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POSTED: April 30, 2012 5:00 p.m.

Have you ever bought something on sale and later saw you paid more than the item was advertised for? I have, especially in grocery stores when the items are scanned so fast and I couldn’t keep up.

Many times I see items with a big sign showing a sale price and then it rings up different. When I catch it, and most of the time I do, I tell them and they have to find someone to go check the price. The excuse, well, it wasn’t in the computer.

This is part of a letter I wrote to the Kmart corporation Sept. 18, 1998, after a horrible shopping trip.

“Dear Kmart President: Thursday, Sept. 17, 1998, I went to Kmart store No. 9627 in Hinesville, Georgia, on my lunch hour to check the patio furniture that had been on clearance sale for over three weeks. Before the first of the month I had purchased a large oblong green plastic table for my son that was on clearance for 50% off the regular price of $69.99 which made it cost me $35.
“Sunday, we received a sale paper with an ad in a big blue square stating: TAKE AN ADDITIONAL 50% OFF ALREADY REDUCED CLEARANCE PRICES ON SELECTED FURNITURE ITEMS. With this ad in my hand I found a chair and table that had been on clearance for over three weeks at 50 percent off. Now, with this ad I could get another 50 percent off, making the furniture that was out of season cost 25 percent of the original cost.

“I wanted to make certain of the price before I hauled the large table to the front of the store…”

I went to several clerks and other employees, checking the price and kept getting surly, uncooperative answers.

“She told me to ask for (a manager) at the ‘COURTESY’ counter up front.

“I went to it and told the lady what I needed. She told me that they had already told me the price of the table. Yes, but I had not been satisfied by the answer. I wanted to speak to a manager. She called for a “Code C” to the front counter. I told her yes that I was an agitated customer! Well, how long does it take for a manager to walk from the back of the store to the front? I stood there waiting for more than 15 minutes. No manager came. I told the clerk that I knew they were ignoring me and hoping that I would leave. And I would do so as I had spent one whole hour in futility in the Kmart store on my lunch hour. Now, I had to get back to my job but they would hear from me again. Back at work, I called the 1-800-635-6278 number and voiced my complaint. At this time I am still waiting for a reply but the 24 hours are not up yet…”

“I may be the dumbest person that shops in the Hinesville Kmart, but I do manage to hold down a decent job as the purchasing agent and accounts payable technician for the city. I did not learn math on a computer but I had some very fine math teachers at Ludowici High School. Using common sense and a pencil, I can figure numbers pretty well…

“I would appreciate a reply from Kmart. Sincerely, Margie B. DeLoach.”

I put down my telephone numbers and sent the letter to Kmart and a copy to the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce along with a copy of the ad.

About a week passed and then I received a letter from Kmart and phone calls from the local manager. I also received one from the LCCC. A red carpet was rolled out for me when I went back to the store. They loaded the table and chair for me and tried to sell me more. It was not long after that the store went out of business. Customers do not have to accept being treated wrong. Find the corporate office and make your complaint in writing. I am not saying that the customers are always right, but they are not always wrong either!

And I still enjoy shopping in Kmart.

 

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