Saturday, April 14, 2012

PROMOTION, AMERICAN GREETINGS & KMART

The week before Easter, my husband and I decided to head out of town to visit a lake we love. We had a marvelous time trying to photograph any ducks, gulls, and herons playing at the water’s edge... along with anything else deemed interesting. After we spent the day there, we stopped by the local KMART to pick up some holiday placemats and greeting cards.  My husband stayed in the car. I went inside. This particular store seemed bigger, brighter, and cleaner than the one at home, so my first impression was favorable.  I scouted out the items on my list. As I was getting ready to leave the card aisle, I noticed an ADORABLE stuffed Bunny Rabbit holding a Carrot. On its ear was a TAG. It read… AMERICAN GREETINGS, PLUSH BUNNY, FREE with ANY three card purchase. Offer good on cards priced $1.99 or greater. Retail value $5.99. I only had TWO cards in my hand. I wanted the BUNNY, so I looked for ANOTHER card. Back at Halloween, I had gotten a light-up Jack O Lantern for my grandchildren the same way. I LOVE Greeting Card promotions. When I had the final card in hand, I headed up to the cashier. I was so-oo excited about the stuffed Bunny with the Carrot.  I told the cashier that the BUNNY was FREE with the cards. He didn’t believe me. I showed him the TAG on its ear. Then he said, “I think you have to be a KMART REWARDS member to get it FREE. Do you want to sign up to become a REWARDS member?” I politely told him, “NO.”  And pointed out that it was an AMERICAN GREETINGS promotion, not a KMART one. Nowhere by the card display, or on the Bunny Rabbit, did it say I HAD to be a KMART REWARDS member to get it for FREE. He then asked another cashier. She agreed with him, that I had to be a KMART REWARDS member.  I was getting irritated. I usually do NOT shop at KMART, and for them to INSIST that I become a REWARDS member, to get this FREE Bunny that AMERICAN GREETINGS was giving away was ridiculous. I did NOT have to sign up for anything when I got the JACK O LANTERN at MEIJER’S in Autumn of 2011. I again pointed to the tag on its ear. He told me, to prove his point, he would try to ring it through, after he rang up the cards.  The BUNNY rang up $5.99. So... he felt exonerated. I did not BUDGE my position. It clearly said it was FREE with the 3 card purchase. I didn’t care what the KMART register rang up. I asked to speak to the manager. At this point the people in line behind me were getting upset.  I didn’t intend to make a scene; I just wanted what was rightfully mine. Without hesitation the manager backed up the cashier. She informed me, it was KMART company policy, and I had to be a KMART REWARDS member to get the FREE AMERICAN GREETINGS Bunny.  I insisted that I did NOT and for the hundredth time, pointed out it did NOT say that anywhere near the display or on the Bunny Rabbit's TAG.  She just smiled, restated her KMART mantra and walked away. I wanted to CRY but held back the tears. I told the cashier to FORGET the whole thing and keep the cards. He put them aside and began ringing up the placemats and egg cups I had put on the conveyor belt.  I had forgotten all about them. I wanted to tell him to SHOVE those too. But I didn’t. SUDDENLY logic, not the stirred up emotions I was feeling, took over. I came for the CARDS. I WANTED the cards. I LOVED the SENTIMENTS inside and out. They were heartfelt. So I told him to RING those up again, too. He looked at me like I was CRAZY. I was. I was CRAZY in love with that adorable little Bunny and Carrot. My heart felt heavy. It should be coming home with me, but it wasn't because of KMART. I reached for my camera and took a photo to blink the BUNNY into permanence. Then to console myself, just to prove I was right...  I snapped a close-up of the tag on its ear. I grabbed my package and  left.  My husband picked me up at the curb and we made the long trek home. I ranted about this the whole way. He listened.  I SWORE I’d never step foot inside a KMART again. It was their fault, that Bunny wasn't with me.  But I knew there was no talking to them, period. Their REWARDS program was MORE important than little old me, the customer. So... I dashed off several emails to the various departments at AMERICAN GREETINGS when I got home. I SINCERELY thought that KMART had WRONGED them too, by MISREPRESENTING their CARD PROMOTION. BUT... I was MAD and IMPLIED it might be false advertising, instead? I attached a picture of the bunny, tag, and receipt, and told them how this had SPOILED my EASTER week. After that was said and done, I also sent AMERICAN GREETINGS a TWEET to tell them about the DISSERVICE Kmart was doing to their Product Promotions. Surely they would REPRIMAND them, so this kind of ordeal wouldn’t happen to another customer. I figured I said my piece, and that was that. I thought the whole thing was over and done with. But it wasn't. What happened next, later in the week, GOBSMACKED me.  A big box arrived in the mail from AMERICAN GREETINGS addressed to me. GUESS what was inside? That precious BUNNY RABBIT holding a CARROT, along with a sibling. They sent me TWIN BUNNIES. I squealed with delight. The sheer joy this brought me can NOT be described. I was over the moon.  WHAT a SURPRISE. AMERICAN GREETINGS had RIGHTED a WRONG. That is GREAT customer service. It made my day, week, month... my entire year. I can’t THANK them enough. SOMEBUNNY loves YOU, AMERICAN GREETINGS. I just hope KMART got a GOOD piece of their mind, though.

