mouseprint: fine print of advertising
Go to Homepage


Subscribe to free weekly newsletter

Mouse Print*
is a service of
Consumer World
Follow us both on Twitter:
@consumerworld



Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

November 9, 2020

CVS’s Seemingly Generous Coupon Acceptance Policy

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:51 am

Please Help Support Mouse Print*

Edgar Dworsky For 25 years, Consumer World, the creator of Mouse Print*, has served readers with the latest consumer news, money-saving tips, and independent investigations. It is your generosity (and not advertising nor corporate contributions) that keeps Mouse Print* and Consumer World available as free consumer resources. So MrConsumer turns to you and humbly asks for your support again this year. Your gift will be most appreciated.


Last month, we pointed out a nasty coupon acceptance policy at Walgreens whereby if you e-clipped both a $1 and an $8 coupon for the same product, their system would only accept the LOWER valued one. (They promised a fix.)

It isn’t often you find a retailer (no less CVS) that interprets its coupon acceptance policy in a pro-consumer manner, but it looked like CVS was doing just that.

For example, in many stores if an item is on sale “buy one, get one free” and you have two $1 off coupons, the store will only let you use only one arguing that you can’t get a dollar off on the second item because it is free. Such is the case at Rite Aid in their official policy.

CVS’s written policy currently is different, however.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Can I use multiple coupons on sale items?
Yes, for certain coupons and certain sale items.

Examples:
• Suave shampoo is on sale for $2.00 Buy One, Get One Free (BOGO) and the customer purchases two shampoos; the customer may use two coupons for $1.00 each and pay the applicable tax.

This CVS policy is very generous, at least on paper. In practice, however, the CVS checkout system two weeks ago denied MrConsumer’s second $2 off manufacturer’s coupon on a buy one, get one free vitamin sale.

We contacted the PR folks at CVS to raise this issue, and their spokesperson responded:

Our coupons policy states: “Only one manufacturer’s coupon may be used per qualifying item unless otherwise stated by coupon. We honor manufacturer limitations.” Qualifying items for manufacturers coupons are those with a purchase price greater than zero. So while you’d still be able to use multiple coupons in this example, only one may be a manufacturers coupon. We intend to amend the FAQ for clarity. -CVS spokesperson

What this really seems to be saying is that henceforth, CVS will only accept ONE manufacturer’s coupon on buy one, get one free items — a complete retreat from their very generous policy as currently worded.

Incidentally, Stop & Shop’s previous policy also explicitly allowed two manufacturer’s coupons on buy one, get one free sale items.

All is not lost, however. Here’s a different example of CVS’s pro-consumer coupon policy which we did not test, and hope is implemented as represented:

Let’s say you have two store coupons each good for $3 off a $15 or higher purchase, but you want to buy $30+ worth of stuff. Some savvy shoppers would split the order in two $15 orders, so you can use one coupon on each transaction. CVS’s policy says don’t bother splitting the order because their computer will recognize and accept both coupons in a single order.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Can I use multiple coupons on sale items?
Yes, as long as all of the coupons meet their qualifications.

Examples:
• Two $3 off $15 coupons for purchases that are $30.00 or higher.

So, at least sometimes, CVS seems to be on the consumer’s side when it comes to coupon acceptance.




• • •

October 5, 2020

Tide Purclean — Not Quite So Pure

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:24 am

Please Help Support Mouse Print*

Edgar Dworsky For 25 years, Consumer World, the creator of Mouse Print*, has served readers with the latest consumer news, money-saving tips, and independent investigations. It is your generosity (and not advertising nor corporate contributions) that keeps Mouse Print* and Consumer World available as free consumer resources. So MrConsumer turns to you and humbly asks for your support again this year. Your gift will be most appreciated.


Many people are attracted to products that are environmentally-friendly, and that may have motivated P&G to come out with Tide Purclean — the first plant-based laundry detergent.

Tide Purclean - old

Seventh Generation, the maker of various natural products including its own brand of “powered by plants” detergent, brought a challenge against P&G’s claims to the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. It argued that the combination of the unmodified plant-based claim, leaf design, and some language on the back of the bottle might give consumers the false impression that the product was 100% plant-based. It also complained this commercial did not clearly enough disclose that the product is only 75% plant-based.

NAD in its decision agreed, recommending that when the term “plant-based” is used the advertiser should clearly and conspicuously disclose the limitations of the claim, namely, that the product is “75% plant-based” and avoid the implication that the product is 100% plant-based when in fact some ingredients are petroleum-based.

This is a newer version of the bottle label introduced before NAD’s decision was handed down.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Tide Purclean - new

While improved over the old label, most shoppers will miss the fact that the product is only 75% plant-based. By comparison, the plant-based variety of Seventh Generation is 97% plant-based. But according to Consumer Reports, both Tide Purclean and a non-plant-based version of Seventh Generation are tied with lousy scores — 54 out of 100.




• • •

September 21, 2020

Black Forest Products: Real Juicy?

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:38 am

Please Help Support Mouse Print*

Edgar Dworsky For 25 years, Consumer World, the creator of Mouse Print*, has served readers with the latest consumer news, money-saving tips, and independent investigations. It is your generosity (and not advertising nor corporate contributions) that keeps Mouse Print* and Consumer World available as free consumer resources. So MrConsumer turns to you and humbly asks for your support again this year. Your gift will be most appreciated.


