When we first reported that a Black woman in Chicago had the police called on her for trying to use a coupon at a local CVS, we hoped that would be the last of that nonsense.
Sadly, we were wrong: #CouponKen is back with a vengeance.
Last week (July 18), Madonna Wilburn said she went to a Buffalo, New York, Dollar General with $30 in digital coupons to use while shopping. Yet, the manager Ken Dudek (ironic, huh?), with no real explanation, told her she couldn’t use them.
Wilburn claims Dudek told her he “didn’t like people like her.”
According to the Buffalo News, Wilburn was irate with what he was implying.
“That attacked so many different parts of me because I’m a female, I’m a black female, I’m a couponer,” she told the newspaper.
“So, what do you hate?”
The situation later escalated as Wilburn took out her cell phone to document the situation.
Here’s the video she posted on Facebook:
First, he told her it was illegal to record him without his consent, which in New York State that is not the case. He then told Wilburn that she was “trying to take advantage of the system” by using all of her coupons at once.
“[You’re just trying to take advantage of the system is what you’re doing, and I don’t have to do it if I don’t want to,” he stressed.
“But you just said you don’t like people like me?” she replied.
“I’m trying to do the best I can, you already got $15 off of these products and you’re trying to play games,” he said. “We’re done—I’m giving you my boss’s number. She can fix it from here, OK? I’m really done with you. I’m tired of the attitude and tired of the nonsense.”
Soon after, Dudek called police, but the authorities never even showed up and labeled it a “non-issue.” However, Dollar General execs believe this run-in was more than a non-issue, it was actually a fireable offense. According to The Hill, Dudek no longer works for the discount store.
“We always strive to deliver the best possible customer service and are disappointed anytime this doesn’t occur. Based on our investigation we believe that certain aspects of this matter including the involvement of law enforcement were not handled in accordance with our policies and expectations,” the company said in a statement.
To make amends with Wilburn, they also offered her a $50 gift card, which she rejected.
Wilburn, a special ed teacher, told the WIVB News that she wants Dollar General to use this as a “teachable moment.”