We all have those little plastic loyalty cards littered on our keychains and filling up our wallets. I admit that I still have some cards from places I have only ever visited once or twice. We all fall into the trap. We see what we think is a great deal only to find out that the price is much higher without a store loyalty card. More often than not, they are free provided you give up a little information such as a name and email. This is a story of a recent experience I had with a customer about the CVS ExtraCare program.
I was having a bit of a slow March Wednesday. Everything was going great which is a rare treat when you work in retail. I was watching the registers while my cashier was on lunch, and a young woman maybe in her late twenties came to my register. She was your typical Starbucks, white iPhone, and Ugg boots kind of woman. She came up to me with a basket full of Shampoo that was on sale for only $1.99 which was normally $6.99. I would say that about 95% of the sales that CVS has at any given time require an ExtraCare card. I do my normal routine of saying hello, and asking her if she found everything okay. Then I move on to something I always ask, “Do you have an ExtraCare card?” to which she simply replies no, I then always ask, “would you like to sign up for one to receive any sale prices?’ Again she replies no while staring at her phone. I shrug it off and proceeded to start ringing everything up.
I had not even scanned two bottles of the shampoo when she suddenly started yelling at me that I was overcharging her and that the bottles were supposed to be only $1.99 Great I thought. So I stop scanning everything and explain to her that the sale requires the card, to which she loudly exclaims that I am wrong and that I do not know how to do my job. She tells me that it does not say that in the sales ad, nor does it say that it requires a card on the sign we have under the item. I knew that was a lie, as all of the sales stickers and signs we receive from the company or print out are pre-made and state at the bottom “with card” By this point I already had two other people in line, and I was the only one working at the front. So I take her to the aisle and show her the sign that says “with card” This just angers her even more as she then starts telling me that this is false advertising and that she is entitled to the price even if she does not have a card.
I am beyond frustrated at this point because she is holding up my line. I again asked her if she wanted to sign up for a card to which she finally agrees to. I grab a blank card, and get her name phone number then ask her for the email. I kid you not; while she is on her phone on Twitter feed she tells me that she does not have one. Customers in line at this point are visually aggravated so I apologize to them and tell them that my cashier is on lunch but I am sure my pharmacy could check them out. I was done taking crap from this entitled know it all and told her that she does, in fact have an email, or she wouldn’t be able to look at her Twitter account right in front of me. The look on her face was priceless. She knew she was caught and simply told me that she gets enough spam in her inbox.
I told her that the first email she gets has an option to change email preferences and that it was required for the card, thus required for the sale price. So she starts spelling out her email to me which was obviously a fake email, I try to enter it into the computer and it is rejected telling me that the email needs to be a valid email address. I tell her this and she swears up and down that it was the right one. I am DONE at this point and tell her that if she wanted the sale price then she would need to enroll, I have other customers in line that I need to help and that if she was unwilling to sign up or pay the non-sale price then she would need to step aside so I could help what was about to be a rioting mob waiting behind her.
She ended up signing up, and I was able to go about getting the line down. During which quite a few customers (all of whom had their cards ready to scan) made remarks about the woman. I politely explained to them it happens often and was polite and quick.
About a week later we receive our survey comments back and long and behold she not only got a survey emailed to her, she actually completed it. In the survey, she gave me negative scores and said that I should have just scanned my own card. This would have ended up with me being fired; not to mention the fact that the register prevents it. I showed my store manager the survey, as well as the security tapes to which she immediately started laughing. Then she gave me a certificate showing that I had 5 out of 5 on my average survey results from that month.
Just goes to show that you cannot please everyone.