I always get a little bit nervous when it comes to coupon scanning time at the checkout line. After all, I’ve already loaded up on purchases. Moreover, I’ve done so with the intention of saving a specific amount of money. I planned it all out, but if the coupons don’t work properly or there’s a problem with the coupon scanner, it could ruin my whole budget.

Before the clerk starts coupon scanning, I tend to inhale and hold breath. Usually, there’s not a problem. However, every now and then, something goes awry. Luckily, I know how to handle it now.

Plan Ahead to Avoid Coupon Scanning Problems

Usually, if a coupon isn’t scanning at the checkout then there is a good reason. It’s embarrassing, but I usually discover that it’s my own fault. For example, I’ve tried to double stack coupons at a store that doesn’t allow that practice. Or I’m using a store coupon at the wrong store. Or the coupon is expired. You can avoid all of these issues by paying close attention to what you’re doing before heading out to the grocery store. Here are some tips:

  • Know your store’s coupon policies.
  • Make sure that you’ve checked expiration dates.
  • Double-check that what you’re buying matches the coupon – brand, size, amount, etc.

Choose Your Coupon Sources Wisely

This is another key step in preparing properly for coupon use at the grocery store. You really need to make sure that the coupons you are using are legitimate in the first place. Unfortunately, fake coupons and coupon scams are all too common these days. Therefore, it’s important that you use good sources to get your coupons. Instead of printing coupons off of random sites, stick to high-quality well-recognized coupon sources. For example, use your favorite grocery store’s circulars, fliers, mailers, and apps to get coupons they’ll accept.

What to Do if There is Still a Problem

If you’ve planned accordingly, and you still encounter a coupon scanning problem, don’t panic. First, ask the cashier to double-check the coupon and see if they know why it’s not being accepted. Be friendly and non-defensive. Remember that the cashier is just doing their job. They don’t want to hold you up at the counter any more than you want to be there. Act as if you’re on the same team and you might be able to easily resolve the issue.

However, if that doesn’t work, then you have a few options. First, you can ask if the cashier can call over a manager. Sometimes the clerks just haven’t been trained well in the use of coupons, and someone with more experience can help. However, if you feel uncomfortable holding up the line, then you can finish the transaction and resolve the coupon issue later.

There are two choices for finishing the transaction. One is to go ahead and pay full price for the item. The other is to ask the cashier to remove that item from your shopping cart. In either case, get your receipt and get your coupon back. Then you have three choices for resolving the issue:

  • Speak to a store manager.
  • Go to the customer service counter in the store.
  • Contact customer service by phone or email after leaving the store.

A good course of action is to try the first two options while you are in the store. Then, if they don’t work, you can follow-up with corporate customer service when you get home.

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