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The Manager Doesn't Understand Target's Coupon Policy

Posted Tue March 20, 2012 12:00 pm, by R. Griffin T. written to Target

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I am a long-time loyal customer of Target. I have been shopping at Target almost exclusively for all of my household needs for as long as I can remember. I shop at Target for toiletries, clothing, housewares and even my groceries. I visit my local Target 2-3 times a week and purchase an average of $40 or more each visit. I spend on average over $5,000 a year at Target. After my interaction with the manager today though, I may never return.

I was checking out with an order of around $50.00 worth of items. I had one $2.00 off manufacturers coupon for Land-O-Lakes butter. The butter was on sale for $1.99. The cashier called over the manager because she did not know what to do. The manager, Nick F., looked at the coupon and the butter and then said, "I'm sorry. We can't take this coupon. The coupon is for $2.00 off and the item only costs $1.99." I told him I was fine with him just taking $1.99 off the total. He replied "No. You cannot use your coupon because the item is on sale." I asked if there was anyone else I could speak to because I believe they had to honor my manufacturers coupon. Nick F. stated that he was the only one in the store with any authority and repeated that he would not accept my coupon. He then said "If you have a problem with it, call our corporate office." Therefore, I decided to call the corporate office from my cell phone while in the checkout line. Unfortunately, I was on hold for 20 minutes with the corporate office. After waiting on hold for so long, I hung up the phone. I then left the store without purchasing any of my items because I was so furious at not only the refusal to take my coupon, but the rude manager that had zero customer service skills.

I would like Target to better train their staff on standard coupon policies and basic customer service. If a customer is presenting a valid manufacturer's coupon for an item that they are purchasing, there should be no issue accepting the coupon. I would also like this particular manager to offer me a formal apology and be required to go through some extensive customer service training. This manager kept me in line arguing with him over a penny for over 30 minutes. Even if I was wrong, which I don't believe I was, most managers at any other store would accept the coupon to make the customer happy, especially since the store will no doubt be able to get reimbursed for the coupon. That is just plain good customer service.


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by t n. Posted Sun May 20, 2012 @ 9:07 PM

That's when I pocket the coupon and either use it later or use it
somewhere else.


by Michelle O. Posted Sat March 24, 2012 @ 12:46 PM

I rarely use coupons. I don't spend the time to clip and organize
them and I sometimes become impatient when I am behind a big time
coupon user in line.

However, even I knew that she should have been able to use this

And yes, in some cases "no" DOES equal rude. This is one of those
cases. The reason is that he had no business saying no in the first
place. He isn't an owner, he is a manager. He is expected to be
informed of policies and use good judgement. This was clearly no
someone trying to scam the store and if he was willing to let her
stand there for that long, he had plenty of time to go look up his
companies policy or make a phone call and confirm that he understood

He blew it and probably lost this customer over 2 bucks.

I wouldn't have spent the time she did, but no matter how any of us
view that, she is 100% correct in her complaint.

She is due the coupon, if she makes her purchase.

She should get an apology, although it should suffice to come from the
company, not from him.

He does need additional training.

And while her purchase history is irrelevant, I don't thik she is
wrong to bring it up - we all know how much effort Target puts into
tracking our history to better market to us, so why not point out yojr

And lastly, she didn't ask for any special treatment - she asked that
they follow their own policy. She should not have to educate them on
what it is.


why by andbran Sat March 24, 2012 @ 1:56 PM

because by Michelle O. Sat March 24, 2012 @ 2:13 PM

Because... by jeishere Wed March 28, 2012 @ 4:55 PM

Great post! by RedheadwGlasses Sun March 25, 2012 @ 6:48 PM

Technically he was the manager and does have final say AT THAT TIME by McJohn Mon March 26, 2012 @ 1:29 PM

sorry, no by Michelle O. Tue April 10, 2012 @ 10:59 AM

Right or Wrong Doesnt matter at the time by McJohn Tue April 17, 2012 @ 8:55 AM

by Michael C. Posted Thu March 22, 2012 @ 9:48 AM

They should have taken it if it's a Manufacturer's Coupon....since the
manufacturer reimburses the store for that amount. Target is out
nothing by accepting the coupon. I've actually redeemed coupons where
the store ended up paying ME for the item if it was on sale and the
coupon took it below zero.

