Sunday, July 8, 2007

This Just In: Coupons 101

Ah, the "coupon."

The consumer's best friend.

That is, until you try to redeem at the DR.

This just in from Susan B.:

I wanted to fight a parking ticket, so I needed pictures. I went to the
local DR to buy an instant camera, and after a quick calculation realized it would be cheaper to buy the free processing one. Which says, on the package, "Free 1 hour processing" and "coupon inside."

So yesterday, around 3, I dropped it off. The woman asked me if I'd be getting it that night, and I said first thing this morning. (DR's photo desk closes at 6 pm and reopens at 8.)

This morning, I slept in, so I didn't go to pick them up until 11. They weren't ready. The negatives were hanging there, but the photos had to be printed. I agreed to give the worker the "one second" she needed, and about 15 minutes later she had my prints ready (and the ones she'd taken care of while I stood there but before she started mine).
I was buying a diet coke, which she promptly rang up with the cost of the photos.

"The processing is free," I told her. "That coupon you were looking at? Says it's free."

"No," she told me, "That says free 1 hour."

"Yes," I replied, "Free prints with one hour processing."

"You have to pay for the prints," she said.

"Then what does free one hour processing mean?" I asked.

"That you get the one hour free."

"They weren't even ready in six hours," I replied.

At that point we both began studying the coupon, which said, "Free single set 4" x 6" prints. One hour processing." That should have convinced her,

No. The small print said, "Free up to $7.49. If more than $7.49, $7.49 off."

"See," she said, "You only get them free if they're $7.49. Yours are $5.29." (I didn't shoot the whole roll, because I didn't think the parking ticket judges really needed 27 photos of the lack of signs on the block where I parked, and there were only so many filler pictures I could take in 48 hours.)

At that point I just looked at her, and she asked if I wanted the manager.
I said yes. He did arrive promptly, but she then said, "She says she gets
free prints, but her prints don't cost $7.49." He quickly figured out how
to, in fact, give me free prints with my free print coupon.

I left as the woman behind me was asking whether she got a discount because her 1 hour processing wasn't ready in an hour. Although I didn't stick around to
listen, it appeared that the manager was telling her no.

Anyone else have coupon nightmares? I'm sure there's times when the DR even confuses their own dollar rewards system.

Send us your story.

1 comment:

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