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Sunday, 7 November 2010

Special Offers Stink

My beloved bought me a gift card from Whitcoulls as part of my birthday presents.  Now I read voraciously, about a book every day or two, so it was a good choice for me.
She also brought back a special offer leaflet from Whitcoulls, saying one paperback at half price.

Excellent.  Nothing better for a Scot than a bargain.  So we went into Whitcoulls in Upper Hutt to get a couple of books.

Lo and behold, I spotted two books I wanted.  The new Lee Child and the new Ian M. Banks (Surface Detail).  I had especially been looking forward to the book by Banks.  They were both on some sort of special offer that Whitcoulls called "Hot Price", about $5 less than the normal price.

At the checkout I spotted a sign saying"Hot Price ticketed books were exempt from the half price offer.  "No problemo" I thought, I'd just ask for the half price against the normal price of the book.

The young saleslady said no Hot Price book was included in the special offer.

I explained that I understood you couldn't apply two discounts to a book, and I'd be happy to get it at half the normal price.

She said NO.

I could feel my face getting red, not from embarrassment, but from anger.
It was so illogical.
I dumped the books at the till and left without them.

As I stomped off to the exit, I noticed that about half of the books in the shop had the Hot Price sticker on them.  What a bloody rip-off.

I won't be buying from Whitcoulls again, and I'll do my best to stop the school buying the pupil's prizes from them or Borders (same company)

I had really been looking forward to reading those books


  1. Spot on TSB. I have experienced similar things myself with nonsense retail practices. What does it matter to them if you redeem the offer on a special or not particularly a special deal that is based on volume redemption not necessarily further dollars off. Whitcoulls need to train their staff better and to empower them more. A theoretical margin loss is nothing compared to the ill will that it engenders. Basically it would cost them a lot more to try and woo your custom back. I suggest you write to the CEO.

  2. Sorry, but it seems logical to me that the books with 5% discount will not be available at half price!

  3. There's no logic in that Second. That's the point.

  4. Thanks TC, I've emailed them, and will probably follow up with a letter.

    Second, why?
    They want to shift their stock of the Hot Priced books, I ofer to use their promotion off the original undiscounted price, and I'd be buying another of their Hot Priced books at their requested price.

  5. I can understand your frustration. It's like when you buy something in a supermarket that has been discounted but, when you look at your docket, the discount hasn't been taken off. Well, a bit like that.

  6. No Richard, not a bit like that. I don't want to play on your paranoia but perhaps the check-out operators just don't like the look of you.

  7. "I don't want to play on your paranoia but perhaps the check-out operators just don't like the look of you"

    Have you seen Richard [of RBB] in a raincoat?

    It's not that the operators don't like the looks of him, it's that they're either waiting for him to start flashing the customers, or they're trying to figure out how many cans of spam he's secreted away under the coat.

    Richard [of RBB] can look furtive and seedy at the same time. He's a gifted musician, he can't help it.

  8. The latest! Whitcoulls are currently not redeeming their RED gift voucher cards. In my case the card was purchased some eight months ago and is supposedly valid for twelve months from a June 2010 date. Whitcoulls received the cash at the time of purchase, so what's the problem and why are they not honouring the contract they entered into?

  9. Bastards. I've got a $150 Whitcoulls "Gift Card" and a $50 Borders card, both given as Christmas presents. The media is saying that as they're under liquidation management, they do not, under law, have to accept the debt of the previous company.
    Last bloody gift card I'll ever ask for.


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