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A grocery store chain in my area recently ran a promotion where a 10% off coupon for a future purchase is suppose to print out at the register for every $100 you spend before 2/28/2013. Coupons must be used by 3/07/2013.

The promotion was advertised in the weekly flyer for two weeks and was also advertised in the store on a separate piece of paper with the terms and conditions printed on back.

Terms and conditions state:

Discount coupons will not be issued for, and discount coupons cannot be redeemed for, purchases of prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco, certain dairy products (where prohibited by law), money orders, postage stamps, lottery tickets, wire transfer services, VISA gift cards, MasterCard gift cards, American Express gift cards, bill pay services, and products and services provided as a convenience for our customers.

On 2/23 I purchased $100 worth of gift cards (that were not excluded in the terms) but the 10% off coupon never printed. After going to customer service and showing them the terms of offer I was given a 10% coupon similar to the one that prints at register (I later saw it said "cannot be applied towards purchase of gift cards").

I then went to two other stores and was told by cashiers that the promotion was not good for any gift cards. Even though they were shown that the printed terms said only specific gift cards were excluded from offer they insisted all gift cards were excluded.

Going back to the first store I purchased another $100 worth of gift cards and tried to use the 10% off coupon I was given at the first store but it didn't work. I then went to customer service and they said they would give me 10% off another gift card purchase (which they did) but they would not give me any more 10% off coupons (like stated in the terms).

I emailed complaint to customer service 5 days ago and today I got an email from the marketing manager who said he will arrange for me to get 10% off with the terms that print out on the physical coupons which are: "10% off your next shopping order Valid 2/15/13 - 3/7/13" and "cannot be applied towards purchase of gift cards".

I'm mostly aggravated about this because they have not honored the terms of their own promotion and all the hassle caused.

Any suggestions?

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Exactly - OJ got off the criminal charges when he was guilty by most people's accounts. So if OJ could do it, so can yo... (more)

BenH (Mar. 12, 2013 @ 3:09p) |

beat me on that update

imanemokid (Mar. 12, 2013 @ 3:38p) |

Exactly!

esphanic (Mar. 12, 2013 @ 5:57p) |

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Why are you afraid to give the name of the store where this occurred?

If you have an issue where you have contacted mgmt. and believe they have not satisfactorily rectified the issue, then the BBB is generally the next step. If that fails, and you truly believe that fraud and/or wrongdoing has occurred, then contacting your state's AG office may be the next step.

I would start with the executive office of the store (not just standard customer service) first and then go from there.

I see someone has already given the OP red. Even though this matter pertains to an issue with a grocery store, the grocery forum is supposed to focus on deals, not customer service issues. Perhaps the thread belongs in a different forum.

deleted

yoregano said:   Why are you afraid to give the name of the store where this occurred?
Maybe I will use it as leverage against them.

I see someone has already given the OP red. Even though this matter pertains to an issue with a grocery store, the grocery forum is supposed to focus on deals, not customer service issues. Perhaps the thread belongs in a different forum.

I originally posted it in another forum and it was moved here by someone else.

Well, MOMz are strange, sometimes. This is definitely not a grocery coupon or deal.

"Maybe I will use it as leverage against them" << I'm missing the concept behind that reply

But, I agree ... store name ? I would like to read the ad and promo myself ... not someone's interpretation (I get that enough from cashiers / CSRz /CSMz etc )

have a scan / original of any of the items (ad / Q / replacement Q)

(also need store name to read overall policy)

no reason to protect the store if they aren't going to be fair to their customers, and they have nothing to lose if they aren't wrong

Sounds like you consistently tried to break the terms of the deal even after the store reps told you it was invalid.

You are lucky to have gotten as much as you did.

Stores are free to change their promotional terms at any times - most likely there is some verbiage on their material that says something to that effect.

And TD for alt ids esphanic/esphan

imanemokid said:   Well, MOMz are strange, sometimes. This is definitely not a grocery coupon or deal.
Would not have put it here myself, will move somewhere else if there is way to do it.

"Maybe I will use it as leverage against them" << I'm missing the concept behind that reply
They might not want the publicity.

BenH said:   Sounds like you consistently tried to break the terms of the deal
How is that?
Stores are free to change their promotional terms at any times - most likely there is some verbiage on their material that says something to that effect.
Really???... There is no verbiage to that effect.

