Be Careful When Returning Items Purchased With Coupons

Recently, I bought some clothes online at Old Navy and used one of my Gap credit card reward certificates to get $10 off my purchase. Looking at the receipt, the $10 was not deducted from the total; rather, it was deducted as a percentage of each item I purchased. I know I've seen this practice at other stores as well, such as Best Buy. I can't remember the others.

So when I went to return the item, I kept this in mind and waited to make sure I received the true, full price I paid for the item. I thought I had, until I got home, and realized that the original price of the sweater I returned was not $25, but $29.50. Argh! Old Navy refunded $4.50 less than they should have! Keep in mind that I did not use a percent off coupon; I used a dollar off coupon. Since my total purchase was more than the amount of the coupon, even after the return, there was no reason not to refund the full $29.50 (plus tax).

I am sure that this sort of thing is happening to many other people who also aren't realizing it and are getting ripped off in what are usually small, fairly unnoticeable amounts of money that don't seem worth going back to the store or calling customer service to argue about. Since I hate calling people, I am tempted to just blow it off, but condoning corporate theft from consumers just isn't my style. I'll let you know if they are willing to refund the difference when I call them.

Is this problem occurring because of the way the store's point-of-sale software works? Is it just a glitch, or is it an intentional "mistake" designed to fleece consumers and pad companies' corporate coffers? I don't have the answer to that question, but I encourage you to be aware of this issue and make sure companies are refunding 100% of your purchase when you return an item.

Note: This problem has been resolved.

Photo by clemente

Related Posts:
Gap/Old Navy Return Followup
Sneaky Coupon Tricks
How I Get Coupons For Organic Products
My Thoughts On The Gap Store Credit Card
12 Tips for Getting the Best Buy at Best Buy
Never Pay Retail: 10 Things You Should Never Buy At Regular Price

2 comments:

TacoCruncher said...

I wouldn't consider this corporate theft, nor a glitch or mistake. What if you return all the items, should they give you the original prices, netting you $10 cash? You did not pay the original prices, you paid $10 less. They simply pro-rated the coupon as a discount per item.

Two Pennies Earned said...

Tacocruncher,
No, I don't think they should give me $10 if I returned everything. However, I think that as long as the items I keep are worth at least $10, they should refund the full amount of the item. After all, I could have used the $10 off coupon on a $10 item (in which case I would have to exchange the item rather than return it if I didn't want to lose the value of the coupon).