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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Love-Hate Relationship with CVS


I usually love CVS. It's my favorite place to shop, because they have incredible deals. I usually shop at two different stores, one near my home and another near my office. I have my favorite cashiers (who know that I come packing a stack of coupons), and they know that I'm a faithful customer.

I happened to stop at another CVS store on the way home from work today. Both the CVS near home and the one near my office were out of the Dove + Men, and I was hopeful that this store might have some. They did!! Yay!

I loaded up my cart with just over $30-worth of merchandise and headed for the checkout. I had a $5 off $30 coupon in-hand along with several other coupons and my $10 ECBs. All told, I should have only spent $10.98 and gotten back $15.98 in ECBs. It was a very simple transaction.

Until the cashier informed me that my after-coupon total was under $30, and she couldn't allow me to use my $5 off coupon.

WHAT?

I kindly informed her that the other stores where I shop (both local!) always took the $5 off coupon first and then rang my manufacturers' coupons. I was pretty calm, and she was nice enough to get her manager. He let me know that the $5 was only after coupons. I think both were a little shocked when I asked her to void the transaction and give me back my coupons. I kept my cool but let them know that I would not be shopping in their store ever again. I'll stick to my other two stores.

Lesson learned....

I guess I need to check on coupon policies before I shop. I assumed that this store was just like our other local stores, but I was wrong. Though I asked about using expired CRT coupons (which they don't allow - my other two stores do), I didn't ask about the $5 off $30. I thought it was a national policy.

Assume nothing.

9 comments:

Amy's Stocking Stuffers said...

My problem has been that I can rarely find the items with good extrabucks rewards. I can literally go to three CVS stores at 3 pm on the Sunday the deals start, and they're all out of the same items. It's as though they don't bother stocking any extra even when they know in advance there will be a sale. I've mostly decided it's not worth the gas money to chase these deals all over town. Now if I happen to catch one because I'm there anyway, great, but no more special trips. It's really disappointing.

cksknitter said...

I suggest you call 1-800-SHOP-CVS and let them know what happened. I've called before and the customer service people are very helpful. They immediately e-mail the store manager and action is always taken to correct any problems.

Jennifer said...

Amy, I've stopped making special trips too. I stopped on my way home today. Fortunately, it wasn't out of my way, or I really would've been disappointed!

I've been getting rain checks for the great sale items. You can hold onto those until you get a good $5 off $30 coupon and then get an even better deal anyways.

The ironic part about the whole experience was that the store that gave me a hard time HAD the Dove + Men in stock! Oh well!

Jennifer said...

Amy, I've stopped making special trips too. I stopped on my way home today. Fortunately, it wasn't out of my way, or I really would've been disappointed!

I've been getting rain checks for the great sale items. You can hold onto those until you get a good $5 off $30 coupon and then get an even better deal anyways.

The ironic part about the whole experience was that the store that gave me a hard time HAD the Dove + Men in stock! Oh well!

Jennifer said...

cksknitter - I'm considering emailing the CVS customer service department. I'd like to have something directly from corporate the next time this happens. I have some other specific emails printed and stored in my coupon binder, but nothing about the $5 off $30 coupons. Thanks for the nudge to write the email or make the call. I'll do that!

mona said...

Hello,

If you are in CVS during a weekday 8am - 5pm, you can let them hold your stuff for you and call CVS corporate in your car. They will call the store for you and I am sure, you can just go back in and finish your transaction once they fix the issue for you.

This happened to me before. Shift supervisor didn't want to accept my coupon because of the "one coupon per purchase" wording on the coupon. I asked her if I can call CVS corporate to clarify and she said OK. CVS customer service rep called the Store Manager and told me that I can go back in and use my coupons. Shift supervisor was apologetic and even asked me about the website where I learn to do deals. long story short, I now have a hassle-free trip to that CVS store everytime.

Anonymous said...

Regarding your experience, they were giving me all kinds of trouble when I used my $5 off 30 coupon with my extra care card saying it had to be for a specific extra card card and I had already used a $5 off coupon for another transaction during another week. I said you can print these coupons from all over the internet so how could they be linked (unless cvs.com sent a coupon to your email) for a specific card.

Big, prolonged argument over the issue.

Is it correct that the $5 off or $4 off coupons from cvs have to be linked to a certain card? And you can only use the $5 off coupons with your specific card once????

Jennifer said...

Anonymous - The coupons are actually card-specific. The ones that are posted on other sites aren't legit unless they're for the person who originally received the email. I didn't know that when I was starting out, and I used them too. But, now that I know, I only use the ones that I get via email directly from CVS.

Jessica said...

Anonymous- Even though those CVS coupons you're finding aren't legit, meaning they shouldn't be used at CVS, I still use them at stores that allow competitor coupons (i.e. Publix) to get a great discount on groceries that I would have paid that much more for otherwise. Phew! That was a mouthful.
TL/DR: Use the "illegitimate" drugstore coupons at a store that accepts competitor Qs! I do not see this as unethical, and it is very frugally savvy. :)