Last week Carol and I went to the local Publix market to pick up a few items. We entered a check out aisle and noticed that the order ahead was about done. Then the woman handed the cashier a stack of coupons. The manufacturers coupons went quickly. Then I noticed that the cashier was scrolling through the screen looking for product purchased. After a good five minutes of watching this, I said to Carol, lets go. What about the stuff on the counter. Don't care, they can put it back. Nope we are not leaving. After another few minutes I went to the store manager and told him something was wrong. Either their computer system sucked or the cashier was poorly trained and I was leaving. I had noticed him watching and ignoring the problem until I spoke up. He immediately moved my stuff to the next aisle. The woman looked at me and said I don't care who I hold up, I'm getting $100.00 of free merchandise. I had no comment. Once home, I called the store manager and told him that my Rhode Island market had a much better computer system. He said the problem was that the internet coupons the lady printed off had no bar code. I asked him which customer was more important, one with a lot of free stuff or me who never uses coupons and lets you make a profit. The next day I was having lunch at the local restaurant and telling my story of aggravation. She laughted and opened the local paper ( I cancelled it after one too many times of finding it under the truck where I could not reach it) and showed me the ad for "couponing classes". Oh joy! Rocky the owners husband told me that when he worked second shift he joined a coupon club. One goal was to get $100.00 off an order. A second goal was to buy over $100 worth of merchandise and pay less than half of the total. Great! Carol and I decided to try the local Winn-Dixie. They have a great store, better looking meat and almost everything we wanted. When I got home I noticed that the register tape had a code and a web address for my comments. Also unlike Publix, Winn-Dixie has self check out aisles similar to Stop & Shop. I did fill out the questionnaire and then found Publix website and wrote them a long message with my experience and concerns and my recommendations. Three days later, A regional manager called me and we had a nice conversation. he told me that they needed to service all customers. My suggestions were:
Require all coupons to be given to the cashier before the checkout process begins. That way the cashier can determine if she should shut off her light and notify manager that another aisle should be opened.
Maybe if this coupon-ing become so prevalent that they should have coupon only aisles.
"No bar code no coupon".
He did tell me that some of what I recommended they had not thought of. I will still do some shopping at Publix, but the vast majority of our shopping will be done at Winn-Dixie. I think it is a better store and I can check myself out.