I know so many people are often frustrated with using coupons at Walmart. I’ve gotten tons of emails recently from people who have had problems using internet coupons, adjusting coupons down to the value of the item and using those infamous $5/5 Kraft Cheese Coupons. Yesterday I had a similar experience (Yes, Even I have problems with cashiers and coupons) so I wanted to address how you can handle problems and hopefully work to get these issues resolved.

:: What to do when a coupon is denied

Ask For a Manager: Yesterday when I was told I couldn’t use the $1/1 Healthy Choice Coupon (Which I printed from the Walmart Website) I simply asked to speak with the manager. I always do this first! I don’t ever try and argue my case with the Cashier because in all honesty most of the time they are afraid of getting in trouble. When the manager came over I nicely explained that this coupon was printed from the Walmart Website and that it had all of the “Required” items listed in the Walmart Corporate Coupon Policy. She agreed and asked the Cashier if the coupon would scan. The coupon scanned fine and so the Manager just told the cashier to accept them.

Know the Coupon Policy:By Knowing the Walmart Corporate Coupon Policy I was able to state my case in an educated manner without having to “argue” or “get upset”. Also, note that I started with mentioning this. Managers are less likely to argue with an informed customer. You can find the Walmart Corporate Coupon Policyonline and I keep a copy with me for situations such as this. I find that most managers don’t even have a copy with them so it helps to be the most informed individual. Also, I have customer services phone number stored in my cell phone: 1-800 Walmart (925-6278)

Contact the Manufacturer:One of  the things I plan to do with this specific coupon problem is contact the Manufacturer as well as Walmart Customer Service. With a company as large as Walmart it’s hard to get things changed at the Store Level. However Manufacturers are issuing coupons in order to get people to try new products on the market and if the coupons they are issuing are not being accepted at the store level then their strategy is ineffective. By letting the Manufacturer Know as well as the Store we might see changes in how these coupons are released. In my case it was a Smartsource Coupon that was the problem. My Store accepts Bricks Coupons without a problem. Also, with the $5/5 Kraft Coupon some stores won’t accept this high value coupon.

:: Working with Cashiers

Be Polite: I always try to keep in mind the perspective of the Cashier. I know that they have often had a long day, and many times they are worried about getting in trouble for accepting a coupon they weren’t supposed to. I also try to remember that they are not the ones that always set the rules which is why I am always polite and just ask to speak with a manager.

Be Consistent: If you have a good experience with a cashier, try being consistent in the time of day you shop and look for the same cashier. There is a good chance that if you have a good experience once you will have a good experience again. So by building habits in your shopping routines you will learn who is willing to be patient with coupons and who gets frustrated by them. In my case yesterday my cashier spent the entire time telling me how much she disliked coupons and how this was the worst part of her job :) I just smiled and made a mental note that next time I’ll look for another cashier or shop at another time of the day.

Be Honest:I am always very picky about the coupons I try to use and the items I use them on. I try to read my coupons carefully before I get to the cash registers to make sure I am purchasing the correct items. That way if there is a problem with the coupon not scanning or a question on if I bought the right size, etc. I can pull the item out of my bag with confidence to show the cashier that it fits within the guidelines.

Be Informed:Every Store has their own coupon policy. And yes while this is frustrating it does help you to know which coupons you should try to use and which ones will automatically be denied. I know that my store does not allow SmartSource coupons, so the majority of the time I choose to use those coupons somewhere else to avoid problems. It’s really the stores loss because I am choosing to spend my money (And yes my coupons) elsewhere.

Be an Example:I often feel like from a Stores perspective couponers have a bad reputation. I am on a mission to change that ;) In every area of life how we react and respond to problems is a true test of our character and our love for people. I always try to treat each cashier and manager with the love, respect, and grace that Christ has shown me and to remember that no one is perfect (Most of all Me) and we all make mistakes. I also try to remember that even if I don’t end up purchasing an item that was in my cart or I had a coupon for, I still maintained my testimony and integrity. I also try to remind myself of my purpose in life, and yes even though I love to save money, Saving $3-$4 on food for my family is not worth the time, effort and trouble it takes some days. Especially if I end up leaving with a bad attitude and it has an impact on the rest of my day.