Soda Machine: Use at your own risk
Crest foods, "Home of Rock Bottom Prices", is a long time Oklahoma City Metro original. It's a locally owned and operated supermarket with prices that are consistently lower than that of even a Walmart Supercenter. Throw into the mix they are one of the few supermarkets that sell Oklahoma-raised, grass fed, antibiotic-free and hormone-free beef then you got yourself a winner.
The other day I'm exiting Crest with my semi-full basket. I attempt to get a diet coke from the soda machine. I get it from the machine instead of the checkout soda cooler because it's eleven cents cheaper because the machine charges 1.25 while in the store they charge a $1.25 PLUS sales tax. A penny saved is a penny earned. I put two dollars into the machine. The first bill registers just fine. The second bill after much gyration gets stuck in the machine. The soda machine locks up. Two bucks for nothing.
I go inside to the customer service counter. Tell the woman of my problem. She tells me I need to call the number on the machine because it's not their machine. I flash the baby blue charm but to no avail. She said there was simply nothing she could do. I respected that answer then asked if there was somebody who could do something.
The manager comes over. I tell him my troubles. He told me Crest didn't own the machines and it was 'use at your own risk'. I says, I don't recall seeing a sign stating 'use at your own risk. I reasonably assumed that since the soda machine was in the Crest lobby that any machine errors or malfunctions could be handled by Crest'. He said nope, you need to call the number on the machine. I asked him, 'Can you see where I might have the expectation that if the machine malfunctioned I would receive a refund from Crest? Considering that there is no disclaimer on the machine?' He kind of shook his head and said, 'Sorry, I can not issue you a refund'.
At this point I was in no mood for a two dollar confrontation. I also didn't want to call the vendor's number nor did I want to walk out empty handed. So I says to the manager, 'How about this. I grab two diet cokes from the check out cooler and then we call it even'. He looked around for a second and then said, 'Okay'.
In my book that was an acceptable solution since the retail price including sales tax for the two diet cokes was $2.72 and the vending machine cost sans sales tax was $2.50 yet I was getting them for two bucks. I can live happily with that.
I find in incidents like mine it pays to be rational, polite and persistent. What could have been a downer moment turned out to be a happy bargain. Sweet.