I receive frequent emails with basically the same question. “I went to X store and they would not accept my coupon. What do I do?”
My first instinct is to argue. That may be because I’m trained to argue though and there are some things to remember if you’re going to argue and argue successfully:
1. You need to be right to argue. Make sure you are using a proper coupon (i.e. it doesn’t exclude the size you are buying), it isn’t expired, and it is in the form the store wants (some stores don’t take printables and some stores don’t accept competitor coupons). Make sure you are 100% correct before escalating the situation, even if this requires you to do some research before addressing the issue.
2. Argue facts, not emotion. Stick to the facts and don’t make it personal. It may feel as though they are not accepting your coupon because they don’t like you but that’s probably not the case. The cashier was likely improperly trained or is having a bad day. Don’t make it about you, it’s about the coupon!
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for the manager. The cashier you are arguing with may have started yesterday. Ask for the manager so you can perhaps be on an equal playing field. The manager is likely (hopefully!) trained in the coupon policies of the store as well as in providing good customer service.
4. Get names. Get the name of the cashier, the manager, anyone you come into contact with. Remember the date and time. You may need these if you need to seek assistance outside of the physical store.
5. Don’t be afraid to go above the manager. The manager could be having a bad day or may be experiencing a high volume of coupon fraud in his store. I’m not excusing bad behavior on the part of management but if you’re not satisfied with the answer the manager gave you, call corporate. This is where having names and dates, etc. will come in handy.
6. Don’t be afraid to complain in writing. Calling corporate may get satisfaction but may not. Reduce your complaint to writing. CC the store on the letter and send it to corporate. Outline the issue and why you are right. Corporations generally take complaints in writing more seriously.
7. Be at peace with your new reputation. If you’re going to complain to corporate about your local store you shop at every week, be prepared to have a reputation the next time you go there. If you were correct in your complaining (rule #1) then hopefully you aren’t given a hard time again!
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