Common Sense vs. 99 Cents

By Ben Cox -- Get free updates of new posts here

This morning I stopped at a gas station and picked up a coffee, a 12 oz coffee.  On the way to the cash register I saw a sign that said free coffee with purchase of a slice of breakfast pizza.  I thought that was a pretty good deal so I grabbed a slice of pizza and went to pay.  When the clerk tried to charge me for the coffee I told her about the free coffee deal.  She said “No, that is only for the 20 oz size coffee.”  If the deal was buy a slice of pizza and get a 12 oz coffee, I wouldn’t expect them to give me Quad Venti Mocha Frappacino for free, but I should be able to get a 12 oz coffee instead of a 20 oz.  In fact, she should have given me a quarter for selecting an item of lessor value.

I specifically went to the gas station to just get a coffee, their promotion enticed me to get a slice of pizza.  Had I paid for the pizza and got the coffee for free I would have paid more than I originally had planned, but still been happy that I got a deal.  Everyone would have won… but no, I paid for the coffee plus an additional $1.99 for a pizza that I wasn’t going to get.  Sure, I could have taken my coffee back and poured it into a 20 oz cup, or simply put the pizza back in the case.  I could have, but its about the principle.

I don’t know, maybe there was a company wide memo stating,  “Do NOT let customers get a 12 oz coffee for free, they are way more valuable than their 20 oz counterparts.” Assuming there wasn’t such a memo, shouldn’t the employee have the authority to decide that its alright to give me the smaller cup?  Maybe the effectiveness of the promotion is being gauged on how many of the bigger cups are sold.  I’m not an inventory expert, but I would think it would be easier to look in the computer and see how many times a breakfast pizza and a free coffee appear together in the same sale.

If my cashier would have used common sense I would have gotten a free coffee this morning and I’d be writing about the great service.  If it was truly a big deal I would have talked to a manager.  The manager would have fixed the problem, end of story.  For 99 cents no reasonable person would bring this up to anyone at the business.  Instead I’m writing about how stupid this was, and if I was a super blogger like Josh Fleming then many more would be read my rant.  My point is, tell your employees to bend the rules if it makes sense.  If a customer wants to fill their Hummer up for free – NO.  If someone prefers a 12 oz coffee to a 20 oz coffee for the same price – YES.

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