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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My NEW Love-Hate Relationship with Rite Aid

If you read my earlier post about my love-hate relationship with CVS, you'll sense that this has a familiar feel to it. I just spent half of my lunch hour teaching the Rite Aid cashier and shift manager about their own corporate coupon policy. It's a good thing I had a copy of it with me!

Issue #1: The $5 off $25 Coupon

The cashier was certain that I could not use the $5 off coupon because my after-coupon total would be less than $25. I rolled my eyes calmly explained that the corporate policy states that it's the before-coupon total that is considered. In fact, I've had cashiers scan the $5 coupon after all of my other coupons, and it still comes off. The Rite Aid registers are programmed to work with the rules of the coupon. They're just smart like that.

Issue #2: My CoverGirl Buy 1 - Get 1 FREE Coupon

The cashier couldn't get the CoverGirl coupon to work correctly (not sure why), and she was certain that it was because the makeup was already on a Buy 1 - Get 1 FREE sale. Again I referenced the Rite Aid coupon policy which specifically states that you can use a coupon with a sale to get both items free. The shift supervisor ended up manually entering the discount, but not without reservation.

Before I left, the shift supervisor asked if I had an extra copy of the coupon policy. I gladly handed her the copy that I keep in my coupon binder. She wanted to keep it to show the "loss prevention people" when they visit the store. I'm not sure why this would be considered a loss to be prevented. I followed the Rite Aid coupon policy. I do not advocate bending or stretching the rules. That would mean a loss for the company and fewer sales for Rite Aid bargain shoppers.

What I really don't understand is the fact that I did a transaction very similar to this one on Sunday (HERE), and I had no problems at all. Not an eyebrow raised. Not a shake of the head. Just a few beeps of the price scanner and a little money handed over. Why is it so different at another store? *sigh*

The good news about today's trip is that I ended up getting $41.46 worth of merchandise (including some BADLY needed hair color!) for $.48 plus tax.... But I did it while playing by the rules. I'll be sure to post the details of the trip (minus the drama) later this evening.

Is it just me? Am I a magnet for these types of things? Or are you finding this at your stores too?

*If you want a copy of the coupon policy to carry with you, head over HERE to print it.


Lindsey said...

There are quite a few reasons I never shop at Rite Aid. The closest one is pretty... uhm... trashy. Everything is pretty scattered and there isn't much of a selection. The one time I went to coupon shop, the cashier didn't seem to know how to work the register, and neither did the supervisor. It was just kind of odd shopping there. The "register" reminded me of a 1988 computer, with the green letters and black screen. I just don't see me shopping there ever.

Katie said...

I had a similar experience but fortunately they just went ahead and got the olay to work. I HATE when they say.. oh cause it is already bogo.. UGH. I am glad it worked out for you though. I probably would've just said nevermind, taken my coupons and gone to another store. ha ha

Amy Rainey said...

At my Rite Aid, I have learned which cashier "goes with the flow" and which does not. I simply go when the easy going chashier is working. I have not been allowed the BOGO sale + coupon...I have a suspicion that it is a state issue in MD (we have some odd laws). What they will allow me to do is get one free and then get the second item for half price when I have a BOGO coupon and sale. I'm cool with that. I save a lot of money by couponing. Yes, I realize I could push them to the letter to save a couple of dollars more. But, good relationships in the retail environment are hard to come by where I live. It is important to me to keep the ones I have. If the deal isn't good enough, I just ask them to take it off of my order.

That "loss prevention" comment sounds like she was being accusational in a veiled way. It sounds like she does not belive that was really their policy. The good news is that when she does show it to loss prevention, they should tell her to loosen up because that is in fact the policy. You were completely in the right.

It is a shame that stores have a hard time teaching their employees the policies, and that we cannot rely on consistency within a chain.

geegarland said...

Did the John Freida, Biore, and Cover Girl deals this week in 2 different trips at 2 different Rite Aids. I had trouble at both of them, but the most trouble was with the BOGO Cover Girl deal. The cashier didn't want to do it without the manager's consent because I was getting them free. As she was explaining it to the manager, her voice volume kept getting louder and louder as if that is how her point would be proved. I just kept calm and was confident that I wasn't doing wrong. The manager didn't have a problem and had to tell the cashier that the manufacturer reimburses them. It was a bummer that it caused so much trouble.

This week I spent $14 (after coupons/rebates) on $115 worth of merchandise!! I certainly don't mind a little trouble for that much of a savings!!!

missy said...

DITTO to what happened to you!! I too THANKFULLY had my Coupon Policy with me. I was AGAIN made to feel that the Covergirl B1G1 coupon I was using was infact "trying to rip-off Rite-Aid"!! Ughhh I have a Rite-Aid I can walk to but EVERY TIME I try to use my coupons they give me attitude. Yet the Rite-Aide 25 minutes away never bats an eyelash when I use coupons!!

I think we need to start a letter mailing campaign to Rite-Aid corporate head-quarters!!


Mrs. Filley said...

I am going there tonight...usually my rite aid is great...hopefully they will be tonight too. can't wait to see what you got!

Kristin K. said...

Did you visit the Rite Aid on Lovers Lane in Steubenville? Lol. I had nearly the same experience on Monday.. I had to recite the coupon policy stated on the Rite Aid website, because the cashier was telling me I couldn't use the BOGO Covergirl coupons. The cashier was giving me the impression that she thought I was doing some horrible, bad thing for using coupons. I rarely shop at Rite Aid, and my experience doesn't make me want to shop there any more. I did get some really good deals though, so I guess it was worth it.

