Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Price of Satisfaction

I am tired of getting screwed over. I am damn tired of being taken advantage of by unscrupulous charlatans. Like Kroger.

I mean, CLEARLY they have a bigger plan than simply selling groceries. They MUST.

I went shopping last week before my in-laws came in town for Christmas. We celebrated Christmas early with them this past weekend. Anyway, I went to Krogers and found a huge pallet of 2-Liter Sierra Mist and Canada Dry ginger ale, 10/$10. I was all fired up to pay exactly ONE DOLLAR for my bottles of soda.

Of course they came up as $1.29. I asked the checker to figure it out and he sent the bagger to the aisle to check the price. He came back with the ticket that said $1.29 even though I'd told him that I got the soda from the PALLET WITH THE SIGN, not from the shelf.

If you're still reading and you haven't fallen asleep, I have to warn you that this story is about to pick up steam...

Of course the checker couldn't do anything. He looked at me like I was talking gibberish. So I just paid the full amount and the schlepped my cart of groceries back to the pallet to get THE SIGN and bring it up to the front, where upon I showed it to the checker.

Checker: "Oh, yeah. It does say 10 for $10."
Me: "Great!" and I start to load my sodas back onto the belt.
Checker: "Oh, *I* can't give you any money back. You'll have to take care of that at Customer service."

This is the part in a movie where the ominous music starts and it goes to a slow-motion shot of the checker pointing a finger over at a line of people waiting at Customer Service. The line is very, very long. And there's a grand total of ONE person helping them. And the counter closes in 15 minutes.

See, I told you this story was exciting. Suspense, drama, conflict.

Steam is coming out of my ears. I reason, "Hmm, if I wait in that line, I stand to get back about $1.20 plus tax. Is it worth of it? YES! IT'S WORTH IT! I WON'T BE SCREWED OVER JUST BECAUSE OF INCONVENIENCE SAKE! Now, girls, go over there and play with that lottery ticket machine. Yes, that's right, the one with the flashy lights and lots of buttons."

I watched one person after another pay their utility bill or buy stamps. Finally it was my turn and the Customer Service kid gave me my $1.20 back plus the cost of one bottle of soda (some rule about being over-charged results in the customer receiving the item for free). So I got back about $2.75. I only had to put up with the girls chasing each other around the rack of paperback books for about 10 minutes.

But still, it made me wonder, what's my price of satisfaction? What's yours? At what monetary value would you say, "YES it's worth it to stand in a line with twitchy toddlers in order to get my money back." and when is it just "Meh, it's just a few bucks." When I lose money, I always picture myself with holes in my pocket and money falling right out. I often feel like I'm literally throwing my money away. I picture myself walking in the parking lot. If I saw $1.20 lying on the ground, would I stop to pick it up?

So what's your price of satisfaction?

Texan Mama


The Nice One said...

great thread. i have often wondered this about others...my price is pretty high, and it also depends on my mood that day (am I already angry with Wal Mart?!). I typically will "fight" for $1 or more.

Melani said...

I feel the same exact way, which is why I always am checking my receipt to make sure I got the sale price and that my coupons were actually counted for. At our grocery store you have a "club card" and you enter your phone number to get the cheaper price and one time my number wasn't accepted for whatever reason and I looked at my receipt and waited for a manager and got like 12 bucks cash back, that is what I had saved.

Jennifer said...

#1 I'm actually impressed- up here at our grocery store, when they run that ad, you have to actually get 10 bottles of soda to get them for $1 and i don't have anywhere to store 10 bottles of soda, so I have to pay full price for 2 or 3 bottles. It ticks me off every time. As for my price... it depends on the day.. I've left items at the store before, made it home,checked my receipt and bag and realized I left it.... if the kids are cranky- I call it a loss and leave it, but one day, I had a $10 piece of meat that I left at the checkout. I called up there to verify that it had been found and they said it had and they put it in a cooler up front for me. As much as I hated packing up the kids and driving all the way back to the store ( about 15 minutes) I couldn't justify leaving a $10 piece of meat behind. So I went back.

Jennifer said...

Okay- reading that again- I think you actually DID buy 10... duh! I'll go back to my corner now.

Aleta said...

I'm impressed that you did this! I'm the opposite. I would say that my time is more valuable, but you're right - it's the principle of the matter.

Greg would have done the same thing you did and he has. He's very money conscious about what someone is charging him and you'd be surprised how many times he's caught the cashiers over charging for something!

For instance, we went to Best Buy on Black Friday and he found a great deal for memory sticks - 7.99 per stick. When the cashier put the stick through the machine - it was 30 dollars! Woah! The second stick that we were going to buy came out to 7.99. Come to find out - there's this little itty bitty pink sticker on one stick that isn't on the other one and the itty bitty writing states that you are "donating money" to a cause. Uh huh. I wonder how many people picked up the pink sticker one without realizing they were donating their money away!

Now, yeah, 30 versus 7.99 - big difference for even me to step up.

But the other day, Greg was out shopping with a friend and the cashier over charged by .25 cents. The friend raised all sorts of cane about it. Greg said, "Not over 25 cents." Then I replied, "But how many times does the story get an extra 25 cents - it all adds up and it's theft."

Anna See said...

Love this story! Way to stick up for yourself. I have had TWO things of ground turkey go bad BEFORE the sell by date lately and have done NOTHING about it. Aargh.

Gigi said...

For me, as most of the others, it depends on the day, the amount, etc. But, if I end up not dealing with it - then I fume about it all day!

Ash said...

$2.75 sounds about right.

I also picture myself hungry on the street, cursing myself for not being able to feed my kids because I wouldn't be inconvenienced for the pennies.

Good for you for following through. Hopefully it was an honest mistake on Kroger's part. Hopefully.

Jennifer said...

I totally would have left. I want to be the person that goes through the line to get my money back, but in reality I'm just too lazy.

Teanna said...

Me? I would have done the same thing on, but only on principle. I don't really care about how much it is. It is more like 'Well I worked my butt off for that 20c, so I am getting it back'. Drives the hubby mental.

misssrobin said...

Just to be fair, I wonder how many of these people would go back to the store if they got home and realized they had a $1 item that they hadn't been charged for.

I don't go back or fight unless it's more. It would probably have to be closer to five dollars. Maybe I'm getting cheated, but I'll live. For me, it's not worth the emotional energy.

But if I get something I didn't pay for, I always go back and pay for it. I have quick guilt otherwise.

Rachael said...

I think I would have sighed heavily and just left. I think my limit is closer to $2.50. Which is totally arbitrary, but sounds right to me.