Dollar General has fired the man seen on a viral video calling the police on a customer redeeming a coupon deal at its Genesee Street store.
"Based upon 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. For this reason, we have made the decision to sever our employment relationship with the employee involved," the company said in a statement.
The retailer also will use the situation to "help identify opportunities to augment education and training for all employees," it said.
Ken Dudek had not returned to work his scheduled shift following the negative backlash from the video he experienced on Facebook, an employee of the Genesee Street store told The News.
Madonna Wilburn, a Buffalo Public School teacher, began recording Dudek after he became hostile, wouldn't process her coupons appropriately, and said, "I hate people like you," she said.
Wilburn was trying to use a coupon she described as being “a popular deal” the store promotes, allowing customers $5 off of their purchase of $30 or more. Wilburn already had applied individual digital coupons to her merchandise and was seeking the separate $5 discount on her total purchase.
Because he was having trouble applying the $5 off $30 discount, Dudek manually removed $2.50 0f value from two of Wilburn's other items to equal $5, Wilburn said. Doing so, however, invalidated the previous discounts the shopper applied to her individual items and increased the total bill. That prompted her to ask him to correct the total.
Dudek is heard on camera saying, "I don't have to if I don't want to."
"You’ve already gotten $15 off of these products, and you’re trying to play games with the digital coupons and it’s not going to work," he said in the video.
Representatives at Dollar General's Tennessee headquarters declined to answer questions, but said they "encourage customers to utilize both digital and manufacturer coupons to help them save money."
Wilburn said she feels that couponers should be treated with respect when couponing. The mother of four and grandmother uses her couponing to provide for her family and to buy supplies for her students.
"Couponing should be fun and exciting," she said. "It's a hobby for me."
Instead, she felt "humiliated".
Dudek was dubbed "Coupon Ken" on social media, a reference to the #PermitPatty and #BarbecueBecky monikers that were infamously affixed to two white women who called the police on black people for innocuous activity. Dudek told an employee to call the police after Wilburn began recording him with her cellphone.
Posted by Madonna Wilburn on Wednesday, July 18, 2018