Dominick's responds to open letter...

491 replies [Last post]
Coupon Maven
Online
Joined: 07/02/2008
Doubling

Yes, we need to add "Using 2 like coupons is NOT 'coupon doubling'" to the list too... that's another one that comes up way too often.

I've tried to explain what double coupons really are and had cashiers say, incredulously, "there are stores that do that?"

latteo
Offline
Joined: 11/11/2008
Is this realistic??????

Jill,

You're amazing -- and I'm serious. I think that you are a very intelligent woman. I mean, the knowledge you have in so many different areas of saving money is just unbelievable. And then, there's the blog, and the classes, and the shopping, and the question answering, etc. -- and not mention, the fact that you have a family that you take care of.

I rarely shop at Dominick's because of all their ridiculous rules that I cannot keep up with. It's got to be simplified. I follow the rules; and so when there are just too many, it's not worth it to me.
So this is a good thing you're doing.

Here's my concern: I'm wondering if the below quoted paragraph is realistic with respect to a cashier having to verify every single printable coupon. Let's say, for e.g., I go through the line with 20 printable coupons. How much info would the cashier have to verify? I mean, there would have to be a very fast, simple method for this to work. Just thought I'd put that out there since you're in draft mode.

"As long as a cashier verifies that each printable has its own, unique print identifier, there shouldn't be an issue with using multiple printable coupons. The National Grocery Association has issued a document to assist cashiers in identifying legitimate Internet printables -- cashiers should be trained to know what to look for. Too many shoppers are being accused of coupon fraud or copying coupons, when they're simply trying to use the two coupons they legitimately printed... from Dominicks.com."

Thanks,
latteo

Coupon Maven
Online
Joined: 07/02/2008
Easy

In the case of two like printables (for the same product) -- all you'd need to do is look at both and see if the serial numbers are different. That's it. Takes all of a few seconds. If they're trying to avoid photocopies (as all stores are) it's very easy to look at the last few digits of that identifier, then flip to the next coupon & note that they're different. One of my favorite cashiers at my local Jewel does this on the fly -- you can watch and see that he's checking, but he makes no big fuss about it.

With regard to the coupon poster linked above, what I meant is that their cashiers need to become familiar (in TRAINING, that is) with what the 3 most common printables look like - Coupons Inc, SmartSource and eCentives. (Redplum prints via Coupons Inc so they look the same.) That poster shows where the identifiers are on those coupons and what to look for. I didn't mean comparing coupons to the poster every single time in the lane -- once a cashier knows what those 3 look like, they'd also know where the serial #s and identifiers are on each.

bhutch00
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2010
two like printables

I had the same issue tonight, about 3 hours ago -- the cashier accused me of photocopying! I pointed out that the serial numbers were different. She didn't care and was RUDE about it. Even the lady behind me was shocked at how she responded to me! The cashier told me it was written up online in the policy. Shame on me for not having a copy. When I came home and looked it up... sure enough... it was NOT in there!!! Where is the consistency! I guarantee... if I had picked a different line, I would get a different answer...

newbie2couponing
Offline
Joined: 11/05/2008
B1G1 free coupons with a B1G1 free sale

On the-rare-occasion that I have tried to use a B1G1 free Q combined with a B1G1 free sale at Dom's, more than one cashier (including the "CS" person) told me that they would input the value as HALF. For example-let's say the item is $1, B1G1 free. When they scan my Q & input the amount, they will ONLY put in .50, NOT $1. I have, successfully, done this very scenario at CVS, Wags, & Jewel and they ALL input the full amount ($1).

Thanks, Jill, for being our voice to Dom's about these issues!

clipsalot
Offline
Joined: 04/29/2009
Stacking

I was just told yesterday that they were fixing a glitch in the system so you could not use a coupon on an item that you had an ecoupon loaded on your card for. The cashier told me I would have to go to customer service to get any issues fixed. She looked at my receipt and saw 2 ecoupons come off for one product and said that should not have happened. Since it was only .50, she said she would let it go this one time. She would not take my one coupon, since an ecoupon already came off. I just said I no longer wanted that item. I would like to know if I would have to pay the store back for coupons loaded on my card, from different sites for the same item. Now I am paying them to use coupons?

sporush
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2010
For me, it's really the lack

For me, it's really the lack of education of the cashiers and managers about Dominicks coupon acceptance policies. I have had to fight and fight to get legitimate coupons accepted simply because the cashiers did not know the coupon policies.

Additionally, it seems that many cashiers and managers are anti-coupon and scrutinize every single coupon before even attempting to scan it-at Jewel, a coupon is scanned, and if it beeps, it is looked at. This environment of scrutinization serves to publicly embarrass the couponer.

