I'm taking a break from our regularly scheduled Romance Wednesday posts to share with you all my recent experience at my local Walmart. Let me just start by saying that I enjoy shopping at Walmart. They are one of the few stores that still carry somewhat reasonably priced merchandise (food included). I grew up shopping at Walmart.
In fact, I'm pretty sure my mom has spent nothing short of a small fortune there. Anyways, you all know that I am a frugal shopper. We just don't have money to waste and even if we did, I still wouldn't change my frugal shopping habits. I work hard to get the most bang for our bucks. And in doing so that means that I coupon.
I wouldn't consider myself an extreme couponer. I coupon on a much smaller scale in comparison to some people. And until recently, I never had an issue with couponing at Walmart. Since we moved to a different neighborhood, I shop at the Walmart that is closest to us rather than driving almost 45 minutes to the other Walmart we shopped at for 5 years.
Monday, I decided to go pick up some items that I had on my shopping list that I had finally gotten some coupons for. Nothing fancy. Just some soda, disposable razors, body wash and those mini Colgate toothbrush things. I put all my coupons in an envelope and had calculated my total which should have came out to zero.
This past week, there have been a lot of high value and Free product coupons being put out in the Sunday papers, on company websites, Facebook, etc. And I planned on taking full advantage of the ones for products that I use. So, I loaded the kids up and we headed off to Walmart. Everything was going well. I was able to find the items needed with no problem. Moo had a small meltdown over having to ride in the buggy but quickly calmed down.
I proceeded to check out. And this my friends is where my shopping experience turned from a pleasant one to an utter debacle. I loaded my items to the conveyor belt and greeted the cashier. I informed her that I had some coupons I would be using and handed them over. The whole mood of the cashier changed.
I could see her face take on a less than pleasant appearance. Please keep in mind I had less than ten items. It wasn't like she had a million coupons to scan. So, instead of continuing to scan my items through, she immediately stops the transaction to go through my coupons. Right off the top she pulls one of the coupons from the pile and proceeds to tell me that I can't use it.
"Why not?" I asked.
"Because you can't save $6 on this product," she says. "We've had a lot of customers come in with this coupon and we've been instructed not to let them use it on the cheaper product."
"Why?" I persisted. "It says that I can use it on any two disposable razor packs except for the two count. I have two twelve counts. This is a violation of your coupon policy."
She explains that obviously, the managers don't want customers getting cash back and having been scamming other customers by not allowing them to use their legit coupons on the cheaper razors that would have let them get less than a dollar back. She continues to look at through my stack of coupons with scrutiny and questioning each one.
At this point, other customers are behind me witnessing this and I start feel slightly humiliated. Not because I'm using coupons. (There's nothing humiliating about saving money folks). But this chick was acting like I was trying to rob or scam Walmart when it was the complete opposite.
What should have been an in and out trip had turned to a disaster. Thankfully, I had a lower value coupon that I could use on the razors. And instead of getting three packs like I had planned, I ended up getting one. But even with the lower coupon I would still get the razors free. I saw her look at that coupon and she looked like she wanted to refuse it too but I gave her my "You don't want to do that" look and she scanned the coupon through.
Now, my frustration is this:
1-I wasn't using fraudulent or illegitimate coupons.
2-I don't appreciate being humiliated or made to feel to stupid.
3-I don't appreciate stores that refuse to honor their policies.
I am very familiar with the Walmart coupon policy. And it does not state that there is a limit of the amount of money you can get back if you have a high value coupon. The crazy thing is that I wasn't even going to get cash back because the overage would have been eaten up by the tax and I had picked up some candy for Moo that I had put me over my calculated total.
JJ was getting a little fussy and I didn't want to wait a long time in the line at customer service with him crying his head off to talk to a manager. So, I came home and called back to the store. I asked the speak to a manager but guess what I stayed on hold forever and not one manager ever answered my waiting call. I was pissed off at this point and decided to call corporate and file an official complaint.
In closing, I just want to say that I've been very brand loyal to Walmart. I don't appreciate mangers telling cashiers to do things that are unethical. I will not support brands who do things like this. What I will do is take my business elsewhere and make sure that my family and friends do the same.
If you've been having issues with your cashiers not reading coupons or not following the policy properly you cannot take that out on the other customers who are following the policy correctly without corporate approval. I think it is needless to say that it might be a while before I shop at Walmart again. And if I had had more sense, I should have just walked out not buying anything.