By Jill Cataldo
I often share emails and notes from readers regarding their shopping experiences.
Recently I featured an email from Curtis, a reader who was having trouble with his supermarket’s coupon policy. The store recently removed the policy completely, allowing the cashiers to decide which coupons to accept and which to deny.
Curtis felt that cashiers were intentionally denying coupons because they could do “whatever they wanted.”
Curtis’ email sure stirred up my inbox! Some cashiers wrote to respond.
I read your column with the letter from Curtis about his problem with the store’s new coupon policy and the vindictive checkers.I have been a checker for 32 years and I think Curt may need some insight.
Most checkers get zero training on the store’s coupon policy. Most checkers make $8.00 or less per hour. Most checkers work part-time, less than 15 hours a week.
Most checkers are complained to constantly by customers.
According to my (informal) private poll, 9 out of 10 customers have some complaint to the checker. Checkers are accountable for the coupons they redeem, punishable by verbal discipline, write-ups, suspension and termination.
Here are some of the situations I have been confronted with as a checker when taking coupons:
Counterfeit coupons: These are professionally printed, mostly high dollar amounts, and should the checker have the audacity to check the authenticity, the checker is showered with insults and verbal abuse about how honest and trustworthy the customer claims to be.
Expired coupons: Customers seem to feel that stores should take them anyway, because after all, they cut them out when they were good.
Coupons with the dates cut off of them:
The customer cuts off the dates on the coupons, then claims there never was a date on them and aggressively causes a scene to ensure they are accepted.
Coupons for the wrong product:
The customer buys a cake mix and uses the competitor’s coupon, claiming I did not notice.