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If you don't shop at Kohls, this won't be of any interest to you. If you do shop at Kohl's, it still probably won't be of much interest, and it might be a little hard to follow, but I have some time to kill right now, and typing all of this out maybe could help someone to better understand the pitfalls of having the audacity to try to actually understand how much you're paying for crap made in China and Bangladesh.

For those who don't know, Kohls offers $10 in "Kohls cash," which is kind of like a store credit, but not exactly, for every $50 you spend in the store. Only you have to use it during a specified time period, and that time period never starts less than 48 hours after your initial $50 purchase.

So last week, on July 11, I bought 4 shirts. The first one was $13.99 and the other three were all the same style for $17.99. I asked for and received a 15% discount at checkout, so this is what my receipt looked like:

$17.99 X 3 = $53.97 for shirts #2, #3, and #4
$13.99 for shirt #1
$67.96 pre-tax subtotal
-$10.19 for 15% discount

FINAL PRE-TAX PRICE $57.77

They also gave me a $10 Kohls Cash certificate that couldn't be used before July 13.

So I go back on July 14 looking for a package of socks. I find one I like that has a regular price of $20 plus tax. While I'm there, I notice the shirts I bought three days earlier have been put on sale for one day only. The first shirt has actually gone up in price to $14.99, but shirts #2, #3, and #4 have been reduced to $14.99. I decide to ask for a price adjustment, which Kohls typically processes without any hassle. Or, at least they have a reputation for this.

However, because I received that 15% discount on the original purchase, the Kohls computer was telling the clerk at the return desk that the original purchase price of the shirts was $15.29 each plus tax ($17.99 minus the 15% discount) and so I was only entitled to a $0.30 adjustment on each shirt ($15.29 - $14.99). The computer had no way to apply that original 15% discount to the lower (and current) price of $14.99. This is where it started to get really messy.

Time to back up and explain my intentions. I wanted to use the $10 in Kohls Cash (that I had earned three days prior) to cut the price of the $20 socks in half. Even with the 15% discount I originally received on the shirts and the new lower price adjustment, the total pre-tax price of the 4 shirts on my original receipt should have still been over $50, which is important, because if it had dipped below $50, that would have invalidated the Kohls Cash I was planning to apply to my new sock purchase. To be exact, it would have been [($14.99 x 3) + $13.99] * 0.85 = $50.12 Then I would have gotten the socks for $10 minus another 15% discount, plus tax, so basically, I would have been paying $8.50 plus tax for the socks. Therefore, the newly adjusted total pre-tax price of the 4 shirts ($50.12) and the ($8.50) pack of socks, after all applicable discounts, would have been $58.62.

Ok, getting back to the moment it got messy at the return desk. The clerk told me it wouldn't be a problem, since he could just process a return of shirts #2, #3, and #4 and allow me to immediately repurchase them at the lower price of $14.99 each and apply a 15% discount to that purchase. He explained that doing this would invalidate the Kohls Cash certificate that had been activated on July 11, but then he could simply issue a new $10 Kohls cash certificate. It sounds fine at first, but remember, a new Kohls Cash certificate can't be used for at least 48 hours. And I wanted to take my socks home immediately.

So there was another option, which sounds fine at first, but this is where the highly intelligent mathematical genius chimps working in the finance department of Kohls corporate offices know they're screwing the customer. The refund I would receive on the "return" of shirts #2, #3, and #4 would be reduced by $10, and I'd get to keep my original certificate of $10 Kohls Cash and use it as partial payment for my socks. Simple, right? HELL NO.

Remember, the actual price I paid for shirts #2, #3, and #4, after the 15% discount, was $15.29 each. Multiply that by 3, and the return should have been for $45.87. We couldn't do a return and repurchase of shirt #1, because then I would have been required to pay the new higher price for that shirt. Remember, that style actually increased in price from $13.99 to $14.99 while the other shirts all got reduced. So take away the $10 for the reduction in my refund that allowed me to keep the $10 in Kohls Cash, and my refund comes to only $35.87. I've now paid $57.77 minus a $35.87 refund, or $21.90, for shirt #1 and a $10 Kohls Cash certificate.

