Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kroger answers the call

A few days ago I had a problem at my local Kroger. Here was my email to them:

To whom it may concern

I am inquiring about the Catalina coupons at my local Kroger store at (a location near my house). This particular store has a coupon exchange basket at the front of the store which frequently has Catalina coupons that the original recipient isn't interested in using. I have used these in the past with no problem, but when I came in today and was looking through the basket, the front end manager on duty (this was around 7pm on Wednesday 6/23/10) saw what I was doing and proceeded to take them out of the coupon exchange basket and rip them in half. She said that corporate has told her to do this.

I was wondering why this may be? I thought these were manufacturer coupons, as they state this directly on front of the coupon and they state a clearinghouse address to send them to as well as the redemption terms. Nowhere on the coupon does it state that it's for the rewards card it was issued to, as other stores do state on their Catalinas. It felt as if she was committing fraud and keeping the contentious consumer from getting the discounts that are allowed by the manufacturer and that the manufacturer reimburses you for plus handling.

Personally, I do not wish to commit coupon fraud, so I would like to know if using the Catalina coupons from others are allowed or not. I do enjoy shopping at my local Kroger store and do so very frequently. I spend hundreds of dollars a month at Kroger and would like to know that I'm doing right by the company that has been doing so right by me.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.


I was starting to get a little worried because after a few days, the weekend, and some more days I hadn't heard back. So, I called their corporate office at 1-800-KROGERS. I was informed by the representative I spoke with that the front end manager was in fact NOT supposed to be tearing up the Catalinas and they could, in fact, be used by anyone who was interested in using a coupon. This afternoon, I checked my inbox and also got a response:

Dear Ms. Newbie:

Thank you for contacting The Kroger Company. I do apologize for the confusion regarding your coupons. It is not our policy to not allow you or anyone else to use the Catalina Coupons. I am forwarding your comments to the store manager, where I feel confident he will use this as a training tool. Again, I apologize for any inconvenience. If there is anything else I can assist you with, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for shopping at Kroger. We appreciate your business.


(an informed CSR)
Consumer Affairs

I'm so glad I contacted them via email. Regardless of whether or not they will talk to that particular manager, I now have something concrete in writing that I can show her as to why she is not supposed to be tearing up the Catalinas, rendering them useless for anyone else who would like to use them. This particular front end "manager" has refused me using coupons with a Target logo even though it clearly stated "Manufacturer coupon" on it and had a clearinghouse address too. I pointed this out to her, she showed it to someone, and they still wouldn't take it. I've used them in the past with other cashiers, but this particular one just is not coupon friendly! It's nice to know they're willing to go the extra mile when someone is a loyal customer.

Edit: 7/2/2010
The manager of the store contacted me and stated that this particular store was told by their general district manager that they were informed to not allow customers to use Catalina's from other customers because you can't tell which is a money of your next order because they bought so many of a certain product Catalina or just a coupon Catalina. We all know this is boloney! Sounds like an excuse to me. They also stated that manufacturer coupons with another stores logo, even if it expressly states manufacturer coupon, wasn't allowed at the store. I tried to clarify that these manufacturer coupons did have a clearing house address and terms of redemption on them, but she held to her story that they wouldn't get reimbursed for them because they are only intended for use at the specified store. Another load of boloney! *sigh* The good thing I did learn from this call was that I will be able to keep my Kroger card for my move to Arizona and use it at Fry's without opening another loyalty card. At least they have that going for them.

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