Monday, August 10, 2009

Q & A

Coupon Clipper: I had a really frustrating experience at CVS today and was wondering if you agreed with the store or not. Maybe I just don't know store policies well enough.

Here's what happened: I have a rain check for 3 razors on sale for $7.99 (reg $9.99) I gave the cashier my rain check along with my 1 CVS coupon for $5 off $15 purchase and 3 manufacturer coupons for $4.00 off each razor. The cashier returned my coupons to me because they expired "Well over 2 months ago". I agreed that they did expire but they weren't expired at the time of the rain check. The cashier explained that they can not take expired coupons.

I tried to explain that they were not expired when I came to get the merchandise and if they would've had the merchandise on the shelf I would've been able to use them that day, and that is why I got the rain check for the items. She called the manager and the manager agreed with the cashier. I told them both to give me the coupons back and that I would take them to another store. Am I right to be upset about this?

Besides the fact that BOTH employees that I talked to were incredibly rude and treated me like I was a moran for trying to use expired coupons. Thanks for your help!

Me: First of all, I'd call corporate and share with them the rude experience that you had in the store.

Secondly, I'd find another CVS location to give your business to.

And lastly, I'd head into my next CVS store and talk directly to a manger and I'd explain that you are looking for a new store to become a loyal shopper at, that you have had an incredibly rude experience at (name the location) and that the other store where you normally had shopped was out of stock of the items that you have been wanting- for so long that your coupons are expired.

I would ask the new store manager if (s)he would be able to help you out with your razor problems. Explain that you are aware that spending coupons passed the expiration date is wrong, but you tried to spend them before they expired, but that your old store had not restocked their shelved quickly enough for your coupons to be spent.

I would also remind the manager (very sweetly) that you are aware that companies are allowed to send their accepted coupons to the *clearing house up to 6 months past their expiration, and that you hope that you will still be allowed to purchase the items that you have been stalking for months. Hopefully your plea will fall on kind ears.

I have built so great a relationship with my 'CVS of choice' that one manager has told her employees "do whatever Laura says... she knows our policies better than we do!" That was music to my ears! It really pays off BIG time when you build relationships with store employees and when you treat everyone respectfully.

I'm bummed that this was your experience- I feel like you stated your side/expectations accurately and respectfully- I think you just need to find a new location!

*A Clearing house is the location that coupons are sent to once that have been scanned and accepted by the store. Lets use Target for example:

If I purchase stick of Secret deodorant for $2.33, and I spend a $1 manufacturer coupon, I pay $1.33 (plus tax) for the deodorant since $1 was deducted for spending my coupon.
Target accepted my coupon and the cashier placed my coupon (it now becomes Target's property) in his/her register's drawer. Target is now responsible for sending the Secret deodorant coupon to the clearing house for $1 in reimbursement + Target will be given an additional $.08 per coupon as a thank you from the manufacturer for accepting the manufacturer's coupon.

Target (and all other stores as well) are given up to 6 months past the expiration date printed on the coupon to submit the coupon to the clearing house for reimbursement, if Target delays sending coupons the manufacturer does not have to reimburse Target.

Companies stand to gain quite a bit of profit from accepting manufacturer coupons. I wish they would convey this information to the cashiers who often give us coupon spenders a hard time.


Dawn Gatlin

Laura: I agree wholeheartedly....develop a good relationship with a new manager and tell them about your horrible experience at another store. I've built up a great repor (sp?) with many managers and I had a HORRENDOUS experience with Rite Aid. The extremely rude lady told me to my face that she didn't like me because I used coupons and I was trying to scam the system...NOT! I called Corporate and they indicated that the individual would probably be fired. I cannot bring myself to ever shop at that store again so I went to another Rite Aid and told them and they welcomed me with open arms. They even recently were out of stock of Schick razors and I was trying to complete a single check rebate and they didn't get in the stock in time so they gave me what I would have received in the form of their rebate check in a gift card, now that is great service!!!

Laura Webber

WOW! I need a new Rait Aid...


I just wanted to comment that I received a rain check at CVS for the electrosal and I told the cashier that I wanted to use some ECB's when these DID come in, but I was worried b/c the ECB were going to expire in a few days- before they would probably get more stock in. She told me "Its okay, we take expired coupons". I have her name on the Rain Check, so I hope I dont have any problems this week when I go to get them.


The CVS in downtown Farmington has been just wonderful to me! And I talked to a cashier in the Bloomfield Hills store who gave me a clue as to why...she said that a lot of CVS employees have fun doing ECB deals, too!


I just read Dawn's comment and wonder if the Rite aid store is the one in Wixom. That store manager is terrible and I know go out of my way to find a store who is happy to get my business.
Thank you for the info and blog!


I'm interested in what customer service said to the OP. Personally, I think using coupons that are two months past the experation date is a bit much. Most stores will allow a grace period of a few days, maybe a week...

Besides, you don't know if store policy varies from clearinghouse policy. Maybe the store's policy is to send all coupons that expire out on the 15th of the following month.

If I was a cashier and someone gave me a 2-month-expired coupon, I would think they are trying to scam me. Now, I know that's not what you were doing, but that is what the random cashier would probably thing!

I love the farmington CVS too. They're great!
p.s. for anyone who knows what I am talking about...peanut butter M&Ms are back at full price, bummer! But 4 medium bags for a total of $1.56 will last us a loooong time!


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