Rewind..... shirt #1 was originally $13.99, so with the 15% discount, it was actually $11.90. Then add the $10 I had to "pay" in order to keep my $10 Kohls Cash, and we can easily arrive at the same total of $21.90. I've effectively invalidated the "free" $10 in Kohls Cash and purchased it back from them with $10 in REAL MONEY.

Now I have to repurchase the 3 shirts I've just "returned." I put that in quotes because I didn't even have the shirts with me. Remember, I never had any real intention to return the shirts. I only wanted a price adjustment on them. So on the new purchase receipt, I'm charged $14.99 * 3 for the shirts plus $20 for the socks. Before any discounts, my subtotal here is $64.97. Knock off $10 for the redemption of the Kohls Cash that I kept, and we're down to $54.97. Then apply another 15% discount, and we're at $46.72.

I've just paid $46.72 plus $21.90, or $68.62, to get 4 shirts and a package of socks. Go up six paragraphs, and you'll see the total price of these 4 shirts and socks should have been $58.62. I'VE BEEN RIPPED OFF FOR $10. What happened?

It's simple really. The $10 I was "charged" by having my "return" reduced by $10 washed out the $10 discount that was applied to the new purchase. They effectively confused the crap out of me to the point where I had no idea what had even happened until I got home and analyzed all three receipts in agonizing detail. People who aren't as determined as I am would have surely gotten frustrated and given up, unaware of the scam they'd just suffered.

I wasn't about about to take this lying down, so I decided to return the socks and shirt #1, since I didn't like that style all that much anyway, and instead purchase a 5th shirt off the rack, which when combined with my purchase of shirts #2, #3, and #4, would total over $50 and get me a new $10 Kohls Cash certificate that I could then use starting either July 16 or 17, at which time I would make yet another trip to this dump of a store to purchase a package of socks with the applicable $10 Kohls Cash discount. I would have to wait a few days to start wearing those socks after all.

But of course, it didn't work out that way. I went back there with a very specific plan. I'm going to return the socks and shirt #1 for a refund. I'm also going to (yet again) return and repurchase shirts #2, #3, and #4, as well as a new shirt off the rack, shirt #5. Very politely and quietly, almost under my breath, I say to the girl who is now working at the return desk (totally different person than who was there earlier in the day) "I know this isn't your fault, but I'm very frustrated at the confusion I'm suffering because of all the restrictions on Kohls Cash and how that interferes with simple price adjustments for previous purchases. I would like to return these socks as well as all four of these shirts, and then I'd like to repurchase three of the shirts along with a totally new shirt that I just took off the rack." She seemed inclined to help, but had absolutely no concept that the root cause of my frustration and anger was due to being ripped off for $10 by the Kohls computer that only the genius chimps at corporate headquarters can fully understand.

The most angering part of this entire experience happened next. The total refund upon this return would be a little over $70 including tax, which was correct. However, because of the $10 Kohls Cash discount that was applied to the most recent purchase (the one that came to $46.72) I'd only get a $60 cash refund, and I'd have to take the final $10 in a gift card. Ultimately, it didn't matter, because I was repurchasing more than $10 worth of crap anyway, but the point here is that the computer was rigged to prevent a complete reversal of all transactions that had taken place from the very beginning. They figured out a way to force me to buy something in the store after returning EVERYTHING I had purchased, even if I hadn't wanted to. They do everything they can to get you to keep coming back, day after day, hour after hour, whether you want to or not. As I'm writing this, I feel like I have some incurable mental disease that causes me to keep going back there even though I hate the place.

The total price for shirts #2, #3, #4, and #5 had to stay over $50 so I can get another $10 in Kohls Cash that I will then use to repurchase the socks later in the week. But the girl at the return desk decided to be nice at give me a 30% discount instead of the 15% discount, you know, for all my trouble and frustration. And that knocked the total price down below $50, which therefore means no $10 in Kohls Cash. Which also means no socks. In the end, I got 4 shirts for something like $43.73 including tax and everything, which is a great price when only considering the bottom line. But the hassle of going back there and the anger and frustration of knowing I'd been scammed made it so not worth it. I still need socks, and I'll be buying them at Target. If anyone wants to borrow a shirt, let me know.

