Sunday, April 13, 2008
The Dishonest Coupon, Part 1
I don't usually use coupons. At the grocery store, they get spit out at me every so often. As enticing as they are, they usually end up being for something I don't need, like tampons or diapers. Or, they aren't very good deals, like one dollar of a stock pot.
Of course, coupons for totally free items are the exception. These are no hassle. They are also very rare. I came across one a few weeks ago for Lipton green tea. I don't usually drink bottled green tea because it seems unnatural to me, but since it was free I decided to pick it up.
Coupons generally have stringent guidelines, and this one was no different. The bottle had to be green tea, cost less than or equal to $1.60, and be the 16 oz. version. The last rule thwarted me from enjoying free product.
I could find 16 oz. bottles in cases of eight. I could find 1.5 pint bottles of the stuff, and even 20 oz. bottles, but no single 16 oz. bottles. Why? Why should this be so difficult? 16 oz. bottle, do you not exist? Must I buy you and all of your siblings? Did you gain weight since the printing of the coupon?
Then, I figured out their little plan. They (the grocery lobbyists) would lure me with a coupon for free stuff. They would prey on my American something-for-nothing morality and reduce me to searching in refrigerated units for the 16 oz. Then, frustrated with failure but unable to accept defeat, they knew I would take the bigger size and pay full price.
My body shook with rage. Blood boiled in my veins. I thought about explosions and the smashing of large melons, Gallagher style. I clenched my fists, and with resolve proudly blazing upon my face I hurled down the 20 oz. bottle I was holding, paid for my groceries and left. I will not be manipulated!
Alright, so I really just placed the 20 oz. bottle back in the case (I hate it when people are sloppy at the grocery store). I almost asked a grocer man where the free green tea was, but he looked irate. Frankly, he frightened me. I WILL return though, I promise, and resolve this bait-and-switch game. I will.