The only caviate should be if the coupon read it was not able to be
combined with other discounts and/or sales. Otherwise, contact the
coupon maker and tell them Target refused it.


by Irving Patrick Freleigh Posted Wed March 21, 2012 @ 4:31 PM

Letter writer's complaint may have been valid, but this letter
reflects more on them than on Target.

Specifically, it shows the letter writer values their time so little
they're willing to hold up a checkout line for half an hour,
frustrating and inconveniencing other customers, over a buck


It's not the money it's the principle by The Original Nethead Wed March 21, 2012 @ 4:43 PM

When people say "it's not the money, it's the prinicple..." by Irving Patrick Freleigh Wed March 21, 2012 @ 7:38 PM

One more argument to buy local by The Original Nethead Wed March 21, 2012 @ 10:07 PM

Not true by jeishere Thu March 22, 2012 @ 9:07 AM

unions don't always mean better service by PepperElf Thu March 22, 2012 @ 9:22 AM

PepperElf is right by Jared C. Thu March 22, 2012 @ 4:23 PM

No doubt by Back_n_TX Fri March 23, 2012 @ 9:51 AM

And I've seen non-union employees do the same thing... by Kitty K. Fri March 23, 2012 @ 9:26 PM

And I experienced the opposite.. by Harleycat Sat March 24, 2012 @ 4:47 PM

that may be because... by PepperElf Sat March 24, 2012 @ 7:40 PM

It's not the deli guy's job.. by Harleycat Sun March 25, 2012 @ 1:08 PM

Haha by Ben G. Sat March 24, 2012 @ 8:04 AM

You can laugh all you want.... by jeishere Mon March 26, 2012 @ 9:23 AM

To a small degree by Batman Tue April 17, 2012 @ 2:15 AM
by Back_n_TX Posted Wed March 21, 2012 @ 2:36 PM

I absolutely agree that the coupon should have been accepted. Almost
every retailer I know has the ability to mark the coupon down to the
actual price. It's kind of like a price adjustment.

At the end of the day, however, we're talking about $1.99. I'm not
sure it's worth the time of standing in line for 20 minutes on hold
with customer service, getting worked up into a lather, having to go
to another store and do the shopping, all over $1.99. I'd probably
have just said "keep the butter, I'll deal with it later," and bought
it on my next trip.


I agree... by fishbjc Fri March 30, 2012 @ 10:56 PM
by PlanetFeedback's Mr. Helpful Posted Wed March 21, 2012 @ 2:25 PM


There is nothing in it about not accepting coupons on sale items. In
fact, it does specifically reference coupons which exceed the price of
the item - the coupon amount may be reduced if it exceeds the price of
the item however it doesn't say the coupon will be declined.

While I'm not able to see the customer's original coupon, I did print
off another Land O Lakes butter coupon from their site and there is no
restriction on using them for sale items...only that one coupon per
item may be used.

Every indication is that the manager was wrong for saying no and the
customer was correct in calling him out for it. And, if by chance,
this store has it's own coupon policy which contradicts the company's
overall policy, kudos to the customer for bringing this to corporate's


UPDATE by PlanetFeedback's Mr. Helpful Wed March 21, 2012 @ 2:41 PM

by Jared C. Posted Wed March 21, 2012 @ 12:53 PM

I see absolutely nothing in your complaint to inducate that the
manager was rude to you.

So, you do NOT deserve a "formal apology" and the manager should NOT
be required to undergo extensive customer service training.


by RedheadwGlasses Posted Wed March 21, 2012 @ 12:37 PM

I agree with you. He should have taken $1.99 off your total bill.


I disagree - most store policies do not let you combine coupons or coupons + sale price by PepperElf Wed March 21, 2012 @ 1:34 PM

Wrong - ALL stores allow it. Sale plus coupon is the only way I buy anything by The Original Nethead Wed March 21, 2012 @ 4:37 PM

Sale price + coupons by jeishere Wed March 21, 2012 @ 6:31 PM

I disagree by RedheadwGlasses Wed March 21, 2012 @ 7:48 PM

i've seen it - "cannot be combined with other sales" or coupons etc n/t by PepperElf Thu March 22, 2012 @ 9:23 AM

That's usually with a store or other kind of coupon... by jeishere Thu March 22, 2012 @ 3:13 PM

You can also combine store coupons and manufacturer's coupons just about anywhere by The Original Nethead Wed March 21, 2012 @ 4:45 PM

by PepperElf Posted Wed March 21, 2012 @ 12:06 PM

on managing to put all the classic lines into one letter...

