Chronicling The Comerfords

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Ingles Dis-Advantage

Mom calls me on a pretty regular basis to tell me where I need to buy my groceries. She reads the sales ads backwards and forwards and gets some amazing deals.

Many times she has told me to go to Ingles. Ingles is about 15 miles from my house which isn't far, but it's not right around the corner. When you move to a small town you get used to not making a commute. Plus I have to pass 3 other stores to get there. It just usually does not happen.

Last week they had multiple things I needed buy one get one so Amelia and I made a road trip.

I spent an hour and 15 mins bargain shopping. "Is the Crest with my coupon cheaper than the Colgate on sale?" kind of shopping. My little helper did really good, but then we ran out of Puffs. Some serious decisions had to be made in a hurry. By the time we got towards the register she was walking in her squeaky shoes holding on to the bottom rails of the buggy. There was nothing quick about that but it entertained her.

The cashier asked if I had an Ingles Advantage Card. I told her I did not but I had my phone number. (Mom told me I could use hers and to give their home number). The cashier started ringing up the groceries. I watched with pride as my bargains went across the scanner.

She was done and I reminded her that she needed to enter my phone number. She looked at me, pulled off some register tape and wrote down my number. Then left. I watched her go up to the customer service desk and do something. Turns out you have to enter it into the computer to get the card number. This did not make my cashier very happy at all. To back up, my sweet precious one had been sitting on the counter smiling and making faces at everyone and she did not acknowledge her once. I wrote it off as someone who does not like kids. Which I really think mine could change a mind, but I get it. I was a cashier, you can only oooohh and aaaahh so many times in one day before you are over it.

Back to the story... she entered in Mom's # and bang! $20 fell off the total, then I had $1.50 in coupons. A TON of groceries plus toiletries for $104.26! I was really excited. I purchased my Tuesday night dinner for 6 people for a little over $5.

I entered my debit card information and it says "Not Authorized" on the little machine. I think to myself, it's the 2nd this should work.

OH, important side note... our paychecks get deposited into one account without a debit card or anything with it. It is simply for writing checks for bills and savings. One the 2nd of each month money gets deposited into my debit card for groceries and spending. I typically do not let my account run completely dry but in August I hosted a baby shower, threw a birthday party and went to lunch with the girls. I was sitting pretty with $1.47 in my account on the first of the month. :) But who cares, pay day comes at midnight.

So, I slide my card again knowing a months worth of grocery money was just deposited. Again "Not Authorized". I looked at the cashier and said "It is the 2nd, right?" She just looked at me. I said " Yeah, I know it's the 2nd. Let me try again, I know money was just deposited". As I try to slide my card she finally speaks and speaks in a ghetto-fabulous voice (I'm not racist, just speaking the truth) loud enough for anyone in the 3 registers on either side of us to hear "It SAYS you have insufficient funds!" GASP!! Are you kidding me? 1. How is that possible, I know money went into the account and 2. Did you really just yell out to all of the customers that I have insufficient funds?

Like I said before, I worked as a cashier for 6 years. There were awkward times when you did have to tell people they were declined, but you did not do it in your outside voice. And since it is super embarrassing, you should be nice about it. If I had not made a 30 mile round trip and spent over an hour in the store and got a buggy full of great deals I would have told her to enjoy putting all the groceries back and walked out of the store. Instead I put it on my credit card and walked out. I had a lot of choice, ugly, crappy statements I wanted to make but I did not.

I called the best bank ever and they very nicely informed me that my money goes in at midnight on the 2nd. These are things you do not find out until you suck your account dry.

So it turns out that it was my fault and that card did have insufficient funds. BUT someone in customer service should never act that way. Maybe she was mad from the beginning that I made her exert energy and walk to customer service. Who knows. I would like to say that I will never shop at Ingles again, but they do have some great prices. I will just make sure I have money and a friendly cashier next time.

Just another story in the memory book

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