Many times the staff at the store acts as if you are stealing from them because you have lowered your out of pocket expenditure by savvy coupon usage. As an example, a cashier once did not want to take my Kelloggs coupon for ANY Kelloggs cereal for Kelloggs corn flakes because there was no picture of the corn flakes on the coupon-even though the coupon clearly said ANY Kelloggs cereal. I had to request a manager's review-and even he was not nice about it.

I believe that Dominicks offers excellent deals for couponers-but my stomach is in knots every time I begin to check out because I don't know if I will be harassed for my coupons.

alleykat20
Offline
Joined: 10/20/2008
Chicago Store

I regularly shop at the Chicago/NW Side stores. I am actually happy to say that the stores in Chicago, especially store #1113 ROCKS. None of the cashiers really give me a hard time (I visit this store on average once a week). The CS up front SAM, really knows her stuff and stands up for the customer!

Bargain Babe
Offline
Joined: 11/10/2008
I'm a City Girl, Too

And have to respectfully disagree. I'll have to admit it's been MONTHS since I've stepped foot in any of their stores, so perhaps they've improved. I'm not willing to find out though.

abigayle21
Offline
Joined: 03/16/2009
Chicago

The one on Clyborn (Riverpoint) is ok for the most part. The one on Western and Roscoe is a no go for me. I have had too many bad experiences there. The most memorable is when I was accused of copying a coupon because it was in black and white. I explained that I don't used colored ink, she didn't care so I had the item removed from my order.

coupon gamer
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2009
Interesting

I find this interesting that this all happened today. I was at the GOOD Dominicks, Gurnee and overheard 3 very important looking employees talking, one was one of the managers and they other two just looked important. I heard the manager explaining to him all the multistacking stuff and when I got into the isle they were in they asked if I needed anything and then moved to another isle. I wish I could have listened better and gotten info or had stopped to talk to them. It sounds like they are really listening and making some changes. I hope it works to our advantage. Thanks Jill even though I have never had any issues with my awesome Gurnee store.

Coupon Maven
Online
Joined: 07/02/2008
First draft...

Okay, here's my list I'm working on for corp:

First and foremost -- Dominick's coupon policy needs to be available to shoppers and employees alike. Many people have heard "new rules" for coupons, asked to see the store's policy, and the employee will not share it or show it (probably because those rules are not actually in print.) All of Dominick's competitors locally will send you a complete copy of their policies if you email their customer service departments -- the same policy the store staff has. With Dominick's, you get the single-line policy:

The stores in your area have one set policy. We accept current and expired manufacturer coupon only.

That's IT -- and then a referral to the Dominick's online policy.

---------------------

Here's what I'd like to see addressed:

Printable coupons:

Dominick's locations are remarkably inconsistent as to their acceptance of internet printable coupons. The 2008 version of Dominick's coupon policy stated "We will not accept more than one "copy" of the same printable Internet coupon per customer." (Technically, no generated internet printables are the same -- they have unique serial numbers and identifiers, and all major coupon sites allow 2 prints per product coupon.)

This statement is no longer in their current coupon policy, yet many stores still adhere to it. This is confusing to shoppers, as you can print 2 of each coupon on Dominicks.com itself, but many stores won't let you buy 2 items and use 2 "like" printable coupons. The "2 like printable coupons" rule (which again, hasn't been part of the current policy for close to a year now) is also interpreted strangely at some stores, which won't let you use a Kellogg's printable and a General Mills' printable on two different boxes of cereal, using the convoluted logic that "they are both cereals" and therefore, "like items? Worse, some stores will only allow you to use one printable coupon PER TRANSACTION.

As long as a cashier verifies that each printable has its own, unique print identifier, there shouldn't be an issue with using multiple printable coupons. The National Grocery Association has issued a document to assist cashiers in identifying legitimate Internet printables -- cashiers should be trained to know what to look for. Too many shoppers are being accused of coupon fraud or copying coupons, when they're simply trying to use the two coupons they legitimately printed... from Dominicks.com.

Additionally, the restriction on using printable coupons for more than 50% of an item's value should be lifted. No other competing store in our area has such a restriction, and there have been numerous times shoppers print coupons FROM Dominicks.com, then are told in the store that they cannot use it, because their $0.75 coupon is more than half the price of the $1 item they're using it on. Why offer your shoppers coupons on your own site that they cannot use? Yet, if a shopper has a .75 from the newspaper inserts to buy the same $1 item with, that's fine -- according to the current policy.

The store is receiving the same .75 in redemption regardless of what kind of paper the coupon appears on or where it originated.

-----------------------

Expired coupons:

The fact that Dominick's accepts expired manufacturer coupons in our market gives them an edge over any other supermarket. But even that's confusing as well, because there is no guideline in the current policy to state -how- expired the coupons can be. 6 months? A year?