- claiming that no=rude
- that the employees need 'training'
- apology demand
- blaming the staff for the OP's own decisions on arguing.
- letting them know just how much she spends / loyal customer
- make me the exception to your policy

the only things missing are... demanding freebies and threatening to
get everyone they know to boycott the store.


And she was a victim of a bait and switch...n/t by McJohn Wed March 21, 2012 @ 1:05 PM

by PepperElf Posted Wed March 21, 2012 @ 11:50 AM

It is NOT RUDE to tell a customer "no".

You asked to be an exception to the rules and they told you "no".

You want them to be "better trained"... on what? They did their job
correctly. You can't combine coupons and sales.

And no... the manager did NOT keep you in line arguing. YOU kept
yourself in line arguing when you refused to accept being told "no".

You don't like the rules? Don't like not being the magic special
exception? This is not THEIR problem.

by E C. Posted Wed March 21, 2012 @ 11:29 AM

There is no requirement that any store HAS to take a coupon. They can
refuse if they wish.

Target is one of those stores that plays by their own rules when it
comes to coupons and why I don't use them for grocery shopping.
Honestly, they tend to be more expensive than my local grocery store
and even Aldi or Save A Lot.


by MA Bellamy Posted Wed March 21, 2012 @ 10:03 AM

OK, that right there? I have a MAJOR problem with that.

If you are wrong, or even if you SUSPECT you might be and are
requesting something outside what is accepted by the store, where do
you come to the conclusion that by virtue of your "customer" status
that you should be permitted to violate said rules and be granted your
request just to "make you happy?"

I hate to say, even though it WAS just a penny, the entitled attitude
and presumptive nature of the request ("since the store will no doubt
be able to get reimbursed for the coupon") would have put me off
immediately too if I were that manager.

So if the manager can be subjected to "customer service training" can
bad customers be subjected to "customer appropriateness" training?


by Steve OH (IO) Posted Wed March 21, 2012 @ 9:57 AM

Umm, no. YOU kept you in line arguing over a penny for over 30
minutes. He told you he couldn't accept the coupon, but you wouldn't
accept his answer. I wouldn't think to try and use a coupon on a sale
item. If I did but they turned me down, I would understand why. You
owe him a formal apology. Good customer service doesn't mean a
company has to fold every time a customer wants to argue (even though
that customer admits they may be wrong). If that's how you usually
conduct yourself, I wouldn't make much effort to keep you as a


by McJohn Posted Wed March 21, 2012 @ 9:02 AM

I know quite a few places that wont accept coupons for either
a) items already on sale
b) if the coupon makes it so the store owes you money

I tried using a $2.50 off coupon for body wash while they were buy one
get one and the store wouldnt let me because it would have cost me
$1.00 for 2

Lowes wont take a coupon if they cant scan it.

I dont think the manager was rude, he stated policy. You wanted to
argue, and stand there blocking a line for 20 minutes (your lucky I
wasnt behind you, or stuck in another line while you held up a
register then you would have seen rude).

by andbran Posted Wed March 21, 2012 @ 1:59 AM

i think you overreacting over a 2.00 coupon. i also have been shopping
at Target for over 30 years. there have been a few problems with
coupons but not to the point of not returning. if they can't take it
so what? the world does go on. i use coupons and i even stack them. i
blame the extreme couponers anyway. they are the ones ruining it for
everyone else. take into consideration every manager is different. the
bottom line is get over it life is too short to quibble over a piece
of paper.


by Harleycat Posted Tue March 20, 2012 @ 11:47 PM

This might have something to do with Land O Lakes also. I know their
coupons say "do not double. They do have other restrictions and one
may well be that you can not use the coupon if the item cost less then
the coupon amount,


Hmmmm by fishbjc Mon April 30, 2012 @ 9:47 AM

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