Friday, August 29, 2008

SportChek manager makes the grade with buggy BOGO promo

Back-to-school shopping used to be a big deal in our household. As my kids get older, they’re losing interest.

Down to the wire, today we shopped for school supplies and skateboard shoes. No, neither of my guys are skateboarders, just suckers for the footwear.

My eldest son needed new shoes and he wanted to go to SportChek. After coming to the realization that his feet and Vans don’t get along, he found a perfect pair of Adidas. Despite a BOGO promo, he only needed one pair and I’ll be damned if I was going to buy him another pair he didn’t need just because the store needed to clear out some inventory.

My little one decided he wanted a new pair too. I knew it was either buy them now or in a month, so I agreed knowing at half price, besides it really was a good deal. So while he went cavorting around the shoe department making sure his new Nike boarder shoes were comfortable and wouldn’t be hogging space in his closet, the sales guy told Mr. B. BOGO wouldn’t apply.

What?! The sales guy told me the computer couldn’t handle two pairs of shoes from different sub-departments (one pair from men’s, one pair junior/youth.) Watching other parents in the store with kids trying junior sizes, I told him they were discriminating against parents whose kids needed shoes from different departments and I’d ask to speak to a manager at the cash. He thought it was a good idea but asked me not to tell anyone he said so.

Other than annoying customers, I’m not sure why SportChek doesn’t allow customers to take advantage of the promo if they want to mix and match shoes for kids, men and women.

The cashier told me the BOGO didn’t apply because I was buying one adult pair and one junior pair of shoes. I asked to speak to the manager. When he arrived, the cashier looked at him and pointed her finger at me. (Rude or what? Hello, I’m a customer.)

I was expecting some drama. Didn’t get it. Common sense prevailed. The manager was a pretty reasonable guy. Despite a strange company policy, he was empowered enough to make me happy and close the sale. He agreed the promo guidelines were confusing and said SportChek should have stated the complete BOGO policy on their BOGO signs. In the blink of an eye, he told the cashier to sell me Little Spo’s shoes at half price. I thanked him and asked him to speak to her about pointing fingers at customers. ;)

Had a similar experience lately? What did you do? Would you have asked to get the promo too? Leave a comment.

photo credit: heraldpost on Flickr


  1. Anonymous9:21 am

    We are in the midst of finishing our basement (we = my husband!) and went to Rona for a load of supplies. That day you could get 10% off 2 products (up to 26 of each). We were buying our flooring so it would have meant 10% off all of the flooring. But they told us it was only good on Cash and Carry. Since we were having it delivered, and we were paying on credit - our order wouldn't qualify. So, I asked to speak to the manager explaining that we were paying for delivery ($60) so why should it matter that we weren't actually "carrying" the product out...and while we were paying credit we were still paying for it. I don't know many people who would pay for that much stuff with cash...! Not when you can get points with credit card, or finance the purchase over 12 months at no interest! The manager agreed that logically their restrictions made no sense, and we saved a couple hundred dollars on our flooring.

  2. Michelle, thanks for sharing your experience. My late grandmother always said "nothing but ask" and I remember her advice whenever I'm in these type of situations.

    I give Rona props for clearly outlining the terms of the promo and the manager props for making you a happy customer.

    FYI, it's more expensive for companies to take credit cards than cash because they pay a percentage of the credit card sales to the credit card companies. So, I can understand why they may offer people incentives to pay cash.

  3. Anonymous4:44 pm

    I'm quite embarrassed to admit that I had no idea what 'BOGO' stood for. And I work in marketing. Wikipedia, as it usually does, came to my rescue.

    I'd probably write it as BOGOF, because I always hear it as 'buy one, get one free', but maybe that's just a regional anomaly (and, you know, redundant).

  4. Anonymous8:26 am

    Hey Darren, Thanks for your comment. Interesting... after I published the post I wondered if I should have explained BOGO. It usually does mean buy one, get one free. In this case, it was buy one, get one half-price. Guess that's where the marketers used their magic. ;-)

  5. great post love your blog :)

  6. that is just wonderful post thank you!


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