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Simple Saving Savvy: UPDATE ~ When will Walgreens get a clue?

Simple Saving Savvy

Practicing Wise Stewardship & Blessing Others Out of Our Abundance

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

UPDATE ~ When will Walgreens get a clue?

I know you all are curious as to what happened with Walgreens....
I called the corporate offices the following morning and calmly explained the situation. The CSR typed in all the details and asked if I'd like a call back from management. I said "as long as it's not the managers (assistant managers) I spoke with that day".

Around 3:00pm, I received a call from the general manager at the Walgreens I shopped that day. I repeated my entire story. I also told him that I had gone to Walgreens on Kelly & Covell and tried the same transaction with no beeps and excellent customer service.

He assured me that he has spoken with the employees I encountered that day and that there was no such policy regarding the use of more than one register reward per transaction, other than with the $5/$25 register rewards they were giving last week. He apologized for the rude comments and instructed me to ask for him to be called if I ever encountered another issue like this at his store.

He then asked me how they could make it right. I simply said, "by implementing effective training for your employees on Walgreens Register Rewards and general couponing policies so that I never encounter this kind of circumstance again."

I guess we'll see how it goes!

I went to Walgreens yesterday to spend some of last week's Register Rewards before all the stock was gone. I did not have a good experience and ended up leaving without the things I went for.

I was buying:

(4) Crest Whitening
(1) Goody's Accessory
(3) Scotch Tape

I was using:
(4) Crest coupons .75/1
(1) Scotch Tape $1.00/3
(3) Register Rewards ($4, $3, $3)

The total before tax but after coupons was: $10.49.

HOWEVER, the register would not accept my RRs. Not even one! So they tried to tell me it was because my total before tax was less than the amount. I showed them my list with calculations and assured them it was not. They called a manager.

Then they tried to tell me I had too many coupons. I showed them the items/coupons ratio which was right on.

So the manager suggested voiding my transaction and re-ringing but using the RRs before they used my coupons. This time the RRS went in but it wouldn't take my last $0.75/1 coupon.

Then they told me that they would not do the transaction for me because the new policy was that they couldn't accept more than one Register Reward per transaction. Oh really? They assured me those were the stipulations in the fine print. So I pulled out a Register Reward and read them the fine print.

Then the manager says that they changed the policy because of all these people coming in and using all these coupons and paying next to nothing.

She then said I could shop at another store if I like but she was not going go help me with this transaction. Let me just say that she was NOT polite or professional about it.

So I left the store and on my way home, I prayed...."Lord, if I am doing anything wrong or unethical, please show me."

Here's what came to me and I felt compelled to share with you since I know that many of you may experience the same circumstances and doubt that I was feeling.

#1 Walgreen's policy states that one Walgreens coupon and one manufacturer's coupon can be used per item. This is another way they run a "sale". When Walgreens is planning their ad campaigns, they also know which coupons will be circulating via manufacturers at that time. Ever noticed how ads have the little bubbles beside the product that say "look for coupons in this Sunday's paper"? The FREE and CHEAP items they feature are called loss leaders. They hope to get people in for the FREE or cheap stuff so they'll buy more regular priced stuff. So they really are trying to entice you to buy more but they don't like it when you beat them at their own game. Even if you do so honestly.

#2 Register Rewards are rewards we earn for buying certain products. It does not state in the fine print that these rewards cannot be used on transactions qualifying for more rewards. The only specification is that the total number of manufacturer coupons/register rewards cannot exceed the number of items in the transaction. And then of course all the stipulations about not using the register rewards towards the purchase of alcohol, prescriptions, gift cards, etc. So how and when I use my register rewards is up to me as long as I am maintaining the written guidelines as stated on the coupon. Because I am wise enough to "invest" my register rewards does not make my actions underhanded or dishonest.

#3 Using coupons and paying less out of pocket is the whole idea! And we are not cheating them out of money. As long as you come by your coupons honestly, how/when you use them is up to you as long as you abide by the written guidelines. Do we really need to constantly re-remind the retailers that they are reimbursed for all the manufacturer coupons we use? And that the Catalina Marketing Register Reward program is also sponsored by the manufacturers?

So in a nutshell, NO we are not doing anything wrong. We have nothing to be ashamed of. In my estimation, we are wise stewards making the best of what we have been given.

