I Just Want Cake
A few years back, my family and I were shopping at our local chain grocery store. To protect the innocent, we’ll call this store Harry’s. The names used in the story are not the real names of the people involved.
Our town is fairly small, so there is only one name brand store. I used to shop there all the time because they had more variety than our local gorilla store. This store is the only place in town to buy Duke’s Mayonnaise. There is only one place in our town where you can buy real grits and that is the beaver store. The beaver store is what all convenience stores dream they will be when they grow up.
We have gone all through the store and made it to the soft drink aisle. The locals here refer to soft drinks as “Soda Water.” When I was growing up, a carbonated beverage was referred to as Coke no matter what it was. “Hey, Tom, please give me a coke.” “What kind of coke do you want?” “Sugar Free Dr. Pepper, please.”
I go to place the Cokes in the buggy and I notice a coupon for a free cake with the purchase of four two liters. This is cool because I am buying five two liters. I can use this coupon and get free cake too. I send the kids to the bakery to find out what kind of cake we are getting.
The kids come back with a slice of cake and say that “Bonnie” in the bakery says that they are out of the cake, but she is substituting this slice of cake. This isn’t a problem for me because I did not expect a sheet cake from the coupon. I mean, how big could the cake be if they are giving it away for buying four Cokes? I had taken a couple of extra coupons because I liked the deal and I buy soft drinks all the time. I am a die-hard fan of Diet Coke and with five people in the family we go through a few two liters in a week’s time.
Later in the week, I go back to Harry’s and shop. I get my five two-liter Cokes and proceed to the bakery. I don’t see the cake listed, so I locate “Jess”. He doesn’t know which cake goes with the coupon, so he asks Bonnie. Bonnie explains in great detail that these coupons that I got in this store just a few days ago were not the right coupons for this store. She goes on to say that when they first put the coupons out she honored them by substituting a large slice of cake for the small cake that was supposed to go with the coupon.
I tell her that I have a coupon and ask what she is going to do to honor the coupon. She said she is not going to honor the coupon since it was not for this store. The coupon clearly has the store’s store number printed on it. She says that these cakes have to come out of her budget and she simply can’t afford to honor the coupon. Let’s see, last year I averaged spending about $900 per month in this store. I want a piece of cake that is going to cost the store about 25¢ to make. Do they risk taking 25¢ out of their budget to save about $11,500 per year in sales? Bonnie chooses to lose the $11.5K to save the 25¢.
I proceed to the check out where one of the managers asks me if there is anything else they could help me with today. I told her what had just happened. She goes to a more senior manager who goes and gets Bonnie to ask her what they should do. Of course, Bonnie says she has already explained to me that I ain’t gittin’ no cake.
I am irritated by all of this so, when I get home, I go to the store’s website at www.youaintgittinnocake.com . I explain in great detail all that happened and tell that I spoke to Bonnie. About a week later, I get a phone call from, you guessed it, Bonnie. Bonnie again explains to me that I ain’t gittin’ no cake.
I have been in retail 37 years and I can’t believe that Harry’s would risk anyone’s business like this. It really isn’t that I just want cake. I am too fat anyway. The point is that they are supposed to honor their coupons.
I write their home office and get a phone call from Harry’s complaint department. They send me a gift card and coupons for ice cream. I go to the store and try to redeem my coupon for my ice cream and find out that the coupon isn’t good in this store. However, this time the cashier simply pulls up a screen on his computer and overrides the coupon code and I get my free ice cream. Still no cake.
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