and run now??? then laugh w/ them!!!!! So far so good. Another tip is to go to the young kids (teenagers) they usually don't care and will scan everything w/ no questions asked. I no longer shop at Stop and Shop in the New England area, because, they no longer accept competitors coupons. Their loss. Now I do almost all my shopping at Price Chopper, don't care for their stores, but the prices and deals are the best around.

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28 MIchael July 2, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I'm new to this whole coupon thing, my wife said we needed to start saving more money so she "unleashed" me to figure this coupon thing out, i watched some video's on youtube, charged up my printer, and baught several sunday papers, and clipped-clipped-clipped-clipped-clipped and omg!!!!!!!!! clipped more (LOL). and baught a 3 zippered ring binder with baseball card holders for my binder, man does it look great, anyways about these cashiers that give couponers problems about using a ton of coupons at checkout time, well for me it hasn't really happen yet but i'm sure it will, and when it does i'll probably kill'em with kindness, since i stand 6'6" 350#'s i normally just tell them " i'm new to this game and if i screwed up i'm sorry about that " normally i get them to laugh. Oh ya " man i saved a crap load of money so far " i've avg savings has been better than 70%+, all my wifes friends want me to show them how to do this, i told them any day they want to " i will " ..... any ways good luck everyone.... thanks BIG Mike

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29 Linda October 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm

That is too cute, big mike! A big guy with a coupon binder!

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30 Christie August 6, 2010 at 11:46 am

I have found by getting to know the store managers at CVS, WG, and RA ha been extrelemy helpful...They appreciate a good loyal customer and will keep the staff in line since "I play by the rules".

The coupon form is AWESOME!!!! Love it! :)

I totally agree with giving helpful info to cashiers...I also spoil my cvs staff with brownies...pizza etc...from time to time! :)

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31 Janet April 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Yes, a bunch of folks are abusing the system and it makes it so tough on those of us just trying to use our coupons and get what we need for our families.
I have been in a situation in Walmart and Kroger with tough really tough cashiers!
At Kroger I had the cashier telling me could not accept almost every coupon.
She even called a manager who did not know that yes you can use a Kroger coupon and a manufacturer coupon. So, I quit shopping at Kroger because I will not be yelled at to spend my money in that store!
At Walmart they did the thing where they had to go over every coupon for like 5 minutes until my ice cream was totally melted.So I asked if I could go trade out the ice cream and I was told no. The level of frustration has me now going to Target for groceries.
I have had issues with cashiers not taking my coupons at Target , but if I take them to customer service they always give me the cash for the coupon no other hassle!

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32 Jenny D. July 13, 2011 at 9:27 am

I've found shopping in the evening to work better. The clerks just seem to want to get me through the line.If I do have to shop during the day, I can't always judge who will be a pleasant clerk but young women, males of any age, and people of an ethnic race (any age) are the best (they "get" the need to shop frugally).

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33 Linda October 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Seems like any cashier would get the need to shop frugally. I mean they don't rake in the dough!

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34 Cathy July 25, 2011 at 4:43 am

I am 60 and I get those computer coupons just fine. (Of course I have been working with computers since 1972 when they took up a whole warehouse and didn't have as much power as the laptop I'm typing on right now.)
I like the coupon refusal note too. Great idea. If I have trouble with a cashier and my coupons, I just say, "It's valid, Here are the items on the coupon (showling I bought the item) and here is a copy of your company's coupon policy. " The ruder they are, the more I am going to stand there and make them give me the money off.
The worst here is Walmart. It seems that they never get all the coupons scanned in. I don't understand why their registers beep and want confirmation on a perfectly ordinary coupon, but if they clerk is scanning and not paying attention, they will miss coupons.

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35 Jenny July 27, 2011 at 10:18 am

I am a cashier at Kroger. I love getting customers who are smart shoppers and save lots of money when using sales and coupons together to get things free or close to free. Speaking as a cashier and as a couponer, please use your coupons correctly! My pet peeve is having customers who try to misuse the couponing system and then throw a fit when there are several other customers behind them in line. Read the fine print on your coupons and use them properly and couponing is awesome. In the fine print on a lot of coupons it is stated that the coupon cannot be combined with other coupons, this means that if you have one package of diapers and 3 of the same coupons that you can only use one coupon per item, not 3 of the same coupons for one item. If there is a problem with your coupons, PLEASE be nice to your cashier. It is much easier to fix a coupon mistake when both customer and cashier are not fighting with each other.

