Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I Have a Bone to Pick with Walgreens

After two hour long therapy sessions with my daughters today, I stopped by Walgreens.
I had been studying my weekly circular, had found a deal for a great toothbrush for free and was anxious to practice my extreme couponing.

If only I knew then what I know now...
Please hang on to your hats as I try to explain this transaction as only a Liberal Arts/English major can.

I had a $2 coupon for an Oral B toothbrush from a recent Sunday coupon insert.
This particular toothbrush was on sale for $4.99 with $2.00 in Register Rewards.
After my coupon, the toothbrush should ring up at $2.99. 
Because I had scored some Register Rewards from a previous purchase, I was also planning to use those to cover my out of pocket for the day.
Then, with the earned $2 more in Register Rewards, the toothbrush actually should only have cost me $.99.

Toothbrush regular price = $5.99
Toothbrush sale price = $4.99
$4.99 - MFR Coupon ($2) = $2.99
$2.99 - $2 earned in Register Rewards = $.99
Paid for with another Register Reward from a previous purchase = FREE toothbrush.

I entered Walgreens and went straight to the toothbrush aisle. 
I found said "yellow ticket" that marks the sale items, checked and rechecked to make sure I had the correct product, took one toothbrush off the shelf and took it to the check-out counter.
I handed the clerk the toothbrush and my coupon.

The only way I know to describe what happened next is to give you the play by play:

Clerk: That's $6.01

Me: as I'm swiping my debit card like a do-do bird...What?

Clerk: 6 dollars and 1 cent.

Me: as I'm typing in my PIN...How can it be $6.01?  It's on sale for $4.99 and I have a coupon for $2 off?

Clerk: It didn't ring up on sale; it rang up for $7.49

Me: Huh?

Clerk: It rang up for $7.49

Me: assuming I had somehow miscalculated something somewhere...Ok, well I'll just use some of my Register Rewards to pay for it.  I pulled out a $5 and $1 Register Reward.

The clerk scanned my Register Rewards and the register would not take either one of them.

Clerk: You won't be able to use these.

Me: Why?

Clerk: Because you didn't buy enough stuff. 

Now, I know your Register Rewards can't equal more than your total...I was already digging for the penny I thought I needed to complete this transaction.

Clerk: You have to buy something else if you want to use these.

Me: stunned that the clerk assumed I was just going to pay $6.01 for a TOOTHBRUSH!  Well, then, I need to swap this toothbrush for the one that is on sale; then I won't need to use my Register Rewards.

Clerk: looking at me like I have just asked her to rearrange the entire toothbrush section in every Walgreens store in the Southeastern region of the United States.
I'll have to call a manager.

Me: after realizing the clerk really would rather not call the manager; she'd rather I just buy the dang toothbrush for $6.01
Please call the manager.

Clerk: shouting into the microphone...I need a manager at the front register!
Please add a heavy sigh and eye rolling to the visual you have so far.
I really try my best to keep my patience with young clerks who I know are just trying to make a buck...but I swear, all I could think of at this point was Bon Qui Qui

Clerk: literally shooing me to the register directly across from her...He's gonna probably take you over there...Who's next??

A nice young assistant manager makes his way to the front

Asst Mgr: Do you need a refund?

Clerk: Yeah, over there, the lady with the toothbrush
I swear her eyes rolled again.

Asst Mgr: Yes, Ma'am?

I explained the whole scenario to the nice young assistant manager. 

Asst Mgr: No problem; let's just go check real quick and make sure this is the right toothbrush.

I walked with the nice young assistant manager to the toothbrush section, pointed out the yellow tag and showed him where I got the toothbrush.  Sure enough; I had the correct toothbrush.  Neither I nor the nice young assistant manager had any idea why the heck the toothbrush was ringing up $7.49.

The nice young assistant manager and I returned to the register; he punched a bunch of buttons on the cash register, handed me $.54, scanned a random box of crackers and gave me $2 in Register Rewards. 