Email from marketing manager says that because the coupon that prints out at register states "can't be used for purchase of gift cards" he can only give me coupons good for 10% off everything else that is not excluded in T&C.

Anyone else think that the coupon is not complying with T&C by excluding all gift cards?

I would think the only thing that matters legally is what it says in T&C.

esphanic said:   BenH said:   Sounds like you consistently tried to break the terms of the deal
How is that?


How is that?

esphanic said:   
I purchased $100 worth of gift cards (that were not excluded in the terms) but the 10% off coupon never printed. After going to customer service and showing them the terms of offer I was given a 10% coupon similar to the one that prints at register (I later saw it said "cannot be applied towards purchase of gift cards").

I then went to two other stores and was told by cashiers that the promotion was not good for any gift cards. Even though they were shown that the printed terms said only specific gift cards were excluded from offer they insisted all gift cards were excluded.

Going back to the first store I purchased another $100 worth of gift cards and tried to use the 10% off coupon I was given at the first store but it didn't work. I then went to customer service and they said they would give me 10% off another gift card purchase (which they did) but they would not give me any more 10% off coupons (like stated in the terms).


So, you were given a coupon that said it was not eligible on gift cards. Then, you were told by two cashiers that the promotion was not good on gift cards. Then you went to try and purchase another $100 worth of GC with a coupon that said it cannot be used for gift cards. Since you weren't happy that you couldn't purchase this next $100 worth of GC with a coupon that said you couldn't use it - you bitched to customer service who said they would give you 10% off another gift card purchase (basically giving you what you wanted originally - and making an exception to their own rules), but they wouldn't give you *another* 10% off coupon!!!!

So when you ask "how is that" you must really be joking.

BenH said: Stores are free to change their promotional terms at any times - most likely there is some verbiage on their material that says something to that effect.
esphanic said:   Really???... There is no verbiage to that effect.
There might not be verbiage on this specific deal - but based on your comprehension of the above, I would be willing to accept you may have missed some fine print. Even so, stores are free to change their terms all of the time. Think of the BB MC coupon fiasco just a couple months ago. They aren't breaking the laws, only perhaps some good faith.

Technically the term "products and services provided as a convenience for our customers" could be considered anything and everything they sell...every product a store offers is a "convenience" to its shoppers.

BenH said:   Sounds like you consistently tried to break the terms of the deal
I was trying to break the terms of the deal by pointing out that THEY were not honoring the terms that were printed on the leaflet in the store? LOL

If you believe the T&C have no meaning and that stores can change the terms whenever they want, what is the point in having Terms and Conditions?

As an inconvenience to its shoppers?

esphanic said:   BenH said:   Sounds like you consistently tried to break the terms of the deal
I was trying to break the terms of the deal by pointing out that THEY were not honoring the terms that were printed on the leaflet in the store? LOL

If you believe the T&C have no meaning and that stores can change the terms whenever they want, what is the point in having Terms and Conditions?

As an inconvenience to its shoppers?


Have you ever gone into a store that posts when it has an incorrect price in an ad? Maybe you convince them to post the new T&Cs. If they are changing the terms, I would hope they post something to that effect, or at least clarify the gift card exclusions if that is the case.

What kind of giftcards did you buy?

MeIsCheap said:   What kind of giftcards did you buy?
I purchased mostly gas gift cards. They had Shell, BP and Gulf.

Thanks for all the red guys, but topic was not put in this forum by me.

esphanic said:   Thanks for all the red guys, but topic was not put in this forum by me.
Red is also probably because some people just don't agree with you on the subject.

I know you posted the terms, but it might be helpful to see that actual ad/link.

esphanic said:   

Terms and conditions state:

Discount coupons will not be issued for, and discount coupons cannot be redeemed for, purchases of prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco, certain dairy products (where prohibited by law), money orders, postage stamps, lottery tickets, wire transfer services, VISA gift cards, MasterCard gift cards, American Express gift cards, bill pay services, and products and services provided as a convenience for our customers.


Any suggestions?