Consequently, the stores and cashiers determine this themselves. I've shopped at the same Dominick's store in the same week and had one cashier tell me it was one year - another said 30 days.

Along with this, what is the policy on expired printable manufacturer coupons? Some stores state that they will accept expired manufacturer coupons from thew newspaper inserts, but not Internet printables. Others will take them all. Again -- shoppers need to know what the rules are. Trust us, we'll play by them. We just need to know what they are.

-----------------------

Catalina coupons:

Dominick's current policy does not officially address Catalina coupons (which print at the register.) Competitors Jewel and Meijer will take Catalina coupons from other retailers (i.e. a Catalina with the Dominick's logo on it can be used at Meijer) as long as it is a MANUFACTURER coupon, which they will be reimbursed for. Most Dominick's stores typically will take a Jewel manufacturer Catalina, but some locations won't. What is the policy?

Additionally, how many Catalina coupons can be used per transaction (per shopping trip?) Within the past two months, many Dominick's locations have adopted a rule that you can only use one Catalina coupon per transaction. This is incredibly frustrating for shoppers. I have experienced firsthand trying to use three Catalina manufacturer coupons (with Dominick's logo on them, which originated in the same store) and have been told no, I can only use one per transaction -- even though on my previous shopping trip, ALL THREE coupons were printed by the Catalina machine. I asked for a manager, and she told me I had to split my entire order into three separate transactions on the belt - ringing the groceries up in three groups and paying THREE times.

(The manager told me ringing things up this way would "reduce fraud." How, exactly? What difference does it make if I use 3 coupons in one trip, or split 3 transactions on the belt, taking much more time for everyone in line?)

This is ridiculous -- competitors Jewel and Meijer will take as many Catalina-printed coupons as a shopper has items for.

------------------------

Manufacturer coupons with other store logos

This is similar to the Catalina issue above -- a manufacturer coupon IS a manufacturer coupon, regardless of whether a store's logo or name appears on it. Target offers printable manufacturer coupons on their site, in addition to their own store coupons. A coupon for Kellogg's cereal, issued by Kellogg's and redeemable to Kelloggs, but also has a Target logo on it, currently causes a lot of confusion at Dominicks. Competitor stores (again, Jewel, Meijer) will accept these coupons without a problem, again, as long as they're Manufacturer coupons.

------------------------

Overage:

Coupons with overage (where the value of the coupon exceeds the cost of the item) are also handled inconsistently at Dominick's. If a shopper is trying to buy a .99 item with a $1 coupon, some cashiers are aware that they can "key down" the value of the coupon to match the cost of the item.

But many cashiers will hand the coupon back and say that they cannot accept it at all - untrue. Jewel's registers will automatically scan that coupon, including the .01 in overage. Target's coupon policy specifically addresses overage for the cashier and the shopper, saying "Coupon amount may be reduced if it exceeds the value of the item after other discounts or coupons are applied" -- they have the option to either put it through at full value, or key it down to match the price of the item. Dominick's needs a similar statement, as too often, a cashier will not accept the coupon at all.

-------------------------

General coupon education & customer service:

At Dominick's more than any other store in our market, the cashiers need to understand that we, as coupon shoppers, are not trying to "rip off" the store. The store is being reimbursed for all unexpired Manufacturer coupons a shopper uses. Insults and derogatory comments are not necessary and have a severe, negtive impact on shoppers returning to Dominick's. I have had a manager tell me that they "don't get reimbursed for internet coupons" as a reason that he didn't want to accept them -- untrue. The redemption rate is the same on a printable as on a coupon from the newspaper.

Comments like "you've used enough coupons today" or "I'm choosing to only accepting one of your coupons today" are ridiculous, and yet I've heard both of those firsthand. How many other people have? It should not be up to the cashier to decide how many coupons a shopper is allowed to use, if their coupons are legitimate and they are using them on the correct items, in the correct way.

Cashiers need to be trained on the difference between a purchase and a transaction. Most manufacturer coupons' terms are "limit one coupon per item purchased." Some cashiers interpret this as "one coupon PER TRANSACTION" and will not let you use 5 juice coupons on 5 bottles of juice. Again, as long as the terms of the coupon are being followed by the customer, a cashier should not be able to decide how many coupons a shopper uses.

Along with this, Dominick's cashiers are adamant about "if it beeps, we cannot accept it." Many legitimate coupons "beep" for cashier intervention. Any Free or Buy One, Get One Free coupon will beep for the cashier to manually input the price of that item -- but some cashiers will hand it right back to you, saying, "If it beeps, I can't take it. I'll get in trouble." I have even had a Dominick's cashier hand a DOMINICK'S STORE COUPON from the current flyer back to me when it didn't scan correctly. Common sense is key here -- legitimate coupons should be accepted.

