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It Happens to Even the Best

Thursday, June 18, 2009 |

This last week was a great sale, but I was discouraged with my checkout process. When I teach my classes I ALWAYS have someone raise their hand and say, "the grocery stores, must HATE seeing you walk in." You would think that was the case, but not at all. When I walk in the store to do my weekly shopping the checkers all greet me and never have a problem with my coupons because they actually get reimbursed for them by the manufactures.

I always assure people they will have a pleasant experience checking out as long as they are prepared and organized. Boy did I put my own foor in my mouth.
I ended up doing my shopping not at my usual time, or at my usual store location. I was thrilled to find everything I wanted and proceeded to the checkout. As I started putting things up on the conveyor belt the checker was less then friendly. I felt like I was doing something wrong. I could tell the checker had woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It was something I was not use to at all from a checker. She carefully examined every coupon I used and tried more than once to tell me a coupon I was using wasn't right. After a lot of confusion and frustration on both our parts I asked for a manager to come over and review the coupons. I was organized, prepared and well educated about the prices of the products I was buying. The manger walked over and asked the checker what was wrong. She said, "They are buying a lot!". The manger whispered to her, "THAT'S A GOOD THING.". Of course the manager approved my coupons and the checkout continued. Right before I paid they said the total to me and I knew something was off. I asked if $3 had come off instantly for the coke products, and then I noticed my Lysol products hadn't rung up right. The checker once again didn't believe me and actually walked down the aisles to check both products, even when I showed her in the ad the correct prices.

After price adjusting the people behind me where more than irritated. I had never felt that uncomfortable checking out of a grocery store. I left in almost tears and was shaken up. I kept thinking if I had been a newbie I would never have argued because I would have figured the checker was right. And I would be sure to never try that again!

I wanted to share this story with my readers because I wanted you to see that even the most experienced couponers have unpleasant experiences, but you can't let that stop YOU and the money YOU are entitled to save. That really was as bad as it has every gotten for me, but it was frustrating and intimidating. You as a customer are entitled to have your bill double checked, have the manager called over, and have prices verified. You spend money there and you are the reason those checkers have jobs and that store is in business.

Now on the other hand make sure you are courtesy and friendly with your checkers. Be patient with them and don't be upset with them when things don't ring up right, or if they don't let you break rules! They are doing the best they can too.

I guess you take the good and the bad and at the end of the month when I save at least $600 I figure it is ALL worth it.

Do you guys have any wonderful or awful experiences that either made you confident or weary of using coupons again?


Anonymous said...

Yesterday I did my shopping at Albertsons in Spanish Fork. Yes, they are used to coupon shoppers on Wed. mornings, they even have extra cashiers! Anyway, I got some of the ice cream products that were on sale, I bought 4 of each kind and was expecting a $4.00 OYNSO for each group of 4 that I purchased. I did not realize they had to be in seperate transactions! I thought to myself this is going to be the biggest pain to return it all and do seperate transactions. The manager, however said she would help me and it was no big deal. I was very impressed and thanked her so very much for her help! It made me feel good about how I am continually trying to save my family money! Don't give up, htere are good experiences out there too!

Anonymous said...

Yes. One of the first times I weny shopping, the checker was very unfriendly and somewhat difficult to work with. Being a lttle unsure of what I was doing I didn't dare question anything. I had a hard time getting rain checks. I didnt get a catalina I should have and I know I spent more money that I was supposed to. I wondered if I wanted to keep doing the program. This last weekend I had a wonderful experience at the two Provo Albertsons and I said it finally felt like it was worth doing. I saved BIG TIME.

ae said...

I usually had very good experiences with most checkers. One even gave me a high five for saving so much, and wrote down the coupon I was using to get the electrosol for .50! That was probably the highlight!
But I have a few times when things didn't work out right. I was trying to use my set of doublers and the numbers just didn't come out right. The checker went to three different registers trying to make things work. He tried to give me my ice cream for free, for my trouble. Instead he ended up charging me twice for it, which I didn't realized until I got home. That was really frustrating.
I've had several times when I've had unhappy checkers, or just didn't do a promotion right and missed out on savings.
But I've never had a cashier quite as difficult as this one sounds!

jen said...

i'm glad u shared this experience with us! it is a little scary! i haven't had any problems yet, but if i do i will remember those tips:)

The Hovers said...

