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  • Drugstore Game Fail: My CVS Fiasco

    Here’s proof that even Drugstore Game veterans mess up transactions: I blew $13 in ECBs today because I didn’t pay close enough attention to the ad and shelf tags.

    My saga started last week when I discovered that my ExtraCare card had been deactivated. I still had the key ring card, but apparently I’d lost the actual card the previous week, and somehow CVS realized that someone else had it and deactivated it sua sponte without contacting me (even though they had my email and snail mail addresses on file).

    The first customer service rep I spoke to wasn’t very helpful, but when I asked for a supervisor, she connected me to a very pleasant man who figured out why the card had been deactivated and restored the ECBs I still had connected to my old card – $13 worth. He said that it would take 3-4 weeks for my new card to arrive (I chose to have one sent to me rather than pick one up in store and have to call again to associate my ECBs to it), but my new key ring cards came within a week.

    That was awesome, because I wanted to do the Olay deal that’s a $6 moneymaker this week. I kept checking my ExtraCare account at CVS.com, but it kept saying I didn’t have any ECBs. But I figured that I would see if they popped out when I scanned my card at the Coupon Center, and they did!

    So I put 4 Olay Regenerist cleansers in my basket, and then realized that the new coupons from the 7/29 P&G insert for Buy One Olay cleanser, Get One Olay body wash Free apply only to Daily Cleansers. So I skipped the body wash, because I love the Regenerist cleansers. They were priced at $6.79, and weren’t tagged for the Spend $25, Get $5 ECB deal. That should have been a red flag for me but I went on my merry way, added some soda to my basket that I knew my husband would be happy to see, and paid using four $3/1 Olay Regenerist coupons from the 7/1 P&G insert and my ECBs. I’d gotten a 20% off non-sale items coupon, so that helped to reduce the cost, and I paid about $5 after tax. Then I blinked in surprise when there was no ECB at the end of my receipt.

    Only at that moment did it dawn on me that the Regenerist cleanser isn’t part of this week’s ECB deal. It’s not a total loss, since I just have to spend a few more dollars – about the cost of one more cleanser – to get to the $30 mark, which will qualify me for the $10 mail-in rebate when you buy $30 of Olay products from P&G. And the cleansers I purchased today will count toward my CVS Beauty Club total.

    Nevertheless, I’m now out of ECBs, and feeling very chagrined at my failure to pay attention to the deal itself, and to the warning signs that the deal was not going to work out.

    I could return the cleansers, but they’re something I’ll actually use, and after the 20% off discount and $3/1 coupons, they still came out to an excellent price. I also tend to not return things that I purchased using ECBs, because cashiers and managers can be really squirrelly about it – and this was totally my own fault, not the store’s.

    So . . . this was a good reminder to me that I need to pay attention to the actual details of a deal!

    Banner ad via MySavings.com.