Thursday, August 14, 2008

Comments From CVS Employees?

In case you haven't checked out the comments from my most recent post, I got a couple anonymous comments who say they are CVS employees.

They contain some interesting information, and I am hoping they are still reading because I was hoping they could answer some questions here. However both comments, apparently from different people, have kind of an accusatory tone so I am not sure if they will respond.

The informational part of the comments, with my responses and questions:

"As a CVS employee I just want to let you know that the company coupons policies will be changing. They are now able to track past purchases and view if consumers are taking advantages of Extra Buck deals. The registers will now decline the coupons that are being used to receiving a large amount of free products."

Anon continues: "If you purchases items and have receive Extra bucks then try to return the items the next week with receipt or with out a receipt the registers will now take your extra buck coupons in account and your extra buck will be voided. The cashier will tell you at the time of the return, and your refund receipt will explain the new policy."

Me: This makes sense. I have often wondered why they don't prevent people from returning things they bought for Extra Bucks, and personally I do not return things for which I have received Extra Bucks.

If this change really happens, again I hope CVS is up front about it so people aren't shocked if it happens to them. Personally I had a couple of ExtraBucks not show up when I purchased things recently, but I called customer care and was promptly credited the ECBs, so I don't think they were withheld on purpose.

This is where Anony gets confrontational, I think: "It is a shame that some people like to abuse store policies and think that they not breaking the law. Instead of trying to abuse coupons and store deal maybe people just need to take the time to review their state and the government shoplifting laws."

Me: Are you talking about me? This same exact comment was posted on at least two different posts. I'm not sure if there is something specific I did that prompted Anon to imply I am "abusing store policies." Is it because I got overage for the CVS brand sunblocks? Is this not allowed? Seriously, if CVS has policies about how people can and cannnot use coupons, they need to publish those policies, and not by employees acting on their own commenting on blogs.

The second anonymous comment did not provide any info, but called my Web site "horrible" and said outright "You are abusing the use of coupons and store sales, and making it hard for honest people to use them."

Again, if anon folks are still reading, I would like to know what exactly you see as abusing the store policies. I'm guessing maybe it was the sunblock coupon. I'd welcome hearing from CVS corporate on this or any other deals written about here.

By the way, I think the marketing folks at CVS are no dummies. The ExtraBucks program is more generous with freebies than pretty much any program out there, and even if they tighten it a bit, look what they have done: They have led to the creation of probably hundreds of Web sites like this one, evangelizing their brand as a place for exceptional values. Really, I'm sure it has paid off for them, and if it hasn't, sure, they'll change it. That's their business.


Dr. Mom said...

I agree. I have never returned anything to CVS and can only assume that these comments are copied and pasted to multiple sites. Considering that their stock has grown leaps and bounds in the last few years (even in a time of economic decline) I would consider their little freebies due to their own coupons as an intentional method of pulling in customers and promoting blogs such as these. There are ways to prevent overages should they choose to do that. It's not that hard to program, other stores are successful at it.

Cassie said...

Discovered your blog recently... I love it and have it bookmarked! I enjoy the way you write and appreciate the helpful hints. Totally made an impromptu trip to CVS this morning based on the sunblock $2 coupon post (thanks!).

To address "Anon"'s comment, when coupons are not being used fraudulently the stores get reimbursed from the manufacturer. So the store is not being cheated out of any money... at the end of the day they are still making a profit. And if store-issued coupons were causing the store to lose money they wouldn't keep throwing them at me every time I swipe my card. The anonymous vigilante cashier stuff is always very amusing though; the overage I got on that sunscreen this morning certainly didn't come out of the cashier's pocket. ;)

Thanks again for your blog! =)

Becky said...

"Anonymous vigilante cashier"--I love it! Yes, I am sure that CVS's coupon policy and ecb's are working just great for the company. It's created a rabid band of followers. How often did I shop at CVS before I got into the whole ecb game? Never.

Anyway, I love your blog, and if people want to see forums where people ARE "abusing" and exploiting the system, there's plenty of that on HCW or on slickdeals. This blog (or any frugality blog I read, really) is not one of those places. Boo on anonymous commentors!

Anonymous said...

Also, what is "lost prevention?" Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought it was LOSS prevention. I would think if Anon worked there, as she claims to, she could at least refer to it with the proper department name.

Keep blogging and ignore the haters. I agree with the other commenters - if CVS was in the red, the ECBs would stop printing out on our receipts. Thanks for all the frugal advice :)

Anonymous said...