Bargain Babe
Offline
Joined: 11/10/2008
Echo

Echoing what both you and Rachel (below) have said, that 50% of an item's value rule is absolute insanity. It's caused me to walk out of the store without a purchase more than once - and has now resulted in me not going in at all (one of many reasons.)

Another take on this? The same 75 cent coupon used in your example CAN'T be used on a $1.00 item on Wednesday (for example,) but that same coupon CAN be used on the same exact product on Thursday when the item goes back to the regular price of $1.75. Why? The COUPON HASN'T CHANGED. How can it be unacceptable one day but acceptable literally the next day?

Were ALL the execs asleep during class in business school??

(BTW, the figures used in this example are for illustration purposes only. I don't think Dom's offers such crazy, deep discounts of 75 cents off an item regularly priced $1.75 during their "sales" - but I could be wrong.)

mashupmom
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2010
Inconsistency!

Love it! My biggest peeve is the inconsistency. I know what to expect at Jewel, and if there's a problem it can be cleared up with a call to corporate. At Dominick's it varies from store to store, cashier to cashier, day to day, and if you talk to corporate, they tell you to talk to the store manager.

A few more off the top of my head...

- You can only now use one on-your-next-order Catalina per transaction -- ridiculous! When I had a bunch of the $1.00 ones from ICBINB, they told me to split up my orders, so... I took them to Jewel. I don't think that driving customers to other stores is the intended purpose here.

- Angry cashiers. While most at my local store are nice, there are a couple of cashiers that, when I see if they're the only ones on (they usually only have one line open!), I'll walk out of the store. This includes the guy who pulls every item out of my bags to match with coupons looking for reasons to deny anything and the woman who slams stuff around, rolls her eyes, and accuses me of "photocopying" coupons.

- The insane internet printable rules -- which of course vary from store to store. Why treat coupons differently depending on their origin? If I want to use a coupon that is worth more than 50% of an item's value, and you get compensated for that, what does it matter to you -- that sale will bring me in your store.

- Learn how to adjust a coupon down or deal with the overage. If an item is $.99 and I have a $1.00 off coupon, don't deny the coupon -- drop it down to $.99 (other stores can handle it) or let it go through and get reimbursed the dollar.

- Make your own coupons scan right! Aside from the infamous "free strawberries" example from their own website that wouldn't scan last summer, causing some cashiers to deny it, they always have problems with the "free with purchase" coupons that show up in their ads. How many people don't notice that their "free item" coupon actually scanned as "-.01, .01" and they actually pay for it?

- Huge minimums for in-ad coupons, and limiting these to one per transaction even though the coupon says "one per coupon." If you want to limit it to one per transaction, change the wording. This goes nicely with the one OYNO Catalina problem above. If I want to use Catalinas to pay for that required $20.00 purchase, it's difficult to do with this rule, again... driving me to Jewel.

- Style over substance. While your remodeled stores are quite pretty, that's not what is going to draw me in. (If I want pretty, I'll go to Whole Foods!) And what's up with the mood lighting in the produce departments so that you can't tell if a piece of fruit is still good?

I'd love to see more competition in this area. While I'm at Jewel more than once a week, I'm in Dominick's rarely, only for a can't miss deal -- and always hold my breath, wondering what's going to go wrong this time.

- Rachel (www.mashupmom.com)

onceuponacoupon
Offline
Joined: 01/19/2010
"Huge minimums for in-ad

"Huge minimums for in-ad coupons, and limiting these to one per transaction even though the coupon says "one per coupon." If you want to limit it to one per transaction, change the wording"

Also telling me that minimum has to be reasched pre-coupon when it says in the policy (from what I remember reading) that it's pre-coupon.

I've only been to Dom's twice with coupons and told both times, "we can't honor this because then our stock would be depleted." Well, then why do the offer? It was their store special!

mak54321
Offline
Joined: 05/13/2009
Ditto on this one

Cashiers should be educated on their store's policy regarding the $20 minimum. Your policy says it's pre-card and pre-coupon. However, I've been told time and time again that I had to buy OTHER groceries over and above the ones on sale to reach the $20 minimum first, and only then could I use their super coupons on the sale items.

This is not only frustrating, it just defeats the purpose of me shopping there for any good deals.

monari66
Offline
Joined: 03/07/2009
Where to start . . .

I stopped going to the Dominick's on Schmale & Geneva in Carol Stream because just when I thought I understood 'their' rules the rules would change. You can't use 2 IP Qs because you are only allowed to print one - the second one would be a copy. Then you can't use 2 Qs cut out of the newspaper. It's always changing.

I was treated like a criminal a couple months ago so I stayed away for awhile. We received a gift card during the holidays so I decided to venture back & give it a try. That's it - I'm done! I refuse to go back there.

