If you are a Fan of Moms Need To Know on Facebook, you may have seen an interesting conversation between myself and another reader about Walmart yesterday. Luckily Kim caught me in just the right mood, when my Snark-O-Matic was primed and ready to go!
Here are a few of her comments (I hope she doesn't mind):
I despise the Walmart on (edited by Mindi because the exact store doesn't matter for the purposes of this post). They dont take printable coupons and nobody in the store knows whats going on, not even the managers. Horrific.
THe manager their was a total jerk to me and embarrassed me in the store told me they have to be color coupons and that I photocopied them. I said, “scan them, they will work”, he said I know they will but we wont take them.
Well – Kim happened to be talking about a store fairly close to me and right next to a store that was on my errand list for the day. Seeing as I was “in a mood”, my first thought was “Oh really? They won't take Internet Coupons at that store? We'll just see about THAT!”. So, I grabbed some IPs, made sure to print a few in black & white and headed to Walmart.
I'm sorry to say (or happy to say, depending on how you look at it)that my visit was pretty anti-climatic. Although I purposely picked a cashier who I thought would not be internet-coupon-friendly and she did look at each one closely, not a comment was made about them not accepting IPs.
And yet, when I Twitteredthat I was on my way to Walmart to use coupons, one response was: “Going to Walmart with coupons? Why don't you just bang your head against the wall and save the gas money?”
Ummm – so yeah….I guess some of you have problems with coupons at Walmart? There is one reason for this and one reason only (as far as I am concerned)…Walmart cashiers receive little-to–no training when it comes to coupons. In many cases, it is going to be up to you to educate your cashier.
So how can you make your trip to Walmart more pleasant?
1. Stay calm and don't be nervousabout using your valid coupons in the manner in which they are meant to be used. You are doing nothing wrong and it makes me nuts when I see people say that they were humiliated by the cashier or manager. Couponing requires a stiff spine, especially at Walmart!
2. Don't even think about walking in to Walmart without a copy of the Walmart Coupon Policy in your coupon binder or your purse. Their policy clearly states that they accept Internet Printable coupons as well as the fact that coupons will be adjusted down if the value of the coupon exceeds the purchase price (the 2 biggest causes of coupon problems at Walmart). Unlike may grocery store chains, Walmart does not give their managers the power to override the corporate Coupon Policy. I have had problems at Walmart in the past and most times just showing the cashier the coupon policy was enough to resolve the problem (and in one case, the cashier even asked if she could keep it because she didn't know they had an official policy…..lovely!)
3. Know right now that there wasn't “a memo that came out yesterday” that said that they were no longer going to accept Internet Coupons. People have been hearing that line for a long time and yet the coupon policy has remained unchanged. If you hear that line – ask them to show you the memo. If it “just came out yesterday”, they should be able to find it in about 10 seconds. Any longer and they are in the back furiously scribbling one out. Call Shenanigans!
4. If your cashier still refuses to honor your valid coupons, ask to speak to a manager. Oftentimes they are far more educated on coupons than the cashiers.
5. If the manager still won't abide by the Walmart Coupon Policy, whip out your cell phone (if it is a weekday) and nicely say “Well – let's clear this up right now. It's 1-800-WAL-MART, right?”. Two things might happen when you do this…either the manager will finally realize that you can't be pushed around and let your coupons go through…or you will get the pleasure of watching the managers face as corporate tells them to take the coupons. (Note: if it is a weekend you may have to wait until Monday)
6. If all your attempts fail, calmly ask them to take the items off your bill(unless it is an item that you absolutely need to have that day or the next). Yes – it is going to annoy the cashier by creating work for them….but the extra work that they have is because they aren't abiding by the Walmart Coupon Policy. This falls squarely in the area of “Not My Problem”.
7. Lastly – keep your cool. Don't threaten to never shop there again unless you truly intend to never step foot in that store again (which is not an option for many people). The minute you turn in to “Screaming Crazy Person”, any credibility you had is gone!
What are your tips for shopping at Walmart?