After returning home from grocery shopping I searched my bags and car for the “free gallon of milk” offered for purchasing over $50. The promotion was documented on my receipt, but the bagger must have not packed the milk. No problem. I would go to the store the next day and ask them about it. Oh-oh, I examined the newly purchased hot dog buns. One of them had mold on it. Picking up my receipt, I circled buns. Then I saw the other oops. The special of three fruit bowls for $10 was adding up to $11. Ten dollars had been a splurge, but $11 was a rip off. We’re talking false advertising and bad customer service.
The next day at the store, stern-faced Martha was offering no apology for the moldy bread I returned as she moved to give a cash reimbursement. “But wait,” I said, “Look at the fruit bowl special.”
“Well, mam, the receipt says the pineapple was in a “cup” for $2.99. It wasn’t in a $3.99 bowl so you didn’t get three.”
“I am quite certain the pineapple was in the same kind of container as the watermelon and cantaloupe. Besides, they were all mixed together in the same display case.“ I said with Girl Scout honesty.
She was a rock: “Doesn’t matter. The receipt says it is a cup.”
“Well, I would be quite upset if I have to go home and come back and show you that the cup is actually a bowl.”
“Sorry, mam. I have to go by what the receipt says, and it says pineapple cup.”
“What about what the customer says?” I argued. It was now the principle of the matter. Besides, this store had forgotten to put my milk in the cart and sold me moldy bread with no apology from Martha.
She gave me the teacher stare down with her glasses. “Why don’t you go get your free milk, and I will reimburse you for the bread.”
I did just that, praying, “Lord, I want to be a peacemaker!”
But when I got home I dived into the recycling can and pulled out the pineapple BOWL. It was the exact size as the other two containers. The label said pineapple cup. Was the store intentionally cheating consumers with deceptive mixing of cups and bowls? Those dollars do add up!
I could hear the “Frozen” song in my head, “Let It Go; Let It Go.”
No could do. I grabbed my receipt and phoned the store’s number listed at the top. Martha answered.
“May I have the produce department, please,” I said as sweetly as I could, sensing she knew exactly who it was!
Alyson in produce was more understanding after I explained things. “I am so sorry,” she said. “It is our mistake. I will go and change those labels right now.”
Thank you, Alyson! That is all I wanted to hear.
My good consumer vibe lasted only a few days, however, because I went to a different grocery store.
My organic blueberries were supposed to be on special at $2 a box. My receipt said the two boxes rang up at $4.99 a piece! Yikes. I lost six dollars!
“I’ll use your name when I talk to management, ” I warned.
By the time I wheeled over to the counter the manager said, “You just have to show me the blueberries. Paul phoned.”
“Okay,” she said, examining them. “I can only give you one free box so I will be reimbursing you $2.50 for the other one.”
“But they are supposed to be $2 each,” I muttered. “It wasn’t a two for one. I think I should get six dollars back.”
“Six Dollars! I can’t do that, mam. I can only give you one free. Do you understand?”
“No, not really,” I said. “I want to pay what the sign says.”
“What did the sign say?” she asked.
“That they were on special for $2 each.”
“I can’t give them both to you free. I have to charge you for one and give you one free.”
“Okay,” I said meekly. Whatever!
She then proceeded to give me the two boxes of blueberries and $7.73 in cash.
“Are you sure?” I said not wanting to cause any more trouble.
“Yes!” she said with authority.
“Okay. Thank you,” I said.
It was more than I had asked or deserved, but do you think I earned it?