The only downsides are the time it takes to clip, sort and file the coupons, research before shopping day to find the best deals and some of the cashiers/Customer Service Managers I have had to deal with. I do my research on Wednesday and shop on Thursday which helps the process, but as of yet I have found no foolproof method to find good cashiers.
Last week, I took a detour from the schedule and shopped on Friday morning. I have to say the cashier was the most wonderful I have ever had and I wish I had a copy of her schedule because I would never shop again if I couldn't have her to ring up my stuff if I had a choice! She was kind. She was friendly. She was as excited as I was to see my total go down as the coupons were used and I was appreciative of her entire attitude. She REALLY did her job well!
Unfortunately, she's a minority. Most of the cashiers act as if I am coming to their line as some kind of punishment or just to ruin their entire day. I go to great lengths to help them as far as putting items together that are on sale somewhere else. I even put hot pink sticky notes on one of each of those items so that they know it's on sale somewhere else. That way, I can continue unloading my basket and they don't have to worry about having to go back and correct anything and I don't have to worry about watching every item til they get to it so that I can tell them it's on sale.
As I shop, I take the coupons I am using that day and put them in a smaller manila envelope as well, so they are all together and ready. If I have coupons that allow me to get something free........I make sure that at least one of each of those are held back so that when the cashier needs to know the price to write on the coupon, it's near the end of the list and easy to find. I REALLY do everything I can to make it easier. Some are ok and don't act like total butt heads, but others are just ridiculously rude!
It's the worst at Wal-Mart. I try to be understanding because I know that Wal-Mart just kind of sucks to work for, but seriously........*I* didn't make them go to work there and I'm not going to stand there and take their attitude with a smile. One girl, literally sighed the entire time she was scanning my coupons. She sighed so much in fact that I was concerned she might actually pass out and I sort of wished I had MORE coupons to use just to see if she would! Another one at Kroger was muttering under her breath the entire time and I finally asked her if I was entitled to an extra discount due to her rudeness. She didn't seem to appreciate that either. Go figure huh?
I really don't get it though. Scanning the coupons is no different from scanning the items I want to buy. The worst that could happen is that they have to write in an amount on a coupon but other than that it's an easy process. So why be rude? Why act as if they are being caused some sort of severe pain?
I've sort of decided that it's not worth reporting the issue. I don't want anyone to get in trouble but at the same time, I don't think there is a reason to put up with it. I guess that means I'm on the fence about the whole thing. One on hand, the cashier who acts this way won't ever learn that her job is as important as the store managers.........more important in fact, because she is the face of the store while she is handling a customer. A bad experience in the checkout line is as harmful to a customer's perception of the store as it would be for the store to be filthy and poorly stocked. I could actually put up with A LOT if the friendliness were present.
Take Dollar General for instance. I have been there ONCE using coupons and I assure you I will never go back to that particular store. I don't care how clean and well stocked it is. Never! In fact, the following experience has colored my entire view of Dollar General. I had my coupons and tried to use them on the exact items the coupons were for. I had to literally argue about every single one. she kept saying "this coupon is not for this product". Her reasoning was that if the coupon didn't picture the exact item, then it wasn't for that item. Most couponers know that the picture isn't always ON the coupon at all! Sometimes it even shows one item but says it's good for anything in that line of products. This woman clearly didn't get it and wasn't about to listen. The worst part is.........she was the manager of the store! Probably still is even though I reported the incident to their corporate office. They of course apologized and assured me that it will never happen again and they they lovvvvvvve their customers and happily accept coupons, but I will never go back to find out. It's not worth it. There's a lot more to this story. It's not just the arguing over the coupons, but that was the part that struck me the most.
On the other side of that particular coin............Family Dollar...........WONDERFUL! The store I went to yesterday to use a few coupons on items I got for free........were accepted with a smile and not one single problem. She looked at the coupon, looked at the item and did her job. I really appreciated feeling as if I wasn't a "bother". I will definitely go back to that store, even though it could be arranged better and could be cleaned up a bit. The friendliness is worth a little inconvenience.
I guess what I really want to impart here is........if you are a couponer, or even if you aren't..........if you have a good cashier, tell them so. Thank them so that they continue to be that way. Take a second and mention to their manager how well they did their job. Maybe if they are appreciated more they will become the majority and bad ones will become a thing of the past. It's worth a shot anyway.