If a coupon has failed to work for some reason, please visit customer service to have the problem fixed AND DO NOT TAKE IT OUT ON THE CASHIER AS TAKING OUT YOUR TROUBLES TO THE CASHIER IN A MEAN WAY RESULTS IN BITTER CASHIERS WHO YOU CALL TOUGH CASHIERS! We are willing and able to working through sorting out the issue as long as you act like an adult and are respectful.

I do believe the reason we have tough cashiers is because many times before you have come through their line, that cashier has come across very difficult customers who have been trying to misuse the awesome system of couponing. Be nice to your cashier and your cashier will be nice to you.

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36 Christina Gilbert August 13, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Just smile and ask how their day is, I'm currently a four year customer service person who clips coupons. I work at SAL and most of the time if your nice the cashier and just ask them how they are, unless their one of the stuck up snotty school girls who all they want to do is party then yea go for someone else. But if you ask the about their day cause most of the time they try to be nice and they get shit. JFYI.

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37 Susan September 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I myself have learned a valuable lesson in regard to cashier/coupon conflict. KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT! Often times if you say nothing, act respectfullly, be kind, and let them work it out. 9 out of ten times they talk themselves through it. Being a very verbal person, this was not easy for me at first, I now know it is right. If I am told "no," I simply reuse it at another time and avoid that particular cashier in the future. Try it, it is amazing when you keep yourself out of the equation how freeing that is, for yourself as well as the cashier!!

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38 Hillary September 8, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I think as the couponer we can also help reduce the frustration of cashiers by being prepared. I am not blaming shoppers for a grouchy cashier, however I do think it helps if you go into the store with a game plan and to be prepared at the checkout. Make sure you are buying what the coupon specifies and prepare the correct amount of coupons before you get into the checkout line. It is embarassing everybody when the line starts to back up because the shopper is using incorrect coupons/amounts. If you're prepared, your cashier should have no reason to be grouchy with you and you will be more credible if you do end up having to talk with a manager.

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39 Josie September 12, 2011 at 1:09 am

I agree, I just go in extremely prepared, and make sure that I do buy the correct # of items in order to use a particular coupon. I make sure that if the coupon specifies a specific product, I buy the specific product, as opposed to any product made by that company. And then I put my store coupon and manufacture coupon next to each other, so that they are not mixed-up. This helps with the cashier wondering, 'didn't I just scan a coupon for that same item???' And then if they say, 'did you get both of these?' or 'did you get 2?', I just say yes, and name the items I purchased, or if it's accessible in the bag, show it again.
The whole trouble stems from some customers trying to illegally use coupons, using more than 1 store and 1 manufacture coupon per item, or printing like 50 coupons for the same thing and clearing the store of an item. Let's just keep in mind that even if it's a good deal, it's not being a good consumer draining the stores' supply of an item so that nobody else can buy the item -- it takes several days to replenish those things. Anyway, yes, be prepared, be kind, and don't be afraid to talk to management if necessary.

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40 Josh October 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm

That coupon form is ridiculous and purely indicative of the lack of respect that cashiers and people who work in the service industry receive on a daily basis. Why are some of your coupons turned down by bitchy cashiers? Because of crap like that.

What many people don't realize is that no matter how legitimate a coupon may be, cashiers can't necessarily accept it. For example, say you have a coupon for $2 off a purchase of 24 cans of cat food. You bring up two 12 packs and attempt to use the coupon. No dice. At Walmart, our system will automatically reject. As a cashier, I am not allowed to put it in manually because the system will only recognize the coupon if you buy 24 individual cans. Yes, it sucks. Us cashiers agree with you! But why would we put in anyway and risk getting that dreaded sheet from the cash office that excoriates us on not following policy? Three of those suckers and BOOM, automatic coaching, which stays on our record for a full year.

It's a shame that working in the service industry isn't something that's required of everyone. If it was, the world would be a much nicer place. Especially if everyone was forced to work in Walmart for a spell lol.

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41 Linda October 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm

My husband and I are always saying that people should have to work customer service for awhile so people learn some manners.