I highlighted the part you seem to be overlooking, the other gift cards are a product provided as a service to you, the customer. The store CS shouldn't have even given in to your demands since they complied with the T&C. The other stores you went to were correct to deny you the coupons. The coupons themselves state "no gift cards", so why do you think they should give you 10% off on your gift card purchase when the coupon clearly disallows this? I have two different stores in my area that are part of a larger chain, and both run these promos frequently, the last was in February (I wonder if your store is the same chain). Even though the T&C at my stores doesn't specify any gift cards, tobacco products and postage stamps, neither are included as part of the promo. Your purchase of these items doesn't count towards your total, and the discount coupon you receive at the register cannot be used towards the purchase of these items. I have never seen a store ever allow gift cards and postage stamps as part of a purchase for a promo. I am guessing you also used a loyalty card, as these promos typically require that you have a store loyalty card, so you are also bound to the T&C applied to your use of the loyalty card. Pretty much every store loyalty card I own disallows the purchase of gift cards, postage stamps, tobacco products and (in some cases), milk with any promo tied to the use of the loyalty card. Go read the T&C tied to your loyalty card.

You created the hassle by your insistence that the stores adhere to your demands; the first store did (though they shouldn't have), the others correctly did not. This topic should have been posted in OT. But if it even ended up there, you'd probably still get red. I don't think the red is because of the wrong forum, but because of the subject itself.

100% agree with SweetClover. I glanced over that last part as well, but makes total sense.

I gave red because of the elusiveness to give upfront details, not where a thread lands. Looks like there would have been no harm in giving the name of the chain now. thoughts of a lawsuit have been thrown out the window.

esphanic said:   Thanks for all the red guys, but topic was not put in this forum by me.
yoregano said:   Red is also probably because some people just don't agree with you on the subject.
I know you posted the terms, but it might be helpful to see that actual ad/link.


Green is green ... no big deal there.

All the peepz that agree or disagree w/ you that posted did not "red"

personally ... I wish all "redz" were required to post - even if just a short reason why ...

SweetClover said:   
I highlighted the part you seem to be overlooking

I did see that, and classifying gift cards as "products and services provided as a convenience" seemed to be pretty broad to me, but I understand it could probably mean everything in the store if you stretch it.
I was focused on why the terms would only exclude specific gift cards and then not let you buy the others. Also, I didn't think the coupon should supersede what was stated in the T&C's

The store CS shouldn't have even given in to your demands
I never "demanded" anything, just showed her what the terms said and she called the manager who told her I could purchase more. The CS was very nice about it and I was struck by how efficient she was.

The coupons themselves state "no gift cards", so why do you think they should give you 10% off
Like I said above, I didn't think the coupon should supersede the T&C's and it didn't seem to made sense that the terms of the promotion would only exclude certain gift cards and then not let you purchase any others.

Go read the T&C tied to your loyalty card.
Maybe I won't.
So in the future I can say "I didn't know that" and not be lying.

You created the hassle
I agree.

insistence that the stores adhere to your demands
I disagree.

Thanks for your response..

MeIsCheap said:   thoughts of a lawsuit have been thrown out the window.
Why is that? Because they could claim "products and services provided as a convenience for our customers" means all gift cards?

Then why not just state "gift cards" are excluded in the terms, instead of excluding only certain ones? I don't buy it, and think most people would find it very misleading.

esphanic said:   MeIsCheap said:   thoughts of a lawsuit have been thrown out the window.
Why is that? Because they could claim "products and services provided as a convenience for our customers" means all gift cards?

Then why not just state "gift cards" are excluded in the terms, instead of excluding only certain ones? I don't buy it, and think most people would find it very misleading.


after hearing the products & services as a convenience portion, i immediately thought another vendors gift card fell under this and why it was denied. they are offering products that you would pay the same price for if you had to go to that retail establishment. stamps from a post office are the same cost anywhere else. buying a $25 best buy gift card is the same whether it as a grocery store, or an actual Best Buy. lotto tickets... a product that we offer here so you don't have to drive elsewhere. es there are some exceptions, and often are considered deals around these parts, but i see no reason for this chain to take a hit on another retails gift card.

i agree they could have thrown in 'other gift cards' into the fine print, but they didn't, yet I still think they are completely covered by the last part