Asst Mgr: Sorry for all your trouble.

Me: Huh??

Let's review the math, shall we?
My debit card has been debited $6.01.  I've been handed $.54 to make it all better.  That means my free toothbrush just cost me $5.45
Even with the $2 in Register Rewards, my toothbrush was still $3.45
And he wouldn't give me my coupon back because it had been used!!!!
Now with the loss of my $2 coupon, my free toothbrush was costing me $5.45.

Like I said, HUH??

Asst Mgr: I adjusted the price you paid to reflect the difference between the the price that came up and the actual price...the difference after tax is $.54

Me: remembering that I'm an English major and this nice young assistant manager must be a math major...he probably knows something I don't know.
Uh, oh, ok...thanks

I took my toothbrush in my little Walgreens bag and headed to my car.
I could not, however, shake this nagging feeling.
I sat in my car and looked at my receipt.
Then, I wanted to kick myself.
I came by to pick up a free toothbrush and I was leaving with a $5 toothbrush;
For the record, I have NEVER paid $5 for a toothbrush.

I turned the engine off and went back inside.

You should have seen the look on Bon Qui Qui the sales clerk's face when I re-entered the store.

Me: May I please speak to that same assistant manager again?

Clerk: I guess...yelling into the microphone again...I need a manager up front again!
Then to me, I don't even know that guy's name, so maybe somebody will show up.

At this point the nice young assistant manager comes from the back with a coke and a bag of chips in his hands.  Great, he's either on a break or getting ready to go on a break.  This ought to earn me some points...not.

Me: I'm sorry; I know you love us coupon ladies...but could you please just look at this again and help me understand?

Asst Mgr: with an unbelieving look on his face...O...K...

The nice young assistant manager tries to explain to me one more time why the $.54 refund should make me happy.
I tried then to explain to him why I still wasn't happy.
Neither of us budged.

Me:  Listen, I think what would be best is if I just return this toothbrush, the cracker Register Rewards, and the $.54.  Then, you can credit my $6.01 back to my debit card, give me my coupon back and I'll be out of your hair.

Asst Mgr: Well, ok...if that's what you want to do.

At this point we go back to the original coupon is in that drawer.  The nice young assistant manager begins punching buttons again with my receipt. 

Me: I will need a receipt that shows my credit please.

Asst Mgr: I'm just going to cancel out the transaction like it never happened.

Me: But, I will get a receipt, right?

Asst Mgr: I'll have to do it as a return in order to get a receipt, so I'll just do it that way.

Me: Thanks.

While the nice young assistant manager is punching in more buttons, I swear to you by all that is right in this world that Bon Qui Qui the sales clerk is standing within hearing distance at the corner of the counter explaining to another clerk about the "toothbrush lady."

: /

Please bear with me just a few more minutes folks, cause it ain't over yet.

The nice young assistant manager handed me a credit receipt and my coupon.  The receipt said $-8.01

Me: Wait, now it's credited me too much!

Asst Mgr: No, it credited you the original amount of the toothbrush which is what you paid.

Me: That would be the original amount of the toothbrush ($7.49) + tax, which would equal $8.01...are you just going to keep my coupon for the $2 difference.

Asst Mgr: No, you paid $8.01 so I'm crediting you back $8.01

I promise you...the nice young assistant manager was holding both of my receipts in his hand.  One was for a debit of $6.01 and the other was a credit for $8.01...

I am 100% positive that I was wrong about one thing today...the nice young assistant manager is definitely NOT a math major.

After 2 hours of therapy and 45 minutes arguing over a toothbrush at Walgreens, I was spent...I had nothing more to give.
I tucked my tail and left Walgreens without my toothbrush but having somehow made $2.

I would rather have my toothbrush.

Have I mentioned what a fan I'm becoming of CVS??


  1. This gave me a headache..I'm not sure how you survived it!

  2. Geez! Send this to the school board as an example of why teaching for a test is failing our kids! You must have been ready to pull your hair out!