MrConsumer saw this commercial for a new product under the brand name Black Forest last week:

It certainly conveys a warm, woodsy, natural feeling to viewers. And the products seem like they are healthy because the announcer says they are “made from real fruit juice and colors from natural sources… Black Forest — real juicy, real good.”

What caught MrConsumer’s eye, however, was the faint footnote:

*MOUSE PRINT:

footnote

Say what? Only 7.9 percent juice? What’s the rest of it? You guessed it — primarily sugar.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Nutrition facts

While apple juice concentrate is the third ingredient, the other fruits pictured on the “Juicy Burst” box are the last three ingredients. In fact, there is more wax in the product than those juices. And a number of other fruits and vegetables are only used as coloring. The nutritional value of this juicy fruit snack is pretty much limited to the vitamin C that the company adds.

So while this product is portrayed as a seemingly healthy snack, we’d call it candy. And no wonder, the Black Forest brand is owned by the Ferrara Candy Company which makes Brach’s, Nerds, SweeTarts, Chuckles, RedHots, and classic candy corn.




• • •

September 14, 2020

Need a New Refrigerator Fast? Don’t Count On It!

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:45 am

Please Help Support Mouse Print*

Edgar Dworsky For 25 years, Consumer World, the creator of Mouse Print*, has served readers with the latest consumer news, money-saving tips, and independent investigations. It is your generosity (and not advertising nor corporate contributions) that keeps Mouse Print* and Consumer World available as free consumer resources. So MrConsumer turns to you and humbly asks for your support again this year. Your gift will be most appreciated.


MrConsumer had a refrigerator emergency about a week ago. His five-year-old Kenmore side-by-side refrigerator was climbing in temperature from a perfect 37 degrees to an out-of-spec 42 degrees. Both the freezer and refrigerator sections were filled to the brim, and I didn’t want to suffer hundreds of dollars of food losses.

But how do you get a repair person on the weekend and then probably have to wait days or weeks for a part to arrive? Well, maybe the faster method was to buy a new refrigerator. So MrConsumer checked Sears.com and found the current version of his exact model which is one of the very few of this capacity that just fits through his back door and between his cabinets.

The initial search indicated it could be delivered in “3+ days” which might just make it in time. But clicking on the detail revealed the inconvenient truth (and also that Sears had stopped free delivery).

*MOUSE PRINT:

Sears Kenmore fridge

What? Three days became over a month for delivery. So now it was time to check Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Best Buy for the Whirlpool or Maytag version of this model. (My Kenmore was made by Whirlpool.)

The news at those stores wasn’t much better. Either those models were not available at all in my area, or the wait was anywhere from over three weeks to three months.

Best Buy Maytag


Best Buy Whirlpool Home Depot - Whirlpool


Lowe's Maytag Lowe's Whirlpool

With fast delivery of a replacement not a possibility, I started freaking out and tinkering with the temperature controls which have always been finicky. Lo and behold, the refrigerator came back to life, and my crisis was seemingly over. Whewww.

Nonetheless, not being able to get a replacement major appliance quickly was news to me and has not been widely reported. We asked three retailers why this was happening, but they were not talking. Informal chats with salespeople at Lowe’s and Home Depot, however, reveal that COVID-19 is the culprit. They said there have been huge increases in home appliance sales, not just refrigerators, and that manufacturers simply cannot keep up with demand.

Indeed, Lowe’s is now displaying this warning on its website:

Lowe's warning

So if you need a major appliance in a hurry, you might not get your first choice for a while.




• • •

August 17, 2020

Is Folgers Exaggerating The Number of Cups of Coffee Each Canister Makes?

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:43 am

Please Help Support Mouse Print*

Edgar Dworsky For 25 years, Consumer World, the creator of Mouse Print*, has served readers with the latest consumer news, money-saving tips, and independent investigations. It is your generosity (and not advertising nor corporate contributions) that keeps Mouse Print* and Consumer World available as free consumer resources. So MrConsumer turns to you and humbly asks for your support again this year. Your gift will be most appreciated.


J.M. Smucker, the maker of Folgers coffee, has been the subject of several recent class action lawsuits, all claiming the same thing — the company grossly exaggerates the number of cups of coffee that each canister is capable of making. (One case is here, and another case is here.)

Folgers

For this particular Folgers variety, the company claims you get up to 210 cups of coffee (6 ounce size) per canister. And the instructions on the back tell you to use one tablespoon per 6 ounce cup or 1/2 cup of grounds for 10 “cups.”

Well, those crafty class action lawyers measured out the coffee to see what you actually got in each container (see below) and one of them mathematically figured out how many tablespoons weighing about five grams each there were.

*MOUSE PRINT:

For the French Roast coffee pictured above that is supposed to make 210 cups, brewing the coffee by the cup only yielded enough for 156 cups; while making the coffee in batches of 10 cups at time still came up short by yielding only 195 cups.

We asked Smucker how they came up with their yield of 210 cups, and for comments about the lawsuits. Despite multiple requests, the company did not respond. However, in a Florida lawsuit, Folgers argued that the amount a can makes varies greatly because coffee drinkers have different preferences for a cup’s strength. As such, it concluded, their claims are accurate.

Folgers is not alone in getting sued over their yield claims. Last month, the maker of Maxwell House coffee was sued for allegedly doing the same thing.

Thanks to Truth in Advertising for the case.




• • •
Next Page »
Powered by: WordPressPrivacy Policy
Mouse Print exposes the strings and catches buried in the fine print of advertising.
Copyright © 2006-2020. All rights reserved. Advertisements are copyrighted by their respective owners.