Yesterday I Stood Up for My Integrity

Let’s start with some background. I have a local Walgreen’s store that is about a mile from home. Because I live in a small town and I like to shop there I have gotten to be noticed by the people who work there. There are two cashiers that work during the day that have very little people’s skills. They in fact seem bothered every time I pull out a coupon to use on any of my orders. But I have avoided them by shopping in the evenings. This week has been a little out of the norm as I have been to Walgreens even more often than normal because of the P&G offer going on and because now I have a lot of $4 off my next purchase coupons that I need to use in the next two weeks.

A couple of days ago I was at Walgreens doing the P&G deal one last time. In my order I had two hair gels and 4 trial size pantene shampoos. Even though the offer ad says “Buy $20 get $12 back in coupons off your next order”, the ad also advertises trial sized pantene as being included in the elegible products. Trial sized pantene costs $1.19 each at my store so in practice I can spend $7.20 and get $12 in savings. I am getting ready to check out and the lady at the cosmetics counter tells me that “it’s supposed to be larger sized bottles of the shampoo, are you going to go get them and change your order?” I stood firm and said “No, these are the ones I am taking.” Of course the coupons printed, she handed them to me and I left. As I was leaving I heard her call the Assistant Manager.

The whole day I was bothered by the incident. First, because it is advertised in the ad that the trial sized product is included in the offer and it has been confirmed with the company sponsoring the offer that they are indeed part of the promotion. Second, because I don’t think it’s up to store employees to interpret to their discretion what is included and what is not when it is plainly stated in printed ad. Third, because like I mentioned before I shop at this store very often and didn’t want to be “flagged” by employees thinking that I come in there to do the wrong thing.

So I decided to go back and talk to the assistant manager to clarify the situation. I did that yesterday. I was made feel as if I was doing something wrong, when I was just buying items clearly stated in the ad. She said that she was aware those sizes worked for the offer and she could see they were part of the offer too. She of course apologized and said would make sure the employee knew the items were part of the promotion.

What I don’t understand is why these two employees just seem to get upset because I use coupons. It is not like the company that employs them is out of any money. In fact this type of promotion is entirely in Walgreens favor: The coupons I used were put out by the manufacturer and the coupons I get when I purchase the items are also paid for by the manufacturer. The promotion has only increased sales of those products at these drug store chain. So it makes very little sense to have overzealous employees stopping people from completing their order. I won’t be run out or discouraged by these people.