Now that my 4.5 year old is back in preschool, Tuesday is my new grocery shopping day. This morning I spent time going through my Kroger post, making my list and clipping my coupons. Like many of you, I am a busy mom with young children, and making my list and clipping coupons feels like a major accomplishment! After dropping my oldest off at school, the baby and I made our way to Kroger.
If you have read here for any length of time, you know that Kroger is my grocery store of choice. I love Kroger and I love all of the ways they give us to save. I just want to be clear that in no way am I blaming Kroger for my bad experience today – this one was all on the cashier.
Anyway – I made my way through the store, grabbing items on my list and jotting down a few unadvertised deals that I wanted to share with you. When it came time to check out I was dismayed to find that there were only 2 check out lanes open – and the one that was empty happened to be that of my l least favorite cashier. My “least favorite cashier” scrutinizes my coupons every time I go through her line, prints out multiple copies of my receipt to make sure I purchased the correct number of items, and tries to accuse me of not purchasing the right products – all while her line backs up. Usually I am patient and humor her, but today I lost my cool.
It all started with the butter…I was stocking up on Land O Lakes butter because with coupon it was cheaper than the Kroger Brand Butter (I freeze it). She held up a $0.50/2 coupon and said “these are for 2 products and you only bought 5, you need to buy 6”. I will admit that I might have been a little snippy when I informed her that I did indeed buy 6 – and that a nice Kroger employee placed them in my cart for me because he was stocking the shelves at the time. Perhaps that set her off – I’m really not sure… all that I know is that things went downhill quickly. She did see that I bought 6 butters (the last one wasn’t with the others…) so she rang those coupons. She continued to scrutinize my coupons and refer to my receipt – all the while her line was backing up. (Thank goodness my baby was being good or I think I would have had a mommy meltdown right there in the checkout line!)
Finally, she seemed satisfied and gave me my total. I looked at the screen and informed her that she did not scan all of my coupons. She then informed me that she didn’t scan one of my $0.50/1 Crescent Roll coupons because it said “do not double” – even though the first coupon she scanned had doubled. (This set me off – I was seeing RED). I then inquired about my $5/5 Kraft coupon – 1 had gone through but not the other. She mumbled something about it exceeding the product value (not true) and scanned it. My $0.75/1 Freschetta coupon didn’t double either – not sure what happened there.
I can’t remember exactly how it all ended – but I do recall saying that I was not a criminal for using coupons and that I would not be going through her line again. I then marched my butt over to customer service and had a slight meltdown.
Now I know that I tell you all to be cool, calm and collected when this happens to you – but I didn’t do the best job at taking my own advice. I did apologize to the customer service guy for “yelling” at him as I was telling my story, and told him that I knew it wasn’t his fault. He asked me what I wanted and I told him that I wasn’t going to fight over $1 – but that someone need to talk to my “least favorite cashier” about making me feel like a criminal every time I go through her line. (I have shopped at this store weekly – sometimes more – for the last 9 years – I have spent a few thousand dollars there I would think!).
I left the store nearly in tears (I am not someone who is quick to cry), and started to unload my groceries. That’s when I really got angry. I was angry because I had taken time out of my day to make my list and clip my coupons only to get hassled. Angry because I am always careful to buy the correct variety and amount listed on the coupon. Angry because I know how to use coupons! She made me feel ashamed and like an idiot – not a good combo. I was further angered because I still ended up spending $110 AFTER coupons – it wasn’t like I was spending no money in the store.
All of that emotion and frustration built up, and that is why I stomped back into the store with a Freschetta Pizza in one hand, a tube of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls in another, with my poor, sweet baby strapped to my chest in her carrier. I’m sure I looked like a mad woman. :-)
This time I got the seasoned customer service rep (the poor guy I spoke to first was on his second day in customer service) and I explained the situation again. As I was explaining, I looked over my receipt and realized she didn’t even scan 2 of the coupons I had given her. The customer service rep. was very apologetic (the “your baby is cute comments” didn’t hurt either), and gave me $10 for my “trouble”. He also refunded me for the 2 products that were not rung properly.
I am sharing this not just to vent and get it out of my system, but to let you know that things like this happen to all of us – even those of us who have been using coupons forever. Fortunately, incidents like this have been rare in my experience, but what it boils down to is this – if you are treated unfairly and your coupons don’t scan properly – you have the right to not purchase the item or return it – and to walk away. Sometimes it is better to do that than to cause a scene, because really? It’s not worth it.
I will continue to shop at my favorite Kroger store because I truly do love shopping there – and because I feel that it was handled properly in the end. I will NOT, however, be going through that particular cashier’s line again – even if I have to wait in line with 2 screaming children attached to my hips. :-)