Not trying to sound cheap, but...

Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2010 08:22 pm
This doesn't seem fair.

This subject came up a long while back, during a thread where I mentioned a rude salesperson.

At that time, I was saying how I was return some hair color at a drug store, and this clerk, looking at my receipt, not asking me, but telling me "If you used a coupon to buy this, I'm not going to give you that money back" Or basically something like that.
I can't remember now if I'd used a coupon or not, but I found it annoying that someone less than half my age felt they had to tell me what they wouldn't do for me.

I remember ehbeth giving the explanation that (in my words, technically) the store is not supposed to send in coupons for reimbursement for items returned. That they could get into trouble if they were audited...

Yeah right, like they are going to be audited and caught over 1 of 10's of thousands of items that are sold in a particular location of a nationwide drug chain.

Anyway, my story of today...

Actually, I Sunday, I'd seen a bunch of items on sale at Walgreens, and clipped some coupons for the same, and went down there and bought maybe a dozen items.

One of the things I bought was an OTC med that cost $18 I thought my husband used, and yes, it had a coupon, $3 or $4 dollars (not small change). When I got home, he said he didn't use it, so I stopped by the drug store today to return it.

A manager has to sign off on a return, and he (at least) asked me politely if I'd used a coupon. I honestly hadn't thought about that, and thought for a second, and said "yeah I did"
He said "I'm not going to be able to return the full amount then, only $15, since you used a $3 coupon.

I started to say "ok", then I remembered my other experience.

I said "not arguing with you, but that doesn't make sense. When I bought this, ya'll took my $3 coupon, and are going to get reimbursed for it, but you're not going to give that back to me."

He was a nice guy, really, but I was really confused by this.
He said "But you didn't give us that $3"
Me: "I gave you a piece of paper that was worth $3 to you. You're going to send it in and get $3, and now you're not going to give me $18, but $15.
To me, you're $6 ahead. (well, I think it's only $3, but $6 sounds more dramatic)

Anyway, he reimbursed me the whole $18.

This doesn't even get into that 8 cents or whatever the store gets reimbursed for each coupon that gets sent in.

Anyway, again, not to sound cheap, but that sounds like bullshit to me.

What is the law/policy on this?

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Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 5,934 • Replies: 49

Tai Chi
Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2010 08:29 pm
I'm surprised your receipt didn't show whether or not a coupon was used. Any that I've noticed lately do. That way you get back the money you are out of pocket -- period. I doubt any store submits coupons daily. They will probably wait 'til the end of the month before submitting coupons to the company and then their ordered product and inventory had better justify the number of coupons submitted. Why would you expect to get back more money than you actually spent? I understand that you don't think the store should profit from your returned item either. On the other hand, they didn't charge you a re-stocking fee Twisted Evil
Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2010 08:36 pm
If they won't refund the full price, they ought to give back the coupon, instead of profiting off of it.
Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2010 08:43 pm
@Tai Chi,
It did show the coupons used.

I'd bought a dozen items, and used 4 or 5 coupons.
I had to think for a second if I'd used a coupon on that particular item.
I also remember I had a coupon for something, but when I actually saw it, didn't want it.
I don't remember what that something was.

The number of coupons and inventory have to justify?
Well, that would be a problem if every person that came in the store used a coupon for a particular item.

Then they would have to prove they actually sold 800 boxes of kleenex, if they were holding 800 coupons.

In reality though, there inventory of kleenex was down by 800 boxes, and they were holding 42 coupons. So they would have to justify to someone that if they held 42 coupons, that meant they must have sold 816 boxes of kleenex?
The number of items sold is so large, and the relative number of coupons for any particular item is so small, I don't believe justification is an issue.

I would expect them to reimburse me for the amount of dollars they are going to gain. They are holding a piece of paper that is worth $3 to them.

The cost of returned items is already built into their budgets. They know that for every X amount of items sold, Y% is going to be returned, and they have already accounted for that.

In essence, Walgreens, based on the knowledge of millions of items sold, and the thousands of returns that are made, we fully expecting me to return that item.
It was just in the odds that me, or the person 3 people behind me in line, was going to have to return something. They also have a very clear idea how much is going to be damaged, stolen, expired, etc.

If they store keeps the $3 coupon on an $18 item, returning only $15, they made an extra 16%.
Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2010 08:43 pm
edgarblythe wrote:

If they won't refund the full price, they ought to give back the coupon, instead of profiting off of it.

That's logical, but that would be impossible, obviously.
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2010 08:45 pm
This is a true philosophical question.
Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2010 08:55 pm
But how did you feel about that?
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2010 09:47 pm
You bought something for $18 minus a $3 coupon = $15.
You returned it and want $18 back?
I must be missing something here. You want to make a $3 profit for buying and then returning something?
Maybe I didn't read this closely enough.
Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2010 09:55 pm
Does the retailer pay sales on the entire sale, or just on the discounted amount? I don't suppose you have to deal with many coupons, but I've got a vague idea that might be relevant to the amount of the refund.

Whatever happened to all those "Double your money back if not completely satisfied" offers, anyway. That's for me!
Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2010 10:11 pm
I am not sure I understand your last question, Roger. I think the answer is just on the discounted amount (which would be the case in my stores).
I suspect that the returned item that was mentioned above, even an over the counter medication never seemingly opened, could never be put back on the shelf. It would have to be trashed, probably at the store's expense.
Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2010 11:28 pm
chai2 wrote:

I would expect them to reimburse me for the amount of dollars they are going to gain.
This is terribly illogical reasoning. In what way can it be justified that one should be owed more than he has put in? This must be why some coupons state their actual worth as a small fraction of a cent.
Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2010 11:35 pm
okay, having read this thread to this point

i'm gonna say that chai2 owes me $3 for my time

(and i don't accept coupons Razz )
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2010 11:55 pm
Understood or not, I think you answered it.
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Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2010 04:56 am
thack45 wrote:

chai2 wrote:

I would expect them to reimburse me for the amount of dollars they are going to gain.
This is terribly illogical reasoning. In what way can it be justified that one should be owed more than he has put in? This must be why some coupons state their actual worth as a small fraction of a cent.

