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Free Turkey. They Just Can't Seem To Get It Right
Posted by Ok4now on 12/24/2011
My cash register receipt qualified me for a free turkey. Not wanting to loose this offer I went to the store before it expired at the end of the month. I went to customer service and asked if I could get a turkey breast rather than a whole turkey and just pay the difference. They would not allow this. They offered a measly 5% off if I wanted the turkey breast. Okay I'll take the free turkey instead. Now the plot thickens. They informed me that they had no more turkeys. A rain check was offered for what I really didn't want in the first place. Then I was offered a free Smithfield Ham because they ran out of the turkeys. This seemed like a fair offer. Found a nice spiral ham and went to the checkout.

The cashier using different codes was not able to deduct the ham and I was being charged the full $21.00 price. The manager now intervened but still couldn't deduct the ham. Now after 10 minutes the line is backing up and customers are pissed and my patience is running thin. Finally they figured it out. The free ham was only for the cheap Butt and Shank, not the Spiral. Customer service did not specify this. More time is clicking by. The manager now has other customers complaining because they can't get their free turkey. Just to get rid of me she finally offered a free turkey breast. I took the offer. This entire transaction took over half an hour. This is not good customer service. Yes in the end they compensated me but it was not worth the aggravation. I would not have had this problem at ShopRite.
     
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Posted by Venice09 on 2011-12-24:
No, you would not have had that problem at Shop Rite. They have a nice list of options for the free item. And they are fully stocked. Customer service is also very flexible. They really aim to please.

Nice review. I'm glad I don't shop at Pathmark. I don't have enough patience.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-12-24:
Personally, if I didn't want a turkey, I wouldn't go in with a "free turkey" coupon and ask for something else. I'm not sure what kind of delay you would have if you tried that at ShopRite, unless the coupon says "substitution X allowed".

Sounds like someone decided that since they were out of turkeys, hams could be substituted, but the kind of ham was not communicated to everyone.

They did try to meet the terms of the offer - they offered a rain check for what the coupon was for, then they offered a substitution. Finally they compromised. Sometimes taking advantage of a "special offer" winds up like this aggravating situation.
Posted by Venice09 on 2011-12-24:
I think the problem here is that ok4now is used to shopping at Shop Rite where they allow substitutes for a whole turkey, one being turkey breast. I admit that I take the free item even if it's not exactly what I want. I don't mind eating free food. Or it can be donated to a local pantry.

Apparently Pathmark's program is for a free whole turkey only, and they had no plan for substitutions when they ran out. Some people might have been counting on that turkey for Christmas, so I can understand the disappointment.
Posted by jeff on 2011-12-24:
he DID try to get a free turkey they didnt have any
Posted by ok4now on 2011-12-25:
Venice: Your response was perfect, I could not have said it better myself. To clarify now. I am used to Shop Rite's policy allowing the customer to choose a turkey breast for a modest price difference. Pathmark would not allow me to do this and I would have been happy to get the free turkey originally offered. There were other customers in the store expecting the same. Only offering a cheap Butt or Shank Ham was poor compensation. The competition between food stores is fierce. Customer loyalty is earned where they are treated right. Pathmark failed.
Posted by Venice09 on 2011-12-25:
Shop Rite actually offers a free Shop Rite frozen turkey breast instead of a whole turkey. That's what I usually get. This year I didn't want turkey at all, so I got the free vegetable lasagna to keep in the freezer for another time. So they even have a non-meat option. Also available was Cook's spiral ham for .99 cents a pound. I think that was half-price. The cheaper hams were free. They really do have something for everyone. Fresh or frozen whole turkeys or turkey breasts, different cuts of ham, including spiral, Stouffer's vegetable lasagna, etc., either free or discounted. It's really the best deal around because of the variety.
Posted by ok4now on 2011-12-26:
Exactly! You are given a choice, not excuses. The only reason I sometimes shop at Pathmark is because they are 5 minutes away, have a great sale or I just need a few items. If I need a major food shopping trip I split it between ShopRite and Costco. ShopRite has a wide variety and usually good sale items. Costco has them beat on their meat, poultry and seafood prices.

