How To Handle Cashiers That Won’t Accept Your Coupons

What To Do When Cashiers Won’t Accept Your Coupons

Cashiers Won't Take Coupons

You’ve been planning this shopping trip all week. You received your flyers, saw the great deals, pulled your coupons and were prepared to bring home a ton of stuff for very little money.

Then, when sale day comes along, you head to the store and happily toss items into your cart. You finish shopping and head to a cashier to checkout – and that’s when it all goes downhill. The cashier refuses to take your coupons.

Here’s how to handle cashiers that won’t accept your coupons:

I can’t accept this coupon because it’s for $2 and the item is only $1.79.

Depending on where you are shopping, tell the cashier to just adjust the coupon to the price of the item (be sure to view the store coupon policy first to make sure they allow this).

If you’re shopping at Walmart or Giant Tiger, their coupon policies state that the cashier is to put in the full value of the coupon, regardless of how much the item costs.

I can’t accept more than 1 of this coupon because it says “1 per purchase”.

Tell your cashier that 1 per purchase, means 1 coupon per item, not 1 per transaction. Point to your 1 item and say “THIS is a purchase” and then point to the rest of your items and say “THIS is a transaction”.

That usually works for me.

I can’t accept this coupon because it’s in French.

Tell your cashier that Canada is a bilingual country and French coupons should be accepted everywhere in Canada.

If possible, bring the exact same coupon in English so they can compare the two and understand what the French one says.

I can’t accept this coupon because it’s photocopied/printed.

If it’s a photocopy, then the cashier is right. Photocopied coupons are illegal. If it’s a printed coupon, you will want to make sure that the store does in fact accept printed coupons by reading their coupon policy before you go shopping.

If they do accept printed coupons and your cashier tries to tell you otherwise, show them the coupon policy.

I can’t accept this coupon because the item is already on sale/you price matched it, and it says “cannot be combined with any other offer”.

Tell your cashier that “any other offer” refers to any other coupon. More than 1 coupon is considered stacking and you can’t do that in Canada, except at select London Drugs & Save on Foods stores.

Having a cashier deny your coupons, for any reason, can be frustrating. Unfortunately, some stores do not train their employees very well in regards to coupons, and that’s why we sometimes run into problems.

When you have a cashier that won’t accept your coupons, if the above scenarios do not work for you and you feel it is worth your time to speak to a supervisor – ask to speak to one. Explain the issue to them and if they say the same thing that the cashier did, that’s when you ask for a manager.

Most store managers just want to make you happy and will do whatever they can to fix the problem. However, there are some managers that are also not well trained in couponing. If you have problems with the manager too, ask for their name (don’t forget the cashier and supervisor’s names, as well), store number and then tell them you will be calling head office about the issue.

The important thing to remember is to always be polite and stay as calm as possible. As the saying goes, “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar”.

What do you do when a cashier won’t accept your coupons?

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  1. Aly says:

    Scanning code of practice thats when the customers gets greedy…do u know where those get deducted from?? From our yearly bonus. we worked had and get nothing.

  2. Lynne says:

    I love the scanning code of practice! FINALLY a code that protects the consumer and if the stores don’t know how to train their employees probably to price items as indicated, then the consumer should receive what they are told the price would be on the shelf. I have saved more than $250 because of this practice and the grocery store I shop at not only tries to scam consumers with their shelf prices, but also their weighted produce! How many consumers think they’re buying something at a price per pound, go to the cash and pay a price per kg only to find out that the two do not match and the consumer is paying through the roof for this practice? I called their head office and launched a major complaint, but in the end, I won! Lots of savings in my pocket and if this practice is taken out of the employee’s bonuses, don’t blame us, blame your employer for bad business practices!

  3. SeriousSally says:

    I think the Scanning Code of Practice is a fair deal to customers, not customers being greedy. After all it’s a nice little reward for doing the retailer’s job. If I took the time to pick up a product that has a sale sign or a lower advertised price that’s incorrect the retailer should be thankful that a customer has pointed out the error their staff missed.

