An Encounter with a Rude Cashier

It’s happened to all of us. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, then it will.

An encounter with a rude cashier.

It usually happens when you least expect it.  The cashier was so nice to the previous customer.  Little did you know that the cashier has harbored a secret hate for coupons for years.

You casually hide your coupons in your purse until the calculated moment.

You whip out your coupon stash and the cashier rolls her eyes and begins muttering under her breath.

So, it begins.

They scan the coupon.  You hear the dreaded “beep”.

“You have to buy what’s in the picture.”

“You can’t use this coupon on a trial size.”

“You can’t get the item free.”

“We don’t take printable coupons.”

Your face turns red. Your eyes tear up. You stutter and mumble that you can indeed use the coupon.

In the end you take your rejected coupons back, pay for the rest of your purchase, and make a hurried exit.

You stew on the drive home.  You mutter to yourself.

“I should have said this…”

“I should have asked to speak to a manager.”

“I should have spoken up.”

“I will never shop at that store again!”

Perhaps you send an angry email to corporate once you get home.

You read about an awesome cereal deal at that store a few weeks later and your vow never to return fades from your memory….

Has it happened to you yet?

You can read my tips for dealing with not-so-friendly cashiers over at Money Saving Mom today.


  1. I’ve recently had an experience at HM with a rude cashier, my mom and I had gone to buy a couple of pairs of pants, and I had a coupon to use on my phone, however the coupon did not work in time and we paid full price. Just as we got our receipt, the coupon worked. I understand that it was against store policy to return the items and repurchase, so we just left. However, as we were leaving, we saw a pair of pants that my mother had wanted more than the ones we had bought. My mother had to leave, so she asked me if I could return the ones we’d just bought and buy these ones instead. I went to the checkout, returned the pants, and then bought the other ones. I tried to use the coupon, but the cashier said “I can’t use the coupon because these are the exact same pair of pants you just returned.” I asked her to look at the pants, and they were similar, but not exactly the same. There was a price difference of about 5 dollars as well too! She stood there bickering with me for about 3 minutes about how she could not use the coupon and eventually gave up. She rolled her eyes at me and was just so rude about it. She accused me of lying, when CLEARLY I could prove that they were NOT the same pants. It was a completely different transaction and just so uncalled for! I’m never rude to cashiers, I understand that they are people as well, but accusing someone of lying and humiliating them in front of others is just ridiculous. Haven’t had any desire to go into that HM lately because of that experience.


  2. Im a cashier, and I know some other cashiers can be really rude. I know what everyone is talking about. I have had them, the ones that cannot even say hello or thank you, or even give some type of grin. Down right disrespectful. That is why I always try to be nice to everyone I meet during the day, because I never know what kind of day they might have had, whether it be with their boss or anyone else. I try to just be as polite as I can because I know thats how I would want to be treated.


  3. The store I have most trouble with is Walgreens! The sale items are NEVER in stock and they told me that with raincheck items they don’t honor the RR’s.What? Your store does not have the items! They are so rude and at least three other people I know have had to go back in because their RR’s did not print.


  4. Ha! This isn’t about a rude cashier, but what happened at Walgreen’s this week.

    I asked where the new coupon books were, since the September book coupons had expired, and there were several deals I wanted to do using the new coupons in the October book.

    The cashier told me, “Oh, we don’t put those out yet.”

    I said, “Okay, I thought since the coupons were valid on Sunday the 26th the coupons would be out and available.”

    She told me it wasn’t October yet, and they couldn’t put them out.


    It’s so funny, too, because all over the store it advertised the “coupon savings” on the price tags, yet none of the coupons could be used for those savings… I guess because it wasn’t October????

    Another funny, was a lady checking out in front of me asked for a rain check on the Equal that was on sale. The cashier just leaves the checkout without a workd (I assume to go look for the Equal), comes back empty-handed, calls her manager (who also didn’t act like HE knew what was going on!), and proceeds to unhappily write out a rain check. The poor lady had no idea what all of the commotion was about… she just wanted her Equal!

    When she asked what the problem was, the cashier told her that she may never get that Equal, because their store doesn’t get every item that is on sale in the ad. The cashier went on to say she didn’t know why they advertised all of that stuff when their store doesn’t get half of it in.

    Soooo bizarre! Every time I go to that Wags, no one ever knows what is going on!


