Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The cheek of it !

Good morning. I'll zap this one out quickly before I go about my daily business. If an idea comes into my head I have to act on it quickly before it gets lost and buried in the grey matter. An incident I recall from last week. I was in Sainsbury's looking for offers on cat food, Bugsy likes the small tins of pate type foods. They are a bit expensive, but they agree with his dodgy tummy so I buy them for him. I don't get much at all from Sainsbury's most of it is too expensive for me. There is an odd yellow sticker from time to time, or a special offer, but that's about all. I couldn't do a whole shop there.

Anyway, the small Pate tins were on offer at 4 for £1.50, so I picked out two turkey and two chicken flavour. I waited my turn at the checkouts and when my goods were transported up the moving belt ready for scanning, the lady on the till asked if I had a Nectar Card. I answered no. She reached for a new card from the rack and proceeded to scan it before she started scanning the goods. She handed me the card and said fill the form in and send it off to register. I was so taken aback I took it.

Scanning done, bag packed, and shopping paid for, I checked the receipt. I noticed that the offer for the cat food had not been accounted for and I had been charged the full 45p per tin. I went straight to customer services to query this. It turned out that the chicken flavour was not included in the offer. I said that was very confusing for the customer as it was in the middle amongst all the other flavours. There was large signs on the shelf, clearly stating 4 tins for £1.50. The assistant had removed the signs, and handed me 30p. I asked why couldn't the chicken tins be stacked at the end of the row with a clear sign on. She said,that's how the shelf plan is. Pathetic answer I thought, where is common sense?

While I was at the desk I decided to complain about being given the Nectar card when I didn't ask for one. I was quite annoyed actually and needed to get it off my chest. How dare someone assume I want a card, and thrust it into my hand without asking. Was the woman on some kind of bonus I wondered, earning points herself for the amount of customers she managed to recruit. I was told she should have asked me first, I gave the card back and said I don't need it. My goodness, it would take me a million years to build up a substantial amount of points, the way my spending is, or should I say my non spending.

I think you have to make a stand over these things. Generally my shopping experiences in supermarkets are problem free, but occasionally mistakes are make, staff training may be lacking in some areas, and sometimes they take us customers for mugs. It's up to us to be vigilant, to keep track of prices, and make sure the offers are fair and complain if they are misleading.

I see some people walking around in a dream, loading things willy nilly into their trolleys. Ok if you can afford it, but for those of us on a tight budget, checking every price and searching for offers is a fact of life. It has to be done.

Sun shinning, I'm going out. Toodle pip.          

19 comments:

  1. We get our cat food at Sainsbobs as well but you have to spend over £20 for them to price match other supermarkets, I thought they just price matched full stop. So be careful x

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  2. I do think that the checkout operators at some stores are required to push nectar and other cards, and they get reprimanded if purchases go through without a card.
    If Aldi and Lidl had reward cards I'd definitely use those but, like you, I don't shop enough to make it worthwhile having most cards.

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  3. I SO dislike having to check my receipts to make sure I wasn't overcharged. It happens so often!

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  4. Here in my area if you don't have the cards you don't get the discounts. I keep them for the 2-markets I shop at.
    Our ads will state clearly such and such at $2.99 with bonus card, without $4.99. I don't like it but such is life.
    I remember when you could shop the sales without having to keep up with all the little bonus cards. They even sell the
    little card rings to keep them all on. Nope. I don't own one.

    Jake's a Girl

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  5. What is a Nectar card? Is it a card that keeps track of your spending in the store and then when you reach a certain amount, you get discounted items?

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    1. Hi, It's a loyalty card, you earn points when you use it, points add up and you can spend them in participating outlets. No, there is no extra discount when you reach a certain amount.

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  6. You are so right! I have learned to check my receipts before I leave the store or at least in the car, although I have driven back to Safeway. For instance when they charged me full price for a yellow pepper as they said only the red ones were on sale, however, all the colors were all together. I got my refund. Another time I bought a pkg of ham luncheon meat marked down (big orange sticker) to 99 cents and I was charged full price. I got the difference refunded that time, too. Got to be alert - the checkers don't always pay attention - EVEN when there's a bright orange sticker on the pkg.

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  7. Like you, I don't shop at any one favourite supermarket. I grow a lot of my stuff and only buy something if it is on special offer (and if this price is very good, I bulk buy and store in my pantry etc). A lot of my food comes from my local market. I have spent time figuring out which flavour/size of item comes under the promotional price and I ask at the till if it is the reduced price before I allow the cashier to ring it through. I reckon that the supermarkets think people are too much in a hurry to scrutinise the shelves. I have also been in the CO OP (when passing) and have bought their reduced bread - sometimes just for a few pennies. I have lost count of the number of times that the item has been rung through at full price. If when I get home and I realise that something has not been reduced, I damn well save my till receipt and when I or a friend is in the area, we go in and get the money owed to me. I distrust loyalty cards - somewhere in the country, there is a file on what my preferences are for food, drink etc - as I said, I mostly shop at my local market/my garden. Natalie

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  8. Almost all grocery stores have cards here in US - you don't get a discount without one. They use them to keep track of your purchases so they can report back to manufacturers and keep stats in their databases. If you don't want to be followed, take the card and never fill it out (it will be referred to as a ghost card) just keep using it. You'll get discounts at the store, but won't accumulate any points. It lets you keep your identity and shopping habits private while saving money.

