I am looking for some feedback on store coupon policies. A couple weeks ago my wife bought some summer clothes for our 3 kids at our local Old Navy store. She found some nice deals and ended up spend a little under $50. A couple days later we got an Old Navy coupon in the mail that was good for 20% off your order when you use your Old Navy credit card, which we have.
So my wife says, “Bummer, I just bought the kids some clothes from Old Navy a couple days ago.” Which I responded, “Not a bummer, I’m sure they will honor your coupon.” In my head I am reasoning this with a few things.
- First, since we are Old Navy credit card holders, I am sure they will bend over backwards to keep us happy.
- Secondly, it is just good customer service to honor a coupon in this way.
- Thirdly, they would never say “No” because people would just return the merchandise and buy it again with the 20% off coupon.
So my wife agrees with me and the next day she goes back in the store with the coupon and clothes in the original bag. I should also point out that the clothes still have the tags on them and have not been used or washed. She walks up to the register, where she actually got the store manager, and the conversation goes like this:
My Wife: I was just in here a couple days ago and bought these clothes. Then I got this coupon in the mail for 20% off and I was wondering if you would be kind enough to honor the coupon on this purchase.
Old Navy Manager: Sorry, I can’t do that.
My Wife: But I just got this coupon in the mail.
Old Navy Manager: Sorry, ma’am, that is just our policy. But you still have a couple weeks to use that coupon on another purchase.
My Wife: What is to keep me from just returning it and buying it back with the coupon?
Old Navy Manager: (Glaring at her like she is a cheap, crazy woman.) Nothing I guess.
Ticked off, my wife left the store and called me. I had a few choice words for Old Navy customer service. Not helping the situation, she hung up on me and decided she was just going to return the stuff. Then maybe in a couple days go back in and use the coupon. She returned the clothes and we have yet to go back into the store. It just left a bad taste in our mouth. I don’t think we are swindlers or cheap people. Or are we? Or is Old Navy just acting on a sound business model by not honoring the coupon in this way? What is you opinion?
It reminds me of the whole Apple iPhone thing when they lowered the price $200 overnight and essentially said “tough luck” to those loyal Apple users who bought the phone at the original price. After taking a heat wave of criticism, Steve Jobs finally offered a $100 store credit to anyone that bought the iPhone at the original price. In my example, we are the loyal user who is left holding the bag of clothes at full price.
So give me your opinion! Do you agree with the Old Navy coupon policy? Have you had a similar experience with a different outcome at Old Navy or another store? I look forward to your comments.