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42 Linda November 2, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I go out of my way to be polite to any cashier. My daughter was a cashier at Wal-Mart and it was horrible what she had to put up with sometimes. Some of the cashiers do not like messing with coupons but what the hey, it is their job. Just smile and tell them to have a great day.

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43 carol November 16, 2011 at 7:42 am

I think the whole idea of couponing is great, but I agree with Josie.....don't clear the shelves of an item...someone else might really need it..let's think about others..do you really need 50 bottles of shampoo ? Everyone, make it a great day and enjoy the money you saved couponing.

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44 simona December 30, 2011 at 9:38 am

I avoid Walmart Killeen ,TX and Walmart Harker Heights,TX.
Nicole, manager in HH told me that regardless what the coupon said, the item had to match the picture on the coupon, when the coupon clearly stated ANY. Killeen Walmart Employee just plainly stated that her superiors were "idiots" and that's why she could not accept the coupon. I do not use a lot of coupons to begin with. This was not the first incident. I used to shop Walmart, but have taken my business to HEB and Target instead. To treat somebody like they are stealing using a 75 cent off coupon makes no sense...

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45 Cameron January 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

as a cashier at Target, the biggest piece of advice I can give y'all is...don't try to lie to us!!! :D

I have a couple Guests (Target doesn't have "customers", they have "guests") that have tried various things...and ADMIT that they tried to use a coupon for a 40pk on a 20pk and I bust 'em out!!

another thing seems to be using coupons on trial sizes...I know, I know...the coupon says "any size" but if the register rejects it, I'm not forcing it in...we can't take a $1 coupon on a $.97 trial size...period...sorry

the store gets paid for the coupons we accept, so in theory, coupon abuse hurts the manufacturer the most, which is the people issuing the coupons in the first place...so expect to see changes and restrictions in the near future *because* of some of the bad apples ruining it for y'all

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46 Danielle May 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Target issues their own coupons and lets you get trial sizes free with them now.... guess progress is great huh?

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47 Mackenzie March 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I am a checker at a local grocery store in Texas called H-E-B. I understand where the couponers are coming from, saving money is great! But, customer's get made at the cashiers when his or her coupon doesn't go through. Usually, I try and try every combination in the system and eventually it'll go through. But if it doesn't, the customer gets haughty and standoffish. Please try to imagine what is like on our side. We have upwards to nine hour long shifts were we are constantly on the move and standing and dealing with customers. No matter how our day went, we have to treat the customers with respect and kindness, and it only makes it harder when the customer is rude. So, next time you go in, try and understand what is like for us. If you treat us with kindness and respect, it will most likely be reciprocated.

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48 Kim B March 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm

When I first started couponing, Walgreens was where I started. Bad choice. At first, when there was a problem, I would stand down and concede that I guess I was wrong. After time I learned the coupon policy better. The grumpy older lady whom always helped me started to notice I was becoming more confident and knowledgeable. And that's when she started getting plain old mean and snotty. I tried other cashiers after that. But I found none of them actually knew their own coupon policy. I was actually yelled at by a cashier that I was dead wrong once. Even when the manager agreed I was correct the employee wouldn't let it go. I no longer set foot into Walgreens.

I have a favourite cashier at Target though. She's a sweet older lady with a bit of a memory problem. But after looking at me a couple times and seeing all my coupons she recognises my face, and then things start to click back into place for her. We normally chat about the same things literally every time I see her, but she's spirited and humorous. Every time she finishes scanning my purchases she stops, picks up the stack of coupons and holds them up and says "Now everything here matches up to the things you got right?" "Yes, ma'am!" "Good, cause I can't be bothered with double checkin!" and then she cracks a big old smile. Lol ^_^

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49 Jeanine April 10, 2012 at 10:32 pm

I have my husband deal with "tough cashiers", managers etc. For whatever reason that man can get whatever he wants out of anybody, don't know how or why, he doesn't say much, but there is just something about him that can soften the hardest female or male into giving him what he wants. I, on the other hand can forget it. I have to fight for what I want and honestly, my time is valuable to me, too valuable to argue over some $1 dollar off coupon with some cashier.
If the coupon doesn't go through, fine, I don't get the product, hand me back my coupon, problem solved. If by some chance it really matters to me, I will take it up at the CS desk instead of being an inconsiderate jerk holding up the line. That is what CS is for, handling problems, cashiers are for check out, seems too many confuse the two, but I digress.

