Coupon Nazis

Aside from rising prices at the supermarket I have noticed an increased surveillance of manufacturer’s coupons ( see previous post ) . Now one is subjected to a scrutiny of coupons at checkout which rivals that of the Florida election workers looking for chards during the Bush - Gore recount in 2000. The checkout clerks have morphed into Coupon Nazis. Apparently coupons have fine print, lots of fine print! If one has not read all the fine print with a magnifying glass they risk being brought up short by the Gestapo. A public lecture follows with the implication that the coupon passer is engaged in some sort of scam.

It is commonly assumed that a coupon applies to a single item. Bad assumption. Read the fine print and you will find that some coupons will require the purchase of two products. Gotcha! Save fifty cents and get two packages when you only need one. By far what irks the Coupon Nazi the most is a coupon that has expired. Most of the time an expiration date is prominently displayed but the trend is toward burying it in the fine print. Other than to annoy the customer I’m not sure what this accomplishes. Then there are the pictures on the coupon of the product the coupon applies to. Of course in some cases it is difficult to make out and a guess results. The most conscientious Coupon Nazis will go through your items that have been already checked out in order to assure herself or himself that you bought the right product. I said herself or himself only to be politically correct but I must admit the himself’s rarely question coupons. They are too lazy to make good Coupon Nazis.

Remember this, if your coupon backfires be sure you are Mirandized before submitting to any questioning by the Gestapo. Better yet it is best to get in a line that includes a lawyer willing to represent you pro bono in case you are accosted during checkout.

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