Just about a year ago, we wrote about Save-a-Lot, a limited assortment grocery chain, that was promoting their Facebook page. They promised to give shoppers a $5 coupon to use at their supermarket if you “liked” them. See our story, “Save-a-Lot’s Deceptive Facebook Promotion.”
Only after you “liked” them, did they disclose that the coupon was really buy $25 worth of groceries, and get $5 off.
So, we pointed out this omission to them, and after a little pestering, they quickly updated the promotion to clearly disclose that this was a $5 off a $25 purchase coupon.
Fast forward to November 2012. On the homepage of Save-a-Lot, they were giving thanks to their shoppers saying “To give thanks and help you enjoy this season with your family, we are giving you a $5 coupon.”
When you click on that ad, you are taken to the company’s Facebook page, where the promotion is shown again:
And when you “like” their Facebook page, you discover this:
Yep, same old thing… you have to buy $25 worth of groceries in order to save the $5.
How could a company that was called on the carpet just a year ago for the very same deceptive practice not learn how to tell their customers the truth upfront about their $5 off coupons? We immediately notified the company of the recurring problem, but heard nothing. About a week later, we contacted them again, and were informed that they changed their ad right after receiving the first email:
When we replied to the company with the hope that they do it correctly and legally next year, their PR person replied:
“Legally the information is posted on the offer once the click through is made and the offer itself is not misleading. However, we understand your concern for it on the banner, as our desire is never to intentionally confuse our customers.” — Save-a-Lot Spokesperson
It is amazing to me that companies believe because they disclose a key fact or limitation SOMEWHERE that that is sufficient and legal notice to the consumer.