A rant about our local grocery store

Background:  We have a really nice local grocery store.  The prices are pretty good in general (and when I’m shopping sales they can be really good), the store is clean and well-organized, and they even double coupons that are 50 cents or less.  As I like to use coupons, this is a big plus to shopping there!

I had to go to the grocery store today, but wasn’t able to go until later in the evening.  Bryan had to be at the church around 7pm to set up for the General Young Women’s broadcast tonight, so I knew I needed to hurry to be home by that time.

I did pretty well.  I was a little late–I was at the cash register at a minute or two before 7pm, but I was still doing OK.  The cashier rung up my order and I did a partial pay (we had some money left on a card, but it wasn’t quite enough to cover the entire order).  Then I gave them my coupons.

Let’s see if you can spot the problem:

Subtotal: $21.15

-$5.00 competitor’s coupon

-$1.50 manufacturer’s coupon

-$1.50 manufacturer’s coupon

-$1.50 manufacturer’s coupon

-$1.50 manufacturer’s coupon

-$1.50 manufacturer’s coupon

Total: $20.65

Wait a minute.  I paused.  "The machine didn’t take off my coupons."

The cashier looks at it, then says–"Yes, it did.  See?  Here it says, ‘competitor’s coupon’, -$5.00.   And here are the other coupons."  She even tilted her computer screen to show me where the coupons were listed on the order.

"Yes, but it didn’t actually take them off the total.  It only took off fifty cents.  Could you cancel out those coupons so I can take them up to customer service?"

As I mentioned before, I use coupons a lot.  And I have had this happen once or twice before.  Usually, everything is OK, but sometimes it just has issues.  I’ve learned that in these cases, I just take those coupons (after they’ve been removed from the order and I’ve paid the "full" amount) to the customer service desk and they just give me the difference in cash.  I’m OK with that–it’s not ideal, but it’s OK.

But the cashier didn’t understand. 

"I can’t do that." (Even though she had done it already when she’d messed up on the competitor’s coupon the first time she typed it in.)  She continued to be confused as to why I had problems in the first place because the machine was showing the coupons.  As nice as she was, she apparently couldn’t do math.

She called over the customer service manager.  He apparently couldn’t do math either, and didn’t really understand what the problem was.  I repeated my idea to take off the problematic coupons.  They didn’t listen.  The line was growing behind me (I felt bad for those other customers!).  Finally, the customer service guy decided to take pity on the other customers and take my issue up to the customer service desk.  He undid my first payment, printed out my receipt (which was quite long) and moved the entire order up to the customer service desk.

I again repeated my idea to just take off the coupons that the machine didn’t like.  He again ignored me and just voided the entire transaction.  He told me that it would be faster just to do it all over again than to take things off and "mess up the order even more."  Faster.  Uh-huh.  Now I would have to ring up my ENTIRE order again at customer service–which is not exactly equipped to ring up larger orders anyway.

He actually did it in two orders this time.  He first did the problematic coupon items and the coupons (and everything went well this time).  Then he did everything else.  The register didn’t have problems this time, but it took forever.

I left the store at 7:20.  I was furious!  I know they meant well, but it was so frustrating that I knew what needed to be done, and they wouldn’t listen to me.  It was also exceedingly frustrating that I was made to feel like an annoying "coupon-using" woman who was being picky and pushy to have things work out her way.  Neither the cashier nor the customer service manager said anything about the register being weird.  I felt like they–and everyone around me–thought the problem was me.  And that made me even more mad.

Now, I just have to say that my experiences with this store are usually very good.  The cashiers, customer service people, baggers, and even the "taster-table" lady are extremely nice in general, and usually very helpful.  In fact, a lot of them are getting to know me as I tend to shop at that store a lot (and they often ask about my children if I’m alone).

But next time, if I remember (and hopefully I will!), I’m just going to skip the coupons at the register and take them straight up to customer service.  It’s a lot faster that way.

2 Responses to “A rant about our local grocery store”

  1. What a pain! I had an experience at the grocery store where I bought 4 things. Three of them rang up at the wrong price. One of which was avocados which had a sign that said 1.38 per pound. They’re ALWAYS priced as each, but that sign had been flipped the wrong way and they sent someone over there to check out my story. I got the per pound price, which was amazing because i only paid 90 cents for 2 avocados, which were supposed to be 1.38 each.

    When i left the store, I noticed that the fourth item was wrong, too, but only by .25. What is with some places? I’ve had the “am i the only one in this place that knows simple math” experiences, too. It seems like people turn their brains off if they’re using a machine. Because machines are always right, you know. :)

  2. You go, girl! That’ll teach ’em to cross swords with a pregnant woman. :)

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