Rare, is my visits to Rona Home and Garden Store, here in Scarborough, Toronto, Canada, at Midland near Steeles. While they are pretty clean and almost all the sales associates speak Mandarin, close by there is also the Home Depot Head Office store, as well as Lowes.
Starfrit Spriralizer cuts veg into long and thin spaghetti, on sale at Cantire for $20, Walmart regular price $26, Rona regular price $23. Rona grudgingly price matched Cantire and then beat them by an additional 10 percent. Yay, but laborious to remind Rona staff of their online policy.
Competition is pretty intense. With competitor flyer in hand, a price match effort at my local Rona was a near failure, requiring much to and fro with the customer service person, and 2 calls from her to her manager. In the end I did get the price match, but not without the unnecessary effort. My shopping experience at Rona was not smooth.
Today in the Sept 02 2016 weekly sales flyer Canadian Tire advertised a Starfrit kitchen dodad on sale for half price. I knew that I could go to Canadian Tire and buy it, and that Walmart would also price match it, but I thought, why not give Rona a try. They have their price match policy on line, which looks pretty clear cut, and matches their competitors, and reduces their price an additional 10%. Here is the Rona policy:
Your Rona l’entrepôt (QC) or Rona Home & Garden store guarantees the lowest price.
At Rona l’entrepôt (QC) or Rona Home & Garden, we guarantee the lowest price.
Is the price of a product offered at a competitor lower than the price of the identical product at your local Rona l’entrepôt (QC) or Rona Home & Garden store? Upon presentation of satisfactory proof and while respecting certain conditions, we will MEET the competitor price AND BEAT it by an additional 10%!
To benefit from our policy you must demonstrate:
The product is available at a lower price at a competing (brick & mortar) store located within a 25 km radius of your Rona l’entrepôt (QC) or Rona Home & Garden store.
The competitor has the product in stock at the time you want to benefit from our lowest price guarantee.
The product is of the same brand and model as the product offered at the Rona l’entrepôt (QC) or Rona Home & Garden store.
The price offered by our competition is for a new item which remains in its original packaging. It cannot be a reconditioned, used, damaged, returned, open-box or a demonstrator product.
This online price match policy varied greatly from reality at the customer service desk. With flyer in hand I approached the customer service desk. Firstly the CSR told me that the price match policy only applied to Home Depot and Lowes. Nowhere is this mentioned in their online policy. I asked to speak to a manager, and this was phone call #1. The manager then confirmed to the CSR that price matching with Canadian Tire was ok. The CSR then had to call Canadian Tire and ask about not only availability but to confirm that the UPC code on the product box matched the Rona stock. Ok, more than a little arduous and a waste of effort, and not in keeping with competitors. As I thought, the CSR could not get through to Canadian Tire, this is not a surprise, as Cantire’s store phones seem to work irregularly. Thankfully the CSR, bless her heart, went online and confirmed the UPC. I was sure that Cantire phone support would not read her the UPC.
So we are nearing the closing of the checkout process, and I ask about the additional 10% discount for price matching, and the CSR knows nothing about this. The second call goes out to her manager, who confirms that there is an additional 10% off for price matching. The CSR then give me the additional discount, I pay for my product and leave.
I came away from Rona with the impression that price matching was rarely done, and was done purely at the discretion of the store manager. The additional 10% discount was also unknown to the CSR. While there might be a corporate policy posted online, my store did not abide by it, only grudgingly giving it to me when I gently reminded them of their own policy. The price match policy was not posted anywhere in the Rona customer service area.
I contrast my experience with Walmart or NoFrills, where you just show them the flyer and they price match at the casher. It is so simple and easy.
While I prefer to shop at Canadian stores, my shopping experience at Rona was decidedly negative. I do not fault the CSR, no, she was sweet, but of management, who do not abide by their corporate policy. In terms of customer service, Rona is by far below that of Canadian Tire, Walmart and NoFrills, even for the same exact products. Perhaps I will send an email off to the Rona head office about my price match experience. They should know, if they do not already. This adbiding by a publically published corporate policy should be universal to all stores, and not hit and usually miss.
Addendum: So Danny, the store manager, called to further explain his price guarantee. He says that this is up to the discretion of the store, and that the price match to a flyer cannot be combined with the extra 10% off.I read the Rona website policy a little different. The Rona policy does not mention a sales flyer price. The policy states: “2. The lowest price guarantee is not combinable with any other offer.”. If one interprets the competitor sales flyer as another offer, then the policy states there is no additional 10% off.
I find this unclear. For me the competitor sales flyer is not yet another offer, but the one and only price the company offers, which would entitle me to the extra 10% off. I know we are talking semantics here, but a clearer policy is required. When a customer has to read the policy closely four times, the policy is not clear.
Upon presentation of satisfactory proof and while respecting certain conditions, we will MEET the competitor price AND BEAT it by an additional 10%!
What does this mean to you? I believe Danny’s stance is that if you bring in a flyer Rona will match the advertised price. If this advertised price is also the regular price, Rona will beat the regular price by 10%. You cannot, however get a price match and the extra 10% off. My issue is that this distinction, the difference between an advertised sale price and an advertised regular price, is not mentioned in Rona’s website policy. All competitor advertised prices from a flyer are treated the same in the policy.