Everyone is talking about AIG right now, but here are two other companies that have caused me financial puzzlement:
Company Number One
Today I was in Boscov's at the Cherry Hill Mall (don't judge me), Cherry Hill, New Jersey. I was browsing the selection of photo albums (don't judge me) on clearance. One book caught my eye - "Mulberry Ribbon," original price $14.99, Clearance price $8.79. Wow! What a moderate, partially enticing deal! While I fingered the pages and turned the book in my hands, judging whether this was something I needed to spend money on, I noticed this text printed on the manufacturer's label printed back of the book above the UPC: "Mulberry Kraft Ribbon, 42-166-6959, $10.99."
Hmm. How can the original price be $14.99 when the manufacturer's suggested retail price is four dollars less? I approached an employee. I asked her if this their label was accurate, pointing out the differences in prices. She responded that "at one point it was probably $14.99." Hmm.
Company Number Two
Dunkin Donuts sent coupon sheets out to everyone in the Philadelphia area. One such coupon was a buy x, get x free deal. The consumer had the option to purchase six doughnuts (or, I believe, 20 munchkins) and get six more doughnuts (or 20 more munchkins) for free. Being a generous soul, I purchased a dozen doughnuts for the people at my office in a Dunkin Donuts located in Burlington, New Jersey.
The price rang up as $7.49, pre-coupon. You may be under the impression that seven and a half dollars is quite a lot of money for doughnuts. You would be correct. Then the clerk applied the coupon, and my total was $5.49.
Now, I admit that I am not a great mathematician. Sometimes I make mistakes with arithmetic. However, I know that half of $7.49 is not $5.49. What is there, a service charge for the doughnuts? Considering this is the company that caved to Michelle Malkin's jihad scarf in a Rachel Ray advertisement, I wouldn't be surprised.
I used another "buy some, get some free" coupon (don't judge me) on a different day in a different location, and it was the same result. Here's Dunkin Donuts new slogan: Acceptable Doughnuts, Unacceptable Math.™
As a side note, these doughnuts were purchased on St. Patrick's Day, so some of them had green icing. Unfortunately, no one in my office ate the green ones. Irish bigotry, perhaps?
As a second side note, I am now aware that there appears to be a Dunkin Donuts location on every street corner in New Jersey.