MeIsCheap said:   after hearing the products & services as a convenience portion, i immediately thought another vendors gift card fell under this and why it was denied. they are offering products that you would pay the same price for if you had to go to that retail establishment. stamps from a post office are the same cost anywhere else. buying a $25 best buy gift card is the same whether it as a grocery store, or an actual Best Buy. lotto tickets... a product that we offer here so you don't have to drive elsewhere. es there are some exceptions, and often are considered deals around these parts, but i see no reason for this chain to take a hit on another retails gift card.
i agree they could have thrown in 'other gift cards' into the fine print, but they didn't, yet I still think they are completely covered by the last part


Many stores ... Best Buy took a hit(s), Target took a hit(s), Publix is currently taking a hit(s) ... for Publix $50 gas card for $40 if you spend $50 in grocery ... it's advertising - loss leaders / deals to get you into the store.

... and I'm still waiting for the store and the ad ...

MeIsCheap said:    after hearing the products & services as a convenience portion, i immediately thought another vendors gift card fell under this and why it was denied.
Nobody at store said that was the reason. The only reason marketing manager gave was because the coupon that prints at register says "can not be used to purchase gift cards".
I asked if it would also be ok if the coupon said it expired 3/1/2013 when the terms say 3/7/2013. I'm still waiting to hear back from him.

imanemokid said:    ... and I'm still waiting for the store and the ad ...
Maybe I will scan the ad and upload it later but not sure how it will help.

imanemokid said:   MeIsCheap said:   after hearing the products & services as a convenience portion, i immediately thought another vendors gift card fell under this and why it was denied. they are offering products that you would pay the same price for if you had to go to that retail establishment. stamps from a post office are the same cost anywhere else. buying a $25 best buy gift card is the same whether it as a grocery store, or an actual Best Buy. lotto tickets... a product that we offer here so you don't have to drive elsewhere. yes there are some exceptions, and often are considered deals around these parts, but i see no reason for this chain to take a hit on another retails gift card.
i agree they could have thrown in 'other gift cards' into the fine print, but they didn't, yet I still think they are completely covered by the last part


Many stores ... Best Buy took a hit(s), Target took a hit(s), Publix is currently taking a hit(s) ... for Publix $50 gas card for $40 if you spend $50 in grocery ... it's advertising - loss leaders / deals to get you into the store.

... and I'm still waiting for the store and the ad ...


I guess I thought I sort of eluded to some gift card offers as being deals, but just as much of the time they are excluded from deals. Did the gift card retailers from the Publix offer take the loss, or did Publix? I would think that would all fall on Publix if it was their promotion.

Staples is currently offering a $15 rebate on $150 VISA gift card purchase. The $200 card has a $6.95 activation fee.

esphanic said:   Staples is currently offering a $15 rebate on $150 VISA gift card purchase. The $200 card has a $6.95 activation fee.
This deal was posted more than a week ago in one or more Staplez-specific threads. Regardless, what does this have to do with this thread?

yoregano said:   This deal was posted more than a week ago in one or more Staplez-specific threads. Regardless, what does this have to do with this thread?
I know it was, my point was:

MeIsCheap said:   but i see no reason for this chain to take a hit on another retails gift card
Is there any reason for Staples to take a "hit" on their current VISA promotion? I wonder if you think stores don't make any profit selling gift cards.

esphanic said:   yoregano said:   This deal was posted more than a week ago in one or more Staplez-specific threads. Regardless, what does this have to do with this thread?
I know it was, my point was:

MeIsCheap said:   but i see no reason for this chain to take a hit on another retails gift card
Is there any reason for Staples to take a "hit" on their current VISA promotion? I wonder if you think stores don't make any profit selling gift cards.

Well, your point isn't clear if you don't expressly say what you mean. I think it's totally ridiculous and irrelevant, anyway.

Why Staplez is doing this Viza gift card promo and how hey have negotiated the rebate and whether or not they are making or losing money on the offer… who cares? Let's stay on the original topic at hand. Frankly, I think this thread has declined and you've begun beating a dead horse.

I'm with you on the level that the store in the original post should simply and clearly state the terms. There's no reason not to, and it would prevent all of this angst. However, it should not come a surprise that using coupons on the purchase of gift cards is seldom accepted anywhere, whether expressly stated or not. At this point, I don't think there is much worth crusading for. Is this issue really worth this much energy?

yoregano said:   Is this issue really worth this much energy?
Probably not.

