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Sunday, April 21, 2013

How To Coupon In Canada (And Other War Stories)....

Over 6 months ago, I began "couponing". Why? Why not???? Saving money is a good thing - which is what has been instilled to me since I was little!!! I may not always be good at it, but I try where I can. Plus the rush of a really good deal is indescribable!!!

So today my family went to our local "GREEN & YELLOW GROCERY CHAIN" in Calgary. I was so excited to use my Greenworks Coupons that I had printed directly from the Clorox site! Seeing as I run a day home, this was an awesome save for me because they were to price match the Shoppers Drug Mart Flyer that had all Greenworks on sale for $1.99, then I would apply my $1.50 off coupon (from the Clorox site) and this would make each one a total of .49 cents!! As these are regular price of $5.99 at pretty much any store in Canada, I would have had an 91% savings!! I had already used a stack of coupons at Shoppers Drug Mart yesterday and they were more than happy to take the coupons, and my money. However, my experience at the "GREEN & YELLOW GROCERY CHAIN" was less than that! The "Ass"istant Manager that came over to the till who did the price adjustment just about came across the conveyor belt at me, shouting "YOU CAN"T USE THESE!!! THEY ARE REPRODUCTIONS!!!" Reproductions???? Really buddy????? It's called "I hit print on my computer 10 times" as these are "printable only coupons". I didn't print one and photocopy it moron - that would be a REPRODUCTION!! How else would you like me to give it to you???? After he finished embarrassing the shit out of me to half of the store, I politely pointed out that I hadn't "photocopied" or "reproduced"the coupons and asked to speak with another Manager in the store. Fifteen minutes later and one husband and one baby waiting patiently for me in the car, the next form of Management appeared. She then looked my coupon over, listened to my story of how I was just treated like a "criminal" for attempting to use my coupons, and rebutted saying that "they don't take printed coupons" to which I said "Oh is that just today, because I have used them in the past here without a flinch of an eye?" (Also please see note 2.10 below - thanks for lying to me Mrs. "GREEN & YELLOW GROCERY CHAIN" Manager. Finally she took one of my coupons and said she would be right back. After consulting with another manager for another 10, she finally returned to tell me that they decided that I could use only five.
So as she stood there while I paid for my "5"...I gathered my Greenworks into my recycled bag and on my way out, explained to her that I would find other places to spend my money moving forward, if this is what they feel is an acceptable way to treat a customer! For a company that out and out advertises that they are "coupon friendly" what a sad display of customer service. Through the half hour it took me to save my money, I was made to feel utterly embarrassed!!!

On a side note: It is called a MANUFACTURERS COUPON. This means for all you people working at the "GREEN & YELLOW GROCERY CHAIN" or any other store out there that is unfamiliar with the send those coupons us customers give you back to the manufacturer and they refund your money to the store. It's NOT, I repeat...NOT coming out of your personal bank account not to be ever seen again!!!!

Here is what the L*bla*s (who own THE GREEN & YELLOW GROCERY CHAIN) Coupon Policy states:
Loblaws Banner Stores Coupon Policy

1.0 Policy
Coupon zone coupons, LCL flyer coupons, LCL website coupons and President’s Choice Financial® coupons are all gladly accepted according the terms and conditions printed on the coupon. Manufacture coupons are accepted for in store purchased items according to the guidelines listed in section 2.0.

2.0 Guidelines
2.1 The item being purchased must conform to the product details on the coupon including size, brand, quantity, co-purchased item etc.
2.2 Only Canadian coupons are accepted.
2.3 The expiry date must be valid.
2.4 The coupon must be presented at time of purchase.
2.5 A coupon cannot be redeemed against the “free” item in any offer where the customer buys more than one item to get one or more item for free (BOGO deals). Eg. Buy one bag of chips, get a second bag of chips free – a single coupon can be applied to the purchase of the two bags.
2.6 Coupons have no cash value.
2.7 If the coupon value exceeds the retail value of an item, the coupon value will be reduced to reflect the retail of the item.
2.8 All sales taxes are paid by the customer at the retail value of the product. Refer to 2.9 to see Free Item guideline.
2.9 The value of a coupon that offers a product for free will include the amount of any applicable taxes.
2.10 Home printed coupons from emails or websites are accepted in black/white or colour. Manufacture coupons must have a valid manufacture address on the printed coupon, expiration date and be completely legible.
2.11Photocopies are not accepted.
2.12 Coupons are void if they appear distorted or blurry.
2.13 One coupon only per item purchased may be redeemed during each store visit, even if a limit statement is not included on the coupon. Coupon stacking is not allowed.
2.14 The Store Management reserves the right to restrict individual item purchase quantities to reasonable family limits.

3.0 General Information
3.1 Each coupon will be reviewed to ensure it complies with the details of the section 2.0
Guidelines. We appreciate your patience during this validation process.
3.2 Customers with excessive amounts of coupons in a single order may be asked to relocate to complete their order as a courtesy to our other Customers.
3.3 We may change this policy without notice at any time.
3.4 All coupon redemptions are subject to the policy in effect at time of redemption. 3.5 Competitor’s coupons are not accepted.

I did NOT break any part of their policy, I guess aside from 2.14 - I guess they have the right to tell me what I "need" to save!!!
What it really is is a bunch of B.S.!!! Welcome to our fine country, where we squeeze the farmer/producer for the lowest price = to then jack up the price as high as we can and take as much money as we can get from hard working citizens!! I CAN make these statements fairly, as I grew up on a farm and have seen first hand how farmers pressed for the smallest amount they can give them for their hard work and labor! I CAN make these statements fairly, as I worked for a large conglomerate food company that acted as the middle man, selling to restaurants, so I know the amount of $$$$$ built into something called "MARGIN". So shame on you Mr. Retailer, for squashing the regular joe for trying to save a buck or two here and there, shame on you!!!!
An thank you Clorox for giving us great savings - us pea-ons appreciate keeping some money in our pockets every now and then.

So if you want to save a dollar or two in this country, be for-warned that you need alot of time and some thick skin to put up with the B.S. that comes along with it! Happy shopping friends!