Monday, August 29, 2011

CVS: A surprise and a mistake

This week at CVS, as usual, I scanned my CVS key tag into the coupon machine when I first entered the store. Now, usually the coupons are pretty disappointing. $5 off a $50 purchase sometimes comes up - even before coupons, I rarely buy that much at CVS at one time. Or a few cents off a personal care item that isn't on sale and that I don't use.

But this time, I got a coupon for a free item - for Always pantiliners. I was excited because that would be a great donation item for the women's shelter that I support. (Here's the details on my most recent donation.)

But when I got home and took the picture below, I realized I had made a mistake. Instead of the Always brand, I had picked up the CVS house brand - and since the coupon came up as $1.77, and the CVS brand cost 99¢, I had inadvertently made 78¢ on the deal.

So should I return them and get the right brand, or should I just forget about it? I'm not sure what to do. What would you do if you were in my shoes?

Here's what I got on the trip:

1 St. Joseph's aspirin @ $2.00 (receive $2 ECB)
- $1/1 St. Joseph Aspirin, exp. 12/1/11 (ALL YOU Aug '11) (or $1/1 St. Joseph 81mg Aspirin, exp. 12/7/11 (SS 08/07/11 R))
= $1.00 ($1.00 moneymaker after ECBs)

2 Oral-B Satin floss @ $1.99 = $3.98 (receive $2 ECB)
- 2 $0.75/1 Oral-B Floss or Floss Picks, exp. 9/30/11 (P&G 08/28/11)
= $2.48 for two, or $1.24 each (24¢ each after ECBs)

2 Crest Pro-Health toothpaste @ $2.99 = $5.98 (receive $2 ECB)
- 2 $1/1 Crest Toothpaste or Liquid Gel Excl Cavity, Baking Soda, Tartar, exp. 9/30/11 (P&G 08/28/11)
= $3.98 for two, or $1.99 each (99¢ each after ECBs)

1 CVS pantiliners @ 99¢
- Free Always pantiliners coupon (worth $1.77)
= 78¢ moneymaker - oops!

Total product: $6.68
Pay with $1 ECB from last week
Total after ECBs: $5.68
Tax: 66¢
Total out of pocket: $6.34
Total saved compared to CVS full prices: $14.56
ECBs received: $7 ($2, $2, $2, and $1 for using green bag tag four times)

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J Rodney August 29, 2011 at 9:11 AM  

You did great, even without the oops. If I catch a mistake like this at the store, I of course go and get it resolved. However, if I get back home and realize the mistake, I might just ignore it, especially if I am not going back to that store within a couple of days....after all how often has it been the other way around.

You could call your CVS store and here what they want you to do.

Robert August 29, 2011 at 9:21 AM  

I put mistakes like this in a bag the next week when I am in the store I correct it. Although I think the stores should stop making all the reading so small and everything looks alike. This makes mistakes when you buying for a large group difficult.

candice.qpn August 29, 2011 at 9:36 AM  

I agree with Robert. Especially since it's not an item you need to use right away, it would be easy to make the correction the next time you make a shopping trip to CVS.

Even though it's a small amount of money, couponers are getting such a bad rap right now b/c of some people's behaviors/shady ethics. Anything we can do to adjust people's perception of couponers is a win.

Missy August 29, 2011 at 1:03 PM  

I bought the Always yesterday and it rang up $1.49 and the coupon took off $1.79.

Pat August 29, 2011 at 2:02 PM  

Ask yourself if the mistake were reversed and NOT in your favor, would you go back to correct it and you'll have your answer.

My personal opinion is, it was an honest mistake and you ended up with the same value of merchandise they offered with the coupon.. $1.77. It isn't like the inadvertently threw an extra, unaccounted for item in the bag. Less than $1? I'd let it go.

I've left stores before and realized later that one of my coupons did not scan, or scanned in at a lower than face value. The error wasn't in my favor but the amount was too trivial to quibble over.

I work in retail and can say without reservation that my employer would never ask you to bring the item back for an adjustment when the mistake was less than $1.00. Good public relations with the customer is far more valuable.

We try out best to be honest and ethical but sometimes things happen out of our control. Let it go with a clear conscience and remember to give the store equal consideration with the mistake is in their favor.

Nice trip by the way and refreshing to see more and more honest couponers among us! :-)

Patrice August 29, 2011 at 5:02 PM  

Good job on catching your mistake! I'm sure it will wait until your next trip, but you can always call...

laura,  August 30, 2011 at 9:51 AM  

I would return the item. I have made three such mistakes at my CVS and they always tell me, "Oh, that's ok, don't worry about it." Then I feel a lot better, and I got the deal. :)

Anonymous,  September 1, 2011 at 4:52 PM  

yesterday, I got the free always pantiliners and the retail price was .99. The price is the same so i think it is ok that you accidently got the wrong brand.

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