When are coupons not worth the savings?
I obviously love saving money with coupons, but I found myself asking this question after my last trip to Target.
I had five boxes of Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal, and I had the free coupon and two $1.50 off coupons from VocalPoint, plus two $1.50 off printable coupons. The cashier said he would only take one each of the $1.50 off coupons, which is not according to their policy, so I asked to speak to a manager. The cashier went to get one, returned alone and said a manager would be out, and then we waited. After several minutes and no indication of how much longer we’d have to wait, I told the cashier to cancel my purchase and left.
I came home, emailed Target, and asked that a manager call me to verify that I could use the coupons I had. The response I got simply restated the coupon policy that’s on the web site, and said that I should call if I have any questions. Um, yeah, that’s not helpful – especially since my email had made it clear that I had read the coupon policy.
I just don’t think Target is worth the hassle anymore.
This was the second trip in a row that I had trouble with coupons. The last time, the cashier told me I couldn’t use a Target coupon for $1 off “Johnson’s baby toiletry” on a bottle of Johnson’s baby shampoo because that wasn’t what was pictured. I had to go to the customer service desk, where I was allowed to make my purchase.
I understand that they’re trying to avoid losing money to coupon fraud. But alienating customers through poor training is going to cost them money too.
Maybe they’re counting on the poor economy to keep that from happening. Certainly, if I had more time and less money, I’d be more willing to drive to another store to try to find a more knowledgeable cashier, or spend more time contacting customer service to help them get their employees on the same page when it comes to the coupon policy. But the thought of adding those tasks onto my already loaded plate thoroughly stresses me out.
So I’ve decided that I will no longer go to Target just for a coupon deal. I’ll have to need something else, like clothes or shoes or something that’s on sale that doesn’t involve a coupon.
My time, and especially my sanity, are worth more than a few dollars.
Previously: This week’s Kashi deal at Target