There is one cashier that is there no matter when I go - during the day on Saturday, Sunday morning or after work during the week. She is just wicked. She rang up my order & then when I handed her my coupons she said "Oh, you are one of them". One of them? I said, "Excuse, me?" She said nothing but asked the bagger to pull everything out of my cart & started spreading all my Qs all over the place. I asked her "Is there a problem?" She said, "I need to match up each of these to make sure you got all the right items." She continued to scrutinize every single item & every single coupon. I wasn't in a hurry & I knew I did nothing wrong so I waited with a smile on my face.

I could tell she was getting upset because she couldn't find anything wrong. She got all huffy & told the bagger to put it all back in my cart. Then she started checking expiration dates & told me that I had too many Q so she would only take the ones that were 30 days old. I asked her if that was a policy. She said, you just have too many coupons.

I said, ok give them all back to me & I walked out.

Now over at Jewel the cashiers are awesome! They are friendly & often times will comment "Wow, what a great deal you got!" The really ironic thing is that before I started during the couponing thing I was a Dominick's shopper. I never really stepped into Jewel. Now, it's the opposite. I love my Jewel!

Dominick's needs a consistent coupon policy & they need all of the employees to understand the coupon policy. The cashiers should be happy to wait on any customer in this day & age. I would rather stand in line 10 mins at my Jewel (it is always packed with multiple lanes open) that be able to breeze thru the 1 lane that is open at Dominicks because there are no shoppers. Wow, that was alot!

Thanks Jill for everything you & everyone else here has taught me over the last year & thanks for bringing this to the attention of those that might be able to make a difference.

Beth
Offline
Joined: 09/17/2008
Great Job!

Jill, you've very articulately detailed all of the concerns I have with Dominick's. I'd just like to second everything that Jill said!

Resurrection Praiser
Offline
Joined: 02/21/2009
Lost Trust

Jill, you've done a great job in detailing the issues. My number one point to reiterate is that because of the depth of our lost trust in Dominick's, it's not going to be easy to regain. To us, couponing is a positive shopping model, one which we know brings more money to a store rather than less. Couponers should be looked on positively. That is going to be a huge leap for many of their workers, I am sure.

I think I read that Jewel had higher sales figures than expected recently. I remember thinking of how much the couponers probably contributed to that. Dominick's needs to believe that it will be a positive benefit for the store, and then extend that belief through action down to each and every employee.

If that happens, maybe I would then walk through their doors again, but I'll bet I'll still have knots in my stomach. Regaining lost trust after humiliation is not easy.

dhc
Offline
Joined: 05/12/2009
ditto the above comment...

just wanted to add that their employees are so unhappy and most of them act as if I am stealing when I hand over my coupons. I feel bad for them. I'm sure that it's not fun for them to work in a store that doesn't have a set coupon policy and/or each day new rules are established. I pray each time I go into that store, "please Lord, give me a happy cashier that knows what they're doing". Sometimes God answers my prayers....and other times he doesn't...He simply is testing me to see if I have patience to love the unlovable and to be o.k. with being totally embarrassed while other customers in line look at me as if I was an alien for using coupons :0

TMAMA1024
Offline
Joined: 02/25/2009
coupon

went to go use some expired coupons on juices on 12 and 134 n fox lake. The customer service lady denied me my juice coupons and said because she does no allow hang tag coupons to be put on her store products she will not accept them. and finally had manager and one very nice well informed cashier tell her it was ok. and than tried to say because it said one per purchase i can only use one coupon than the very nice cashier said yes she can use them if she purchasing 5 juices she can use all five coupons. after an hour and a headache walked with 5 juice for $2.28 but to me it was not worth the hassel. it is closer to me a domincks but i will drive the 10 min to a jewel.

MrsPiggy
Offline
Joined: 10/27/2009
The demise of Doms....

where to start..

*Rude customer service

*Uninformed Cashiers

*Power tripping managers

*Useless corporate (call to complain, they side with the store AUTOMATICALLY)

*Overpriced items

*Stingy catalina deals (Spend $20, get $2??)

*Those STUPID Super Coupons (Must spend $10. or $20 to use of course that isn't too hard as everything is overpriced anyhow)

It is a miserable shopping experience.... I dread going there and when I do I kick myself in the behind for doing it, because it all comes back to these items I listed....

