Thursday, November 7, 2013

Are Fred Meyer and Kroger ripping us off or is this just misleading



This is the entire ad from the mailed flyer. Does it say house brands?
One of the advantages of growing older is you qualify for some good discounts at various stores. Movies around here are just about half price, ATT has a phone plan senior discount and so does just about everyone else. The problem is, once in while you run into what I would call nothing short of a scam.

Look at the picture I grabbed from a flyer I received in the mail.  What does it say to you?  I took it to mean if I shopped on those specific Tuesdays my entire purchase would qualify for a 10 percent discount. Can you see anything on there that says anything different? I am not the only one. I noticed Tuesday the majority of customers at the store, at least when I went, were elderly.  I figured it was because of the discount.

This is a grab from the web site. Note the pic of the Nike 
shoe, the Nikon camera, the coffee maker and the auto care parts. 
Those aren't house brands, but according to the ad they are also
included in the discounts. 
As my income has slowly dwindled to a little more than subsistence, I plan for such events and went without a few things waiting for Tuesday Nov. 5 when I planned to do at least a week's worth of food shopping.

Imagine the surprise when I checked out and the discount did not show up. I asked the checker about it and she very casually said, "oh that only applies to store brands, Kroger and Fred Meyer."

Now, anyone who eats knows store brands usually are not the same quality as the name brands, so I seldom buy those even though the name brands usually cost a little more.  So, I did not have one item that according to the checker qualified for that 10 per cent senior discount every Tuesday.

Now, look at that ad: Does anything on that ad say anything about store brands?  No.

There is that line at the bottom that if you can't see it reads, "See store or fredmeyer.com/senior for complete details and a few exclusions." A few exclusions.

The posting from the web site is at left.  If you read past the huge type telling you how Fred Meyer is discounting for seniors, there's a list in very small type of the specific brands covered by the discount offer.  As a habit I don't buy a single one of those brands.

A few exclusions indeed:  Every damned thing in the store that isn't a house brand.

How many of us even notice small print in ads, let alone follow a link to a web site? How many people would just see the flyer and head over there on a Tuesday to shop?  I bet more of us than those who actually caught the line at the bottom or followed the link.

So, there I was with a $113.34 tab on my groceries for the week and after the discount it was,

wait for it,

$113.34.

I felt totally taken advantage of and what can you do but pay it or walk away and start over at another store after shopping at this one for the past eight years.


I have liked this store but there are alternatives and at least one of them offers a senior discount on everything, not just the house brand, so I am going over there to check on it before I ever go back to Fred Meyer.

AN UPDATE 7/1/14: Fred Meyer continues to bait the elderly

The myth of the senior discount

COMMENTS:

The following comments came to me through other media.  I know each of these people personally but chose not to use their names to protect their privacy:

That's pretty crappy! A Walmart just went up RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the Fred's in Muldoon. I would think they would want to be sincere in trying to build customer loyalty, but it doesn't sound like it.  -- Anchorage

Not just Alaska! Fred Meyers in Idaho is the same. The Kroger/Fred Meyer "loyalty" program sucks. -- Boise

I don't think any large corporation has any loyalty to anyone or anything except their bottom line and their boards of directors do not equate their profits to the minions that buy their products. You can count on your hands the number of corporations that control our world. -- California

Good show! I ran into this one about a year ago. I didn't recall that Fred Meyer brand even qualified -- just Kroger. I "saved" something like 50 cents on a big order. I also bought AA battery pack a couple weeks ago, clearly marked "Buy one, get one free," but when I got home and checked the tape, I'd paid for both of them. Went back a few days later and the "Buy one" sign was gone. I was better off when I ignored their coupons, I think, because the big print giveth and the fine print taketh away" too often. Fred Meyer coupons are full of gotchas and some of them aren't programmed into the cash registers so even if you buy them it doesn't work automatically. Sometimes it's fine print I can't read without my glasses and sometimes the clerk puts it in manually and sometimes I don't see the problem until I get home and then I feel ripped off. I'm often unimpressed but since Safeway took over Carr's that isn't wondrous either and I refuse to darken the doors of Walmart or Sam's Club and I can't deal with the Costco quantities, so there isn't much alternative,  -- Anchorage

It all makes me kind of wonder who Parker Allen in the following comment works for.  Pretty interesting that a person who qualifies for the senior discount has kids who often prefer the house brand.

1 comment:

  1. No, Fred Meyer/Kroger are not ripping us off. I have never ever had an issue on a senior day at Fred Meyer, you simply read the exclusions prior to shopping, and if you have a question, ask. Their private label brands are awesome, and in fact, my family prefers some of them over the name brands. Your article sounds more like you were uneducated prior to shopping. When/if you have an issue, ask to see the Store Director, give them a chance to make it right, IF there really is an issue. Parker Allen, Wasilla.

    ReplyDelete

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