Welcome to an irreverent, not-at-all comprehensive blog about my couponing exploits in Montgomery County, Maryland, with some annoying cats sprinkled about. Try not to step on them; they get ever so cross. Also there may be some law stuff here and there, but not too much, because most law stuff is boring.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

COUPONERS UNITE: Implore Rite Aid to reconsider its "electronic UPs" test program


Implore's a word, right? I'm not making it up?

So Rite Aid announced on its Facebook page Sunday that it is implementing a "test program" in select cities, including Richmond, Salt Lake City and Seattle, that will deliver Up Rewards exclusively to your card electronically, and presumably will also be redeemed automatically from your card when the temperamental registers decide to redeem them. GREAT idea.

"As we continue to enhance our wellness+ program in ways to deliver even more value and convenience that you’ve been asking for, we’ll be testing an exciting new Load2Card feature in three markets: Richmond, Salt Lake City and Seattle beginning today. In this test, we’re making a few changes: 1) +UP Rewards will be automatically loaded to members’ wellness + cards so you no longer have to worry about keeping track of your paper receipts and 2) a +UP can be used starting at 6 a.m. on the day after it was earned and will remain valid for 14 days. Nothing has changed outside these test markets – the +UP’s generated on your register receipt can still be used on same-day next purchases."

 Okay, I'm not even that upset about the idea that I can't use my rewards until the next day, though a lot of couponers understandably are. I tend to have enough rewards from the week before to cover my trip the following Sunday, and I often make several Rite Aid visits throughout the week. However, many couponers roll their rewards in one visit (some even refuse to walk out with any left!), and some people live too far from Rite Aid to make more than one trip a week. So, in short, this blows for most educated couponers who know how to work the system (which I think Rite Aid knows and wants. GET THOSE EVIL EXTREME COUPONERS!).

However, it's also going to affect couponers by stripping our control over when our rewards will be used (as far as I can tell anyway from the program's vague description.) I do not feel confident that Rite Aid's system will most effectively utilize my rewards. Anyone who has miscalculated a transaction and used too high a reward (say had the cashier scan a $4.00 Reward when there's only $3.75 left on the pre-tax balance), only to see the system take that reward and kick off a manufacturer coupon to make room for it, knows what I'm talking about. 

Also, this obviously will keep us from being able to cross rewards across multiple accounts, which isn't really something one should complain about I suppose since we probably shouldn't be doing that, but it still is something that would change and frankly it's nice to be able to use rewards from the fiance's card on mine and vice versa. Can't even do that at CVS (though you can round down Extra Bucks to cover lesser owed amounts (e.g. Use a $3 Reward to cover a $2.99 balance), which you can't do at Rite Aid. Ever consider changing THAT, RA?!)

So if you feel as strongly as I do about this matter, go to Rite Aid's Facebook Wall and post a comment under the announcement expressing your concerns. After all, this is still a test program and they could drop it as quickly as they came up with the stupid ass idea.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

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