Check this out. Several times a year and during holidays Costco has their "Seafood Extravaganza." They bring out the King Crab Legs, Tiger Shrimp, Huge Scallops and Big Lobster Tails. If you went to a restaurant and ordered this the price would be prohibitive. Costco makes it affordable and it's not that hard to cook it. My wife and I just had a big Filet Mignon & Lobster Tail dinner costing $30.00 for both of us. Add a decent bottle of wine to this and you're still under $50 bucks for a gourmet meal for two. How Sweet is this? Shop Costco and you will save big time.
Posted by Venice09 on 2011-12-26:
We don't have Costco here! My daughter does most of her shopping there, and I'm always jealous. Hopefully my area will get one soon, and with any luck it will be in my town. My loyalty will always be to Shop Rite though. But I wouldn't mind checking out a Costco!
Posted by ok4now on 2011-12-27:
Venice: I have belonged to BJ's for over 10 years . I really like this store with their discount pricing. Two months ago Costco just opened a new store 5 minutes from me. WOW am I am impressed. They have everything at discount prices. ShopRite doesn't even come close. Their inventory, selection and prices are better than BJ's. Well worth the $50 membership. Costco makes their profit on the membership fees. What they sell is almost at cost with very little profit. The customer wins at this store.
Posted by robin on 2012-11-15:
I had a worse experience at shop-rite. they would not let me use the lb off for a boneless ham even when it was clearly stated in print. Then checker has nerve to say, "well it is on sale already". What does that mean? Store advocate came over (whatever that is) and finally after about 15 minutes in line, "gave" me the lb off promotion. No apology, no response, no eye contact. . will not go back next year.
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Flyer Pricing
Posted by Rm's mom on 07/17/2010
EDGEWATER, NJ -- We all know Pathmark food stores. Well, people check your fliers when you shop at a store tht may be out of your "area". This week's flier said "Foxy Iceberg lettuce $ .98 each". I did not go to my local store in Weehawken, NJ because at this time of day there is a lot of traffic in that area. There is another Pathmark just a mile north of me in Edgewater and easier to travel to, so I went to that store. Purchased a head of Foxy lettuce and noticed when I got back to my car that I was charged $1.99.

Back in the store, with my complete shopping order, in this 90 degree heat; to the customer service counter. I was informed that the sale price of $ .98 was only for specific stores in specific areas, which included the area of my local store and not the store I was in. I frequent this other Pathmark all the time because of easier traffic access.

They would not honor the price of $ .98 and showed me a flier that was for "their" area store and did not show the sale price of the lettuce. Now customer relations just went down the drain. Gee, $1.01 is going to break them. I had to take the lettuce anyway because it was part of dinner and I had no time to go to my "local" store to save the $1.01. I would waste that much gas and more in the travel.

No problem, from now on I go the my "local" store. I guess customer satisfaction is no longer important to Pathmark, or their now owner of A&P; which never had good customer relations. I used to visit A&P all the time until a unfortunate situation years ago. Needless, to say, that store is no longer A&P.

I must say, and believe me this is the truth; I have never had a problem of any nature in Shop Rite. Nor have I ever noticed different pricing for different area stores. If a price came up different from what was shown in a flier, they always honored the flier price; unless there was a misprint and then there was a sign stating the misprint.

So people, beware of the "fine print" at the bottom of the flier and to which store the sale applies to. Corporate headquarters will be hearing from me on this matter.

     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-07-17:
I would think this happens often. For example the closest location of [chain A], is only .5 miles from my house. I get a specific flyer for that location. Another location for [chain A] is 10 miles away, and I already know that their flyer is going to be at least slightly different.

It does say at the bottom front page of the flyer which location the prices are good for.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-07-17:
well it's always a good idea to read fine print
no matter what you're doing
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-07-17:
A&P owns Pathmark? When did that happen? I wasn't even sure A&P was still in business.

I agree with you about Shop Rite. It has been my primary supermarket for years, and they have the best customer service this side of the Mississippi. However, even SR flyers designate specific locations somewhere on there. Prices can vary depending on location. I do think that Pathmark should have just given you the sale price for the sake of customer service, but they are under no obligation to do so. You're probably just better off sticking with your local store so that there are no surprises at the checkout.

By the way, I grew up in the Edgewater area but there was no Pathmark back then. I'm sure a lot has changed. I probably wouldn't even recognize it anymore. Well, except for the water.
Posted by Helpful on 2010-07-18:
The smart thing would have been to explain the issue and give you the $1.01, but I would understand and not have a problem with it.
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