Thursday, May 26, 2011

Know Your Policies

I've worked my way up to shopping 5 different store when the sales are right.  I've been shopping at Kroger, Schnucks, CVS, Walgreens and Wal Mart.  I haven't had any major issues with any of those stores until yesterday.  Wouldn't you know it, my problem was at Wal Mart.  Before I go to any store, I make sure that I know their couopn policies, and in Wal Mart's case, their new Ad Match Policy. I've also made it a point to carry a copy of their policy with me in the envelope that I carry my coupons in for that stores trip.

I've been taking advantage of Wal Mart's Ad Match Guarantee a lot lately.  Unless I get to the drug stores first thing Sunday morning, the sale items that I want, are usually gone by the time I get there on Tuesday (which is when I used to do my drug store shopping.)

Yesterday, I wanted to Ad Match the Buy 1 at $2.99 Get One Free Oscar Mayer hot dogs that were in this weeks Walgreens ad.  On Wal Mart's corporate website, it specifically states that they will match "Buy one, get one free ads with a specified price."  Even though its no longer required, I still bring in the competitor's ad with me, because my Wal Mart still doesn't take your word on the Ad Match.

I do my shopping, get up front and get ready to check out.  I put my ad match items at the end so she could scan the rest of the order first and then we could go over my ad matches. (I was also matching the Purex that was on sale at CVS for $1.99, doing that plus my $1/1 Q made those .99 each!) The Purex goes off without a hitch, but when I pulled out the Walgreens ad and tried to get her to do the match on the hot dogs, the cashier wasn''t sure how to ring it up, so she found a manager that was close by to help her.  The "zone manager" Monica came over and told me that I couldn't do that ad match and that it was on the sign at the register. (It wasn't.)

So out came my trusty Ad Match Policy from their own corporate website, and I tried to show her it.  She looked at me and was like I have no idea where you got that (My answer, your corporate website) but we don't do that type of ad match, we never have, we never will.  I then asked her if she was fully trained on the new policy, because in this case she was incorrect.  She insisted that she was fully and properly trained and that I was in the wrong.  Mind you, I kept my cool through out this whole thing.  It's really important to stay calm when you are challenging management.  If you coupon in a store for a period of time, they know who you are.  You always want good relationships with the management and clerks of the stores you shop at.  Having an adversarial relationship with a store won't make your couponing easier.  Unfortunately, with the hype that couponing has gotten recently due to the TLC show, couponers as a group are being scrutinized even closer.  As long as we are ethical and are doing everything right, there's no reason to be made to feel bad or even embarrassed to use our coupons and build our stockpiles.

I took note of her name and let her know that I would be calling corporate to inquire about this.  She told me "You go ahead and do that ma'am."   I paid for my order and left the store.  I got the number for Wal Mart's Corporate Customer Service (800-925-6278 and its programmed into my phone now too!) and called.  The customer service agent I got on the phone was kind, courteous and even sympathetic.  I explained to her exactly what had happened and also the general attitude of the manager Monica.  She said that she was sorry and that I was correct regarding the Ad Match policy.  She also apologized for Monica's defensive attitude, and then took my name and number so that a member of management could call me about my situation.

I figured it would be a few days if ever before I got a call from upper management.  Imagine my shock when an hour and a half later, I got a call from Julie, an assistant manager at my local store.  She let me know that she spoke with Monica regarding my Ad Match, and that I was correct regarding my Ad Match.  Julie also let me know that the cashier was also told that this type of ad match could be done also.  She was very apologetic about the general attitude I had gotten while trying to discuss the policy with Monica.

So the moral to this story is this:

1. Always read and know your store's policies.
2. Keep a printed copy of the policy with you when you are shopping a specific store.
3. Keep your cool if you are being told you aren't able to do something, when you know that you are in the right.
4. Don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe is correct.  You'd be amazed at how many cashiers and even managers are not educated on their own store's policies.
5. Don't be afraid to call the corporate or district office for a resolution.

1 comment:

  1. It's gotten to where I can't count the number of times I've seen this same occurance posted about Wal-mart stores. I can see where it would make a good option if your local drugstore is out of an advertised item (do they match things like ECB's?), but otherwise I've not found their new policy to be worth enough to get me in their stores. - Can you tell I'm not a wal-mart fan?