Coupon fraud hurts everyone, yes even you scammers. When you
commit coupon fraud all you are doing is causing the manufacturers and
retailers to have to jack up the prices to recoup there losses. As
stated earlier coupons were meant to be used to encourage people to
try a product not to scam boxes of product that the scammers then
return for cash (which they didn't use to purchase them with in the
first place) or to sell to make money with. The worst scammers are
the ones that brag about overages or free money. Does that really
sound right to you? Where are your ethics? If you really feel like
the manager was rude to you, try working their job and dealing with
people like you. Our profit sharing is determined by the money that
we make not by the items that get scanned through the registers. I
just can't figure out how some of you people have the time or energy
to look for different ways to defraud companies. Maybe you don't have
to work, if that's the case, maybe you should give those people a
break that work all day long with unreasonable people like you, come
home exhausted and still have to struggle to make ends meet. And you
only make it harder when you cause the prices to go up on products
with your fraudulent methods.

Anonymous said...

Good gravy. Wish they'd just do away with coupons. People get a little
nuts with them, and the rest of us have to wait in line longer while
you pull out your handy-dandy coupon organizer, scramble to find the
right ones, and then tick them off your coupon ledger-thingy. I'd be
insane by now if that's how I lived my life.

Hippie said...

It seems that the big issue is with buying with coupons and then returning for cash. I dont see anyone doing that here. I know *I don't do that. Great post, I look forward to "CVS employees" responding...

Anonymous said...

CVS have a loss prevention department that is correct, but they use the lost prevention when store has already lost money from shoplifting or coupon fraud.
Stores don't make money off
coupons , for whoever said that. The manufacturer gives them the
coupons amount. Stores take coupons as a curtousy to there customers.
People who abuse the system are makeing retailers tighten up on
coupons which makes real coupon users feel like criminals at times. So
We have a lady at our store known as the
coupon lady, Since legally we can't stop her. When
she is there we just make sure her coupons are legit. Allowing her to actually make money on some purchases thur EB. It's just a falt in our system
that we are working on. As far as overiding a coupon I am happy to say
this system is catching up and soon the real coupon users won't have a
problem. If you are using to many coupons per item in some cases (soon
most) the computer will no longer let us overide it. That will be
something you will then have to take up with the manufacturer.

Anonymous said...

The loss prevention comments seem a bit comical to me at this point. I just returned from a trip to the only CVS store in our area. They are in the middle of a total store renovation. I had a great conversation with the shift supervisor after she checked out my purchases for me. They are upgrading/changing a lot of things in the store that "fell behind" with the previous manager.

When she was telling me about the scope of the renovation, I asked her if they will be getting a price scanner that prints coupons. She had never heard of it, and asked me if other stores had those. She then said, "I just hope we get some cameras!" They have zero, I repeat, ZERO security cameras. Tons of theft - not surprising at all in our low-income town - and no security whatsoever. Now, if you want to improve loss prevention, maybe start there!

On a side note, I have never had a conversation with this woman before. She was working the register for my transactions and did not balk one bit at my combination of printed, CRT, and manufacturer's coupons. I walked out of there with:
3 packages of Huggies
2 Pedialax enemas
1 Lumene body cream
2 Colgate toothpaste
2 Colgate toothbrushes
1 Johnson's baby lotion (clearance)
Total cost: about what one package of Huggies would cost without sales and coupons

When we were talking about all of the shoplifting and theft they experience, I jokingly said, "I take all of mine legally - with coupons and sales." And she said, "We love customers like that - I've definitely learned a few things for my own shopping from the experts like you!"

alli said...

Guess what....CVS is coming to Cali...CVS has announced it is buying Longs (and will be renovating many of those stores too), CVS Blog Queen, I will finally be able to put some of your tips into practice!!!! [About those other "CVS Employee" comments...well, I'm just chuckling...let's leave it at that!]

Carrie said...

Alli -- Yeah, isn't that great? I immediately though of you when i heard that and am hoping you'll be able to get some discounted diapers.

As for the other points made, I would say:

1) I used to return a few things if I bought them by mistake. I was pleasantly surprised to see that you could get cash or gift cards for things you bought with coupons. Now that you can't do that anymore, it can be frustrating if you make a mistake and buy something that doesn't fit the deal you're trying to do. You can't get your Extra Bucks back, which doesn't seem fair to me. After all, they advertise ECBs as being same as cash by saying something is "free after Extra Bucks." But that's another post.