So, what if it wasn't an OTC drug, what if it was a bottle of shampoo?

Owed more than what I put in?

What I put in was 15 of my u.s. currency (via a credit card) and a piece of paper worth $3 to them. I took the time to see the coupon and cut it out. I took the time to think to myself, "I better go through all the coupons in the paper, and find one to fit this product"

I put in exactly enough effort to give them $18 worth of a combination of items, which they are going to turn in and get $18

like edgar said, the fair thing would be to get my coupon back, but, that obviously can't happen.
What else can the store give me so that it equals out?

A store credit.

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Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2010 04:59 am
I would expect them to reimburse me for the amount of dollars they are going to gain. They are holding a piece of paper that is worth $3 to them.

How the coupon you used does, or does not, profit the retailer, has absolutely nothing to do with you as a consumer who simply shops in a store. Your transaction with the store only involved your making a purchase of an item. You paid a specific amount for the item, and the store is not obligated to refund any amount beyond what you actually paid.

Why aren't you satisfied that you got your money back? I don't think you're cheap, but I think you might be a bit greedy. You are trying to unfairly profit on your transaction by insisting you be refunded more than you actually paid.

Your effort in cutting that coupon out was "rewarded" by being charged less at the time of purchase. You already used the coupon, you should not expect it to be returned to you when you get your refund.

Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2010 05:16 am
As I said, this is a truly philosophical question.

I'm not greedy, or cheap (any more than you or anyone else is)

What I'm asking, I suppose, is, "What is worth?" "What is fair"

Why should my coupon (or anything) be worth $3 to them because they want it to, but not to me (even if I want it too)

Why shouldn't, let's say, I be given a chance to redeem what I worked for to give them, and that they reep profit from?
Perhaps a person returning an item with a coupon could be presented with a selection of collected, but yet unredeemed coupons, in various amounts. Then the consumer could pick out a different $3 coupon.

Ah....but is it only the store that gains or loses?

The company who sells the product is going to have to pay $3 to the store, what about that?
The company loses that money, the store keeps it.

Shouldn't I call the company and say "there's a coupon for $3 coming your way that was collected from me, that you're going to have to pay to the store, but I returned the item.

That's why I can't be presented with an array of other $3 coupons, because I'd be stealing from another company.

The crux, to me, is not so much I don't get back the $3 via the coupon worth to the store, but that the store is going to gain $3 from the comany that makes the product.

Then, it seems the store is stealing from the company, because there is no way they can truly justify exactly how much product they sold, as opposed to how many coupons they are olding.

Why does the company, which I may own stock in, have to pay money to the store, which the store no longer deserves?
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2010 06:22 am
The company that makes the product doesn't care whether or not you use the item you bought - they just want you to BUY the item. The store who stocks the item also wants you to BUY the item, that's why they go to the trouble of using sales tactics, such as coupons, to entice you to buy the item.

If you wrote the company who produced the item and said, 'The store at which I bought this item enticed me to buy your product with a coupon, and I did, but they'll be sending you a coupon for an item I bought and then returned,' I think the CEO of the company that produces the item would say to him or herself, 'Oh, good, that store is doing a good job of marketing our product - good for them.'

I do think it sounds kind of cheap to expect to get reimbursed for money you didn't spend. Three dollars for cutting out a coupon? That sounds a little ridiculous. Do you not like the store you go to? Do you want them to stay in business? Because if they continually reimburse people more money than those people actually spent at their store, they'll go out of business.

Here's another philosophical question- How much, if anything, would you expect to get reimbursed for an item that you bought on a buy one/get one free deal and then decided to return?
How would you expect the store to handle that transaction?
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Bella Dea
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2010 06:56 am
You only paid $15 for the item and that's all you should get back. It doesn't make sense to ask for $18 when you've not paid $18. A coupon has a cash value of 1/100 of a cent or something crazy like that so it's not worth cash.

I think that the store was right in giving you back only what you spent.
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2010 07:33 am
@Bella Dea,
Actually, I did get back the $18.

As I said, when I was talking with the manager I said, "I'm not arguing"...then just presented the case...we were both being very friendly. He knew I wasn't trying to get something for nothing, I was asking him about the logic of it.

What he did do was reply to me, "I see your point" and just automatically swiped it for the original price.

If he had said "Sorry, that's not the policy", I was totally prepared to say "ok," but I would have walked away knowing I got my original cash money, but the store got extra money from the manufacturer.

Someone lost $3, and ultimately, it was the manufacturer.

Of course the store and the manufacturer want you to entice you to buy something....they want to entice you to buy it, and keep it. They don't want you to return it.

As far as my effort in clipping a coupon and what it's worth, that's subjective.
I don't think someone is worth $5 million to throw a basketball in a hoop. Why does an interventional cardiologist earn twice as much as a nephrologist, when both your heart and your kidneys are necessary to live?

It's not so much I got the money or didn't, it's someone lost that money, and someone else gained it.
That isn't fair.

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Bella Dea
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2010 07:36 am
I understand you got back the $18 and it's at the stores discretion to make that choice. But it's not fair to the store for you to get back money you didn't spend. And you didn't spend that $3.

Personally, I couldn't care less if you got it back or not because it's your right as a consumer to request/demand what you would like. I just know that i wouldn't ask for the $3 back because I didn't spend that $3.

And let's not even get into professional sports....what a waste.
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