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  9. I got some Whiskas from Tesco for £2.50 today so I was quite pleased. My DD called in to collect some things and started to tell me about all the yellow sticker food she bought yesterday so saving valuable pennies. That's my girl!
    Love from Mum
    xx

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  10. I must enter a comment in defense of the check out girl. I am an American who worked in a grocery store checkout line for over 10 years. I am confused as to why you would be offended that someone gave you this Nectar (or discount) card. Your cashier was only thinking that she was being nice to you. You may not have gotten any discount on this particular purchase, but that card must enable you to do so at some point. She was only thinking she was helping you out. Even if you don't shop this store very often, your points will eventually add up. Or it entitles you to shop the store discounts all along. I know none of us likes being treated like imbeciles where grocery prices are concerned. But why would you take offense at being given an opportunity, even if it is in the far future for saving a little money? Yes, it is all a scam from the grocers to make people think what good bargains this store has, while in reality they up the prices in the background, and you are merely paying the old or regular price. It is a training tool for customers. They think of us as sheeple. (sheep + people), they can train us to buy their loss leaders and they win, while making it look like they care for their customers, and give them these great discounts. I know what I am talking about with my past experience in a grocery store, but I am baffled as to anyone talking offense at the poor cashier who is merely thinking she is helping you out. No, you didn't ask for it, but she automatically thought you would like the discount opportunity. Don't blame her, she is told to do this. Her boss tells her it is good customer service. No, she probably doesn't get one thing for doing this, she just does this out of the goodness of her heart to help you out, and you take offense? Not understanding this attitude. And then to be so upset as to report her to her manager. Have you ever stood on your feet for hours at a time working with the public in a business where most of your customers are upset over the prices to begin with? Any little thing that can be done to make your customers nicer, easier to work with or at least not so upset by your store's prices is an automatic win. You get behind a cash register and work a good 8-10 hour day and have to deal with all the personalities and attitudes that she has to face, and then come back and tell me why you were offended. I guess I sound awful, but I was on the other side of that counter, and you and your attitude sound like one of the customers I hated to see enter my check-out line. Maybe you need to concentrate on something a little more important, like paying attention to what the small print on the sale sign actually says than being offended by customer service. You are an adult, read the sign, don't assume. What an attitude to have about something so simple when there are so many real things in life to worry about.

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    1. I am also from the USA. It's my thought that a day will come (soon) where what we purchase at the grocery will be linked to our health and life insurance. Therefore, I feel the same way meanqueen does. My information is not to be given lightly to anyone - including the grocer.

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    2. Also, think about the new healthcare laws and the HIPAA laws. Do you realize that any government agency in our country can demand your health records? That is why the new law was written. It would serve you well if you were more informed about our country.

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  11. The nectar card issue, if you say 'no, I don't have one', the response should be, 'do you want one?' Normally I know when to ask the customer if they want a card,,. I never just give one to them.

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  12. When i used to do nights away i used to call into a supermarket for bread, milk and something to cook up for my tea when i parked up for the night.
    I had a selection of cards, co-op dividend sent money, and Sainsburys had their own card but changed to Nectar which was handy because i got points when i filled the truck with diesel. Tesco sent some money off vouchers when i first got a clubcard but we couldn't spend them in our local store so i did the weekly shop at the Newcastle store the following week and put the shopping in boxes in the back of the wagon.
    I used to get a few yellow sticker items sometimes which was handy.
    Dave.

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  13. I like Sainsburys basics own brand products very much. They are as cheap as other supermarkets and really good quality. I can only get to Sainsburys when I can get a lift so don't get to spend much there but I am still happy to have a Nectar card. There are other stores and online opportunities where you can make and spend the points. If you add the Nectar search bar to your computer you get points without even spending money. Also you can go on the Nectar website and earn points just for watching ads. The points I have earned over the past 2 years are going to buy me a new lawnmower this weekend from Homebase. Whoopee free lawnmower.

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  14. Here in Oz the supermarkets have an agreement, if the price paid through the checkout is not the same as the one on the shelf, then you get your money back and the item as well (for free). I check EVERY time I go through the checkout, and many times I have had to go to the service counter and get my money back, they just aren't that good at pricing. However, we don't get the gorgeous "yellow stickers" that you get, so I guess it's "swings and roundabouts" as they say. As you know, being on a pension you have to be ultra careful with your pennies, even at the farmers markets or the butchers, they sometimes don't give you the right change, so you have to be watchful everywhere, like you said, customers are mugs to some.

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  15. Initially, at least in the US, the club cards were supposed to net discounts to customers; in reality, the stores used the cards as a marketing tool. Club card purchases were tracked to enable stores to see buying trends. So... if customers purchased certain brands (for example) coupons and sales on those brands would be offered more regularly. Prior to the US's recession shoppers were more store and brand loyal. Once recession hit, folks were after lowest prices. Brand and store loyalty became less important. I once wrote an article with pictures showing how much fresh food $50 could buy when shopping at 3 stores and the Farmer's Market. I timed myself. It took about an hour. The pictures showed a kitchen table full of fresh foods, including "manager's specials". With the changes in shopping, Albertson's supermarkets dropped their club cards. Was glad to see that happen. I don't like the idea of having my purchases tracked on computer. It feels a bit like Big Brother.

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  16. I've got a nectar card. You can spend the points in Sainsburys, you don't have to spend them somewhere else. OK, so you may not get many, but they all add up. You may be lucky to find a receipt in a trolley which says "you could have recieved X no of points". Go to customer services and have them added to your card! I just picked up about 30 points worth of receipts at a city centre mini-store, which will be added to my account!

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