2. I have nothing but respect for the folks working the registers (and stocking the shelves, etc etc) at CVS. Since I started CVSing I have learned how complicated those registers are and I have noticed people working very long shifts and being totally exhausted in the evening. I sure am glad I "don't have to work."
Seriously, I am as polite as I can be to the staff where I shop, and they seem to not mind me too much. Some have told me they should be learning from me. I didn't feel the manager was rude to me in the instance I mentioned, although I wish he could have explained the situation more clearly. As for people in line behind me, I have found that giving them coupons they can use when they get to the front of the line is a good thank-you for their patience.

Cassie said...

To clarify, I am in agreement with Carrie... I adore the cashiers I've ever encountered at CVS and fully respect and appreciate all those who have ever assisted me. Wonderful, kind, helpful and cool as can be. My previous comment was solely in reference to the negative/accusatory comments made here. ;)

Peace, love, and Extra Care Bucks y'all.

Carrie said...

Great blog! I just found you today!

I am pretty sure that you have yourself a troll here. If you ignore him/her and delete their comments, they will go away. They come with the sole intent of trying to stir up drama.

Look at their comments - soley made to try to create chaos.

Their grammer is appalling. And their ideas are ridiculous.

I was a cashier for 2 years during highschool.

Of course stores get paid a handling fee for coupons.

And I laughed right out loud at the comment s/he made about coupon'ers shop lifting, then s/he says "there's nothing we can do about since it's legal...."

Obviously it would be a scam to try to purchase items with coupons and then return them and get the full purchase price back, but no where do I see you suggesting anyone to do that.

Keep your chin up and ignore this crazy person.

Anonymous said...

I am talking to everybody and anybody who is promoting fraud. There is no way around it, fraud is fraud. Weather you want to say things are unethical, or illegal it is all fraud. And it is wrong and we should not be promoting and encouraging others to do it.

Not wanting Drama, but I am disgusted that people are encouraging and congratulating the FRAUD being done by not just one, but many members.

Justine said...

First off, I would change your blog settings to not allow people to hide behind the term "anonymous", and secondly I am wondering why people who obviously have a problem with coupon use are spending so much time visiting blogs ABOUT coupon use and saving money? THAT seems comical to me! Sure there are some people that are fraudulent in their use of coupons, but you aren't promoting that here, you are promoting legit coupon usage... and I say keep up the good work!! :)

Anonymous said...

As a manager of 8 years for cvs (previously sav-on) I can tell everyone the situation with coupons. First off the Xtrabuck pgm is simply a tool devised by the marketing dept to draw customers in with the idea of getting something for free or near free. The hope is that while your there you will pick up 3 or 4 more full priced, high margin items. This is where cvs will make their money. When you see coke,pepsi,budweiser,huggies,etc on sale for free after x-tra bucks, cvs is reimbursed by the manafacturer for the difference between the cost and what the store sold it for,no more, no less.The biggest issue with coupin fraud is actually people who use blatantly fraudulant coupons (i.e. copies, self made,etc.)I can tell you that as far as some employees attitudes, some just flat out have bad attitudes and should not be working there.Some of us, particularly managers work 10-12 hrs a day 5-6 days a week and are under such pressure from d.m's and corporate to be in compliance with company standards (store inventory functions, making payroll-the little they give us, making sales budgets,etc). We are expected to motivate an 8 dollar an hour employee who's usually 19 or 20 and does'nt really NEED the job to do the work of 2 or 3 people, it's extremely tough if not impossible sometimes.Payroll is the only cost most businesses can actually control, so they tighten the screws and as such it is basically non-existent.This means the management team of 2, maybe 3 has to do a majority of the work; from cleaning bathrooms, to mopping floors, to stocking shelves, while still doing the office work, checking out customers, etc. Ever notice that alot of times in stores there's only 1 checker? That's because we have such little hours to cover the store with that shifts need to be spread out thin. CVS has a zero tolerance policy on non-compliance, meaning that you will be written up for not being in compliance with what they expect, even if you are by yourself in a store or maybe with 1 person and even if you physically cannot get a job completed, it does not matter there's no excuse. Anyway this is just a little insight into the CVS culture and why sometimes some of the employees seem to be a bit negative,unhappy,or cynical, and it comes out sometimes.

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