Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's Hard Not to Judge a Store By Its Management

All for free!
Last minute I realized I had forgotten to get some things from the store that would have been free with my coupons.  Looking at the clock I figured I had about an hour and half to get the stuff before they close. Plenty of time.  I didn't want to head to the "mean Fry's" where the workers and management tend to be pretty rude.  I ended up going there, even though I knew I shouldn't, in hopes there would be no problems this time.

Remember Coupon Bullying at Target and Fry's Food Begins?

(The picture to the left is 14 L.A. Looks hair gel, 10 deodorants, 4 men's shaving creme, and a 24 pack of water all for FREE!) 

I was seriously nervous about going to this Fry's because I just was too tired to deal with any bullies today.  Sure enough, that same girl was at the checkout counter.  I got butterflies in my stomach.  To top it off, her and her coworker were staring my way and giving me evil looks.  Great, it was already starting.  Sigh.  :(

You can get multiples coupons buy buying several papers
each Sunday.  Often my neighbors leave me coupons in
my mailbox or people at church give me some.  This time I had
14 coupons for the hair gel.
Immediately, I asked for which manager was there.  I was instantly relieved when they said James was on duty.  Thank goodness. He is such a good guy and always makes it a pleasant experience.  I asked if I could speak with him.  He came and we talked about 15 minutes about the last incident.  He had heard from corporate about what happened.  Right away he said the other manager on duty that night told them that I was trying to get away with ad matching at Fry's.  What?  Of course I can't do ad matching at Fry's nor have I ever tried to.  That's something only Walmart does.  As I retold him the story accurately his eyes got bigger and bigger.  He couldn't believe it.  In fact, after we were done talking, he went straight back to his office and wrote the store manager about the what really happened. He also told me that once while I was shopping there, the "bad manager" pulled him aside and said "there's that lady that tries to ad match."  He saw me, and knowing that I'm a couponer in the store, said  "Are you sure she tried to do that?"  He knows me well and knew It wasn't the truth.  I don't know why that one manager would lie about something like that.  Maybe he was trying to get out of trouble?  

I pointed out to him that I was really nervous about checking out because of that same girl that is working the only checkout lane is giving me dirty looks again.  He saw her and told me that he will make sure to open a separate lane and checkout for me.  Thank goodness.  Phew!

I got my freebie items and got in line. I saw not only that one girl, but her coworker staring at me and smirking.  James noticed them doing that.  They both leaned way over to look at me.  That's when the manager rescued me and pulled me out of the lane and just checked me out himself.  I walked out of there so relieved.  

I'm not sure if cashiers and managers sometimes look at our couponing and think we are just trying to rip off the company.  They don't see me coming in when spending a couple hundred dollars here or there on food.  Maybe they see those little one time trips of freebies and think we're just ripping them off.  Often, even when I'm shopping for food, 90% of the stuff in my cart I have coupons for, but I'm rarely ever getting them for free.  I still spend a good amount of money.  That's why yesterday killed me when they hardly had any sales.  I have to make everything stretch for my large family.

What I meant in the last post about couponing not being for sissies is that you often have to stand up for yourself.  Almost every time I coupon the cashiers don't understand the rules of their store.  Sometimes they have to adjust a price that is not correct and get irritated by it when you point it out. 

I had to stop by another Fry's after that experience and had time to just get two items I needed.  However since the line was so long, I didn't get checked out till 12:02am even though I was in line earlier.  Well, the computer will automatically change the prices at midnight so the manager checking me out said there was nothing he could do about it. I asked him that since they only had one lane open, I didn't get to check out in time.  I asked him to please adjust the prices and after much grumbling he finally did.  He knew nothing about the rules and refused to correctly do a coupon.   I even offered to show him the store policies on coupons and he wouldn't even hear it.  In the end, for the sake of the store employees wanting to leave, I just paid the extra money I shouldn't of had to pay.  Since he was the only manager in the store I couldn't ask for anyone above him.  When he started banging his fist on the counter and cussing I knew I should just go.  I talked kindly to him the whole time.  I even told him to have a good night and thanked him for everything to help calm him down.  Still, even if us couponers run into managers like these, we should always stay calm and not get angry back. Just stand our ground for what the company says is the rules.  Often, even if there is a bad manager, the store manager or corporate doesn't always know stuff like that is happening unless you tell them.  I'm not talking about breaking the rules and expecting them to give it to you.  That happens a lot to them and I know it's frustrating. In the end, each store can decide what they want to do as far as coupons go.  The only reason I reported the other store in that one blog post was because of their abuse towards the customers. 

I think since TLC Extreme Couponing shows so many cheats in their checkouts (for the sake of the show), other people expect Fry's to do the same for them.  
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