    Stick to Publix and CVS. They are awesome with coupons which keeps my sanity in check.

  3. I am literally laughing out loud! The ability (or lack thereof) of our youth to use reason and logic is so pathetic that it is laughable.

    I love how you consistently used "the nice young assistant manager" to describe this person. And I certainly do not blame you for looking into another pharmacy chain in the future.

  4. That.
    Except that I do believe it - sheesh!

  5. I just loooove the cashiers who LOUDLY apologize while rolling their eyes and taking their sweet time to the people behind you (who weren't there when you first get in line) about it taking SO LONG for your transaction (of only 2 items, thankyouverymuch). THEN they stop everything, take the time to punch in the numbers on the loud speakers, and request another cashier.

    I'll stick with Target, thanks. I don't have CVS around here.. BOO.

  6. Your 1st mistake was gong into a
    Seriously though, things started flying off the tracks when you tried to use a coupon and a RR for 1 item. Since you used a coupon on the item, you needed to buy an additional filler item to be able to use the RR as well. Walgreen's considers RRs as coupons and you can't have MORE coupons in your order than items.

    With that being said, I doubt if you had bought 2 items to begin with if the outcome would have been any might in fact have been worse!lol

    I hear that sticks from Neem Trees make excellent'd probably feel less stress using one of those. ;-)

  7. Paula, I went home and took a Xanax ;)

    Jennifer and Molly, I once had the same kind of argument with a salesclerk in Belk over an item that was supposed to be 50% off. It rang up 25% off and she couldn't see that. She just kept telling me that the register couldn't be wrong. How difficult is 50% off even for those of us who don't do math well. I didn't get upset then either bc I felt so sorry for her :(

    Mindee, After the first 15 minutes or so I began to feel I was in the Twilight Zone or something :/

    Jennifer, I LOVE Target...but the nearest one is 30 miles away :( I have a friend whose mantra is "I'm not going to give you my $ to be ugly to me." CVS is right across the street from Walgreens in our town :)

    THANKS, Slugmama for clearing that up for me. :):)If the cashier had explained it to me like you just did, I would have understood completely and probably would have bought something else. Walgreens prices seem higher than CVS anyway, so I won't be going back into a Walgreens uless there's a deal that just blows my mind ;)
    Thanks again! We new couponers need all the help we can get learning the ropes ;)

  8. We didn't have target for the longest time, and we finally got one a couple of years ago. They are the BEST about coupons. You dont have to do a million transactions and deal with either a young rude cashier or an older one who treats you like you're stealing. I know that's stereotyping and I *hate* myself for thinking that way, but just in the 2 months that i've been couponing, it's been my experience. That said, the best cashiers are young men. They are sweet and just ring away :) LOL

  9. Like Slugmama said, one of the issues is the rr and coupon for one item. The rrs act like coupons and if you had another small item like a piece of candy you would have been able to use it since it would attach to that item.

    Other than that I just want to encourage you NOT to give up. This just takes practice and learning the ins and outs of the different stores and their quirky policies. It's so worth hanging in there and figuring it out. In the end you will save a tremendous amount of money. You are a smart woman. I have faith in you.

    And by the way..... who pays $7.49 for a toothbrush????? Does it sing to you while you brush? Good gracious! :)

  10. hi - i came over from reluctant entertainer after seeing your latest post title on your comment.

    you had me on the edge of my seat reading the account of your ordeal at walgreens.

    the funny thing is i've had a couple similar ordeals recently at cvs, though i still prefer cvs over walgreens. we had looked online to see what the cvs price was for a vaporizer. the price was great but in the store they refused to sell it for that price & said we'd have to order it online even though online it said it was available for that price in the store. they would not budge, either. then one day i bought children's tylenol liquid & didn't pay any attention to the price until i got home & looked at my recent. it was over 10.00! is that the usual price? oh my!

    my husband has 2 favorite sayings: "it's hard to do business in america" & "they (salesclerks) must be part of the sales prevention team".