Friday, September 18, 2009

TIP: Know your coupon policies!!

When you are a coupon shopper you need to know your coupon policies for every store you are shopping at. It is also helpful to print the stores coupon policy and take it with you.

Why should you? The store knows the policy right? Sadly wrong. I can honestly tell you that it is painfully obvious that very few stores actively train their employees on coupons. Sometimes even the managers don't know the coupon policy.

When someone throws a wrench in your plans make sure that you fight for your money. Don't let them hurt your bottom line!! This is personal. (It is your money - it SHOULD be personal!)

Let me give you 2 examples that recently happened to me:

Last Friday, I was at Walgreens trying to take advantage of the starbucks deal (Buy $15.00 worth and get a $5.00 Register Reward back)

The ice cream was NOT Marked as it should be but I KNEW it was part of the sale.
I was trying for this deal:

$15.00 - buy 5 pints of Starbucks Ice Cream
.99 (buy lollipop for filler)
-5.00 (use 5 1.00/1 coupons)
-2.00 (use 2.00 RR)
My total was like $9.78

I paid and no register reward printed. (I have since found out from the catalina company it was because the machine was down)

I was completely within the rules of Walgreens. When I complained that the RR didn't print the cashier had a very dismissive attitude and she said "It's because you used coupons - you can't get a register reward if you use coupons." then she looked at the person in line behind me and tried to usher me along.

That is NOT correct. I happen to know that this particular cashier sadly has an opinion about everything and she tends to expound upon that and provide misinformation on a regular basis.

I asked for the manager and HE told me the same thing. (Catalina once again has confirmed with me that this is NOT correct and they are the ones who print the register rewards!!)

I have also been told I cannot use my register rewards to purchase newspapers which is also incorrect.

Another example:

Wednesday my sister and I went to Target because we both had some things we wanted to look at. (I honestly wanted to take advantage of the kashi deal this week and was scoping things out plus i had a raincheck)

A few weeks ago Target had the Glade Freshmatic Ultra iMotion on sale for $5.99 each. I had 6 $6.00/1 coupons. That's free - right? They were out so I had to get a raincheck.

I tried to redeem the raincheck Wednesday. I'm looking at a $119 order and am being told the raincheck won't work... It keeps saying you can't have any substitutions.

I was taken to customer service to get the raincheck to come off. The customer service person advised me it was because I had the wrong scent and she absolutely could not/would not substitute them. I told her there was no sign up the day I got my raincheck that i'd have to pick my scents RIGHT THEN. What kind of ridiculousness is that? ALSO - when I got this raincheck there was only one tear pad to get the rainchecks on the aisle. If they were going to be this amazingly picky shouldn't they have (A) had a sign and (B) had a tear pad for every scent?!

After that argument she took the raincheck, then she gave me my new total. Then I provided her with my coupons. She didn't want to take my $6.00 coupon because it would give me a penny overage for this item unless she adjusted it down. Her REASON she couldn't take the coupons varied. First it was "Because you'd get money back." Then it was "because it makes the item free."

I said: "According to Target's recently published coupon policy you can take my coupons you just have to adjust them down." she said no and I repeated myself so she called a manager.

The manager i have to say was AMAZING with this - she said "yes ma'am - you are exactly right!" and went to take care of it but because SHE didn't understand the wording on the coupon she made me ring them out separeately.

It took me about an hour to check out at target. was it worth it? Probably - but the problem is that I tend to hold grudges so it will likely take a REALLY good sale to get me back into that store in less than a month. My dissatisfaction aside - imagine how bad my day would have been in both cases if I didn't know the policies.

In the walgreens example if I didn't KNOW the system then Most likely I would have been out the money if I really wanted the ice cream. (I really DID want that ice cream!! but i have 3 pints in my freezer and that should last me till next sale)

In the target example I either would have had to pay full price if I needed those air fresheners (6x14.00 = 84.00 ...I do NOT think I needed almost 100.00 worth of air freshener thanks!!) or would have had to walk out without my prize. Either would have made for a more disappointing day.


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