Do you remember to bring your reusable tote bag to the grocery store for a ten-cent discount? Would you remember to bring an inexpensive reusable tumbler back to Starbucks for your daily coffee? Starbucks is hoping that some people do, offering the new cups and a discount in an effort to cut back on the total number of cups the the chain uses per year.
Is a promotion offering discounts to customers who bring in a “current church bulletin” discriminatory or unfair to people who aren’t religious? One Pennyslvania restaurant won’t remove or re-word their 10% off promotion for churchgoers, saying that it’s helped business on Sundays. It has, but it also got the attention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
If you haven’t visited a Popeyes fast-food outlet lately, you may be in for a surprise the next time you stop by. Sometimes last year, some franchisees––we’re not sure how many–started to impose a 57-cent service fee on transactions over $5. Coincidentally, they also offer a 60-cent refund on all cash transactions. The net effect is that customers get a minuscule discount off the sticker price for paying cash, but have to pay a 57-cent fee to pay with plastic.
Where there is a mattress and there are small children, it is inevitable that the children will try to jump on the mattress. At least, that’s what happened when Kurt rolled out the air mattress for some out-of-town guests. He ran to Bed, Bath and Beyond to get a new one, but couldn’t find a precious 20% off coupon in time. When he returned to the store, he decided to be honest rather than buying another mattress and “returning” it using the receipt from the first purchase. His honesty paid off.
We’re confused by you, JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson. First you say “No more sales at JCPenney!” and try to offer low prices all the time. That didn’t work so well, and so then you say “No more coupons!” and follow that one up by sending customers a coupon. Pick a plan, Ron. Pick a plan.
No one would be upset at being called loyal. It’s a good thing — it means you value a relationship enough to stick by it. And all the better if that relationship you’re devoted to provides you with discounts at a store where you just so happen to love. So what’s the harm in a little bonus bucks program? Well, there is such a thing as spending money when you wouldn’t otherwise do so just because you got a discount. For being loyal.
William assumed that the mobile phone kiosk salesman was acting as an agent of Sprint, trying to get him to switch. The offer was too good to refuse: 25% off, without having to work for a specific employer or any other qualification. They paid an ETF to Verizon and jumped ship. That’s when they learned that the discount wasn’t for just anyone: it was an employee discount, and William didn’t work for the company the salesman had claimed that he did.
Yes, yes, we know: You just need to check the score of the game really quickly or maybe your sister-in-law finally put up some new pictures of the baby. And oh, let’s just take a second to Instagram this artfully designed plate! But come on, do you really need to have your phone out at the restaurant? Perhaps a little incentive would convince you to put it away, like the 5% discount an L.A. eatery is offering to diners for not using digital devices at the table.
Whether you’re one of those shoppers with way too many grocery store loyalty cards or just a few, swiping those at checkouts could be doing far more than just giving you a few cents off your favorite cereal. Stores like Safeway and Kroger are building up their research on how their customers shop, developing customized pricing on the things you like the most. So is that a creepy invasion of privacy or worth it if you save money?
The restaurant business, particularly fast food and casual dining, is feeling some heat after putting the kibosh on offering customers sales this summer, and it seems set to bring back discounts and other offers to lure in patrons again. This, at a time when food costs are set to rise. But hey, whatever gets those golden customers coming through the door, right?
Women’s clothing retailer Coldwater Creek didn’t have to do anything for Peri. She found a pair of pants that she liked in a retail store had the clerk order them in “tall” length for her. She couldn’t use the 40% off coupon she had brought for the special order, since it wasn’t considered an in-store purchase. Officially. She bought the pants anyway. Normally that would be the end of it, but then something really great happened. he sent a quick e-mail to the company, and received a response from corprorate…then a phone call from the manager of her local store, offering that 40% off retroactively. And a gift card.
When you see a sale advertising “40% off” an item, what exactly does that mean? Is it 40% off the price it was selling for last week? 40% off the MSRP? There’s a gray area in retail pricing that has some shoppers accusing Kohl’s of inflating prices so that an “on sale” item looks to be a better deal than it actually is.
Many of our readers with kids are fans of Amazon Mom, a program that provides some Amazon Prime free-shipping benefits and an additional 15% savings on subscriptions to products that babies consume a lot of, like diapers and wipes. That’s all ending next week, and you have to subscribe to Prime to continue with the program. Is that worth it? That’s up to you and your family, and depends on how much you spend at Amazon every year. Reader Krystal was surprised when she visited Amazon to get in one last diaper order before the program changes…and saw that the site wouldn’t let her.
No matter how great a price you find for whatever you’re buying online, there’s a chance you can make it even cheaper before you complete the order. A quick search for discount codes can provide blanket discounts or eliminate shipping charges. Such codes are the not-so-secret handshakes of online commerce.
A study of “Groupon addicts” asked them to specify how low a markdown had to be before they considered it a “good deal.” These were some pretty tough customers. How do their standards match up to yours?
Uno Chicago Grill, the chain that has brought the deliciousness of deep-dish pizza to suburban wastelands everywhere, is honoring veterans next week. That’s excellent. But their publicity for the event gets some terminology wrong. Despite what a current press release says, the 19.43% discount doesn’t just apply to active-duty personnel and those who spent decades in the military and retired with a pension. It’s for everyone who has served.
Groupon was hit with a second employee lawsuit alleging that the company failed to pay overtime. It’s only the latest in a series of major setbacks for the social coupon site casting its future into doubt.
When is a discount not a discount? When the product discount customers get isn’t the same thing that customers who pay full price get. See, people finishing up their free year of Amazon Prime as students can sign up for a half-price Prime account for next year. Except they’re not entitled to all of the perks that paying Prime customers get, like sharing free shipping between all members of a household and their different Amazon accounts.