    BTW the SCOP is a voluntary program, not all retailers are obliged to participate, but for those who do they open themselves up to customer scrutiny and are obliged to honour it. So why wouldn’t a customer use this to their advantage?

  4. Karen says:

    I know about Scanning Code of Practice, but I have only ever had 3 opportunities to use it. Any tips to have as much success as you have had?

  5. JoAnne says:

    Price match at another store & use the coupon there; it is very unlikely you will run into another cashier that will not accept it.

  6. Olivia says:

    SCOP is a fair program to protect the consumer. I have had cashiers not familiar with it, then ask another cashier who also never heard about it. Finally, somebody down the line is knowledgeable enough.
    Retailers need to do their part. Even after giving the item free, many still don’t remove the shelf sticker, giving me the opportunity to do it again next time I’m in their store. Someone is not doing their job properly !!!!!

  7. says:

    Thank you for covering the most common complaints about couponing. I think people need to remember that some days you win- some days you lose- but the savings are always worth it!

  8. James says:

    Excuse me? Greedy? It’s a policy you’re expected to abide by. If you can’t be bothered to post the correct price on your shelves, don’t come online to whine about it and make up stories about where the money comes from.

  9. Christine says:

    Though Walmart coupon guidelines do state overage is given, when the coupon specifically forbids it (as is the case with the majority of P&G coupons that state “no cash or credit in excess of the shelf price may be given to the consumer or applied to the transaction”, Walmart Canada Head Office will tell you that when that wording is on the coupon, then the cashier should be adjusting the coupon value down to what the item is actually being sold for.

    So if a cashier makes that adjustment when that wording is on the coupon, the cashier is correct in doing so.

  10. L says:

    I can’t accept more than 1 of this coupon because it says “1 per purchase”.
    Tell your cashier that 1 per purchase, means 1 coupon per item, not 1 per transaction. Point to your 1 item and say “THIS is a purchase” and then point to the rest of your items and say “THIS is a transaction”.
    ^ Please do NOT speak to your cashier, or anyone over the age of 5 like this. It’s SO rude.

    I’m a cashier at a large chain grocery store, and I can confidently say if you treat your cashier like they’re an idiot, you should shop online. Being rude and condescending won’t get you anywhere.

  11. Cidalia says:

    Unfortunately, explaining the difference between a purchase and a transaction will get you nowhere at many stores. Apparently, No Frills (and basically Loblaws corporate) has decided to officially define a purchase as the entire transaction. I won’t shop in their stores anymore.

  12. Kevin says:

    The person that wrote this is not to bright is she? If there is a similar coupon in English why use the French one. Sounds to me like the person that made this post is six years old and still needs adult supervision when shopping

  13. Steve says:

    If your not finding many opportunities to use SCOP to your advantage that’s actually a good thing, it means the store (and it’s employees) are on top of things. And some retailers are better at updating there signage then others, where I live Real Canadian Superstore is particularly bad, your best chances for catching them is the day after a sale has ended and immediately after they’ve opened for the day. If you see employees walking around with carts full of tags and an inventory scanner this is usually a good sign that they haven’t adjusted all the prices yet.

  14. Chris says:

    A coupon completely in French was more than likely distributed to a province or area of the country where that language is the predominant language. Just because there are 2 official languages of the country does not mean a store must accept a coupon in either language.

    Since majority of coupon terms state a coupon cannot be transferred, sold, etc., a coupon put out in Quebec only, but being redeemed in British Columbia….well, sounds like the coupon terms have been broken right there.

  15. James says:

    And why should we “let it go”? If you feel so strongly about it, then take $2 out of your own pocket next time and give it to the customer. Sorry, but I won’t let something go just because a cashier is incompetent or feeling surly on a particular day.

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