A&P, Bed Bath & Beyond Busted for Going Out of Their Way to Piss Off Customers.
Coupon clipping is in my DNA. I'm not cheap, but I love a good deal.
Supermarkets ostensibly want the business of folks like me. The ones that operate where I live double my coupons up to 99 cents. So, a policy I found out about the hard way today at A&P is weird, to say the least, not to mention infuriating.
I printed out from the computer a 55-cent coupon for a half-gallon of Horizon organic milk. The coupon came straight from the company Web site. It's the only way you can get the coupon -- Horizon doesn't advertise in the coupon supplements that come in the Sunday papers.
Yet, when I gave my coupon to the A&P cashier, she wouldn't accept it. Why? Because it was an Internet coupon.
Thinking I got stuck with a lunkhead, I asked for a manager. Sure enough, no e-coupons. "I'm sorry, but it's company policy."
What's behind the policy. "I don't know," she said again apologetically. "It's policy. We've asked them to change it and they won't."
It's not like I'd photocopied an original coupon and brought it in for redemption. This was the coupon. But no matter. Suffice to say, I gave back the milk. A&P lost a sale and ticked off a loyal customer.
I went down the road to Shop-Rite, where they took the coupon without comment. A bonus: it was 50 cents cheaper too.
This was my second coupon caper recently. I had been to Bed Bath & Beyond, which I never enter without a wad of the 20-percent-off coupons that show up in the mail every couple of weeks.
The checkout was uneventful until the cashier told me I could only use five coupons in one transaction. Why? "I don't know."
That didn't sit well, as I had 10 items and coupons for each one. She said, "Well, you could do two separate transactions." And so I did.
But that took more time and made no sense. And it cost Triple-B more money too, as they pay a fee for each credit-card transaction.
For whatever lame rationale the company has for this policy, the only thing it does is anger shoppers, which is exactly the wrong thing to do during a recession. The store wasn't exactly overwhelmed with patrons when I was there. Coupons should be the least of their worries.
If anyone from either company would like to chime in, the space is theirs for the taking.