The Sports Authority Complaint - Unethical Advertised Discount Policies
GILBERT, ARIZONA -- I was very dissatisfied with a recent experience. I clipped a discount coupon for $10 off a purchase of $50 or more in the paper. My son wanted roller blades so I decided to see what the store carried. I found roller blades for $80. While there, I remembered he needed new sneakers and picked up a style in 2 sizes ($30 each), as I wasn’t sure what would fit. My purchase totaled $140, almost three times the minimum required for the discount. I knew I would have to return one of the sneakers, but didn’t think I would end up penalized for this.
After checkout I looked at the receipt, and saw that the cost for each item had been prorated for the $10 discount, so the $30 sneaker were listed as $27.85 price, and the $80 roller blades as $74 and change. Any other store takes the $10 off the final subtotal, not across each item. Knowing I would have to return one of the sneakers I was a bit concerned, but the store was busy so I didn't make an issue of it. Should have listened to my gut.
When I returned the unneeded pair of sneakers I was only refunded the prorated sneaker cost. So even though with the remaining items I still more than qualified for the $10 off coupon, I no longer was receiving it. The store manager, Marc, was very rude about the issue when I pointed out that my purchase total still qualified for the full discount and felt I should get it. If I had returned items sufficient to drop me below the $50 minimum then I would no longer expect to get the discount, but I certainly don’t expect to be penalized when my remaining purchases STILL more than qualify me for it.
If I had known about the pro-rating game Sports Authority plays, I would have had them ring up the items separately, but then, would should I have to game a system in order to receive the promised (read: advertised) discount?
This policy and the way I was treated so angered me that the next day I returned the rollerblades. I couldn't return the second pair of sneakers as my son had already started to wear them, and I figured SOMEBODY in the situation needed to show some ethics.
I have a pretty simple standard for choosing where I spend my money - if a store wants my business, it needs to treat me in a professional and ethical manner, and this includes its discount and advertising policies. Apparently, The Sports Authority chooses a different path.
I suspect that there aren’t a lot of people who notice this sneaky little accounting trick, but just because few figure it out, doesn’t make it acceptable. In fact what it is is deceptive advertising. And because of it, even though I have a son in football and a husband who coaches, my family won't shop at The Sports Authority again. There are too many other retail options out there that play it straight.