Two days ago I received a coupon at checkout from the Food Lion in Elkin, NC. The coupon is for $5 off your next purchase of $65 or more. Needless to say, I was really excited about this coupon. It doesn't take much to excite me anymore. Sadly, as my husband pointed out, the coupon is only good this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and since we will be out of town during the coupon dates, we will not be able to redeem it. Bummer! Still, I thought why not ask the manager if they could accept the coupon a day early or give me a rain check. So I got on my cell phone and called the Elkin Food Lion to make my simple request. The answer was NO. What could possibly be her reasoning? Because the coupon is computer generated. I asked the lady if she could do something outside of the coupon to accommodate me. The answer again was NO.
My husband and I are self-employed antique dealers. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the economy isn't exactly booming. You would think that a store at which you spend $100 a week would make some sort of exception for you. After all, you are a valued customer. You are an MVP! What happened to the rain check? How about picking up your little manager card and overriding the system? How about loading $5 on a freaking gift card?
My husband had the idea of calling up the manager at the local Ingles grocery store here in Elkin, NC. Perhaps this grocery store would honor the coupon. His request: If we come to your store right now and spend at least $65, will you give us a $5 discount? The answer: NO. This grocery store took a hit when Wal-Mart moved into the same strip mall, but it's really struggling now that the Wal-Mart built a new super center and moved across town. The parking lot is deserted. There is never a line. The produce is always marked down to $.99. And the strip mall is for the most part devoid of businesses. If business sucks so bad, why are you not interested in stealing a customer from Food Lion?
Like I said, we are self-employed. And believe me, if someone walked into my booth at the flea market or antique show and asked for $5 off a $65 purchase, I'd jump on that. If giving a $5 discount meant this customer would buy my coffee table instead of our neighbor's, I'd do it!
It seems to me that the entire retail establishment has lost all creativity. I have worked in a grocery store as a cashier. We always went out of our way for the customer. We have stored groceries in coolers, freezers and bags, even when it meant taking all of the groceries out of their bags and re-bagging them. We have delivered groceries even though we don't deliver. What ever happened to customer service? Isn't the customer always right? I say YES, the customer is always right. And in this case, I, the customer, am RIGHT out the door.