Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Returning Food at the Grocery Store
Have you ever returned a food product to the grocery store? I think this sounds strange to a lot of people, perhaps because we undervalue our food supply. I have been in that mental place, where I have wondered if it would be worth the effort to return a food item.
A week ago, boneless, skinless chicken breasts were on sale at Fred Meyer, for $1.47/lb. I bought 3 large packages, almost 18 pounds of chicken. By the time I was done shopping, my head was pretty tired. Most of the time, I will check my receipt thoroughly, as I'm walking out of the store. You know how it is, there's someone behind you wanting you to move out of the store faster, or give them your cart, or you just feel like you need to get your weary body home. It's not like the grocery store provides a nice little seating area, so that you can take a few-minute break, and look over your receipt.
The day after I bought the chicken, I was dividing up the packages into smaller bundles for the freezer. That's when I noticed the price tags didn't read $1.47/lb, but $1.99/lb. Ugh! This was a substantial difference in price, totaling almost $7 of overcharge. I needed to go out that afternoon, and would be driving near the store. So, I tore the labels off of the packages, cleaned them up a bit, and wrapped in a paper towel. I grabbed my add and my receipt, and off I went to Fred Meyer. Fortunately, the store was practically empty and I had no wait at the customer service desk. The lady helping me was as nice as can be, and not only refunded the correct amount, but rounded it up to a full $7.
What I have heard from others is that if the food item that you want to return is of a perishable nature, you may not need the food itself, but part of the packaging along with your receipt. Timeliness goes a long way when presenting your case to the customer service desk. That is to say, if you bring evidence of your problem food product, like packaging and receipt, within a couple of days of purchase, you'll likely be offered a refund or replacement product.
Anyway, with my meat purchase, I only needed the label, not all of the packaging. If produce was purchased in a bag (like a bag of oranges), you may want to bring the rest of that bag back to the store. As it was still early in that sale cycle, the grocery store had the opportunity to make sure all the rest of the labels were correct, and my actions may have saved someone else the expense of mistakenly overpaying for chicken.