28 comments:

Jon said...

Wow, your persistence paid off and you should be congratulated! I always like stories with a happy ending.
If I were you, I would now send a letter to the manager of the KMart store and rub your victory in their faces!

Buttercup said...

I am going to look for American Greeting cards. That is customer service. I'm not a fan of KMart and haven't been in the store near me for a couple of years. I have similar episodes at the grocery every few months. If the sign says on sale, it's on sale. It's not my fault they forgot to take down the signs from last week. I understand if a date is posted, but no date...

Funny in My Mind said...

That is such great customer service!
I never really was a fan of KMart anyway. I would haul ass o KMart and show the people my twin bunnies NE tell them to suck it!

Paula said...

Humm first I've heard about that deal. Glad you stood up for your rights and glad the card company righted you.

Lisa said...

Those bunnies are too cute !!!!!

jack69 said...

I want you to know, I truly enjoyed this entry. You did the right thing! I cannot believe the idiots at K-mart. any manager worth their salt would have rung up 'their' rewards card, smiled and said Thank you for shopping with us at K-mart.
I am amazed the lack of 'business sense' some managers and businesses have.
one swipe of a card and they would have had a happy customer!
Good for you!

Lori said...

I have always despised KMart! I am so glad you contacted American Greetings about this, and I'm glad they made it right. I think I would contact the manager of that KMart and let them know what Am. Gr. did.

That corgi :) said...

Yea for American Greetings; boo to KMart! I am glad that American Greetings knew that the customer is always right and treated you with respect and dignity, reading your emails, realizing you were totally in the right and then making it right by sending you those two cute adorable bunnies!! Definitely the cashiers/manager at KMart were in the wrong with the way they ran this promotion of American Greetings. I do hope they were reprimanded for it.

In the meantime, enjoy the bunnies!

Sounds like a nice get away time for you and hubby (minus the KMart fiasco)

betty

Forty Pound Sack said...

I'm very proud of you, my friend! You stood up for yourself and handled the incident perfectly. LOVE American Greetings. They handled the incident perfectly, too. And I hope they gave KMart the what-for.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I've seen those special offers from American Greetings before, but not the bunny one...I usually go for the 6 or 8 pack of cards for holidays making it cheaper so didn't look any further. I'm glad they made good on their offer. I probably wouldn't have had the persistence that you did, but I'm glad it all ended well for you. They are cute bunnies! Good to see you back after your little break away. Hope your Sunday is a wonderful one!

Angela said...

OMG (the only thing I can think)...

That was the sweetest ending to an otherwise tragic story. I laughed when you described snapping those photos right there in line. The Power Of The Camera!

