marketing malarky

Today a short complaint .

I got a  30% discount coupon on-line from CVS . CVS is one of the many NSA affiliates who collect personal information on me . I don’t think that they monitor my phone calls , yet ; but I’m sure they do a more efficient collection job than the government does .

I printed the coupon and walked on over to CVS . It’s not far from my crib house . I wanted to get some good sunscreen . The coupon didn’t work . I hadn’t hit the right button on the computer screen . Okay . So I went home again and started over . A little free exercise never hurt anyone .

I tried again at the store . The clerk had held my item aside . I also had decided to purchase a roll of Tums antacid chewies . But , I didn’t need the Tums yet . So , why didn’t the coupon work the second time ?

” It’s a sales item , ” said the clerk . She was smiling . Good customer service style . ” The coupon won’t work on sales items . ”

I abandoned my original choice and tried the store brand . Probably it’s the exact same stuff . The store brand sunscreen is  $3  cheaper , though .

” It’s on sale , ” the clerk said .

” I didn’t see any “on sale” sign , ” I said .

” Buy two , get the second one half price ,” she said .

” Everthing in the [#!!.*#–!#::#*]  store is half price off on the second item ,” I said . I was beginning to eye that roll of Tums with more interest . ” That’s what they call  ‘on sale’ ? ” , I asked her , even though it wasn’t the clerk’s fault . She was just clerking , with a smile and a customer-friendly corporate expression. She wasn’t the CEO making the big bucks , after all , who was making store  policy .  She was just clerking .  human geography book

Yeah , that’s what they call ‘on sale’ . But , when you buy one item , because you need only one , nothing seems to be on sale . What is that ? Bait-and-Switch ?  I have other terms for it , too ; but better you use your imagination than I spew it out here in print .

” Did you find everything okay ? ”  I hate that line  , too , by the way , asked more and more by store cashiers as I’m paying for my loot .  Did I find everything okay ? I’m now checking out . If I hadn’t found everything by the time I’m pulling out my credit card , would I not have asked already ?  It seems like an idiotic exchange , but maybe it’s just me .

And I’ll put a small complaint about Ralph’s markets in here , too , as long as I’m at it . It can be generalized a bit , too , I think . Ralph’s has taken to putting signs up for several items— great prices !  At first I’d grab a can of beans , or oatmeal , or whatever , to take advantage of the cheap price . Great ! I’m lucky to be here in the store during such a good sale !actor old


In very tiny print under the large , bold print , the amazingly great price , is the information that you get the good price only when you buy 15 cans of beans , or fifteen boxes of oatmeal , or 15 of whatever .  I have words for this devious marketing ploy , too . But , same rules apply —- I’ll keep my screed to myself for now . You’ll have to use your imagination , if you want . But , if you do , have the Tums ready .

Back to CVS . When I checked my e-mail later in the day  I had , ironically ,  another 30% discount coupon . I wrote the corporate gang out in internet-land a succinct reply . I gave them a piece of my mind , so to speak . I explained how if a customer wants any one item in the store , nothing is on sale . The second items seem to be on sale , but not the first item . Therefore , in my way of thinking , this is deceitful marketing and , in effect , the 30% discount is useless — a trick to get you into the store . So , I told them ( as if they care ) that I’m re-considering my loyalty to CVS ( slight exaggeration here , I admit ) and seriously considering courting the Rite-Aide across the street .

I was shocked and dismayed when I got a hasty reply . Someone cares ! , I thought . Wow . But when I opened the e-mail from CVS it was only a message saying that ” there is no monitor ” at the destination I attempted to send my e-mail . They gave me a couple of aIternate addresses .

I could spent the rest of my life complaining about the phony 30% CVS coupon strategy , I suppose ; but that would be a waste of time . But , at least , I hope in my secret file  they’re writing all of this down . I’m sure they are . They could share it with Ralph’s , too , if they like , and Google , and whoever . They have my permission ( a little joke there at the end  ) .


Filed under humor

10 responses to “marketing malarky

  1. This would be down right hilarious if it wasn’t so true!! So, it will have remain simply one of the funniest posts I’ve read all day!! [ I actually have never been to a CVS since they took over Eckerts here in Fla. even tho they are right down the street, but I do get my aspirin and some other stuff from them on-line. Some pretty good deals that way.]
    But seriously – Love the story, Dan!!

  2. I am totally with you on the “did you find everything ok?” Line. You’re right, if I hadn’t why would I be in the checkout before asking. I did stop going to CVS. Walgreens moved in and I switched. Walgreens isn’t any better.

    I love your cranky-guy posts 🙂

  3. There’s always the fine print. I am pretty loyal to Walgreens, as both my sons worked there part-time during high school and college. They were good to my boys, so I’m a loyal customer. Plus they have great sales and the coupons are right up front of the store and straight forward,

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