I had a nice chat with Catherine, the store Director of your Pick N Save store.
She is SOOOO willing to work with couponers and really wants everyone to be happy – but a few alarms went off during our 30 minute conversation. Not things that THEY are doing wrong, but things that a few couponers are trying to pull that hurt things for the rest of us.
It’s not the Dell’s group that so many mentioned at the class – those people DO pre-order and often have large quantities…they are the group that has the “backpack” program for the low income children to have food/snacks over the weekends, when they are not at school. (I hope to share more about them later!)
It’s a more local group that does this. But that isn’t the issue. How can YOU work around it?
When you are planning on 10+ of ANY item, it is a good idea to pre-order! Simply call the store (846-8922) and tell them what you want (and your name/phone #) and when you will be there to get it. They are HAPPY to do it for you as they have limited space on their shelves!!!! This is NOT a large store…it can be hard don’t to restock items as they run out when they simply dont have space enough to put massive quantities out. They also only get one shipment a week of personal care items/paper goods, etc. (non-grocery). This is why pre-ordering helps you, as a couponer. You get the items you are looking for. Don’t forget to ask for a Rain Check if you hit an empty shelf. I forgot to ask her what their store turn around time for an order is but most stores need at least 4 days.
2. People are not organized at Register.
I talk about this in my classes — try the Envelope System! Make sure you hand over the coupons you want doubled FIRST, then the others, followed by the STORE coupons. Seriously, they even have a special register set aside, JUST for couponers! (Register #7). A little pre-planning makes going through the checkout lines super easy.
3. Use coupons for what they are intended for.
People are trying to decode the UPCs at their store by purchasing Tide with coupons for Crest White Strips or buy Huggies Wipes with Huggie Diaper coupons. This makes me SOOOO sad! The couponers trying to do this call it “redemption alternative couponing“. The rest of us call it COUPON FRAUD. (federal offense, possible jail time….) A coupon is a legal contract. The customer AND the store need to follow what it says… if the manufacturer wanted that Crest coupon to be used on the Tide, they would have said so.
***They have older registers that haven’t been updated to the new UPC format yet. This means it will read the OLD part of the UPC instead of the new part that is better encoded. Just because the register let’s it go through, doesn’t mean it is OK. The CIC spells it out nicely HERE.
4. People are buying items with coupons and then trying to return them without the receipts for full refunds.
Do I NEED to comment on this one?
Need a part time job working with the mafia for money laundering………?
5. Their store will not take Register Rewards from Walgreen’s.
Not even if it says “redeemable AT Walgreen’s” instead of “redeemable ONLY AT Walgreen’s”. It’s across the board at All PnS stores now per another quick call I made… don’t even try.
***Pick N Save stores USED to take them but their policy has changed.
Like I mention in my class, when I talk about coupon etiquette, there can be a few bad apples that spoil things for the rest… and it seems that is what has been happening at your store. They are aware of the issues and are trying to fix them. I also filled them in on the big bargains of the week so you should be a little happier next Wednesday with the stock issue. A store may know what is in their upcoming ad, but isn’t always aware of what the coupons out there are or what will be the hot sellers when the two are combined to make for FREE or almost free items.
PLEASE remember to be polite to the store employees (again, like I teach) and Catherine said she has an “open door” policy – willing to talk to anyone!
No one ever wins when there is a fight, but it seems like the biggest issues were with people that knew they were doing wrong – like the lady trying to return a ton of deodorant on the day she thought the store manager was off and she wasn’t. To be told “no” and then to come back later that same day when she thought she wouldn’t be there any more… Seriously?!! (see #4)
I hope this helps clear a few things up, it sounds like Roundy’s stores are going to have a more detailed coupon policy coming up – that spells out more clearly what they do and do not accept.