Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Dollar General Must Be The Worst One

I'm sure you have had terrible experiences at stores before, perhaps questioning their customer service. When their is a snippy cashier or a rude manager you wonder why they are still employed there  if they act that way towards customers. I know sometimes people have bad days and are stressed out, we all have those days from time to time. But then there are other instances where it seems every time you enter a store and there is that same cashier/manager/csm and they are always moody no matter what. Well today I really felt that way.

This isn't the first time that this has happened at the Dollar General in my area and I'm sure it won't be the last. I started frequenting this Dollar General when I had coupons to match their sales or if I spotted a clearance item. I had used coupons on clearance items before with no problems, I would stop in once or week or so. They then started questioning my coupon usage on clearance items because I happened to get a couple items free by usage of them. I abided by the rules of their coupon policy as well as the coupon itself.

A few days ago I went in and saw Pinsol on clearance for $1.00 and what luck there was a coupon on Pinsol's website for $1.00/1 on 28oz or 48oz variety. So I went home and printed a couple off. I arrived back at the store an hour or so later with coupons in tow, excited to get such an awesome deal. I put them in my cart as well as other clearance items that I had coupons for. About 5 minutes later the manager comes up to me and tells me that I can't use a coupon on the Pinsol, if I do she is going to mark it up to regular price ($2.00). I was flabbergasted that she would come up to me and tell me what I can and cannot use my coupons on. So I rethought my shopping trip and decided to only buy three things that weren't on sale or clearance. There was some grip from the assistant manager about how its not fair how I can use coupons to get things for free. The manager let me do the transaction since they weren't clearance items but double checked to make sure they weren't on sale as well. I walked out disappointed that I wasn't able to get the things I initially wanted to.

I talked to my friend from work about the incident and how I wondered if they were being biased towards me. I asked her if she would go there and see if they reacted the same way towards her when trying to use the Pinsol coupon. She agreed because she was curious as well. She went in got the Pinsol and brought it up to the counter. As soon as the assistant manager saw the coupon she said "We can do this, we can do this, you cant be coming in here trying to get stuff for free!" My friend was shocked at how angry and frustrated the assistant manager got, and she hadn't even tried to ring the coupon up yet! She told her that she didn't understand why the coupon could not be used since it is the specified product. "You just can't come in and use a coupon and get stuff for free, its not right". My friend informed her that it isn't right to refuse to to sell an item to her because its a personal opinion of right or wrong, corporate policy states its right. The assistant manager then requested that she come speak to the main manager to get things sorted out. She walked out of the store with nothing but a confused look on her face. That experience changed the way she viewed shopping there.

Now today I decided to use the rest of my $3/1 Gain coupons since they were burning a whole in my wallet. I figured they are full priced, they won't have a problem - boy was I wrong! I loaded up my cart with 11 boxes of dryer sheets and one bottle of fabric softener. Divided my items in 3 different transactions since the coupon stated "limit of 4 like coupons in one shopping trip". Everything was going smoothly then the assistant manager walks in and immediately went up to the register and started checking stuff out. "The manager already told you that you can use coupons if things are going to end up being free." I stood my ground, "No, she said on clearance items, these are neither clearance nor sale items. So I'm not sure what the problem is." The cashier who knew me from a previous job, then says in a loud voice "If you knew you weren't suppose to use these coupons then why did you try!" By this time other customers are looking at them becuase they are talking so loud and being rude about it. I informed them that their coupon policy states I can use them since they follow all the guidelines of what the coupon must have. She then replied with "save all those transactions, we are going to make sure the manager sees this."I then grabbed my bags and politely said thank you. My four year old son looked at me and said, "Mommy why are they so rude when you use your coupons?" I told him that they don't understand their coupon policy or how coupons can be used.

We got in the car and I called Corporate as well as the Federal Trade Commission. I talked to a very nice service representative that was also very confused on why they wouldn't accept my coupon and were so rude to me. He took a detailed report of my experience and gave me a reference number. I then called the ftc to make a report of false advertising since they advertised pinsol as 1/2 price but wouldn't sell it to me as so if I had a coupon. I'm not sure if these reports will amount to anything, but I did what I feel was right. This is the only store in the area that seems to be this resistant to coupon usage.