Oh, and I also have to mention that Walgreens is the only store in our area I have EVER had issues with regarding their own policy or disregard for consumers. At CVS, Homeland and Target, I have always had the BEST of customer service and assistance. EVEN when using coupons!

Needless to say, I am calling Walgreens Corporate today!



OpenID bakingmammaof2 said...

I agree. They are the only people I have had problems with.

August 24, 2009 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Andy+Sofia said...

wow, i thought i was the only one keeps getting complicated transactions everytime i try to use coupons at walgreens...

August 24, 2009 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

yes, I too have had issues at Walgreens. PLEASE let us know what corporate says!!!

August 24, 2009 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Astad said...

Two & three weeks ago, I had problems too. The first one was a cashier who told me the limit is one internet coupon per transaction. Not one per like item, one total! And, her "store manager was on vacation." End of discussion. I used the Walgreens website that night and asked for a copy of the coupon policy. Asst. Store Manager called, said there is no written policy, but the cashier was wrong.

The following week, a different cashier would not lower the value of the Ecotrin coupon to $1.99, and said I could not use it. Again, used the website, asking a second time for the written policy. Same asst. manager calls me, says he is sending me a $20 gift card, cashier was wrong, but still couldn't give me a policy.

I hate Walgreens. I feel the tension everytime I go into the store. If it wasn't for the low cost items I can donate to others, I would just skip them.

Hang in there and good luck with corporate. Maybe if we all keep contacting them with our problems, something will finally change.

August 24, 2009 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

I had a similar problem at a Walgreens but the manager and clerk at that location were very helpful and fixed the problem. I would suggest contacting Walgreens corporate office. I'm sure they won't like hearing that their manager told someone to take their business elsewhere and they shouldn't be getting things for free or almost nothing.

August 24, 2009 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Michelle J said...

Yes. The same think happened to me today. When I tried to buy 2 of the Smart Rinse, using 1 b1g1 MQ, 1 $1 MQ, and 1 W Q, they refused. I was kind of worried that if I did sth wrong. But I fogot to pray! Thank you for sharing your story and thoughts. It encouraged me.

August 24, 2009 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger svdbygrace said...

I ALWAYS have problems when I go to Walgreen's! It ends up being a huge problem just to make a purchase. I carefully plan my shopping trip ahead of time and have my coupons sorted and transactions planned. Last week I had several RR's to use on a purchase and they told me I could only use one since I only purchased one item (a printer ink cartridge); I had 3 more to use, so I told my husband to go get 3 packs of gum or something so I could use them. The manager and cashier rolled their eyes at each other, but let me use them. What good are their policies if they don't even follow them. I live in NC. This seems to be a problem all over. I told them I would shop at CVS because they didn't treat me like that.

August 24, 2009 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger Simple Saving Savvy said...

Thanks to everyone for their feedback and comments. I will be posting an update soon. As for the number of RRs you can use towards a purchase, the fine print states that the number of manuf. coupons/RRs cannot exceed the number of items purchased. And for future transactions, the Walgreens in-ad coupon items often make great CHEAP filler. Happy Shopping~ Amanda

August 25, 2009 at 5:50 AM  
Blogger Fregal said...

Man I just thought it was ME. It makes me feel better that in general it is all of the Walgreens and not me. I always say I am not going back and then get more RR so I have to use them. I always go out of there with one or two things I did not need just fulfill there policy.

August 26, 2009 at 8:34 PM  
Blogger he-guy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 12, 2009 at 11:10 PM  
Blogger Simple Saving Savvy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 13, 2009 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Christi said...

I went into Walgreens last weekend, I live in the OC, California. Not only did I get a Rain Check for B1G1 Oatmeal w/their in store ad, but I had purchased a few other items for RR. The RR didn't print out, so I asked the cashier, "Where do I go for my RRs?" He asked if I knew for what items the RRs were from and I pulled out the Ad. (ALWAYS ALWAYS have an ad with you!!) I showed him the items with the RRs and he called over a manager. The manager offered either a Gift Card for the RRs amount or a refund. He was very polite and nice. HOWEVER, I did notice a sign in several places of the store that read to the effect that you can no longer use RRs to puchase other items FOR RRs. Has any heard anything about that?

November 5, 2009 at 9:54 AM  

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