I am glad to hear that the cash register experience doesn't always go perfectly smooth for everyone! Just for the record, I am amazed at how "on the ball" you are with all this stuff! I still cannot find time to organize my list and use my coupons each week! Keep up the great work.

The Hovers said...

I just have to say that it is nice to hear that not every check-out goes perfectly. And I am amazed at how "on the ball" you are with all of this shopping/coupon stuff! I don't know how you do it... I am still trying to organize a list and use my coupons weekly - let alone try and figure out the check-out! Keep up the good work.

Lynn said...

That same thing seems to happen to me every single time I go to Albertsons in Spanish Fork. I go well prepared and organized yet the checkers always seem to be annoyed and put out at the coupons and the multiple transactions. Last time they wouldn't even take the $3.00 off on the Kraft products even after we looked at the items in the ad. It's frustrating and I've all but given up on Albertson's.

Am I the only one this happens to?

Shelley said...

I'm so sorry about your experience! I had a bad experience, too, and now I am always just a little anxious when it comes to checking out.

Mine happened my very first time out, I went to Smith's where they had Cheez-it crackers on sale. Well, Smith's had a whole display of Cheez-it crackers right inside the door, next to all of the sale items. There was even an orange tag on them announcing the price. I put a couple boxes in my cart, and continued merrily on my way. Check out was a disaster, the instant savings wasn't coming off, and none of us could figure out why. The cashier was less than helpful, and I had to ring my order through again, where it still didn't work. We finally figured out there was some problem with the Cheez-it crackers, although none of us, store manager included, realized that it was because it was the wrong size for the sale. I ended up pulling the crackers out of the pile and adding something else instead, but the people behind me in line were very irritated.

Lesson learned..I now triple check absolutely everything against the ad for size and price before I put it in the cart. By the way, I have noticed that Smith's does this consistently (at least the one by my house), they will advertise a really great sale on an item, and also put the same brand but different size on sale as well, stocking it on end caps and in the front of the store. I hate to say they are trying to 'trick' their customers, but I have learned to be very careful when I go there.

Mitchell Family said...

It sounds like the SF Albertsons is the place to be. Is that where most of you all shop? I'd say I'd shop there just to see you all, but thats the last thing you need is another shelf clearer like me LOL!

Anonymous said...

No don't shop at the Albertsons in SF. That is where I have trouble and some of the cashiers are not the best to work with, plus the shelves are not stocked well. I rather travel clear to Provo, the cashiers are really friendly and the stores were stocked real well.

Allyson said...

I shop at the SF ALbertsons and after a month of doing coupons I think I'm finally starting to figure this all out. I make a DETAILED list of all of the items I want, coupon details, quantity, item, price, sale price, size, varieties, and any other details about the item. It is still rather difficult because the cashiers BEEP things so fast that I cant watch to make sure its right. You gotta really know your items to make sure they are ringing up right the first time! I have to take my 4 month old and 4 year old and returning items to get the right price isnt an option!

Anonymous said...

I had trouble this week at Maceys in SF. Apparently they have a store policy against self printed coupons, you know the ones from Group A, B, etc. They would not accept my Rhodes coupons. I just politely told the checker that was OK and that Albertson's had no problem with accepting them. Thank you & have a nice day brought a puzzled look to her face!

Anonymous said...

I tried for the first time using coupons. I drove from Fillmore to Provo Albertsons. It was wonderful! The checker was more than helpful. She even added my products to make sure I got my $10.00 for my next purchase which she allowed me to pay for my partial order and then use the coupon to finish ringing out. She rang all of the coupons at the end and she indicated that the computer would tell her if I had purchased all of the items that I was using coupons for. I had two carts full . I spent 260.87 and I saved 200.49. Wow! I will shop again at the Provo Albertsons. My first coupon experience was great!

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