Sunday, June 20, 2010


UPDATE - I called RA Customer Service today and spoke to a wonderfully friendly gent who assured me that I was trying to use my coupons correctly. He called this store (and another I've had this issue with) and spoke to the manager to correct them on the policy. As I suspected, it was the same District Manager in both stores. I hope this fixes the problem.
Walgreens - did this transaction twice
  • Bausch & Lomb Renu Multipurpose Sensitive Solution (12 oz) $7.49, used $2 coupon (or regional coupon 6/6 SS or in June Safeway coupon booklet) and got back $7.50 RR = $2.01 profit
  • Hunts Tomato Sauce $0.33 with in-circular coupon
  • Used $5 RR, total was $1.36

Used $4 RR on second transaction. Total was $2.36

Also stopped by Staples to drop off some used ink cartridges - will get back $6 in Staples Rewards for each one. I had six, so that definitely works for me! I had a $1 Staples Reward that was expiring soon, so I picked up a pack of paper clips for $1.29.

Rite Aid - forgot to put this in the pic. Its somewhere in the depths of my purse.

  • Motrin PM (20 ct) $3, used $3 coupon (4/18 RP) and got back $3 +UP Rewards = $3 profit

Tried to do a transaction at a different RA using a $5 off $20 coupon. The cashier said she had to scan it last, which is fine with me because it will still scan if your total ends up being less than $20. Then the Asst. Mgr. came over, started questioning everything (ie. using Video Values coupon with a manu coupon - she was saying they were both manu coupons), voided the order and re-rang everything. She actually told me (told me, the customer!) to get all the coupons in order. I did nothing since they were already all on the counter and she could look for the one she wanted. She scanned each item, found the corresponding coupons, scanned them and then scanned the next item.

At the end of this long ordeal, she tells me I can't use the $5 off $20 coupon because my total was $6. I showed her the RA coupon policy that I carry with me that says you can use this (she had a copy of the same thing) but said her District Manager said they can't do that. A lot of the stores in my area have recently been saying this, so I bet its the same guy/gal for the area. I said I'd like to cancel the order and get my coupons back, to which she replied - "but your total is only $6." Yeah, I realize that. I got my coupons back and DBF and I left.

The whole thing really ticked me off. She had an attitude towards me right from the start. Sometimes, situations like this make me want to throw my hands up and give up. But you know I won't! :) I'll hit another store tomorrow and see if I have better luck. I'm very thankful that I live in an area with so many stores to choose from.


Kimmie said...

This happened to me at the Rite-aid in my town. I only have one so I am forced to deal with them. They told me the same bs and when I got home I called customer service and was told that they are supposed to scan the $5 off $20 coupon first and that he would call the store to tell them that.

I think the cashiers are getting so confused with corporate saying one thing and their managers saying something else. I normally try to go to the store at the same time during the week when I know I will get the "nice" cashiers and managers - It's crazy!

K said...

Just found your blog a few weeks ago and really enjoy reading and seeing your deals!

A very similar thing happened to me on Friday (cashier, then manager wouldn't let me use two coupons on the bogo everlast sale). The manager told me that her district manager said they were losing too much money so they are cutting back on coupon use.

I busted out my corporate coupon policy and the manager said they (district manager) didn't "interpret" the policy to mean that one could in fact use two coupons. I stayed calm while she went to the back to call her district manager. While she called, I called corporate from my cell. Once I got the CSR I told her the situation and handed my phone to the cashier and then the manager. They were gone for about 5 minutes, but when they came back the manager apologized (after both the cashier and manager repeatedly acted like I was trying to steal or do something illegal). The cashier even said, "You'd be getting 5 items for $0.76". I responded, "Exactly, that's why I use coupons". She then asked me if I worked for corporate, I didn't say anything I just smiled. I like to keep them wondering.

Long story short the manager told me that I was right and she was sorry for the "confusion". I concurred and told her I'm glad we're all on the same page.

I don't like to argue, but when I'm right I will be assertive until I make my point. Call corporate if it happens again. The more the store knows that you won't back down (and aren't trying to do something wrong), the easier things get.

mb said...

Don't you hate it when the employees say something like "but it's just $6..." Yes, but I had only planned on paying $1!!!

Better luck tomorrow!

You gonna do the Reach $4 moneymaker at Shoprite? I think it ends on the 23rd but I'm not positive. Also, I'm trying to figure out the best strategy for the Kraft/GM/Unilever spend $120 get $50 Shoprite deal. I saw somewhere that someone had a way of doing the deal where you basically spend less than $1 OPP and end up with 100 packs of Dentyne gum and $50 toward your next purchase! But you need TONS of Dentyne coupons!!! I'm actually checking Dentyne coupons on ebay and considering doing this crazy deal!

frugalsuz said...

I agree, there are too many mixed messages. But that's not our fault! Sigh, so irritating.

slugmama said...

Well if you DID stop, I think the Earth would fall off it's axis!lol

I had a similar experience at an Acme outside Philly last summer...I tired to get my coupons back and leave and the CSM wouldn't hand them back and complained, "Why do you want to leave? You are getting all of this for $XX?".<-can't remember the exact amount but it was low.

Keep on keeping on..... ;-)

Anonymous said...

You did the right thing by not buying anything. I didn't get the FREE baby aspirin last week for the same reason.

frugalsuz said...

Welcome!! Don't you love when they say they are losing money by accepting coupons? They get that money back, plus $0.08 for each coupon. Come on now! Good for you to stand your ground!