I uploaded scan of promo leaflet for those who wanted to see it.

After reading the actual ad & coupon ... the store was wrong. PERIOD

imanemokid said:   After reading the actual ad & coupon ... the store was wrong. PERIOD

The actual ad terms bring nothing new to the table - they were already described by the OP.

While I agree, and would likely be pissed of like the OP that a store should be detailed in their ad terms - the fact is that companies make mistakes on these.
There is very tenuous if any substantive legal ground against the company in situations like this.
Additionally, the store did provide the OP with a coupon even after stating that his purchase wasn't valid for the terms.

So, the store acknowledged that the terms were wrong, but honored them anyway - the first time. Why anyone would expect them to keep honoring them is beyond me.

Additionally, the statements in the ad that it could not be redeemed for cash (which can also be interpreted cash equivalents, which could feasibly translated as any gift card) or for products/services provided as a convenience lets the store have a wide berth with interpretation.

10% off an array of gift cards from a retail chain is pretty good deal, and any reasonable person might question the validity of such an offer - especially when most other cards are excluded on it.

I would likely have been upset about the situation - the first transaction. But after a clarification of the terms with the store I wouldn't have continued to aggravated myself by trying to repeat it, and I certainly wouldn't be fuming about it weeks later.

TextTextBenH said:   especially when most other cards are excluded on it
Most? What are you talking about? It's quite the opposite..
Excluding 4 gift cards out of perhaps 100 or more is certainly not most.

Aren't you the one who questioned my comprehension skills? sorry, i couldn't resist

imanemokid said:   After reading the actual ad & coupon ... the store was wrong. PERIOD
BenH said:   etc etc ...
Additionally, the statements in the ad that it could not be redeemed for cash (which can also be interpreted cash equivalents, which could feasibly translated as any gift card) or for products/services provided as a convenience lets the store have a wide berth with interpretation.
etc etc ...


Remind me not to visit any store / establishment you're in charge of. That was as bad as the "interpretation" of Qz from lame cashiers / CSRz.

"that it could not be redeemed for cash (which can also be interpreted cash equivalents,"

Let's see ... your ad says - sale on 16 oz filet mignon ... B1G1 free ... I go into to buy them ... they're out ... and have hamburger as a replacement (chuck) - 12 oz - hey it's just meat - or a close interpretation ...

and a gift card is not cash - unless it's for that specific store ... no interpretation needed

Most other cards = everything except merchant cards. They exclude cash cards (AMEX/visa), store GCs, and bill pay cards. So most likely everything left is GC for particular merchant goods (Fridays, iTunes, etc.).

Why don't you guys take the case to a lawyer - I'm sure that he will see the merits of it and insist you sue the store since the legal ground you are standing on is so solid.

Again, I'm not claiming it isn't bad advertising - it was clearly a case of that. Illegal or against consumer protection laws? Unlikely.

As far as their customer service - the fact that they gave you the initial coupon even though you were outside their clarified terms shows that they were willing to honor their mistake, but after they clarified for you the mistake was yours.

Your OP asks for suggestions because all of the "hassle" that was caused - but most of that hassle was brought on by you trying to subvert the offer terms as they were explained to you by their customer service.

BenH said:   etc etc
Why don't you guys take the case to a lawyer - I'm sure that he will see the merits of it and insist you sue the store since the legal ground you are standing on is so solid.
etc etc
and
" But after a clarification of the terms with the store"


That's funny ... OJ won ... the big O is still ... anything is possible in this legal system w/ the right lawyer and some $$$

and ... "But after a clarification of the terms with the store" ... "clarifying" doesn't mean you get to make up something that wasn't there in the first place"

Exactly - OJ got off the criminal charges when he was guilty by most people's accounts. So if OJ could do it, so can you, right? Your case is apparently stronger than his...

imanemokid said:   BenH said:   etc etc
Why don't you guys take the case to a lawyer - I'm sure that he will see the merits of it and insist you sue the store since the legal ground you are standing on is so solid.
etc etc


That's funny ... OJ won ... the big O is still ... anything is possible in this legal system w/ the right lawyer and some $$$

beat me on that update

imanemokid said:   BenH said:   "But after a clarification of the terms with the store"
"clarifying" doesn't mean you get to make up something that wasn't there in the first place"

Exactly!



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