Monday, August 2, 2010

The CVS incident of 7/31

So I am a couponer. I spend 2-3 hours a week managing my coupon binder. I just upgraded to a 3 inch binder. It is massive. I am by no means a hard core couponer or an expert at it. I visit various frugal blogs that post savings opportunities with sales and coupons. That is how I get my leads. I don't have time to research ads and match them with coupons but with so many people doing and posting to their blogs, I really don't need to. And for that I am so thankful for their time and appreciate that they share the information.

I have one paper subscription and I use, and to print my coupons. If there is a particular coupon that I would like more than 2 copies of, I recycle paper at work and print them. I rarely have problems using printed coupons. There are times a clerk may not be trained and will ask the manager if it is OK to take them but fortunately, the manager will say to scan it and if it goes through, it is good. I do not use any coupons from sources other than the above or from company web sites or Facebook pages. All others are usually fake, especially the ones that come from email in PDF format. If it looks too good to be true, it usually is. Using fraudulent coupons is serious and stores and companies will prosecute. I don't want to be that person in a jail cell with hardened criminals and have to explain why I was there.

That being said, I had my first push back incident regarding printed coupons. I had a stack of coupons at CVS in addition to my Reward bucks. It was going to be a good money saving trip. I handed my coupons over to the clerk, an older Persian woman. She looks at the printed coupons and tells me they no longer take them. I give her a look of bewilderment and asked when that started because I have been using printed coupons for a long time and just used the same coupon at Target with no issues. She said that the coupons are fake and that she was told CVS no longer took them. She showed me about 5 pages of CVS notices from their corporate office with examples of fake coupons, some were cigarette coupons. She said they were fake. I agreed that there are fake coupons out there but I assured her mine were not fake and were not even the same coupons she showed me. She argued that I was using a Sobe buy one get one drink coupon and one of the fake examples was for some drink, not even Sobe. I even pointed out that none of mine were from the fake list but she said it was drink and all the same. Believe me when I say this women was clearly not trained properly and was making a blanket statement about CVS's coupon policy that was not true. She could cost CVS customers and sales.

I said again that my coupons were legitimate and if she was not going to accept them, then I was not purchasing any of the products I had on the counter. she asked for the manager who came to inspect my stack of coupons. I explained to him they same thing that there are ways you can spot a fake coupon. Mine were printed directly from a computer to a printer and not copies. He took them to the back office to check on them. Came back and told her to ring them up except for one. I had two of the same coupons and could only use one. No matter, I went back to get another product and a different coupons and handed it to her to ring up.

While she was ringing my items, she proceeded to tell me that she could lose her job but that CVS appreciated my business and understands that people are wanting to save money. I paid for my transaction and started to get my stuff together when she asked me if that was my coupon binder in the cart. I said it was. Then she asked me if I had any Dove coupons in there. Are you serious?? If the security camera was on my face, it would show a permanent look of shock, awe and incredulity.

On the inside. Because I am better than that. I opened by binder, looked for Dove coupons and told her I did not have any Dove coupons. All this with a smile. Because I just paid $10 for $40 worth of household products. So take that Coupon Nazi! No Dove for you!!


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