Member Summary

DTASFAB said:   If you don't shop at Kohls, this won't be of any interest to you. If you do shop at Kohl's, it still probably won't be of much interest, and it might be a little hard to follow, but I have some time to kill right now, and typing all of this out maybe could help someone to better understand the pitfalls of having the audacity to try to actually understand how much you're paying for crap made in China and Bangladesh.

For those who don't know, Kohls offers $10 in "Kohls cash," which is kind of like a store credit, but not exactly, for every $50 you spend in the store. Only you have to use it during a specified time period, and that time period never starts less than 48 hours after your initial $50 purchase.

So last week, on July 11, I bought 4 shirts. The first one was $13.99 and the other three were all the same style for $17.99. I asked for and received a 15% discount at checkout, so this is what my receipt looked like:

$17.99 X 3 = $53.97 for shirts #2, #3, and #4
$13.99 for shirt #1
$67.96 pre-tax subtotal
-$10.19 for 15% discount

FINAL PRE-TAX PRICE $57.77

They also gave me a $10 Kohls Cash certificate that couldn't be used before July 13.

So I go back on July 14 looking for a package of socks. I find one I like that has a regular price of $20 plus tax. While I'm there, I notice the shirts I bought three days earlier have been put on sale for one day only. The first shirt has actually gone up in price to $14.99, but shirts #2, #3, and #4 have been reduced to $14.99. I decide to ask for a price adjustment, which Kohls typically processes without any hassle. Or, at least they have a reputation for this.

However, because I received that 15% discount on the original purchase, the Kohls computer was telling the clerk at the return desk that the original purchase price of the shirts was $15.29 each plus tax ($17.99 minus the 15% discount) and so I was only entitled to a $0.30 adjustment on each shirt ($15.29 - $14.99). The computer had no way to apply that original 15% discount to the lower (and current) price of $14.99. This is where it started to get really messy.

Time to back up and explain my intentions. I wanted to use the $10 in Kohls Cash (that I had earned three days prior) to cut the price of the $20 socks in half. Even with the 15% discount I originally received on the shirts and the new lower price adjustment, the total pre-tax price of the 4 shirts on my original receipt should have still been over $50, which is important, because if it had dipped below $50, that would have invalidated the Kohls Cash I was planning to apply to my new sock purchase. To be exact, it would have been [($14.99 x 3) + $13.99] * 0.85 = $50.12 Then I would have gotten the socks for $10 minus another 15% discount, plus tax, so basically, I would have been paying $8.50 plus tax for the socks. Therefore, the newly adjusted total pre-tax price of the 4 shirts ($50.12) and the ($8.50) pack of socks, after all applicable discounts, would have been $58.62.

Ok, getting back to the moment it got messy at the return desk. The clerk told me it wouldn't be a problem, since he could just process a return of shirts #2, #3, and #4 and allow me to immediately repurchase them at the lower price of $14.99 each and apply a 15% discount to that purchase. He explained that doing this would invalidate the Kohls Cash certificate that had been activated on July 11, but then he could simply issue a new $10 Kohls cash certificate. It sounds fine at first, but remember, a new Kohls Cash certificate can't be used for at least 48 hours. And I wanted to take my socks home immediately.

So there was another option, which sounds fine at first, but this is where the highly intelligent mathematical genius chimps working in the finance department of Kohls corporate offices know they're screwing the customer. The refund I would receive on the "return" of shirts #2, #3, and #4 would be reduced by $10, and I'd get to keep my original certificate of $10 Kohls Cash and use it as partial payment for my socks. Simple, right? HELL NO.

Remember, the actual price I paid for shirts #2, #3, and #4, after the 15% discount, was $15.29 each. Multiply that by 3, and the return should have been for $45.87. We couldn't do a return and repurchase of shirt #1, because then I would have been required to pay the new higher price for that shirt. Remember, that style actually increased in price from $13.99 to $14.99 while the other shirts all got reduced. So take away the $10 for the reduction in my refund that allowed me to keep the $10 in Kohls Cash, and my refund comes to only $35.87. I've now paid $57.77 minus a $35.87 refund, or $21.90, for shirt #1 and a $10 Kohls Cash certificate.

