Sunday, October 09, 2016

Price Guarantees are useless

I bought an expensive Brooks bike seat.  Did I mention it was expensive?   For a change I had treated myself to a quality product and did not as usual just buy the cheapest one in the store. I felt good about buying this. Then I discovered the store down the street sold it for $35 less. $35 is a lot of money and I had noticed the store where I has bought the seat had prominently posted their price guarantee policy, so back I went to the store to see how they would treat my request to honor their price guarantee and how this transaction would shape my perceptions about their brand. A brand I have been loyal to for 37 years (since 1979!) and was always my first choice when shopping.

Well, it turns out that treating me with respect was not how they train their staff or is the corporate policy.

I returned to ask for the price guarantee but the employee spent 15 minutes upstairs and came back and told me that their price guarantee didn't apply because of the saddle colour at the other store wasn't the same as I had just bought.

Then the clerk, when I asked if I can just return it for a complete refund, she said of course I could return it and get my money back and then go to the other store and buy it at the other store's lower price.

The sales clerk seemed quite happy to have worked hard to find a way OUT of honoring their price guarantee and she was certain she was being a good employee and had done a good job in denying me the price guarantee. But from my perspective as a loyal long-term customer... well my trust in their brand is destroyed.

 Price Guarantee 101: Our rules are designed so that you're screwed so don't even bother asking!

How screwed are you? There are seven ways you can be treated like a piece of shit for loyally and consistently choosing to shop at their store instead of at their competition's store.

Best Price Guarantee

"The store" will match all prices listed by its competitors. If you find it cheaper somewhere else, we will match it.
Certain conditions apply :
  • The reseller must be in Canada and must be an authorized dealer of the targeted product;
  • The product must be in stock at the competing reseller and also at "the store" (no special orders);
  • We must be able to verify the product’s price (flyer, website or by phoning the reseller);
  • The product must be identical (size, colour, season, model number);
  • Our Best Price Guarantee excludes sale items, going out of business blowouts, used items, demo items, and all additional charges apply (assembly or installation, delivery, etc.);
  • Price Match requests must be made within 15 days of the initial purchase date; 
  • This price policy applies on price before taxes only.
"The store" – Generous by nature

That last line about being generous by nature is complete bullshit.

 Conclusion:  The other store is selling the same bike seat at a lower price and this is how you destroy trust in your brand and lose a loyal customer of 37 years.  


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