If you saw a checkout ad that said: "3% off your next purchase if you pay with a debit card"... what would you expect? A coupon for 3% off your next purchase? Hey - me, too! Not so in the land of IKEA... perhaps discounts work differently in Sweden?
Scout and I were purchasing a dresser (to store lil blue onesies for the lil dude) at the famous "build your own furniture with nothing more than a tiny pseudo-tool" store, and after hauling the heavy boxes off the 60 foot high shelves, loading them onto our cart the size of a small car, and rolling it to the register ourselves, I opted for the "self-check" lane. It only seemed fitting... also, there were only two registers with actual humans working them, with about 45.7 people in each line, while there were 8 self check registers open, with nobody in line.
I start scanning the items when I notice the sign offering 3% off your next purchase... well, we were planning on paying with our debit card anyway, so that seemed like a good deal. Then I surveyed our items, 3 items for $9.99 each, and 1 item for $299.99 (what a deal, saving that penny off $300). And JUST THEN... I had a brilliant idea! If I purchased the smaller items first, I could get the 3% discount to use on the big ticket item.
Of course, I had already shot the items with the little "beep" red laser gun, so I had all the items on the screen. At a self checkout line. After flagging the yellow shirt guy down, I explained to him what I wanted to do, cleared it with him that I could use the coupon today, for a purchase 10 seconds from now... he confirmed, and voided my big ticket item. Yay!
A swipe of the debit card (isn't it magical - it practically seems free!), a spit up of the receipt, and I was ready to save 3% off my $300 dresser. Except... where is my 3% coupon? Nooooo... there IS NO THREE PERCENT COUPON. What I got was this: a statement at the bottom of my receipt saying that I could get $0.98 off my next purchase. WHAT???? So, my savings was really 3% of my current purchase that I could use towards reducing the price of my next purchase. IN WHICH CASE... I would have made my purchases in the OTHER ORDER... HAD I KNOWN! I opted not to try to void the whole transaction (mostly cause Scout was glaring a hole in my back), and decided to just make the next purchase.
Here we go: scan box of furniture, scan bar code on the receipt offering a whopping ninety eight cents discount, and... nothing. Well, except an error code asking for Yellow Shirt assistance. Sigh... another Yellow Shirt guy shows up, and tries to enter the code for the discount... over... and over... and over... again. He just can't figure it out. Scout is now growling and frothing at the mouth, and says, "can we just leave for 98 cents?" And I said, "NO! It is the principle!" (Plus, I was pissed that I had been foiled by the 3% discount misleading advertising). So we got a Yellow Shirt girl to come over and enter the discount. Which amounted to a .33% (don't miss that period, it says POINT three three percent) savings on the dresser. So, now I have $9.73 to spend next time I go to IKEA... and use my debit card.... and get another 3% "discount"... and as the King says: "etcetera, etcetera, etcetera"!