Rewind..... shirt #1 was originally $13.99, so with the 15% discount, it was actually $11.90. Then add the $10 I had to "pay" in order to keep my $10 Kohls Cash, and we can easily arrive at the same total of $21.90. I've effectively invalidated the "free" $10 in Kohls Cash and purchased it back from them with $10 in REAL MONEY.

Now I have to repurchase the 3 shirts I've just "returned." I put that in quotes because I didn't even have the shirts with me. Remember, I never had any real intention to return the shirts. I only wanted a price adjustment on them. So on the new purchase receipt, I'm charged $14.99 * 3 for the shirts plus $20 for the socks. Before any discounts, my subtotal here is $64.97. Knock off $10 for the redemption of the Kohls Cash that I kept, and we're down to $54.97. Then apply another 15% discount, and we're at $46.72.

I've just paid $46.72 plus $21.90, or $68.62, to get 4 shirts and a package of socks. Go up six paragraphs, and you'll see the total price of these 4 shirts and socks should have been $58.62. I'VE BEEN RIPPED OFF FOR $10. What happened?

It's simple really. The $10 I was "charged" by having my "return" reduced by $10 washed out the $10 discount that was applied to the new purchase. They effectively confused the crap out of me to the point where I had no idea what had even happened until I got home and analyzed all three receipts in agonizing detail. People who aren't as determined as I am would have surely gotten frustrated and given up, unaware of the scam they'd just suffered.

I wasn't about about to take this lying down, so I decided to return the socks and shirt #1, since I didn't like that style all that much anyway, and instead purchase a 5th shirt off the rack, which when combined with my purchase of shirts #2, #3, and #4, would total over $50 and get me a new $10 Kohls Cash certificate that I could then use starting either July 16 or 17, at which time I would make yet another trip to this dump of a store to purchase a package of socks with the applicable $10 Kohls Cash discount. I would have to wait a few days to start wearing those socks after all.

But of course, it didn't work out that way. I went back there with a very specific plan. I'm going to return the socks and shirt #1 for a refund. I'm also going to (yet again) return and repurchase shirts #2, #3, and #4, as well as a new shirt off the rack, shirt #5. Very politely and quietly, almost under my breath, I say to the girl who is now working at the return desk (totally different person than who was there earlier in the day) "I know this isn't your fault, but I'm very frustrated at the confusion I'm suffering because of all the restrictions on Kohls Cash and how that interferes with simple price adjustments for previous purchases. I would like to return these socks as well as all four of these shirts, and then I'd like to repurchase three of the shirts along with a totally new shirt that I just took off the rack." She seemed inclined to help, but had absolutely no concept that the root cause of my frustration and anger was due to being ripped off for $10 by the Kohls computer that only the genius chimps at corporate headquarters can fully understand.

The most angering part of this entire experience happened next. The total refund upon this return would be a little over $70 including tax, which was correct. However, because of the $10 Kohls Cash discount that was applied to the most recent purchase (the one that came to $46.72) I'd only get a $60 cash refund, and I'd have to take the final $10 in a gift card. Ultimately, it didn't matter, because I was repurchasing more than $10 worth of crap anyway, but the point here is that the computer was rigged to prevent a complete reversal of all transactions that had taken place from the very beginning. They figured out a way to force me to buy something in the store after returning EVERYTHING I had purchased, even if I hadn't wanted to. They do everything they can to get you to keep coming back, day after day, hour after hour, whether you want to or not. As I'm writing this, I feel like I have some incurable mental disease that causes me to keep going back there even though I hate the place.

The total price for shirts #2, #3, #4, and #5 had to stay over $50 so I can get another $10 in Kohls Cash that I will then use to repurchase the socks later in the week. But the girl at the return desk decided to be nice at give me a 30% discount instead of the 15% discount, you know, for all my trouble and frustration. And that knocked the total price down below $50, which therefore means no $10 in Kohls Cash. Which also means no socks. In the end, I got 4 shirts for something like $43.73 including tax and everything, which is a great price when only considering the bottom line. But the hassle of going back there and the anger and frustration of knowing I'd been scammed made it so not worth it. I still need socks, and I'll be buying them at Target. If anyone wants to borrow a shirt, let me know.


Who's on first?

Seriously? Is this a hobby of yours?

Cliff notes anyone?

