cou·pon [koo-pon, kyoo-pon] noun
1. a portion of a certificate, ticket, label, advertisement, or the like, set off from the main body by dotted lines or the like to emphasize its separability, entitling the holder to something, as a gift or discount, or for use as an order blank, a contest entry form, etc.
frus·tra·tion [fruh-strey-shuhn] noun
This week, I experienced what I would title, “Coupon Frustration”. I shared a little bit of my experience with you all on Facebook and came to the belief that I am definitely not alone.
Raise your hand if any of the following has happened to you in the past few months:
- Your internet coupon was not accepted because it has the new bar code system and your store has not updated yet.
- Your internet coupon was not accepted because it was missing a watermark.
- Your internet coupon was not accepted because it was a little bit faint.
- You were accused of coupon fraud because of numbers 1, 2, or 3.
- Your store changed its coupon policy limiting the number or kind of coupons that you can use.
- Your cashier gave you the stink eye when you pulled out your coupons and mumbled under her breath the entire time she was scanning them.
- All of the above.
Can you see me? Do you see my hand held high? If you listen closely, you may be able to hear me saying, “Yes. Check. Yes. Yes. Uh huh. Yep. YES!” because each and every one of the above scenarios has taken place for me in the past few weeks.
Frustrating, isn’t it??
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this whole debacle and I’ve come to a few conclusions.
- The few who abuse coupons have made couponing harder for the rest of us.
- Cashiers feel the brunt of couponing abuse, which leaves them frightened about accepting coupons…even legitimate ones.
- All we can control is our own response to these situations.
So what CAN we control to help reduce coupon frustration and have success with coupons?
- Know your store’s coupon policy. If necessary, print out copies of the policy and have them on hand–just in case.
- Make sure your internet coupons are legible. If a store can’t read the expiration date or the remit address, then they shouldn’t accept the coupon.
- Be aware which stores have not updated to the new bar code system. Don’t attempt to use coupons with the new system at these stores.
- This may sound funny, but it’s true. Know your cashiers. If the same cashier keeps giving you grief, do your best NOT to find yourself in that checkout lane.
- Be prepared to reasonably state your case if a coupon is not accepted that should be. If necessary, take the issue to customer service. Politely. Please.
And please…for the sake of us all:
- Never ever ever ever copy coupons.
- Always always always use coupons on the item for which they were intended.
I’d like to add that when I was a new couponer, I made both of the mistakes above out of sheer ignorance. If you didn’t realize that either of those things are not Ok…it’s Ok. But now you do. 🙂
Ultimately, let’s keep this in mind: As couponers, we know a whole LOT about saving money and we do it well. And while that $0.50 coupon may have been refused, there are plenty more where it came from.
And we couponers aren’t going anywhere…any time soon. There is a whole lot more SAVING to be done!
Can I get an Amen?!