My Precious Pennies

I will be AWAY until late February as we do this moving thing...again.

Ginger from Attention Target Shoppers & Tricia from 1stopmom
will be holding down the fort in the meantime - thank you so much, ladies!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mess of a CVS results

Technically, my CVS trip went according to plan, but that was not without a lot of work.  You can see my original plan here.

When there's a L'Oreal free after ECB item, I just don't even bother going to my favorite CVS anymore.  They just don't have it.  So this morning I headed out to the other CVS down the street.  I really don't like this CVS - the employees there ALWAYS give me a hard-time about coupons, and basically deny coupons on a whim.  Today was no different.

When I went to check-out with my two free Glade warmer peelie coupons, I was told that I couldn't use it.  The reason was that I was already getting the warmer for free, according to the package.  Never mind that right next to that pack was an identical Glade warmer and 0.71 oz refill - the only difference was that the other pack didn't say "free warmer" on the package and wasn't part of the ECB offer.  Otherwise, they were exactly identical. 

So I asked for my coupons back, and went on my merry way.  My plan was to call their 1-800 on Monday, but I had the $5/$30 that was expiring TODAY.  I headed 3 blocks down the street to my favorite CVS, but they didn't have the L'Oreal.  I couldn't exactly break up my transaction since I needed to reach the $30.  At least the cashier was really nice and told me as I walked in the door that they don't have any L'Oreal so I didn't have to bother grabbing everything.

But I HAD to use the $5/$30 coupon!  My deal would not be a mad moneymaker if I didn't use it!  So...I went back to the first CVS and bought the stuff anyway, without my 2 free Glade warmer coupons.  My plan was to buy it, and then call corporate on Monday.  Worse case scenario, I could just return them.  Well, as I was checking out I noticed that they had signs around the store that had the district manager's number on it.  I saved it to my phone and called it in the parking lot - I just wanted to get business hours, but to my surprise the district manager answered!

I explained my case to him, and he said that I should have been able to use the coupons.  He called the store on the spot, and I was able to get my money back.  However, the interesting thing is that he said coupons cannot be combined with any other offer because their system won't allow it.  He said specifically that if you use coupons on an ECB-returning item, the ECBs won't print.  He also said that you can't use a B1G1 coupon with a B1G1 sale.  Uh...WRONG.  I've spoken with corporate on BOTH of these matters, and you CAN use coupons on a ECB-deal item and use a B1G1 coupon with a B1G1 sale to get both for free.  Not to mention that I generally don't buy anything at CVS without a coupon, and my ECBs have always just printed fine.  Obviously I didn't argue this point with him, but I just find it rather sad that a company's own employees don't have their facts straight. 

So, here's what ended up happening:

Transaction #1
Buy 1 L'Oreal Age Perfect Pro Calcium: $15.99
Buy 1 Xantrex-3 Insta-shot 2pk: $4.99
Buy 2 Glade plugins warmer ($2.99 each): $5.98
Buy 2 Glade glass scents ($2.50 each): $5.00
Subtotal: $31.96
Use $5/$30 email coupon (-$5.00)
Use $1/1 L'Oreal moisturizer coupon (-$1.00)
Use B1G1 Glade glass scents coupon (-$2.50)
Grand Total: $23.46
(use $1.29 + $11.99 + $4.00 + $4.00 ECB)
OOP:
$2.18 + $0.15 tax = $2.33 (on CVS giftcard)
ECBs returned: $15.99 (L'Oreal) + $4.99 (Xantrex) + $5 (Glade) = $25.98

Technically, this was still a small money-maker, but I just get so ticked when I go to lengths to make sure I'm following all of their policies and the coupon fine print, and I'm still denied.  It's a different story if I just made a mistake, but I DIDN'T and I spend a lot of time and energy to make sure I'm playing by the rules.

Transaction #1b (return)
2 Glade plugins warmer ($2.99 each): $5.98
Tax on 2: $0.48
Total CASH refund: $6.46

I was surprised at the cash refund, considering I used ECBs and a giftcard.  I even handed him the giftcard for the refund, but he just ignored it and pulled out cash.  Oookay...whatever.

Transacvtion #1c (re-purchase w/ coupons)
Buy 2 Glade plugins warmer ($2.99 each): $5.98
Use 2 FREE Glade Plugins warmer peelie coupon (-$5.98)
Pay tax: $0.48 (paid $0.46 cash from refund)

Technically, this whole return mess ended in my favor.  I spent $2.33 on a giftcard, and at the end of the day I had $6 cash.  And since the manager refunded and did a re-purchase on the Glade, they count towards my ECB-payout.  Right now, my receipt says "Amount Needed to Earn Reward: $3.04" on the Glade. 

Obviously, I'm not out to trick CVS or anything.  I would much rather my transaction have went according to plan.  For any CVS newbies out there, please do not get discouraged by my most recent experience.  This is the FIRST time such a huge mess happened to me - most of the time the biggest "mess" is that they ran out of stock.  Just know your rights as a consumer, know your store policies, and know your resources, and you will be fine. 

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