Mom C said...

I've been to RA 4 times this week to buy diapers for donating and the free cover girl for my sister-in-law. My first experience was similiar to yours and I emailed customer service (which I also just sent to you) about my concerns. The 2nd & 3rd trip were pretty good although the computer beeped when prices had to be entered manually. My 4th trip today went well when I got 3 John Frieda shampoo's, free Excedrin, toothpaste all for about $4 due to coupons. Regarding the $5off$25 - that was the last coupon entered today and it scanned just fine!

Still, I got 3 packs of diapers, 6 free Cover Girl (all over $10 each), 1 Crest tooth paste, 4 snickers, 2 starburst and the 3 John Frieda shampoos. I used my P&G Go for the Gold $15 giftcard (still have $3.80 remaining) and spent about $7.00 out of pocket but more than $4.00 of that was tax. But, I'm getting another $10 P&G giftcard, and SCRs for $1 & 5 so it was all worth it.

Pamela said...

I have a love/hate relationship with CVS and Walgreens. I do have some great cashiers at both stores that know how to ring the coupons and they know each of their store's policy. I pray as I am on my way to those store that they are working when I go to check out.

It is the management at both stores that try to make me feel like I am stealing from the store. I have worked the "other" side of retail and am grateful for the training that I first received in customer service. My family works hard for the money we earn and we want to be a good steward of what God has provided for us. I would never try to use an coupon that has been altered, use a coupon that I know I didn't buy the product for, etc. The good cashiers realize it. I have a couple that I give my list of deals to so even they can shop.

There is not a Rite Aide near me, but if we are traveling, I have stopped once or twice but don't recall getting much or having any problems.

Thanks for letting me "air" a little frustration!

pscole3467 at gmail dot com

Kathy said...

It must be you...nothing like that has ever happened to me. ;0) But seriously, I had a good experience at the Rite Aid in Wheeling on Monday. I had quite a few coupons and did multiple transactions, and I was able to use four BOGO coupons for the Cover Girl, and the clerk (a young girl) just commented that I was getting them for free. She later asked how I got started with couponing, so I could tell she realized how much money I saved. It's just sad that the drugstores are so inconsistent in the way they carry out their policies. Glad it worked out for you in the end.

Anonymous said...

Good for you for fighting by the rules and getting your almost free merchandise--this is why I don't shop drugstores deals (the stores by us are jerks like this all the time and often are sold out of items. I've even seen stores pull the sale items from their shelf if they've had couponers come in to take advantage of a good sale! Not worth my energy and frustration! Sad, but true.

Missy said...

Similiar experience for me as well a few weeks ago. I made the mistake of not going to my regular store because we were in a different section of town. The asst. manager proceeded to look at my coupon binder and assume that I had copied the coupons and went into a speech about misuse of coupons, etc. I pranced out of the store and immediately emailed corporate. I got several calls from the store manager profusely apologizing. Note to self - stick with the store you treats you right!!! I did a similiar transaction Monday and paid .01 OOP for 4 cover girls and two almays AND getting a $5 rebate!! The store manager complimented me on my transaction. I have posted the details on my blog,

Way to stick to your guns!!! It makes it easier for the rest of us!!!

Anonymous said...

I had the same issue with my Rite Aid. The clerk was not going to let me have my freebies either I had 3bogo covergirl 1bogo starburst 1bogo skittles and 4/.50 cents off snickers which was bogo A great deal for me $53.86 was total plus taxes and OOP WAS $2.42 GOOD DEAL! Well I was not giving up I argued until he went after manager and then there was no arguement. She typed in coupons and sent me on my way :)

Melanie said...

I too have a relationship with the Rite Aid in my town, Its 2 min down the road but I drive 15 to a different one because the employees at the Rite Aid close to me give couponers the hardest time ever. They act like the coupons come out of their pay or somthing. I always follow policy. I choose not to deal with the headaches locally.

SI Saver said...

I have stuff like this happen to me all the time so you aren't alone! But couponing is still so worth it! :)

Jennifer said...

Yikes! It sounds like I'm really not alone in my Rite Aid angst!

Kristin - It was indeed the store on Lovers Lane. I haven't ever had trouble with them like that!

Kathy - I haven't been to the store in Wheeling. Maybe I'll try that next time!!

Missy - I'm going to seriously consider your letter-writing campaign idea. We'll see what corporate says first.

All - You guys are the best! I feel much better knowing that I'm not alone out there! :) Sorry about your crummy trips too! But it does sound like we walked away with what we wanted. We just had to work for it!

cksknitter said...

I believe the snarky loss prevention comment is on the same level as accusing you of shoplifting and I'd make sure to let corporate know about that. Shame on them!

Anonymous said...

Last week I was told that they wouldn't take my $3/$15 or my $5/$25 because the ink on my printer must have been too thick because it wouldn't scan so they wouldn't accept it. Then when I used my BOGO on Covergirl the cashier actually stared over her glasses at me like I was a complete idiot and/or a thief. Almost as good as the Albertson's baby basic diaper fiasco. I emailed corporate and the store mgr called to apologize and offer me a pack of free diapers. I got a stern lecture from a Target supervisor last week about how they are not allowed to adjust down coupons because they would be stealing (Gillette deal). Really? Thank goodness we have these written policies to teach these people how to do thier jobs! It almost makes me launch into the story about how my husband and I lost our business and are supporting two kids on my mystery shopping job and so on. I can't believe I use to hand over $10 a pack for diapers! Thanks to all the couponistas for showing me a better way!!!