Sunday, June 27, 2010

How Rite Aid failed me today

Dear Rite Aid,

I have been a staunch supporter of your stores for years. I shop there weekly and have always been a happy customer.

Yet today I was the victim of such cashier stupidity that I still can't believe it happened.

I was attempting to purchase 4 John Frieda items as shown above. I had 4 different coupons:
  • $3 off any John Frieda (shampoo)
  • $2 off any John Frieda (conditioner)
  • $1 off any John Frieda root awakening (leave in stuff)
  • $1 off any John Frieda (frizz ease gel)
These are four different coupons for four different items gathered from different newspapers and magazines. Seems idiot-proof right?

Well my teenaged cashier, who confided she just started working there, said because the coupons state "Limit one coupon per purchase on specified item" I would have to ring up four different transactions. I actually laughed, thinking she was making a bad joke.

Then she rang one up, scanned a coupon and waited for me to pay. She was serious!

Now, Rite Aid's UP program is brand new and this would be my first time using it. I don't know if multiple transactions would invalidate the reward and my cashier didn't either.

So she called over another teenager.

Both teenagers nodded sagely and agreed I needed 4 transactions. I pointed out ALL coupons say one per purchase to keep customers from going up with 4 items, 1 coupon and asking for the coupon to be scanned 4 times. They stared back dumbly.

I asked for a manager to clarify the situation. I was told a manager wouldn't be in today (SUNDAY, WHEN SALES START!!!) and none would be available until tomorrow afternoon. Cherry on top - Rite Aid's 1-800 number is also off-line on Sundays.

So here I am, faced by the only two non-pharmacy employees in the store, who's cumulative age is probably less than my 31. Well, there was an undercover security guard present, eating potato chips behind the register but he didn't chime in with an opinion on coupons so I'm not counting him. I know the mistake lays in really awful training but also know this would not happen at CVS or Walgreens.

So this is how Rite Aid failed today:
  1. Not having a supervisor present on SUNDAY
  2. Closing their 1-800 number on Sunday, when new deals start
  3. Allowing two teenagers to man a store and interpret coupon verbiage
  4. Either mistraining or not bother to correct these really bad coupon interpretations
Could you imagine if all stores instituted a "1 coupon per transaction" policy? I'd leave grocery stores with packets of receipts!