GOOD LUCK with your quest to get shoppers..... I won't be one of them unless there are DRAMATIC changes!

woodstock06
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2008
Bad reputation

I have been very lucky and have not had any bad experiences at my Dominick's (Crystal lake).They have always been friendly to me.In fact I was just there last week and the cashier reminded me about a coupon that was in there ad.I almost forgot to use it.But because of all the negative things I have heard about Dominick's I am always on guard thinking it will happen to me.So I sometimes avoid it because of the reputation it has.Also years ago when I lived in Bartlett I was shopping at that Dominick's and finally stopped because I kept seeing expired foods on the shelf.I don't know how it is there anymore.And it was surprising because it was a new store at the time.But that really grossed me out and kept me away for a long time.I really did not step into a Dominick's store for about 8 years after that.Now I only go for a few things and if it is a good deal.Another thing I hate about there weekly coupon.Why do you need to spend 20.00 to use there store coupons that they have in the ad?Why does there have to be a limit?

Bernard2003
Offline
Joined: 11/24/2009
I think some cashier training

I think some cashier training on coupons would be nice. honestly, I am surprised that it isn't a part of cashier training already, since they are the ones that need to know how to adjust values down and so on... goes right in there to service with a smile as well - it can make the whole experience more bearable if the cashier is nice about having to get a coupon verified instead of acting like we are stealing from them (which we know we are NOT, in fact they make MORE money off of us after get theri handling fee!)

I have had cashiers refuse a manufacturer's coupons simply because it had another store's logo on it somewhere, like target printables (keep in mind, these were NOT store coupons!). I would think they would be happy I took my business to them instead of target! Not to mention they will get that coupon reimbursed by the manufacturer regardless of what store logo is printed on the coupon.

stealfinder
Offline
Joined: 12/22/2008
Issues for Dominicks:

1) Have a consistent policy (corporation-wide) with consistent enforcement across stores.

2) Have the cashiers trained on where to look for the serial numbers on each of the types of coupon from the main coupon-printing sites.

3) Why can't a coupon be worth more than 50% of the product price?

tripletts07
Offline
Joined: 07/30/2009
Internet Coupons and Expired Coupons

Do they accept internet coupons? Do they accept expired coupons? What about expired internet coupons? What about multiples of any of these items?

Each time I go to Dominicks, I get dictated a "new" policy on what they will accept on that particular day pertaining to these questions. It drives me nuts because I waste so much time getting them together and they will not take them because the cashier is having a righteous moment.

Thanks, Jill.

dancingwolves
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008
I just printed the policy that

is linked to this site...I will review and give specific feedback. Because it isn't necessarily the policy itself, it's how its interpreted and enforced. The issues you addressed in your draft above concur with my biggest gripes; namely, consistency and training of the cashiers on what the interpret the coupon policy; specific date range for expired coupons; and more concise wording on internet coupons and catalinas, which should be consistent like Jewel's.

sebrugger
Offline
Joined: 10/06/2009
Glad to hear they are listening!

I went to Dominicks today for some cheap meat and cheap oatmeal. The cashier refused to take more than one ip for the oatmeal, told me that I made copies of them and was trying to rob the store (which is not the case, I had my neighbors print q's for me.) I showed her the varying serial/id numbers on the ip's. She still refused to take them, so I asked for the manager. Manager was very GRACIOUS and told her to accept all of the ip's. When the manager walked away she told me that I was going to get her fired :(

I would think it would help their employees to have something about ip's and allowing more than one for the same product if they have different id numbers.

Chris@deranged.me
Offline
Joined: 02/16/2009
Cashiers

"When the manager walked away she told me that I was going to get her fired." One can only hope...

newbie2couponing
Offline
Joined: 11/05/2008
Why...

are the cashiers SO worried about their jobs? Does this come from higher ups? Or is this just something they say to make couponers feel bad?

Chris@deranged.me
Offline
Joined: 02/16/2009
Cashiers redux

Wouldn't it be interesting to learn the percentage of Dominicks' cashiers who actually shop at Dominicks? Maybe the vending machine in the break room only serves crabby patties? - apologies to SpongeBob.

coupondad
Offline
Joined: 09/21/2008
Cschelthoff: I just about cr@pped my pants

reading your last 2 posts!! Thanks for the laugh. To be fair the Merionette Park Dominick's has always been good to me with regard to coupons. Even when I was super confused about the way the prices where marked on some sale items one time, the manager offered to work with me on it. The gals at customer service are very sweet as well. I have only been snapped at once by a cashier there and chalked it up to her having a bad day and her age. On the other hand, I left a cart full of groceries and a cashier with her jaw touching the floor when I was denied from using insert coupons and peelies at the 87th and Cicero store. I haven't been back since. So there are stores, OK one on my side of town, Merionette Park who appreciate their customers. Perhaps they should mentor the other stores.

luv2Q
Offline
Joined: 11/10/2009
Awesome Jill! I don't have a

Awesome Jill!