I saw that deal but I've been doing too much running around as is to go for it. I hope it works out for you, what a great moneymaker!

I hate that - well you're only paying X already, why would you want to use another coupon? Umm, duh! Because I want to pay less!! haha

Its just annoying because now I have to trek to another store, hope they have everything in stock and buy it all over again. But I'm not going to buy everything from a store that won't follow their own policies!

coupon challenged said...

I reached across to pull coupons out of a pile from a cashier at Target once when she wasn't going to put some thru. She was just going to keep them along with the others and didn't seem to care when I told her I wanted them back. I'm sure the people in line behind me thought I was a nut.

Coupon Lily said...

I totally feel your frustration. I have been trying to avoid shopping at Rite Aid because most of the cashiers there are very coupon unfriendly and basically just rude. One time when I gave the coupons to the cashier after she scanned all the items, she gave me a nasty look and chewed me out because I did not give the coupons while she was scanning the items. She even rolled her eyes. There was another male cashier who is not very fluent in English was extremely rude when I handed him the coupons. He made me felt like I was doing something illegal. in the end, he refused to accept the $5 off $25 Rite Aid coupon because he claimed that my total was less than $25 after all the coupons. Most of the cashiers at my Rite Aid are either very old and have attitude problems or they don't even English well enough to even understand the coupons.

SeattleNewbie said...

This happened to me a week ago. The manager said that they look at the total tax amount before coupons and my total can't go below that. Well, the 5/20 coupon takes the tax off of the $5. Some other coupons do too (not manufacturers though). My total before tax was positive (like 0.96 or something), plus around $2 in tax. They said I had to bring my total up. I disagreed and the manager said corporate informed them of this recently. I added a pack of gum. Then they were confused why the tax only went up 8 cents (because the tax rate is eight percent and the gum wad a dollar!!!!) the two of them decided I was getting a good enough deal and "allowed" me to use my coupons.

Mary said...

I'm all about standing there and calling customer service while a line builds up behind you. And several times (when you get absolutely nowhere being polite) I've said "void the whole thing - I'll go to another store, thank you" and (politely) snatched back my coupons and left. I love to see their mouths hang open when you do that. I usually say "if you aren't going to follow Rite Aid's policies, I'll find a store that does, and I'll be sure to let customer service know about YOUR store, Angela..."

It's total crap that they don't follow their own published policies.

I owned a consignment store located right next to a Rite Aid. During slow times, I'd plan my deals and go after work to buy them. I literally spent $100's in there every week on store supplies like toilet paper and paper towel. Once the manager, who had come in my store and yelled "Your prices are really high here!" in front of a bunch of MY customers, told me "we can't take that many coupons, we're losing too much money..." - this was about a year ago. I said "you get the money back from the companies that publish the coupons". Duh. Not the brightest bulb on that strand...but not once did I yell "YOUR PRICES ARE REALLY HIGH HERE" like she did in my store, though I was seriously tempted!

I now just avoid that Rite Aid unless I absolutely have to go there.

frugalsuz said...

coupon challenged,
I'm sure the other customers at RA thought I was crazy too. Oh well, I'm not going to pay for a transaction when I know it was rung up incorrectly.

Coupon Lily,
Ugh, sounds like your cashiers are even worse than mine. I feel your pain.

Wow, how nice of them! Don't you love it when cashiers make up their own rules? Some act like you're taking money out of their paycheck when you use coupons.

That woman sounds completely unprofessional. I don't blame you at all for not shopping there any more. It always amazes me that so many people think the stores lose money on coupons. Stores and companies exist to make money. If they lost money on coupons, there's no way they would allow them to be used.

Cynthia said...

"Some act like you're taking money out of their paycheck when you use coupons."

What they need to realize is in reality they are employed because you're moving merchandise. It doesn't matter if you pay or manufacturer pays. Why do they not get that?!

frugalsuz said...

I know! But I can understand if they are getting mixed messages from management how they could be hesitant to use coupons. What a mess.

Mary said...

I think the bottom line is...

manufacturers publish coupons to get you to try new products...that's why new products are often close to free at first. They keep giving out coupons to keep you buying THEIR product and not the competition's. Very few products out there exist without a close competitor, if you think about it. Apple juice is apple juice - the biggest coupon wins my sale.

Store chains give out coupons to get you to shop THERE and not the competition. And many, many store coupons are backed by the manufacturer anyway - I worked for a cookie factory that would let their distributor stores know well in advance that a coupon was coming, and that they'd get a certain discount on those products if they bought a certain amount on them and put them on "sale" during the coupon dates, basically covering most of the cost of accepting the coupon! That amazed me, and I've never forgotten it. They WANT us to buy their product!

Manufacturer's win don't think a $6 bottle of bathroom spray really costs anywhere near that to produce? I doubt it...and there are plenty of people that DON'T (gasp!) use coupons to make up for those that do. Coupons are just another CODB.

Stores make out because for every one of us that uses a Extra Care card, or a stack of 20 coupons when we check out, there are 10 who don't and who are willing to pay $6.99 for facial scrub. (not me! wee!) And, for all the items we buy WITH coupons, we still throw plenty of junk in our carts that aren't discounted...even if it's just to spend the "overage", which the store gets back on MQ's anyway.

I swear the next time a clerk gives me crap about coupons I'm gonna give them a lecture they won't forgot... :-)

frugalsuz said...

I couldn't have said it better myself! When I'm standing in line, I always keep an eye out for what the customers ahead of me are buying and 9 times out of 10, they don't use any coupons. I've seen folks at CVS spend close to $100! Crazy.