AWESOME customer service by American Greetings.

DOWN with Kmart (I've NEVER been a fan of theirs since I bought.... errr, my mom bought for me years ago... the worst set of dinnerware I have ever owned by Martha Stewart).

Great post!
Love those bunnies!

Soos said...

Happy ending! Love it!

Hollie said...

You go!!! I agree with you!!! That's great that American Greetings took care of THEIR CUSTOMER!! So happy for you and your precious bunnies!!!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

good for you! so glad they made it right! i can't believe i found another person that does not like chocolate! i thought maybe i was the only one on the planet that can't stand the stuff! i was surprised i liked the cake! though i only took one small bite!

Ina in Alaska said...

That is a GREAT story and says a LOT about BOTH KMART (BOO!!) and AMERICAN GREETINGS (YAY!!)

I too hope KMART got a strong message from American Greetings and further why couldn't the idiot cashier and his equally idiotic "manager" suck it up and just GIVE you the bunny anyway. We are talking less than $6.00 here and they got much more than $6.00 worth of bad publicity and bad word of mouth.

Good for YOU and good for American Greetings! I will be SURE to look for their cards from now on.

Sheila Y said...

Yay for you and American Greetings, they did the right thing. Maybe the head of Kmart needs to know what happened...take care, Sheila
PS may be why the company's not doing so well anymore.

Cliff said...

What a con-try.

DD said...

What a good post! Enjoyed reading this. I totally agree with you and I don't see how Kmart got around this. Wish I had been there to back you up...lol.
How nice that you got your bunnys after all, two of them. So pretty.

Red Rose Alley said...

That was so nice of American Greetings to send you the bunnies. I bet you were so excited getting a surprise in the mail. They are so cute. I'm glad things worked out for you. It sounded like you had an exhausting day.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

~mel said...

You go girl!! American Greetings has my vote too!!!

Bobbi said...

A happy ending!!! Yay! I was mad right along with you. This was so not fair! I'm glad you didn't let it go, and I hope they did something about this false advertising... shame on them!
LOVE the bunnies! They are adorable.

Pat MacKenzie said...

Good for you. The squeaky wheel gets the oil after all, or in this case, the Easter Bunny. Stores like that should be called on their poor customer relations more often. You're an example to us all. Way to go!

Diann said...

The woe of KMart! To be honest, I am shocked that there are any KMart stores left. KMart is a cery touchy subect here. Where I live is where the KMart Corp was located and it all began. Over the past 15 years they have totally screwed themselves and their loyal customers. I don't shop there any more and haven't in about 10 years. I am glad that Ambassador took the high road and gave you proper customer service!

Nelle said...

Having worked in customer service my entire career I am outraged at kmart and their manager. EVEN if this was their policy they should have explained it and made an exception for you. It wasn't like it cost them anything. Glad American Greetings righted the wrong. I hope they blast Kmart. Yea for you. You ended up with an extra freebie for your efforts. I always send a letter when I receive bad customer service and see how the company reacts, if they don't right it, I am through with them.

Pam said...

Wow! I'm glad American Greetings corrected Kmart's mistake. I hate Kmart, BTW. They have some of the stupidest and laziest employees. I went there to buy a Christmas tree they had on sale one year and waited probably two hours between them having the wrong price on it, them not being able to find it in the storeroom (was boxed up on the display floor the whole time) and them not having enough people scheduled that day. And then they acted annoyed that I was wasting their time. Your bunnies are awfully cute though!

Andrea said...

I'm so glad you were vindicated! You shouldn't have had to go through all that tho, in the first place. You were in the right all along. Glad the wrong was made right... something rare in today's society, it seems.

Lucy said...

That was a really cool entry. Our Kmart went out long ago and don't know for sure if any are left in Ne. I want to send a special thank you for your continued support with my new knee. Thanks again.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I love it when a company does right. We have had several instances over the years of calling out bad service and usually are made whole in some way.