Here is today’s Frugal Report! Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel and you can read the transcript below
This is Aarn Farmer with Grocery Shop for FREE at The Mart and this is the Frugal News that got my attention today,
The Real Reason Walmart Changed Savings Catcher?
The big news over the weekend was the changes Walmart made to their Savings Catcher program. If you aren’t familiar with Savings Catcher, it is built into the Walmart smartphone app and allows you to enter your Walmart receipts. Savings Catcher then compares what you bought to the local ads in your area and if someone has something on sale for cheaper than what you paid at Walmart, you get the difference back on a Walmart giftcard. I have personally gotten over $75 back from Savings Catcher since the program started.
However, starting last Saturday, Walmart will no longer be comparing your receipt to your local drug stores and will no longer be “Catching” any non-upc marked items like bakery goods or produce. The official reason for this Walmart gave was that most people do not grocery shop at drug stores and produce doesn’t have like-to-like-UPC matches across all retailers. However, I knew this wasn’t true because some of the things Walmart said they wanted to focus on were “health and beauty items, and over-the-counter medications” which are exactly what people go to drug stores to buy. Also, while produce doesn’t have UPC codes, they do have PLU codes that are the same across all retailers. For instance, the PLU code for bananas is 4011 regardless of where you shop.
I contacted the Walmart PR department to see if I could clear up the issue but the poor PR spokesperson I talked to made it clear she wasn’t going to answer my questions or deviate from the script Walmart had given her in any way. However, one of my readers gave me some insight into why these changes were made that sound very plausible. Now it should be noted that despite my best efforts I could not confirm this explanation from a second source and a Walmart spokesperson denied this was true but I thought it was interesting enough to tell you about it.
Walmart had been using a company called IRI to compile the data they were using for Savings Catcher and for whatever reason, they recently switched over to AC Neilsen for their data. AC Neilsen doesn’t track drug stores they way they do the other retailers and they don’t track non-upc items like bakery or produce. That’s it. I don’t know why the switch was made and I’m sure Walmart will never tell me but if they ever do, I’ll tell you here.
Learn more here Walmart Announces BIG Changes to Savings Catcher!
In Other News:
50 Shades of Grey the movie hit theaters this weekend and retailers are getting in on the action by providing tie in products you can buy. One of the stranger ones I saw was being offered by Walmart. You can get a Fifty Shades of Grey: Gourmet Gift Box filled with things like “chrome-plated metal double lock handcuffs” and a “black gift box hand-tied with rope”. And guess how much it is! $69! That’s right, Walmart is selling a box of sex toys for $69. What do you think the very religious Sam Walton would say if ever saw one of these in his stores while he was still alive? Come on Walmart, this belongs in the back of a Spencer’s, not at your stores.
On the Blog
We had Robitussin syrup for $.98
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And now our story of the day and it’s a doozy.
Petco had one of their employees, who is autistic, arrested for accepting competitor’s coupons.
The story began last December, a week before Christmas. 18 year old Jared Segal, who has high-functioning Asperger’s Syndrome, was working at a Petco store in Jupiter, Florida, when he was confronted by corporate investigators. They said Segal had been accepting invalid competitors’ coupons and improperly discounting items, so they had him arrested.
Segal’s parents say he was taught that he was allowed to accept expired competitors’ coupons. If they were more than two weeks past their expiration date, acceptance required a manager’s approval. But any time he asked for approval, they say he was told, “just do it, we are busy.” On top of that, Segal was trained to give a 30% discount on any damaged products.
But Petco apparently believed Segal was giving too many discounts.. Corporate investigators said his errors cost the store about $1,000. And it’s corporate policy to call the authorities after discovering any loss of more than $100.
Here’s where the story just flies off the rails. In my day, if an employee did something like this you either trained him, disciplined him, or fired him.
But PetCo decided to have Segal arrested at work, taken to jail, and his parents only found out after he didn’t come home. He spent the night behind bars before they were able to bail him out.
Last Monday his parents announced he was cleared of all charges but his parents aren’t satisfied and want Petco to admit they were wrong.
This story reminded of a similar story from this January where Graham Gentles, a 22-year-old with Asperger’s Syndrome, was “paraded” around a Pasadena Target store in handcuffs after he was accused of stealing, even though he was never charged with a crime
That story ended with that young man commiting suicide because of how distraught he was over the public humiliation Target inflicted upon him.
Here is your question of the day
Should there be a different policy in place for stores to follow when having to discipline an employee with special needs. I love the fact that retailers are making a point to employee people with special needs but we call them people with special needs because they have special needs, should employers have to deal with them in special ways or would that cause more harm than good. What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts.