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A ‘1984’ moment: ‘Blue’ Really Means ‘Red’

August 27, 2013

It will be a while before I voluntarily shop at a Meijer store again.

If you’re wondering why, it’s because Meijer told me that ‘blue’ really means ‘red’…and because Meijer refused to give me the price difference and bonus I believe I was entitled to under Michigan’s New Scanner Law.

Here’s my report…the same narrative I provided to the State of Michigan when I filed a complaint about this incident.

“I went to the Meijer store in Royal Oak and saw a blue rolling Igloo cooler that I wanted to purchase. There was no price on the item, but the shelf above the cooler said “IGLOO 28 QT ROLLER COOLER BLUE 31.49”. There was also an Igloo red non-rolling cooler on the shelf above. I selected the blue rolling cooler and went to the self-check out lane. A clerk helped me to scan the price (because the item was bulky), and it showed up as $39.99. I told the clerk there that the price was higher than I expected, but he shrugged. So I paid for the cooler, then checked the shelf again where I found the blue rolling cooler. It did say “31.49” as the price, so I went to the customer service area and asked for a refund of the price difference and the $5 bonus because of the error. The clerk behind the desk left to look at the shelf label, and she returned a few minutes later with a red non-rolling Igloo cooler. She said the $31.49 price applied to that cooler. I said that cooler wasn’t blue and wasn’t rolling. She countered by saying that the code number was different and the quantity was different. I told her I couldn’t determine quantity size by sight. I was going by the description: Igloo, blue, rolling. She refused to refund me the difference or the bonus. I asked, and did receive, a full refund. However, I told her I would be filing a complaint with the State of Michigan. By the way, I do have  a cell phone picture of the shelf label.”

Here’s that cell phone picture of the shelf label, snapped minutes after the incident, and a copy of my receipt. If you saw a blue rolling Igloo cooler sitting under a label that said blue rolling Igloo cooler, why would you bother to check the scanner?

Now I wonder: Does Meijer expect me to question every price I see on a shelf label?  And will Meijer do anything to bring me back into their store?

I know mistakes happen. I get it. But whatever happens, please don’t try to tell me that ‘blue’ really means ‘red.’

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