It's likely that you know by now, I strive to be an informed, aware shopper. I've always been a bargain-hunter. I never buy anything online without looking for a promo code. I hate to pay for shipping. I rarely pay full-price for anything. BUT when a good deal strikes, I'm often going to snatch it up whether I NEED it now or not.
Just over two years ago, I was shopping in the Gastonia Target. I purchased three items and after I inserted my debit card, I realized the amount was just too much for what I had purchased. The cashier handed me the receipt and sure enough, I was overcharged on three of four items. The cashier, confirming it "happens all the time" told me to just go check the prices on the shelves and go to customer service for a refund. So, I did. It was somewhere around $5 that I was due back. The customer service associate again didn't seem phased. This was the day that the switch flipped and I became abundantly aware of the overcharging that was going on in stores everywhere.
I use Victoria's Secret promo codes on every order. Who doesn't? There is always a coupon. When I noticed what was happening, I stopped shopping there altogether. I was applying the promo codes, the amount was coming off of the total, I was clicking submit with the correct amount on the screen but when my statements were coming, it was for more than I agreed to pay when I clicked submit. The promo codes were coming off and I was paying whatever the full or regular sale price was, no additional savings! How long had this been happening?! I was not sure. After the customer service department refused to do anything at all, I vowed not to shop there anymore. I emailed the local news, but never heard back. I told my friends to beware!
Fast forward to last night. I'm a sucker for post-its and they make adorable treasure chests full of a variety of colors, sizes, shapes and types. The boxes usually go for $100 or well-over, so when an ad popped up on Instagram for $50, it was time to stock back up! I typically take out what I want and donate the rest to a back-to-school drive. It's a win-win. Being who I am, I went to the eBates app, opened up the Staples link. Searched for the treasure chest. Added to cart and started hunting for any additional savings. I found a $20 off $100 coupon on Retail Me Not so I added a second treasure chest to the cart and applied the coupon. BAM, reduced the cart total to $80! Winning, right?! WRONG. I went all the way through, keyed in my shipping information, card information and reviewed the order. Shipping was free, and since I had keyed in my address it populated my tax, so the total was $85.60. Below where I reviewed the charges: $80.00 sub total, FREE shipping, $5.60 estimated tax, total amount $85.60 was the blue submit order button. Everything looks good, so I click submit only to be greeted by a confirmation page with a total of $107.00! I immediately called customer service and after explaining to the associate repeatedly that the promo code was correctly applied all the way until I agreed to pay $85.60. Meanwhile, the $107.00 was already withdrawn from my bank account. I asked to speak with a supervisor, Tracy. Tracy stated that Staples coupons can be applied and come off of the order even if they are not "valid". I explained to Tracy that it was completely fraudulent to ask customers to confirm orders at one price and turn around and charge them more. How many hundreds or thousands of people do you think they have scammed this year and they do not even know?! While Tracy did refund the $21.40, my mission was not just to get a refund but to bring awareness to this fraudulent means of extorting customers.
I share these stories with you to help you understand how important it is to pay attention at the register AND at checkout online. To note your order total before and after checking out online. To pay attention to sale prices as you put things in your cart. We all know there is no way you can juggle making sure every item in the cart rings up correctly at the grocery store, but you can have a pretty good idea. Pay attention. Say something. Make them correct it. My philosophy is that I work HARD for MY money and I'm not going to give any more of it than I intended away.
I do have screenshots of this most recent experience and due to all of the personal information on each of them, I'm refraining from posting them to this blog, but have saved them for my own documentation and intend to bring attention to this matter until laws are actually enforced to keep businesses from defrauding consumers!
Lots of opportunities to celebrate this Fourth of July! Our proximity to Charlotte gives us options for some of the country's biggest fireworks displays, and we have the benefit of our small-town celebrations right here. Whether it be Mount Holly's early celebration or grabbing a spot with 75,000 other people at SkyShow, there will be lots to take the kids to see this year! We've compiled a list for you, but as a perk of our blog, check out these event links:
Gaston All American Fair
Charlotte Motor Speedway
BB&T Ballpark SKYSHOW
Red, White & Belmont
Harper Park - Stanley
I'm Katie and I'm so excited to be bringing Housewives in the City to Gaston County! I'm a resident of Mount Holly. I absolutely love traveling, sports and I'm always up to learning something new. I cannot wait to meet all of you!