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Author Topic: When 40%-Off Your Total Purchase Becomes 0.3%-Off  (Read 2892 times)

tinjaw

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When 40%-Off Your Total Purchase Becomes 0.3%-Off
« on: March 01, 2010, 02:57:42 PM »
Posted this on my personal blog today. I'm interested in your comments. Either here or on my blog.

Quote
When 40%-Off Your Total Purchase Becomes 0.3%-Off
Posted by Chaim in Uncategorized

I received a “Come Back. We Miss You.” discount coupon from a major technical book publisher. They said that I could get 40% off my total purchase. Great, I thought. They wanted to incent  me to buy some books (IOW spend some money with them) that I wouldn’t otherwise have done without the discount coupon. This would have worked, but didn’t.

As many programmers I have two list of books. One is the list of books I want/need. I purchase these books (yes, often with discounts) because I am willing to part with my cash for them. Then there is the second list of books; books that I might like to get, but aren’t will it part with money for because there are other things that would give me better value for my money. However, I can be persuaded to purchase the items on the second list if I get a deeper-than-normal discount. I thought I has received an offer of the latter type. Turns out I was wrong.

Here’s the deal. This publisher sells print and ebook versions of their titles. If you purchase both at the same time, you get a significant discount on the ebook. For example, $44.99 for print, $35.99 for ebook, or buy the $44.99 print version and for $4.50 more, you can get the ebook. Basically add 10% to get the ebook bundled. I put 4 print+ebook bundles in my shopping cart. That totaled $159.46. I expected to be able to use my 40% coupon and get that for $95.68. That’s a great price and would push me to purchase close to $100 worth of merchandise from this vendor that I wouldn’t have otherwise spent.

But that is not the case. Why? When I added the discount code they un-bundled the ebook from the print book. This meant that I got 40% off the non-bundled (i.e. $44.99 + $35.99) price instead of the bundled price ($49.49). This meant that instead of $95.68 my cost would be $158.95. Significantly higher and only 0.3% discount.

I didn’t make the purchase and they lost $95.68 that I was ready to give them.

Am I being greedy? I’d like to hear your thoughts?

Stoic Joker

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Re: When 40%-Off Your Total Purchase Becomes 0.3%-Off
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2010, 03:33:40 PM »
Coupons frequently have something to the effect of "Not valid in combination with any other offers" in extremely fine print on them somewhere. Which is understandable (kinda) to a point. but, I wouldn't call it greedy on your part, because I'd take the same shot hoping it would work.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2010, 03:36:07 PM by Stoic Joker »

Carol Haynes

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Re: When 40%-Off Your Total Purchase Becomes 0.3%-Off
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2010, 04:11:14 PM »
I suspect it was a bug in their cart system that couldn't cope. Have you tried contacting them?

tinjaw

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Re: When 40%-Off Your Total Purchase Becomes 0.3%-Off
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2010, 09:59:10 PM »
It is O'Reilly and it is a bug in their shopping cart. They posted on my blog and emailed me. They said to call them and gave me a name of a person to ask for and they will process my order.

The thing is that I am kind of sad, because my post/comment wasn't meant to bash O'Reilly but point out how unexpected use cases and unplanned events backfire if they aren't properly handled. It turns out O'Reilly was actually having a planning meeting today to work on their new ecommerce website system.

I was also wondering whether people thought I was just being too greedy if their expectations were in line with mine.

Any way, tomorrow I will be purchasing about $100 worth of books from O'Reilly that I wouldn't have purchased if they hadn't sent me the coupon.

JavaJones

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Re: When 40%-Off Your Total Purchase Becomes 0.3%-Off
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2010, 10:15:18 PM »
Which just goes to show one or more of the following, I guess: Marketing works (definitely! :D); O'Reilly are on top of their PR and the blogosphere; you are not being too greedy.

I'd say all 3, and given O'Reilly's quick response I'd be happy to be a customer. :)

- Oshyan

Innuendo

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Re: When 40%-Off Your Total Purchase Becomes 0.3%-Off
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2010, 10:47:20 PM »
The thing is that I am kind of sad, because my post/comment wasn't meant to bash O'Reilly but point out how unexpected use cases and unplanned events backfire if they aren't properly handled. It turns out O'Reilly was actually having a planning meeting today to work on their new ecommerce website system.

Don't be sad. If you hadn't posted on your blog:

1) You would never have gotten the great deal on the books you will now enjoy.
2) O'Reilly may never have caught the bug in their shopping cart system.
3) Others who want(ed) the same deal wouldn't be able to enjoy the great deal, either.

Rejoice. Your blog post did a lot of good for a lot of people.

Carol Haynes

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Re: When 40%-Off Your Total Purchase Becomes 0.3%-Off
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2010, 10:08:51 AM »
and O'Reilly's gets some good marks for spotting your post and quickly responding.

tinjaw

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Re: When 40%-Off Your Total Purchase Becomes 0.3%-Off
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2010, 10:55:01 AM »
I was already having an email conversation with O'Reilly. I mentioned the post just so they knew about it. I didn't expect a reply. I think they probably didn't realize that I hadn't used their name in my blog post.

Any how....

I'm glad all is now well in the world.  8)

app103

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Re: When 40%-Off Your Total Purchase Becomes 0.3%-Off
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2010, 05:29:58 AM »
That was very kind of you not to use their name in your blog post. Most bloggers would have.

Glad to hear O'Reilly cares and the issue is resolved for you, and soon for everyone else, too.  :)