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50 Danielle May 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I know this seems hard to do because of their attitudes but remember they are human too. However, when you know you are right DO NOT LET THEM TELL YOU YOU ARE WRONG!!! I recently had an experience with one that tried to tell me that because I would get the item basically FREE and only have to pay tax that I couldn't use it, well when that tactic failed after I explained that to her she STILL wouldn't believe me. On the coupon it said $1.00 off 1 8 pack Gatorade OR 1 Gatorade bottle, 32 ounce bottles are $1.00. She called over her manager who told her that she was wrong because of the wording on the coupon. I was a cashier at Winn Dixie, I now work in the produce department at same store and only help up front if I have to, I hated it and would prefer never to do it again. I NEVER talked to a customer like that unless I had a reason such as they talked to me like that first. Honestly, I loved seeing people with coupons come through, why not save money or get free items? Not to mention the fact that with coupons that I can get just like theirs, combined with my discount at work and shopping smarts from working there and knowing what we have on clearance and knowing 2 weeks in advance what is coming on sale, works for me!!! Like I said, saving allows me to buy things I could normally not afford.

Do this next time you are faced with a disagreeable cashier, tell them that you want them to cancel the sale at the register that you are at and go to another one with a different cashier that is more agreeable and has a better attitude. Then when the manager comes over and wants to know why they are having to do a void transaction, you can tell them right then and there. Most times you will have the upper hand at this point and every coupon you have will either go through fine or the manager will just override it to keep you happy. Never let them TELL you how your shopping experience is GOING to be rather make sure they know your not going to let them ruin your fun in saving money with coupons.... Great advice that I use to my advantage at other stores all the time. You are not trying to cheat them out of anything, the manufacturer pays them back for the deduction. As a matter of fact some coupons can be used on anything that the company makes bearing that same name.

Such as Neosporin for example. Say you want to buy the biggest tube of ointment they have, you have a coupon for 2$ off the body wash, sometimes because both are made by Neosporin you can use it on the different item, but not if your cashier is actually looking at the coupon items. If they do look at it or it doesn't go through just act like you forgot to take that one out of your coupons that you handed them. Your only human after all.....

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51 Danielle May 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm

I have been on both sides of this coin. Being the recipient of said donated items and donating them due to smart couponing but I do not go buy everything they have, first of all I can only usualy print 4 of each coupon for free items. I have started to make my stockpile with coupons, this site in particular has been the greatest help to me, I just want to hug DSM to death hahaha, and after I get it where I want it then I will split the buy. 2 for us and 2 for donation. If we still have 3 boxes of Qtips then 1 for us and 3 for donation. My grandfather did this same thing but he didn't call it a donation he called it helping others. I appreciate the donations, we still have to go to the local Sharing Center to get by and to try to stay ahead but we are spending less there due to coupons and free items. It allows me to buy a couple items that I normally could not buy. But, please leave some of the items in the store for us to buy as well with the coupons, it makes me feel good that I can leave some stuff at the Sharing Center for those that are not able to do what I am able to do, with the coupons. They may not have access to a computer WITH a printer.... or can't afford the extra 1.75 for the sunday paper or a mag subscription for the other coupons in there. But, do still donate some.....

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52 Nancy May 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I continue to be as nice as I can, but I make a note of their name and when I get home I get online, goo to the store website and send a comment about their (lack of) customer service...and you better believe I name the employee in my feedback. It's been my experience that stores take these feedbacks very seriously as often I receive a return email or call (if my phone number was requested) from the manager of that specific location.

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53 kodachrome June 20, 2012 at 9:25 am

I always shop at the same stores so i am familiar with some of the cashiers, in turn i know which ones to aviod as well. I think the best policy is to BE NICE, arm yourself with the facts and no matter how nasty someone gets do not stoop to thier level, if they refuse under all circumstances then just void that item. I think it is best to try to remember that everyone has a bad day sometimes, and while it is more than likely not your fault try try try to be patient. I have actully boycotted shopping at walmart because a lead cashier or csr acussed me of comitting fraud for have 2 like coupons even though I was nice and tried to show her the difference b/t the barcodes, she caused a complete scene so I cancelled the entire transaction winked at her and wished her an awesome day. Will me not shopping at walmart harm them in anyway absolutely not, but it will save me some hassle.

