Circle-K Wilmington, NC Manager "LEARY" about AARP Rewards "Free Hot Dog (Jan 15 – Jan 29, 2020)"
Tried to use the AARP Rewards Circle-K Free Hot Dog (January 15 – January 29, 2020) Offer at the Circle-K Convenience Story located at 3739 Carolina Beach Road in Wilmington, NCTuesday, January 28, 2020 @ 2:00 PM ET after cashing-in AARP Rewards Points for the opportunity, printing a physical coupon presented to the cashier and carefully reading all information (which was pretty unrestricted, with no specific mention of a "Regular/Original" Hot Dog, Premium or other product nuances, requirements, etc.).
When I presented the Coupon to the Cashier, trying to pay for 2 "Premium" Hot Dogs (only type they had - any 'Regular/Original' Offerings were unavailable and only 6 others were 'in stock' at the time I arrived) if failed to process. Having just come from the back to handle a register, as four customers were in-line (a steady flow requiring only one cashier otherwise prior) she asked the cashier next to her. The second cashier attempted to scan the coupon, failing as well. She called out for "Marisol" (Name Tag said "MANAGER") and followed with, "Coupon, here, come fix." (The cashier in question was of African-American, Non-Latino descent and had no notable accent, speech inflections or accent to indicate she was anything other than a fluent English Speaker). Marisol appeared quickly from the back of the store, looked at the coupon, scratched her head and stated, "We don't usually do Internet Coupons." I noted, "It's not really 'Internet;' it's a promotion through AARP." After explaining that AARP is "The American Association for Retired Persons, a Non-Profit organization for older folks that gives discounts and lobbies for laws," she appeared to remain oblivious to what "AARP" was and followed, "Yeah, anyway, we don't usually do Internet Coupons, so I'm a bit LEARY about it." LEARY? Hummm .. Leery is an adjective that means wary or suspicious ... I have a coupon and showed my Membership Card from AARP, a Nationally recognized Association apparently known only outside the Circle-K Wilmington Store at Monkey Junction and likely a nefarious group plotting to defraud Circle-K through "complimentary hot dogs" (as noted in the coupon text itself) by 'stealing' $2.00 at a time. If someone had noted that "The Offer doesn't apply to the Specialty Hot Dogs;" and/or that "We don't have the particular item offered at this time," I would have been fine with paying the $2.00 + NC State Sales Tax. It's $2.00 (TWO Dollars). To call into question the credibility, intent and honesty of a customer (A Registered Financial Professional with FBI Background Checks working in Anti-Money Laundering and with 25+ years in the Banking Industry) because YOUR manager was unaware of a National Organization that lobbys for discounts on behalf of Older Members who pay dues, was not informed/advised of the promotion or so ill trained that they lack the basic Customer Service skills and abilities to be a bit more 'throughtful' in their hesitation to honor a promotion merely means that you (A) Provide little Communication; (B) Have poor Training; (C) Hire whomever walks into a Store and supervise poorly. That said - this was an introduction to the gas station & convenience store I routinely pass-by 1/4 mile closer to my home than Speedway, 2-miles closer than Shell or Citgo and a place that looked clean, well stocked, offering a decent selection of products and snacks as well as gas. If the intent here was to get Customers "In the Door;" it worked. If the goal was to keep them, YOU FAILED. I certainly do NOT need to stop at a station that has Employees too uneducated or ill informed/trained to know about your own promotions, reputable Groups that are well-known throughout the US/World and too poorly educated/trained to be polite, throughtful and respectful of a potential (not lost) "Customer." Thanks for the "Free" Hot Dog .. it wasn't bad - but I'm certainly NOT stopping-in again (and will definately go out of my way to let others know about my wonderful experience - starting with AARP and continuing with Google, YELP!, and the locals that live up the road - and the two new developments under construction.
As for the AARP Rewards Program and the 500-points this experience cost me to enjoy (NOT) ... I think I'll just leave it as a "Feature" of Membership that adds LIMITED VALUE and decide whether or not the discounts and value of the occasional valid offer is worth the Membership Price (as more and more of my friends question the same). GREAT JOB!
Truly understand your upset and I personally believe its important & valid complaint whether you have $5 or $500 in your wallet to pay AARP offers the Reward and it should be honored and I'm a NC resident who lived near that area few years ago regardless Working most of my life in Retail Management these folks were poorly trained & lack most important rule in Customer Service "no matter the situation Customer is always right & should be appreciated & respected without them they'd have no job"
They will & deserve to lose customers as a result
I rarely post a negative review on Google but when I've had situations as you I have to warn others to that particular location
Good job & your post also got noticed by AARP helpers which is what these forums are for
Thanks for sharing your experience & bringing awareness to how local offers can cause issues for members.
The Circle K Area Manager is to blame for not informing all staff in their area about the promotion.
Employees probably barely out of high school and paid the minimum wage and their paycheck will be shorted even if (1) hot dog is missing. Not everyone knows about AARP or cares, especially if they are young.
Circle K's business won't be effected by your opinion at all, maybe just some folks in NC if they even see your post and agree.
Hope you feel better by getting it off your chest. Seem's that having to pay $2.00 was a problem for you. I would have just used it at another Circle K. It's not that serious