Retailers should ensure clerks ask for frequent shopper cards.
This past weekend I was shopping at a Kings supermarket in New Jersey when I came across an unadvertised special on cans of Borden Eggnog. It was on sale for $2.99 per quart can, a $1.00 savings over the usual $3.99 price. That was quite a bargain so I quickly snatched one up.
True, eggnog usually disappears off store shelves the day after New Years, but trust me, deeply chilled and mixed with the proper amount of rum and/or vodka and/or Southern Comfort it also makes a refreshing summertime drink.
I shopped for a handful of other items and headed to the checkout. The cashier was busy talking with the two teens ahead of me – obviously classmates – as I put my items on the conveyor belt. He then reached for the Borden eggnog and scanned it without asking for my Kings frequent shopper card. I handed him the card after he scanned the eggnog and he scanned it into the register.
Well, as I was leaving the store I was checking over my receipt and noticed that I was charged $3.99 for the eggnog instead of the $2.99 sale price. I went to the courtesy desk and the manager on duty gave me my dollar back and wrote in a notebook about the discrepancy. However, it is my guess that because the cashier swiped my card after he rang up the eggnog that the sale price did not register. Some stores take off the sale prices directly under the items, while others tally it at the end. I guess the system Kings has requires the card to be swiped before the checkout process begins.
It wasn’t a big deal and I was happy I caught this error before I got home as I do not shop in Kings every week and with the price of gas it wouldn’t be worth it to drive all the way back over a dollar.
But the lesson learned here is that retailers should have a firm set of rules in place with their cashiers. The cashier should address the customer before ringing up the order with a greeting and ask them if they have a frequent shopper card and/or coupons, and in the case of a store like Kings that still offers bagging, if they would like paper of plastic. That little nicety might save a trip or two to the customer service desk.