Monday, October 12, 2009

Tried to save money but instead was treated like a thief

I have never had a bad experience using coupons ever. That is until yesterday. I was at Fred Meyers on Cornielus Pass/Hwy 26 in Hillsboro Oregon. My daughter and I were having such a wonderful time with each other and had just came from Starbucks. This is a rare time for us due to her being in middle school and me being her "boring mom" and all. You know how they are. Once they hit that age, nothing makes them happy except boys and music. lol.
I was super excited because once again Seventh Generation was 40% off and I had coupons for them. I had walked around and filled my grocery cart full and was walking towards the registers. I did a once over of my coupons to make sure I had everything I needed and didn't want to make it confusing for the cashier. I noticed one of my coupons said "one per purchase" meaning I could not use more than 2 of this same coupon in one transaction. No problem to me so I just decided to run through the u scan and pay for that one separate. When I handed the cashier my coupons, she would not let me use my 2 different coupons on it. She said 1 manufacturer coupon per item. I said very nicely that Ive done it before and had for years and it was the first Ive heard of this rule. She quickly snapped back at me and said no I was not going to be able to do it. It was not a big deal to me so I told her okay never mind and I didn't need to buy it then. I tried to take it back so I could put it back in the aisle and she quickly kept it and turned away and said she would do it. I went about my business and started looking at something else in the store.
A few minutes later I went to get in line to pay for the rest of my groceries and my daughter had some things to pay for too. I'm standing in line and the gentlemen cashier received a phone call so he picked up the phone. I was thinking in my head "Oh no she didn't."He then said a few un huh, uh huh, and then looked straight at me. "Oh yes she did."I couldn't believe it. She was apparently watching me and waiting for me to hit the register so she could warn them. It was like I was going to sneak some of those same coupons past someone else or something. Remember, she took that box of cereal from me and I no longer had it. So to make it easier on them and me, I walked up to the customer service counter and asked what their coupon policy was. I showed her my 2 coupons and asked why I could not use them.
Long story short I ended up speaking to 2 people at the customer service counter. I was confused why I had been using 2 coupons on one item for years and all of the sudden was told no and its been a rule for years. I was being so nice and was just trying to figure out what was going on. I looked around and could not believe my eyes. U scan lady was watching me, gentlemen cashier was looking at me, and I had 2 in front of me judging me. You would of thought I was trying to steal food or something. But no, I was trying to use coupons. I felt sick to my stomach, embarrassed for my daughter and myself, and was in shock of how I was being treated. So to end this whole thing I told them I would not be buying my cart full of groceries and would no longer be shopping at Fred Meyers. They were super nice (of course they had to) and put them away.
My daughter still wanted to buy her birthday presents so we decided to go pay over in the clothing department due to embarrassment. On the way over I spilled my coffee by accident. I truly did and this was just adding to the whole darn situation. Just add it on is what I was thinking to myself. Guess who ended up cleaning it up? U scan lady. I felt bad but kinda not. I believe in Karma you Anyways this whole thing truly urked me!

Could I of just let this whole thing blow over? No. Why? Because I am not the only person in this town who uses more than 1 coupon. Its called stacking. Perfectly legal as long as they are different coupons and you read all the rules on it. Each store is different of course. I was a customer trying to use my coupons, told no and tried to find out why. You think they would be super nice and I would of been on my way. But no. I had to get the following, eye gawking, and phoning each other to warn each other of the "coupon lady". I am still in shock of how I was treated and a bit angry too.

So what I did was this. I found out what the ladies name was and filed a complaint online with the company. I worked a retail job for over 10 yrs and know you cannot treat a customer like that. Not only did they lose a customer who spent $500 each month there ($6,000 annually), lose out on me buying my whole grocery cart full, but they ticked off the wrong lady. The wrong BLOGGING lady I should say. So for now were playing the waiting game. Waiting for the phone call I know will come, waiting to talk to the manager, and waiting to explain how upset I was. So for now, I will no longer shop at Fred Meyers. Which makes me sad because I love the company. I will no longer shop there to make a point. To stand up for our rights to use coupons. Our right to get by in these economic times. OUR RIGHT TO SAVE MONEY!

You have any problems like this? How would of you handled this? Do you think I did the right thing? Suggestions are always welcomed.

Note: I was trying to purchase Honey Sunshine Kashi cereal. I had 1 $1.50 off vocal point coupon and 1 $1.00 off actual manufacturers peelie coupon. Which by the way came off another box of the same cereal I had already bought using the same coupon stacking technique.


Mayaraya2 said...

I'm sorry that you and your daughter had to go through that over a box of cereal. In the long run it's the stores loss.
The only problem I've ever had was impatience by the cashier and other customers when I've whipped out my stack of coupons at check out. There out there for a reason and if it saves my family money I'm going to use as many as I can.
I hope that cashier get's in some trouble.

Tamara said...

I loved that you shared that story. I too will spend an hour making a point or clarifying something if I believe in it. I too worked in customer service and retail for years and was damn good at those jobs. I think that being damn good is easy for those positions. You keep good work ethic and you treat people how they should be treated. Simple as that!
Good for you Nancy. You have now created a topic for their store to surly have a conversation about. Fellow coupon users at that Fredy's will thank you !!

Amanda Becker said...

I work a regular day job and cashier at our local grocery store about 10-12 hours a week- I love the store I work at because of their attitude towards couponers- they don't treat them like thieves! I used to shop exclusively at the other local grocery store in our town since they doubled coupons up to 1.00- but the cashiers were nasty- well- I now work and shop at the other store- and I love it when people use coupons! I can not fathom how a cashier would act like it is their money you are taking- boggles my mind! One lady actually said to me " Sorry I have a lot of coupons" I replied " Are you kidding me? I love couponers! Come on down lets see how much you save!" she laughed and replied" thank you that is so refreshing to hear!" For pete sakes when you work customer service it should mean "good customer service" as far as I am concerned!

Surviving and thriving on pennies said...

Amana=I wish all cashiers were like you. I think it all depends on the store as well. Plus factor in the economic crisis. People are more understanding that you have to save where you can.
THank you for your view on this. Makes us all feel like there are some nice people out there still.