Coles Supermarkets — rain check policy - clarity and execution
We shop at coles stocklands mall merrylands multiple times a week. Our flybuys number for your reference : [protected]. I would describe my family as informed, value - driven shoppers with a very good understanding of pricing and offers across 3 supermarkets - coles, woolworth and aldi, which all co-exist in our local shopping mall.
I visited the store on tuesday 21 november at around 5.30 p m to buy a box of swisse odourless wild fish oil (1000 mg x 400 capsules), which was on special, listed in your supplement catalogue on half price at 14 au$ (Half price).
The item was not on the shelf, the space behind the yellow special label had the high-intensity 17.5 $ 400 capsule pack (also half price) I requested the sales lady to check the price which she kindly did. I requested for the 14 $ pack which I was after. It was not in stock. I then requested for a rain check and this is where the problem started.
The sales lady said she would have to check the catalogue - if it was listed there she would give me one. I was fine with that / I had decided to buy the item because it was in the catalogue and in half price. She checked the regular groceries catalogue and said it was not there. I informed her that it was in the health and beauty catalogue. She said they did not have that catalogue in store so she could not give me a rain check. I pointed to the whole shelf of yellow labels indicating specials and asked her to check online. She said the shelf labels were irrelevant - what mattered was the catalogue. She could not check online. I requested that she make out a rain check and that I would bring my own catalogue the next day morning from home and collect it when I showed her the special. She said the offer would not be valid the next day.
I found this very unreasonable and at this point told her that I would like to make a complaint. She spoke to the supervisor and told me she could issue a rain check for 1 box only - which I wanted anyway - a whole year stock.
I got the raincheck but the whole experience was stressful and unpleasant.
(1) the store should maintain a master set of current catalogues for easy reference. Better still - stores should have a computerised catalogue where they can easily check specials. If the store does not have a catalogues should the customer be penalised?
(2) I feel that the sales people at the bottom of the pyramid, whom the customer has contact with needs to be very clear about the store policy on rain checks. As a customer - if a yellow label says half price - and there is no stock - I can request a rain check.
The savings in this case was 14$ - I would have lost out had I not persisted. With christmas around the corner - this is significant saving on 1 item. I did not like the unpleasant interaction - it was unnecessary. As a frequent shopper I see these staff very often.
I hope the time and trouble I have taken to place this incident on record prompts you to streamline your policy on rain checks.