Couponing Etiquette Series: Scenario # 1 The Grumpy Cashier

Instead of giving you a big list of dos and don’ts in this series, I thought it would be more fitting to give some scenarios.  Places that you might find yourself in while you coupon and offer tips on proper etiquette in these situations.

Scenario #1:

The Grumpy Cashier

Cathy has completed her shopping for the day and steers her full cart to the check stand.  As she begins loading her items onto the conveyor belt she notices that her cashier looks at her load and sighs, finishing up with her current customer.  The cashier thanks the customer in a flat voice and proceeds to begin ringing through Cathy’s order.  Cathy politely lets her know that there will be multiple transactions as well as coupons with each order.  The cashier’s eye roll is not missed by Cathy as she pulls her coupon binder out and asks the cashier if she would like the coupons at the beginning or the end.  In a somewhat snippy tone, the cashier responds that she would take the coupons now so that she can match each coupon with each product.  Cathy looks up and realizes that this is going to be a longer trip than she expected, hands over her coupons, and finishes separating her items.  30 minutes later the cashier has completed the transactions and proceeds to ring out the next customer, when Cathy notices an error in her receipt.  She is missing a $5 instant reward for purchasing select items that she has on her list.  When she points this out to the cashier, she rudely tells her that she has saved over $30 on her transaction and is it really worth doing the whole thing over?

While your scenario might not play out exactly like Cathy’s, you may run into a grumpy cashier from time to time.


  •    If the option is available … choose your cashier.  I find that scouting a cashier with a smile and who looks happy to be at work that day can be helpful. 
  •    Even if the cashier doesn’t greet you, make sure that you are friendly in greeting them.  Strike up small conversation (while keeping a close eye on your transaction, of course) :).  Make a guessing game out of how much you are going to save.
  •    If possible take your receipt to customer service to have them do a refund for you, chances are they are going to be less harried.
  •    If there is someone behind you with only a few items and you know that your purchase is going to take a while, then let them go ahead of you.  You’ll get less angry looks from others in line. Also try to avoid peak hours at the stores where you shop.
  •   If a cashier is blatantly rude to you then pay attention to what their name is and go to the customer service desk and ask for a manager.  Report their behavior and if the manager won’t listen then give your feedback to customer service at the corporate level via the store’s website. It is important for the stores training purposes that they are notified when someone isn’t doing their job properly, so they can work to correct the behavior.
  •   Make sure that your attitude reflects how you want to be treated.  Try not to do your coupon shopping if you are in a hurry or stressed out. If you, yourself, are grumpy then it might set the tone for your whole interaction with the cashier.  Remember you are saving money, so smile. 🙂

One thought on “Couponing Etiquette Series: Scenario # 1 The Grumpy Cashier

  1. Pingback: The art of checkout lines |

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