In this day and age of "extreme couponing" I've noticed that a lot of stores have either changed their policies or clarified their existing policies in an effort to crack down on those that have worked the system (sometimes illegally) to take advantage of the deals out there.
Checkouts with coupons now take a LOT more time as the cashiers match up each and every item to each and every coupon. While it can be irritating, I understand. If a cashier is accepting coupons out of the range of the terms of the coupon, it can cost the store money. And it could cost the cashier their job. So I get it. I know that when I'm doing something that puts my job on the line, I dot those i's and cross those t's.
As you've probably guessed if you read this blog on a regular basis, my favorite grocery store to shop at is Publix. The BOGO deals combined with coupons can make for a greatly reduced grocery bill. One part of their policy is the Publix Promise -- which basically means if an item rings up for more than the price on the shelf, you get a full refund on that item --- and you keep the item.
Last Friday, while doing my shopping, I happened upon the clearance rack and saw a package of heavy duty pony tail holders (without the metal connectors) on clearance. The price marked was $1.37. Princess Penelope plays varsity basketball, so throughout the course of a season, she goes through A LOT of ponytail holders. I like the ones without the metal connectors, because if she carelessly leaves one on the side of the tub when hopping in the shower, the end result is not a rust mark on the edge. Not to mention, they really hold that super fine hair in place. Since they only had the one package, I grabbbed it, and checked out with the rest of my groceries.
When I got home and typed up my shopping trip for this blog, I noticed that I had been charged $2.74 for the ponytail holders. Dang it. At this point, I wasn't even sure if Publix still had the Publix Promise, or if it applied to clearance items. However, I was going back to the store on Sunday, so I carefully tucked the ponytail holders and the receipt into my coupon holder. When I got to the store on Sunday, I went to customer service, showed the item (with the orange clearance sticker on it) and my receipt and voila! I was handed back the item, my receipt and the full purchase price of the item -- plus tax! $3.04!
As a customer, I know that stores have to enforce their coupon policies to prevent losses and to be fair to all. But also as a customer, it is important to know all of your stores policies - because sometimes, with just a wee bit of effort, those policies are in the customer's favor. And that $3.04 is money that I'd rather have in my pocket!