Imagine you’re in the grocery store and you hand the cashier a coupon for a particular product, but the register doesn’t recognize it. Do you tell the cashier not to worry about it and move on or do you ask her to call a manager to help you resolve the issue?
How large does the coupon amount need to be for you to wait for a fair resolution? Does it matter if the coupon is 10 cents or 1 dollar? What if the coupon were 5 or 10 dollars? Would that make a difference on how hard you would fight to be able to use it?
A friend of mine couldn’t believe that I followed up with a local store after they refused to accept my $5 coupon. In that particular case I pursued the issue with two quick emails and a short trip to the store, but my friend assured me she wouldn’t hassle with a similar issue just to save $5.
I certainly weigh my projected savings against the amount of time and effort I have to resolve a problem, but I must say that more often than not I’ll take a minute or two to save a few dollars.
I once returned a small carton of cherry tomatoes that were moldy the day after I purchased them. The entire container only cost $2.50, but it was $2.50 I didn’t want to flush straight down the tubes. If I had to drive out of the way to get to the grocery store I probably wouldn’t have pursued the issue, but since the store is on my way home from work I saw no reason not to stop in.
I won’t always fight to use my manufacturer’s coupons, but if a couple fail in a given transaction I’ll certainly stop by the customer service desk on the way out of the grocery store to find out why. If the line is long I’ll hold the coupons and receipt until my next visit.
A couple of times the cashier has forgotten to provide credit for my reusable bags. At only 5 cents a pop I’ve only followed up with customer service once when this happened and it was on an order where a few sale items didn’t ring up properly.
I’m not sure that I have a minimum threshold for haggling, but I know I won’t wait in line for 10 minutes to earn back 10 cents. In those cases my time is much more valuable than the money.
How about you? What is the minimum amount of money you would fight for and how much time and effort would you put into fighting for it?