Coupon stupidity

Don’t give your customers an excuse to stop paying you.

We spend a decent amount of money at Marco’s Pizza in Leander. We always get the same deal. A big square pizza, cheese sticks and a Coke for $15. Anywhere from two to six times a month we make the call and go pick up the food. It’s always been good.

Tonight I call and tell them I’d like the “Big Square Deal” (see, we order enough to know the marketing name of the deal).

“Sure,” the voice on the other side of the phone says, “We still have that deal.”

“Great,” I say, “I’d like pepperoni.”

“Okay,” the voice says, “You know what, hang on a second.”

I wait patiently for a few seconds.

The voice comes back. “My manager says I need a coupon for that deal now.”

“Okay,” I say. “Well, we buy this deal a lot. Any chance we could have it again this once? I don’t have a coupon.”

“Nope,” the voice says, “My manager says I have to have a coupon.”

“Okay.” I think for a moment and then decide I’m done. “Tell your manager he lost my business. Have a good day.”

The manager seems to have forgotten that between their location and my house are almost a dozen other pizza joints. That’s a lot of more convenient choices.

And look, I’m not even asking for free pizza here. I would have gladly accepted, “Sir, I’ll give you the deal this time, but next time I need the coupon.” Or even, “We are no longer offering that deal at all.” In either case I would have continued to give them my business. But making a good customer jump through the coupon stupidity hoop to get a current offer is just too much when there are so many other choice out there.

If someone shows up at my business and wants to give me money, I’m going to do everything I can to make that transaction happen, including saying “don’t worry about the stupid coupon.”

Marco’s gave me an excuse to stop paying them.

I doesn’t take much these days. All businesses would do well to remember that.