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54 Canadian Extreme Couponer Theresa October 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I am always very pleasant. I mean very, and I make sure I'm always smiling.
I am also always very calm. I simply will explain my views, and show coupon policy if I need to, or I simply ask them to confirm their conclusion with the manager.

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55 Linda October 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I have had some tough cashiers. I am super nice and know how to work in customer service. I have been a waitress and counter help, and I have worked the most awful customer service gig for ten years at the public library in the sixth largest city in the USA. You would be surprised just how nasty people can get in a Free Library. Crazies and lonely hard asses mainly. My problem is that my face gets beet red when I get upset or aroused in any way. I can feel my face getting red and it just makes it redder for longer. I was on WIC for awhile and cashiers get really petty and mean about that. I had one lady at a Ralphs comment on every item and try to refuse almost every purchase. Made a complete spectical of me, involving several ither employees.

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56 Joanna December 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I work for Wal-Mart and sometimes run register. I don't defend grumpy cashier, however, I sometimes know why these cahiers might be difficult. Cashiers are excpected to run register a certain speed (scans per hour), and they might think that a large stack of coupons are slowing them down. (just a theory) However I do know that cashiers are held responible by the accounting dept EACH coupon they accept/handle incorrectly. Too many occurences, and you may very well out of a job!!

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57 Jim May 20, 2013 at 6:32 pm

CVS is nice and will print you ECB if there is a problem where they don't print. Also I've had some cashiers try to help to get the best savings out of a scenario.
Then again it depends on store location.

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58 Tammie Gambles June 8, 2013 at 12:03 am

Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about Ask DSM Readers: How Do You Deal with Tough Cashiers? .

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59 Chuck September 10, 2013 at 1:11 am

I had one older lady at Walmart scrutinize all my coupons one time. She looked at each and everyone, then looked for the item in the bag. Told me that half my coupons werent for the correct item as it wasnt what was on the picture.

She was very loud and rude about it and even forgot to scan in one of my coupons. I always check to see if the correct amount of coupons show on the receipt. If not, I head to CS and let them know.

I asked her to just scan the coupon and she would see that it works. I never raised my voice or acted crazy. She refused and I asked her to call a manager over. The manager told her to just try scanning it. Ha! They all worked.

I checked my receipt and she forgot/didnt scan one of my coupons. So, I walked to CS to let them know. They gave me cash back.

While I was at the CS area, this cashier was talking badly about me to my GF. Talking me down and saying how rude I was to her. My GF didnt say anything just listened to her. She didnt know we were together as we had seperate puchases. Mine with lots of coupons and hers with only 5 I think.

When I was done at the CS area, I walked back to the register area where my GF was still checking out and put my bags in her cart. The cashier looked at my GF and turned BEET RED! heh heh. I was loving it but didnt say anything.

The next time we went in, I specifically went to her so she could check me out with my 22 coupons. I acted like I had never seen her before and handed her my coupons. I asked her how she was and if she was just starting her shift or soon to be leaving. We chatted while she was scanning my stuff and coupons and even had a few laughs.

Now she loves it when I come to her register cause I tell her how to get the coupons, the web sites I use and the fact that it is just plain fun to walk out of the store with 50-100 dollars of groceries for only about 5-10 bucks at most. A few times I have walked out with them giving me money back. I told her the next time I have a trip that I will be getting money, I will make sure I go through her line so she can see it as she has never cash handed to the customer for the overage the coupons make while she has worked there.

Needless to say, I turned this grumpy woman into a friend of sorts by not being grumpy back and just making small talk with her.

Now when she sees me on the street she asks me how much I am gonna save on my next trip.

This happened at Walmart in my small town. We only have about 4 stores here in town that I can coupon at.

My point is no matter how grumpy a person is, you can turn that around by just talking with them instead of at them.

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60 Jim and Yen September 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I personally don't feel any embarrassment if there is a problem with coupons or price matching at Wal Mart for example. If the store employees don't know their own policys I have no problem making a scene. My job is to get good prices for my family and their job is to follow store policy . That's just me though.

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61 Dee October 11, 2013 at 3:22 am

I learned quickly that you do have to screen cashiers. Younger men are the best by far. If they have a problem with the coupon, they usually manually make the coupon work.

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