Two weeks ago, I finally uploaded my digital photos to print at riteaid.com There was a 50 free print coupon. I couldn’t find 50 good ones and uploaded 41. I chose the Rite Aid downtown and was happy.
Last week because I didn’t have a printer, I wrote down the confirmation number on a slip and went downtown.
The Rite Aid Photo lady said in her accented English, “You need receipt. How can I tell if it’s yours?”
Stupidly, I didn’t argue that if she looked inside the photos she was holding that she would see many photos of me from multiple angels. Instead, I sullenly went home and planned for my next step.
Today, I stumbled down to Rite Aid during my lunch break. The photo area was EMPTY. I saw some people in the back room, but was afraid they would kick me out of the store if I went behind the counter to knock at the door.
I let out a soft squeak as I continued stomping around passive aggressively, “Excuse me?!”
Eventually, I went to the cashiers upfront where 10 people were in line and told the cashier in my passive, congested voice, “Um…there doesn’t seem to be anybody at the photo counter…”
She looked at me and said, “There’s always someone there.”
“There isn’t now,” I said with a rising anger.
She picked up a phone to announce to the store, “Customer service requested in photos please.”
A few minutes earlier, I noted that someone requested customer service at the ice cream counter, but the counter was still empty.
I stomped back to the photo counter where it was still empty. A few customers had been waiting to pay for the copies they made from the copier. After waiting for another five minutes, they walked out.
Eventually, I started waving to the one-way window that was part of the back room. A panicked wave. Finally someone noticed me…and came out.
She looked at my crumpled printout and said, “Where’s your coupon?”
Exasperated, I said and pointed, “I entered the coupon online. See the receipt says $0.00.”
She took a coupon she had on her register and showed it to me. “A coupon has a bar code.”
“You see, I entered the coupon online. If I had to pay, I would have paid online. But it didn’t charge me because I entered the coupon.”
There was no way I was going to be sent away again because I didn’t bring a coupon. And to my knowledge, I don’t recall even seeing a coupon. I remember only entering a coupon code: 50FREEPRINTS
“There is no coupon with a print-out. The receipt already says my total otherwise I would pay what it says to paid. But I would have paid that online! With a credit card! I shouldn’t have to pay anything at the store.”
Finally she called another photo lady who recognized me from my first visit. “How am I supposed to charge her?” the employee asked.
How are you supposed to charge me something that doesn’t have a price on the receipt? I thought in annoyance.
The photo lady finally just handed my packet photos. “Well she doesn’t owe anything.”
I stomped angrily out of the store, vowing not to print my photos at Rite Aid again.
A few moments later, I opened the packet of photos as I was crossing the street. I dropped the cover receipt which had my name and phone number. A few steps later, I saw it in the middle of the street and quickly rushed back to pick it up.
Good thing I am now in the financial district.