I make too much per hour to read through this. Pay me to read your wall of text, and maybe I'll give you a few $2 polos from Academy Sport's clearance rack and we'll call it even.

uutxs said:   Cliff notes anyone?

Kohls Finance Dept > OP

too good. Is there a badge for this ?

did you buy redbull at Kohls too?

uutxs said:   Cliff notes anyone?OP tried to game the system, and put himself in a donut hole where he couldnt double-dip a discount.

The problem is the OP, seriously do you know these Customer Service people make like 8/hr. Do you REALLY think it's fair to put them thru this? Prices are a moving target at ALL stores, what your trying to do is 'Line up' all the lowest prices, from various dates on one bill and that isn't possible.IF you want to do that your going to have to make approx 75 dollar orders, to protect yourself from going under in case of price adjustments.Wouldn't it have been so much easier just to return the whole darn thing, get your money back. Than put together a NEW order for ALL the shirts, maybe a couple of socks and some other small thing, you would have than gotten TWO Gift Certificates, and you would have saved yourself some grief?

Kingofthenet said:   The problem is the OP, seriously do you know these Customer Service people make like 8/hr. Do you REALLY think it's fair to put them thru this? Prices are a moving target at ALL stores, what your trying to do is 'Line up' all the lowest prices, from various dates on one bill and that isn't possible.IF you want to do that your going to have to make approx 75 dollar orders, to protect yourself from going under in case of price adjustments.Wouldn't it have been so much easier just to return the whole darn thing, get your money back. Than put together a NEW order for ALL the shirts, maybe a couple of socks and some other small thing, you would have than gotten TWO Gift Certificates, and you would have saved yourself some grief?

The return would have invalidated the Kohls cash received. They do a rather good job of tracking Kohls cash.

There was another thread about how Kohl's computers have been upgraded to stop loopholes around Kohl's cash. I assum the update messed up any other attempts to double dip discounts. Since too many people abused their returns system, the lost too much money, changed the system and ruined it for everyone.

Search is your friend - it would have saved you money.

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/deal-discussion/1193635/

Here is a perfect post to illustrate why it had to change:

"There was a hell of alot of abuse with the Kohls cash. Originally they allowed people to get store credit for returns while it was still being given out. So people were buying say 5 dress coats, returning them for store credit and keeping the $50 Kohls cash, then go buy 5 more... return for more store credit and more Kohls cash. In a few hours they could easily get $500 store credit (most weren't quite that bad, but there were people doing this)."

There was no adjustment. The computer treats it as a return.

Summary:
You spend pver 50, get 10 khols cash.
"return" and rebuy 3 shirts for a 0.90 difference, loose khols cash.

They stopped you from using the Kohls cash before returning? Remember that Kohls cash takes off before % off discounts, so $10 is really worth $7-8.50.

BingBlangBlaow said:   

Who's on first?


You're on first base, bc the person who knows how to reach home, knows how to not quote or edit a quote.

DTASFAB said:   In the end, I got 4 shirts for something like $43.73 including tax and everything, which is a great price when only considering the bottom line.

And the bottom line is all that matters.

Glad to know you still intend to wear socks.

This thread should be required reading for any young person remotely considering a career in retail.

DTASFAB said:   However, because I received that 15% discount on the original purchase, the Kohls computer was telling the clerk at the return desk that the original purchase price of the shirts was $15.29 each plus tax ($17.99 minus the 15% discount) and so I was only entitled to a $0.30 adjustment on each shirt ($15.29 - $14.99). The computer had no way to apply that original 15% discount to the lower (and current) price of $14.99. This is where it started to get really messy.
So you just couldnt accept the .90 as a bonus for your return trip... like finding a lucky penny. You refused this offer bc you evidently are a penny pincher.

If the shirts were on sale at an even lower price its possible that they werent offering a % discount at that time. So you may have wanted both, when both weren't available. My math tells me that for the desire of an additional savings of of $6-$7 (without considering the loss of your Kohl Cash) you spent how much gas and time on this! Kinda reminds me of the Seinfeld Movie-phone episode, where if I were a Kohl employee Id feel like saying to you, Why dont you just tell me how much you want to pay for these items.

BEEFjerKAY said:   This thread should be required reading for any young person remotely considering a career in retail.
+1



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