Nov 01 2007

Walgreens employees are a little confused about coupons

At least, the Walgreens I go to.

I ended up getting two free boxes of tampons, but I had to work for it. I used this deal for the Playtex Sport.

The first coupon worked, brining the total for two boxes to $2.29. However, the second coupon (for $2.50) wouldn’t scan. Since the purchase price was less than the coupon, the machine didn’t know how to correct that.

Enter several confused Walgreens employees.

An employee came to help the cashier. She kept telling me that because the coupon stated “one coupon per purchase” that I could only use one coupon instead of two.

I calmly explained that actually, one purchase means one item. So, box #1 is a purchase, and box #2 is another purchase. I told her that if the coupon read “one coupon per transaction,” then that would mean I could only use one coupon.

She refused to see the light.

Fortunately, they called the assistant manager. She had no idea what to do, though. Then, they called the mangager. He didn’t come to the register, though I wish he did.

He told employee #2 to key in the coupon at $2.29. She did, and told me “He’s letting you do this” or whatever.

This is not doing me a favor. This is using a coupon correctly. The manufacturer will reimburse Walgreens $5 because I used those coupons. Even though, if I didn’t use coupons at all, Walgreens would only earn $4.79 (or whatever the price before coupons was).

So, I got my two boxes and didn’t have to pay out of pocket.

I’m going to write corporate headquarters for a copy of their coupon policy and to ask they send a copy to that store.

UPDATE: Crystal thinks she knows why I had a problem. I only bought two boxes, but if I bought something non-related for like $0.25 or so, to put my total at over $5 before coupons, that might have helped. Good to know! I’ll try that next time. I’m still waiting to hear from Walgreens corporate.

15 Responses to “Walgreens employees are a little confused about coupons”

  1. I’ve learned that you have to be persistent but polite. And don’t assume that everyone will see the logic. Thanks for the link to the playtex coupon. I’ve printed off a couple and will take it down tonight to use them.

  2. oh my word. i LOOOOOVE complaining to corporate about their employees.

  3. You are so brave. I’ve only been doing CVS and Walgreens for 2 weeks, and I’m apologetic when I hand a stack of 8 coupons to the cashier.

    I have a question: do you think I can return stuff if I used a coupon on it? I bought the wrong size item on a buy $20 get $10 ECB deal at CVS and didn’t get my ECB. Fortunately, it looks like it doesn’t all have to be purchased in one transaction. But now I want to return a couple of things and buy the right thing to get my ECB. The coupons were just taken off at the end, and when I return two things I would be getting back more than I paid oop. Have you ever done that?

  4. I have found that I fight Walgreens each time I go in, and it seems many other do as well. I think I may join you in that letter! Perhaps they are not training their associates properly. But any little glitch completely confuses them. I find it very embarassing to go through what you went through and hold up the lines, people sighing and rolling their eyes and Walgreens associates getting mad at me. And when they do fix it, they act as though they are just doing it this one time as a favor. I never did think of writin the company though. I have had lots of issues with their rebates as well. I’m sorry I am venting, but this got me upset all over again! If there were a closer CVS I would very rarely go to Walgreens!

  5. This happens to me all the time. I don’t understand why some cashiers don’t want to help, they just act irritated with me because it makes more work for them. Oh well…. They just don’t understand. In fact I get nervous when I go up to the cash register, because I’m using coupons. aargh!

  6. Make sure and read my comment on the Walgreens post on about this Kacie – I think I know why the computer wasn’t letting your coupons through. Since it’s Walgreens, I can’t say for sure, but it’s my best guess based upon my experiences there.

  7. Good for you for sticking to your guns. I always end up being too polite in situations like that and saying not to bother with it. But I’m also not as consistent with my frugalness, either.

  8. I wish I would have read this before I tried to do that deal. I ended up only using one of my $2.50 coupons. I didn’t have any arguing left in me after I had to insist that you could, in fact, use a store coupon plus a manufactured coupon on Dawn.

    Maybe I’ll write for a copy of their policies, too.

  9. Yeah, this Walgreens stuff is a little tricky, it seems.


    I think your returns depend on the individual store policy. You might ask to have a manager help you with your return; he or she is the most likely person in the store to understand coupon policy.

    I could be wrong, but the way I understand it is you should be able to return the item and get your money back. Whether they refund the full purchase price or deduct the coupon, I don’t know. The store will still get reimbursed for the coupon.

    I don’t know if you will get your CVS bucks back, if you used some for the purchase. My guess is no, but check with CVS corporate or the store manager.

    Your situation sounds a bit complicated. I wish I could help! Good luck

  10. I’ve found if I just stand there and continue to explain the same thing over and over … they will just key the coupon or call a manager to do it…. I think this is just to get me out of there :) but I’m ok with that… :)

  11. I tried to do the tampons deal as well, and they wouldn’t let me do it. They said that since it was a Buy One Get One Free Deal… that the computer rung it up as one priced for $4.79 and the second one priced for $0.00. So, the first $2.50 coupon scanned fine, but the second one wouldn’t scan- because as far as the computer was concerned, the second box of tampons was $0.00. :(

    I tried to explain it all to the cashier to see if he could manually type in the second coupon, but he was pretty unfriendly and wouldn’t budge(as most of them at that Walgreen’s store are)… so I just told him to cancel it. He probably was wondering why I made such a to-do about getting these tampons anyway since I’m 5-months pregnant. he he :)

  12. Just thought I’d throw my 2 cents in! I had something similar happen at Breuster’s IceCream this summer. I had two coupons and they said one coupon per PERSON! Well there were two people and they would not let me use both coupons. So I had them ring me up and then my husband separately. The silly thing was this COST them more money because they have to pay MASTERCARD or whoever every time they run a card. Plus the girl created more work for herself. Sheesh. I’m glad you were persistant though – you are so good at this stuff! I enjoy reading your blog – I wish we had an ALDI down here in the South!

  13. When they make a mistake they wont admit it instead they wont you to think they made you a favor by let you do it your way:) Maybe it works for some.

  14. It’s not that he wasnt being nice, as a walgreens employee I can tell you first hand that we are not allowed to key in coupons, he was doing his job.

  15. It’s simply the tax. I work at Walgreens as an Assistant Manager. Even if you would have bought a .25 cent item in addition it still wouldnt have worked. The register knows that the coupons where 5$ and the price of the items was only 4.79. Thats why the second coupon didnt work. On some coupons we can just hard key( thats what we call it) the 2.29.
    Its really is just up to the manager so basically be NICE. There is no official coupon policy if you get a nice cashier they will let you use multiple if you get a nasty cashier they wont. “One purchase” can mean a whole transaction or one item. The coupon company does this so that stores(Walmart, k-mart and so on) can set there own limits on the use of coupons they make the words “one purchase” ambiguous. If you look up the definition of purchase its very ambiguous.
    Its really just a gamble on what cashier and what Manager you get.
    On returns there is a basic policy but it changes from store to store. If the item is 5& and you use a 2 off coupon then a manager would give you 3 bucks back. We only give you what you acutally pay out of pocket. Coupons have no cash value. But you might get a stupid manager who dosent notice you used a coupon and you might get the full price back. It just matters on the manager.
    Hopefully I was able to help:)
    and fyi when people act mean to me I basically do whatever i know will piss them off.I deal with so many mean people that pissing one more person off wont matter to me. Also dont even bother complaining to corporate nothing happens. We just get an email at the store level and call the customer and apologize and if its bad enough they get a gift card but that hardly ever happens. I always secretly laugh under my breath when people threaten they will go to corporate. So just be nice and firm and you will mostly get your way.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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