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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Post # 107 - Corona Twelve Pack and Any Salty Snack Rebate: The Great Lie 1-1-2010

This was a rip-off.  I didn't fall for it, but I wonder how many people did.  The "details" on the back are things like receipt with beer and snack circled, UPC codes, etc.  Nothing about what constitutes a salty snack.
Dear Corona,

Imagine a hectic day-before-Christmas Eve at the grocery store. People hustling and bustling to get their final food purchases to feast and entertain. Perhaps later they might go wassailing, but that’s too far off in the future. People in long check-out lines are crabby and focused on one thing: getting out of there.

As I went through the beer isle, I saw a great deal—a $5 rebate on my favorite beer, Corona. The qualifier: “Any Salty Snack”. Your words, not mine. So I grabbed a "twelver" and a bag of pretzels, since nothing goes better with Corona than salty pretzels. Of course, this also meant the purchase of a few limes.

I walked up to the self-check area with my “lesws-than-15” items, and proceeded. I always ring up alcohol last, since someone needs to check my identification. Toward the end of the process, as I was being carded, the cashier said “read the fine print on that rebate”.

I couldn’t believe my eyes: “$8 Minimum Salty Snack Purchase Required”. For portraying such a carefree lifestyle in your ads, you sure do care how much I spend on my snack, and how salty it is.

What salty snack costs $8? Most bags of chips cost $5 or less. If I bought two bags, would that constitute ONE snack, or two?

What constitutes “Salty”? Would 500 mg of sodium per serving cover us? Vague, and subject to the discretion of someone I’ve never met at the rebate center--probably a saltaholic.

Then I wondered what constitutes a snack. Is it something strictly for between meals, or as an accompaniment, such as chips, pretzels, etc? Does pizza count? That’s pretty salty, and can probably exceed your $8 bogey. At the same time, people eat pizza for lunch and dinner. Heck—I’ve eaten it cold for breakfast. Is pizza a snack or a meal?

At the end of the day, I had the cashier take the beer back, which upset the line of people behind me, because it took more time. I felt tricked. I felt betrayed. I felt like a jackass.

I feel like you intentionally tricked people with your vague “Salty Snack” description, and $8 minimum fine print. I feel like you intentionally put a vague, difficult-to-attain qualifier on the rebate to get people to buy your beer under false pretenses. How much does Corona pad their bottom line by tricking their loyal customers?


No hablo Ingles.
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