I don't have a Dominicks nearby, but feel indignant for others!

casagrande
Offline
Joined: 03/18/2009
Great news

Great news Jill. Thanks for going to bat for us. Hopefully Dominick's will become majorly coupon friendly and then they will get lots more business. I would like to say that I'm glad to see the purchase requirements for super coupons reduced from $20 to $10. Also, the Elmhurst store on Rt. 83 is pretty good overall, especially when I read some of the comments others post about their stores. Problems that I've personally run into are:
Store coupons: (I think this was just last week) store coupon for pop tarts 3/$3. The coupon said must purchase 3, limit 3 per coupon. I had 6 in my order with 2 coupons. They would only take one. If it was limit 3 per transaction, that should have been stated.
Catalina (manufacturer's) coupons with a different store logo on them (ie: $1 off Tropicana): these are never accepted at my Dominick's.
And, as mentioned before, only one IP per like item in a transaction. I've learned to work with this rule but I'd be very happy to see it changed.

casagrande
Offline
Joined: 03/18/2009
one more thing

Dominick's e-coupons. This has mostly happened with the coupons.com e-coupons loaded off Dominick's site. The site shows my e-coupons are loaded but then they don't come off the order. I've asked about this at CS and they tell me the store has nothing to do with it. What? It's on the Dominick's web site. And Rachel brings up a good point about the store coupons only deducting a penny. This has happened to me too.

Coupon Maven
Online
Joined: 07/02/2008
Excellent point about ecoupons not coming off

That is an excellent point to address - how should things be handled if the electronic coupons don't automatically come off? PGEsaver's are notorious for not coming off when an item is scanned, but sometimes none of them come off at all.

I stopped at the Dominick's on Dundee Road in Palatine on my way home last night to do the fruit snack deal, and none of either my Cellfire or Shortcuts ecoupons came off the card when it was scanned. I realize this isn't necessarily the store's problem, but when I got back home, the discounts were still there, and my Fresh Values card definitely got scanned, as my name was on the receipt. What should the store do in a case like this?

jenschopp
Offline
Joined: 11/20/2008
Jill, Thank you for taking

Jill,

Thank you for taking the time to do this. There is a dominicks across the street from Jewel here in Wheaton and the lot is ALWAYS empty. I love that it is quiet yet don't at all like to shop there. My biggest problem, besides all the coupon issues, is the produce. Multiple times I have brought a pepper home only to cut into it and it be moldy. Or have a bag of apples that I paid an outragious price for, be all bruised and bad. If I would like to see anything changed I think they need to be better on top of the produce that they have out at the store in Danada Square in wheaton.

Ileniahl
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2010
Thanks Jill - Echo the Sentiments of the Other Posters

My apologies if this is a double post but I don't see my comment.

I have very strong feelings about this because I find Dominicks to be an overpriced supermarket with poor customer service and an anti-coupon policy. The store nearest me is always desserted. I ONLY shop at Dominick's when they have hard to pass deals. On the contrary, chains like Jewel and Meijer in my area, have extremely competitive pricing, great customer service and have embraced the couponing trend. Needless to say, they get my repeat business and seem to get plenty of traffic.

Whenever I've gone to Dominick's and of course, I had coupons with me, it was like a stressful experience. Cashiers berate customers and treat us like delinquents, like we're stealing from the store when the corporation is still getting compensated for accepting these coupons.

Training is certainly needed with this staff, in regards to policies, types of coupons and to have cashiers refrain from cheeky remarks about other customers that used coupons. Actually, two different cashiers happened to comment to my husband and another friend's husband about a friend of ours who in their view, was 'abusing' the use of coupons. They were totally putting down my friend for it without having any idea they were talking about a friend of ours. Nevermind that my friend's coupons were all legit (We had been emailing about the deals and our friend had told us what the cashier had said to her).

The suggestions that I've read seem pretty valid. If Dominick's mgmt doesn't change their ways, I predict they will be out of business in the Chicago area in about 18 months.

Jill, I'm not suprised this came up because we actually discussed this about 3 months ago in the Roselle Library workshop. I hope big wigs at Dominick's appreciate the wake up call this discussion is generating and the big favor you and the rest of the individuals posting here are doing to their corporation.

Shopshopshopper
Offline
Joined: 01/22/2010
Lost a regular

I sent a long complaint letter to corporate via email last fall and I never got a response, right there it is shows that you just don’t care. My final comment in that letter I mentioned that I lived in Chicago for almost 40 years and that I am shocked that your chain hasn’t closed yet. Normally I feel bad when a store closes, but in your case I am going to laugh so hard when the Dominicks chain finally fails and closes. That is the bad taste that just one year has done to someone who has shopped in your stores their entire life.

I used to find it depressing to shop in your stores because they are empty, now it is depressing because of the attitude of cashiers and the hassle of using legitimate coupons.

