“The Case of the Misleading Shelf Tag.” Or, “A Sour Deal on Great Yogurt.”

Posted on March 5, 2013 by Scott Sanfilippo No Comments

club_cardnewThis past week I was up in northeast Pennsylvania in a quest to experience winter one last time before the arrival of spring. As I crawled out of bed and into a warm shower Sunday morning, I realized that a trip to the store was in order because I was out of deodorant.

As I walked through the aisles of Weis Market in Clarks Summit looking for my preferred brand of stink-prevention, I passed a dairy case chock full of my favorite Greek yogurt and a sign that read “Chobani – 10/$10.”

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That’s a great deal,” I said to myself as my quick trip for Speed Stick turned into something more.

I loaded up my basket and headed to the self checkout, or as I like to call them, the shoplifter’s delight. I carefully scanned each container wondering why I only grabbed blueberry and vanilla. When the grand total popped up, my 10/$10 suddenly wasn’t 10/$10. I was overcharged by $2.50. In fact, the promotional pricing wasn’t applied.

My friend who was with me heard my grumbling and said, “in order to get that price you need a shoppers club card.

Thankfully I popped a Lisinopril earlier in the day ensuring that the rage I was suddenly feeling wouldn’t rise my blood pressure to critical levels.

I need a shoppers club card in order to take advantage of a sale? What kind of bullshit is that?

He quipped back, “every store does it.

I didn’t take notice of the micro-print on the shelf tag proclaiming the price of the yogurt was only available with a shoppers card, so I guess it’s partially my fault. But when I shop every week at my local Publix Supermarket in Florida, I don’t need to have one of these crazy club cards in order to take advantage of the weekly sale items. If there’s a tag on the shelf that says 10/$10, you pay that price. You don’t get penalized for not having a card.  I never shopped at this store before, probably won’t shop there again, and I’m not able to take advantage of a special because I don’t have a piece of plastic hanging off my keychain identifying me as a member of some special shoppers club.

Can I say bullshit again without offending anyone? Thanks.

Bullshit!

It’s not about the $2.50 extra I paid for yogurt. It’s not about the fine print on the shelf tag. It’s about the overall customer service experience. I walked out of this bright, clean and well laid out supermarket completely pissed off over an offer that is only available to those with a shoppers club card.

I should have just left the yogurt at the self checkout and walked out, but I didn’t. I could have went to the customer service counter, complained and asked for my $2.50, but I didn’t. Instead I learned a lesson. I’ll read the shelf tags more carefully, shop at stores that don’t require a shoppers card, and stay away from ones that do.

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