I was at Target. Being a soda junkie, I was absolutely ecstatic to see that 12-packs were on sale, 4 for $10.00. I immediately selected 4 12-packs and took them to the check-out area. Now, this was around 8:45 p.m. tonight. So there weren't a whole lot of registers open and there were long lines for each of 'em (you know, one of *those* nights...). But hey! I had my beloved soda, so I was happy and only slightly minded the long lines.
But then when I finally got to the front of the line, the lady had no idea how to ring up the discount. Using basic math, of course, each 12-pack would have been $2.50. But the items kept on coming up as $3.23 each (hey, even with sales tax added, that would have been too much!). And the employee just kept on saying, "I don't know, I don't know, it keeps coming on like this..."
Finally, she just asked me, "Do you want to go to another register?" And gestured to the register right next to her (which had yet another loooooong line).
I looked at her in disbelief. "You want me to wait in line all over again?" Said in an incredulous manner. Yeah, waiting in line isn't the end of the world, but...but...it's such a hassle! But maybe I'm just incredibly impatient.
Her: "Well, you can either pay this price--" (gesturing to the price on her screen, which came up to $12.90) "--or you can go to that register over there. I just don't know how to do this..."
I was tempted to tell her to get a manager or someone else in charge, but I wasn't sure if she'd understand me (she was an old Indian lady and seemed to have trouble with English; please note that her comments in this post have been paraphrased for intent by yours truly--they were much more muddled when she was actually speaking to me) and I didn't want to hold up the rest of the line behind me. So, grumbling a bit, I moved to the next register and resignedly took my place at the end of another long line.
So I get to the front of that line and the guy scans in the sodas. What the effing heck? The total comes out to $12.90 again! So I politely informed this employee about the 4 for $10 sale.
And he said: "Yeah, but you can get $1.90 [or something...I forget the exact price he quoted] back when you turn in the cans for recycling. California's been doing this system for a long time, blah blah blah..."
Okay, at this point, I figured that, tax included, it was a difference of two dollars. Not terribly huge in the grand scheme of things. So I gritted my teeth and paid $12.90 because at this point I was kinda fed up.
But...okay...I've bought soda on sale at Target before, and this is the FIRST time I've heard of this getting-your-money-back-when-you-recycle bit (note: I mean in regards to Target sales...I've known that you can turn in cans for money for a long time, I'm not that dense). They didn't have any information on that whatsoever on the SALE sign in the soda section. I don't know if this guy was pulling this info out of the air or what; you'd think Target would clarify such stipulations if there are any! They're probably not required to, but--gah, it's just annoying, that's all.
And yes, recycling's good and all (don't want anyone to think I'm getting pissy over the idea of recycling), but don't you need to go to a special center or recycling machine to actually get money back? My family just puts all of our recyclables into several large bins and out by the curb once a week--haven't seen a cent from those, but then again I don't handle the family finances.
So I'm here, complaining over a whole two dollars. :-| And I probably should have just stayed with the old lady, as the price ended up being the same.
EDITED TO ADD: So I have been duly informed that CRV is a common practice in California. Color me embarrassed for not knowing this, despite buying soda all the freakin' time. :o)