I was a regular shopper of Dominicks. I had several incidents last year in two of your stores (Fox Lake, Lake Zurich) that have absolutely turned me off your company I rarely set foot in your stores now.

Some of the main problems with Dominicks:

*Across the board your cashiers are unfriendly, almost hostile, this isn’t how it used to or they used to be.

* Regarding coupons I’ve been told by your ‘800’ number that each store has a right to set their own policy

This is absurd and it has to end your customers and employees both have a right to know what the rules are. When the rules are clear there will be less stress for the employees and customers.

* You don’t accept valid internet coupons

* Not accepting coupons that are more than 1/2 the value of the item -- why you get reimbursed

* Don’t accept valid internet coupons that don’t scan

I shop at Woodmans where I use self checkout and sometimes I have to try and scan my internet coupons many times before the machine reads it, your cashiers have told me more than once I’m not going try and scan it again-they also refuse to input the code

*I’ve had one of your cashiers (she is still there as of this week) in Fox Lake be rude to me more than once, eye rolling, head shaking, unnecessary comments

*Cashiers questioning where I got coupons- not out of interest- rather interrogating me like I’m a criminal trying to scam them.

* Your store are understaffed, there is no one around if you have a question or need help. On those rare occasions when you actually get busy customers have to wait in line forever because there is not enough staff.

I have walked out of your stores more than once without my groceries after having my legitimate coupons denied. I’ll never set foot in the Lake Zurich store again, which is a shame because it is one of the nicer stores, but after walking out of that location 3 times because of coupon issues/bad cashier attitude-- 3 strikes and you’re out.

I need a really good reason to set foot in a Dominick’s and I don’t look for a reason to shop with you anymore. Even your acceptance of expired coupons is no longer a valid reason for me to give you my business. I do not look at your ads anymore since my incidents last Summer/Fall. You will have to completely overhaul your entire way of doing things, retrain your cashiers and customer service desk employees to be not only knowledgeable, but pleasant.

You need an official corporate coupon policy-available to customers, one that applies to all stores and one that they all follow. No longer allowing each location to set their own rules/policy.

You need to accept legitimate internet coupons that are accepted by corporate and not denied on a whim by cashiers.

If a coupon doesn’t scan your cashiers need to be shown how to enter the coupons code to get it to go through.

Immediately stop the policy of not accepting a coupon that is more than 1/2 value of the item.

Official policy on how long after the expiration date do you accept an expired coupon

I know I’m wasting my breath, you will close before you change.

My money for food/household items will continue to be spent at Whole Foods, Woodmans, Jewel, Meijer, Walmart and Target.

PS: Your prices are way too high to be giving people such a hassle about coupons. Wake up!

PPS: Management have you scoped out other grocery chains Jewel (Clean, well staffed, good deals), Meijer (good prices), Whole Foods (great attitude, great food). Not one of these stores gives me a hassle about coupons.

I used $37 worth of coupons at Whole Foods the other day and they didn’t bat an eye the customer service girl was like ‘wow that’s awesome’ as she saw my new after coupon total. Jewel staffers often are impressed and make positive comments about great deals I get using coupons, as do many Target employees. Your employees huff and puff and scowl and deny and it is just too much to put up with.

Shopshopshopper
Offline
Joined: 01/22/2010
Wanted to add...to my other post

I have had more than one cashier tell me “I don’t want to get fired”, “I’ll get fired”, “I’ll get in trouble“, your company has put so much fear into these cashiers maybe that is why they are so rude, mean and hostile to customers and make up their own rules for coupon redemption-- in their eyes we are the enemy who could cost them their job.

I noticed this change in cashier attitude coincided with all of the hassle redeeming coupons.

Since it seems to be a chain wide change in attitude (for the worse), it could not have happened without something going on internally. What internal corporate policy/dictates have you put out there to your stores/store managers/district managers in the past year to screw this up so badly? There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding your 'rules', 'policy' every cashier has a different answer as to what your policy is.

So funny that twice last Fall when I had issues, I said to the cashier give me back my coupons I'll go to another one of your stores where they will accept them and both times I walked in and used my coupons that had just been denied at another one of your stores. Ridiculous!

I had no problems with Dominicks 'attitude' or any coupon hassles prior to 2009. My only issues before were high prices and the stores being dirty and understaffed. A few years ago you started to remodel some of your stores, but then came the bad attitude and hassles so who would want to shop in your stores. Think about it.

knittingmomma2t...
Offline
Joined: 01/22/2010
Why Would I Start?

To the Domminicks staff out there:

I am new to the State of Illinois, so a potential new customer to Dominick's. I've used coupons for years. I have no motivation to use your stores. Without the coupons it's so overpriced, I don't stand a chance and with three small children in tow i don't need any additional hassle from a cashier.