Close shave

I went into an A&P this past weekend to pick up a few things and spied an end cap display of Barbasol shaving cream. I noticed they were a new, slimmer 6-oz. can, compared to the usual 11-oz. can, and a big yellow-and-black sign proclaimed it on sale for 99-cents.

I decided to buy one, even though the full-size can was a better value, on sale for $1.29. I figured this smaller can would be better for traveling as it is smaller and lighter. When the cashier was ringing up my order I noticed it scanned at $1.29. I informed her that it was supposed to be 99-cents. She asked me how did I know.

“There is a big sign on the end cap,” I told her. She immediately picked up the phone and paged for a price check. Within 20 seconds a very pleasant girl appeared, took the can and ran off in the direction I pointed to. Within a minute she was back and replied, “You are right. It is 99-cents. You get the shaving cream for free.”

I have to admit I was very impressed, as were the people behind me in line. “How did he get that for free?” I could hear them whispering.

The lady immediately behind me was only buying a half-gallon of America’s Choice chocolate milk. “Can you do a price check on this?” she asked, half joking.

The lesson is that consumers have to pay attention, and to be honest not all of us do, myself included.

Not long ago I was shopping in an A&J Seabra, which is a small Portuguese-oriented chain. I purchased four containers of Yoplait yogurt, which were advertised at 4/$2.00. Yet when I got home I noticed the cashier scanned one of the yogurts four times and then scanned a peach yogurt separately so that I was charged for five, even though I only bought four. I debated about going back to the store with it, but to be honest, the gas would probably cost more than the 50-cents, so I let it slide.

I have to give A&P credit for living up to what was their error and giving me the Barbasol for free. My local Acme used to have a similar policy and it endeared me to the store until it closed. While A&P’s error may have cost them 99-cents, it helped cement a relationship with a loyal customer. I will definitely be shopping A&P more often as a result – and keeping a closer eye on the register. As for Seabra’s, I will be shopping their store less often and keeping an even closer eye on the register.

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