    • @Amy, Wow, sounds like Walgreens really needs to get their act together!

      And I know what you mean about the products advertised not being in stock – they recently advertised Gain dish soap but I have yet to see even a spot on the shelf for it at any Walgreens I’ve been to! Crazy!


  5. I think you have to have a thick skin to coupon. It always helps to know the store’s corporate coupon policy better than the cashiers do. I also try to size up the cashiers & pick the one I think would be the most coupon friendly. As for other customers, when I get in line I make sure that my coupons are visible to them so they can choose another checkout line. As for rude people, keep it in perspective — thankfully you don’t have to go home to them! Bottom line — it’s your money — you can choose to spend it elsewhere.

    Stephanie — thanks for a great site! 🙂


  6. UNBELIEVABLE! Don’t the stores get reimbursed for their coupons? They are making sales, so you’d think they’d welcome us AND our coupons!


  7. Last month I had a cashier at Walmart tell me she wouldn’t check me out because I had coupons and she didn’t feel like “dealing with it.” So I took my stuff up to customer service and explained and they defended her. Then, they went on to check me out but told me I couldn’t use my coupons because I was “getting too good of a deal,” and they “weren’t going to let me get away with it.” I wasn’t using any free coupons, nor was I buying more than two of any item. We were getting ready to move so I wasn’t stockpiling, just trying to get some groceries for the week. I was so embarrassed I just left. I called corporate when I got home and they apologize and said they would “Re-educate” that store. Needless to say I never went back. It took me a couple of days to get up courage to go anywhere, because they made me feel like I was doing something wrong.


  8. I JUST had a nasty cashier at Kroger. She said she could only double or triple ONE coupon. I calmly read her the policy taped to the counter that said “One coupon per LIKE ITEM”. She got a manager on the phone and said “He said just to give it to you” in the snottiest way and then didn’t say another word. I politely told her thank you and left.

    I had a nasty customer behind me at Randall’s a couple of months ago. I apologized that the coupons made it take longer and he kept saying, “I’ll give you the @$%# 50 cents! Just get going!” UGH! I apologized again and said I was trying to feed my family on a budget. I would have liked to make some snarky comments, but I refrained!


  9. I’m thankful for grocery stores that have self check-out, and I use self check-out whenever possible. Whenever I’ve had coupons that “beeped”, most of the time the self check-out cashier pushed them through without any hassles. The very few times that they refused to do that, I simply asked them to remove the item(s) from my purchase.


  10. Yep… a muggy-faced woman at Walgreens! If I go into that store and she’s at the register, I turn around and leave. I only checked out with her once and I’ll never do it again. She oogled my coupons, read all the fine print (out loud), asked me several times if I made “photo copies” of my printable coupons (with that “look” on her face like she didn’t believe me), insisted that I should never cut out my printable coupons, said I couldn’t use a coupon because it was going to make an item free, and finally called her manager over because she claimed she needed “approval” on those “copied” coupons. I had to keep apologizing to the man behind me in line — I was so embarrassed and so angry! The manager approved EVERYTHING and I got my savings but GRRRRR…


  11. I have been really lucky in my first month of extreme couponing. I tend to try and choose young adult cashiers and I have the leisure to be able to shop during non-busy times. This past week I had a couple of cashiers that just kept staring at my receipt and asking me questions about how they could save money too. I suppose living in the South, folks are a bit more patient around here.

    I spent a few years on the other side of the register and I learned a lot about kindness from customers. I am polite and upfront. I assume if the clerk gives me attitude, someone or something has wrecked their day. I don’t want to make it worse, but I’m not going to take that baggage on board.

    I don’t hide my coupons. I state at the beginning “and I have about X number of coupons today and my own bags.” If a clerk gives me a hard time, I stop them and apologize for the inconvenience. If they continue to give me a difficult time, I simply find the items they are contesting, ask for the coupons back and ask them to remove the items from my total.

    If it’s a deal I can’t pass up, I drop my bags at the car (I keep a cooler in the trunk for refrigerator items) and run back in. That time I go to the customer service desk and explain there was an issue. It takes time, patience and a thick skin, but the savings are worth it.


    • @Teresa, I don’t usually hide my coupons, but a lot of beginners do because of uneasiness and unfamiliarity with couponing. However, I don’t think it is wrong – I don’t typically wave my cash around before it’s time to pay so I don’t think it should be necessary to do so with coupons either! lol


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