Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An open letter to Catalina Marketing

If you participated in the Your Bucks program at Jewel, you'll have by now received the following email:
Dear Valued YourBucks Member,

As the company proud to bring you high-valued savings, we want to express our appreciation for your participation in the YourBucks test pilot.
This test is designed to reveal the unexpected. Meaning, if the YourBucks program is rolled out nationally, we want to deliver a flawless, exceptional experience for our members.

Unfortunately, during this period of learning, some offers are being abused by a very small group of shoppers which is forcing us to modify the following three offers:

- Buy any ONE Ragu Pasta sauce 26oz or larger - $2.00
- Buy any ONE Suave® product excluding trial or travel size - $2.00
- Buy any ONE Degree® Anti-perspirant/Deodorant item excluding trial or travel size - $2.00

- Buy any 1 (One) or more Ragu Pasta sauce 26oz or larger - $1.00
- Buy any 2 (Two) or more Suave® product excluding trial or travel size - $1.00
- Buy any 1 (One) or more Degree® Anti-perspirant/Deodorant item excluding trial or travel size - $1.00

Please know this is not a decision we take lightly. And, we apologize that you are being impacted due to the questionable actions of so few.

Ultimately, our intention is to secure the long-term viability of the YourBucks program, and to continue to offer you and your families high-valued savings. Again, thank you for your participation and patience as we work to build a solid, lasting YourBucks platform.

If you have any additional questions, please connect with us at

YourBucks Customer Service.

To which I replied:

I am completely APPALLED to receive an email this morning stating that I indirectly abused your Your Bucks Promotion catalina offer that is currently at Jewel grocery stores. This program produced catalinas at checkout for the purchase of select items. I would suggest that you contact your client and tell them that in no way did consumers "abuse" this program. The Catalina marketing/promotions department responsible should have determined well ahead of time (as in three WEEKS ago when this program started) that offering $2 back on an 89c item, for example, would cause consumers to buy tons of this product. And per the terms of the Your Bucks promotion: "Quantity Limits: There is a limit of one YourBucks Award for any particular Program Award per transaction. You can participate as often as you wish during any Broadcast period." You never limited the number of transactions a consumer could do, nor limited the total quantity an item that could be purchased. How is this the consumer’s fault?

Is it the consumer's fault that you had such poor programming of items that you allowed trial sizes and well as sizes not stated on the advertisements to qualify for Your Bucks? As the consumer, is it MY responsibility to double check YOUR math and quality control YOUR program?

Is it the legitimate couponers fault that you implemented a program which allows Your Bucks to print BEFORE the consumer paid, opening yourself to those unscrupulous people who stole from you? You could have reprogrammed the system in hours to fix this but were you asleep at the wheel?

It seems to me that declaring the consumer, who did nothing wrong, somehow abused the system which Catalina implemented, is ridiculous at best and a poor example of customer service at worst.

You should be ASHAMED! You owe everyone you sent that email to an apology!

1 comment:

Weekend Cowgirl said...

Go Girl! You are right.


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