Sunday, June 1, 2014

Should spouses get military discounts?

A couple of days ago, I read an article on Army Wife 101 about a spouse who was denied a military discount and proceeded to leave the store...and make a bit of a stink on television (gotta love the local news).

Basically it went something like this - she asked for a military discount (10%) when she checked out at Home Depot. The clerk said the policy had changed and she couldn't use the discount so she asked to see a manager for clarification. The clerk muttered something about her not being the active duty person anyhow and walked off. So she and a few other people in line left their items and the store. She's saying it's not the money (which would've saved her about 5 bucks), but the principle.

She said if you advertise that you support the military that should include the service member's family. I kind of agree. I believe a military discount is a perk, not a right, and what's more is really intended for the service member, not necessarily dependents (that being said, most establishments also give the discount to spouses as well because they do most of the shopping). On the flip side, military families are very much a part of their service member's career (moving, taking care of the home during deployments, attending unit events) so I can kind of see where all of the benefits should extend to the service member's family.

For me, the real issue here is that the clerk was rude to her. If someone shaded me like that I probably would've  left too  stayed and complained to the manager, but to each their own. More than anything, I would've been embarrassed. So in that regard, I get why she stormed off. He shouldn't have made her feel so small for asking a simple question. Had he been nicer, she probably would've bought her plants sans discount and went on her merry way.

Speaking of customer service, let me detour for a minute. We've been talking about taking a vacation in July and there's a travel agency that caters to the military in the mall. I was already there so I stopped in to see what packages they had available. The person I spoke with was horrible. First, she questioned me about the whereabouts of my husband and why he wasn't there. Then she wanted to know if he was in good standing (I'm rolling my eyes) and then she refused to give me any information about their trips to take back home. Apparently, I'm incapable of booking a vacation on my own (I'm only college-educated and 30 years old, but whatever). She finally gave me an abbreviated PowerPoint presentation (thankfully) at which point I realized they were running one hell of a scam. All of their vacations are the same price and are WAY more than if you would book online or through the resort/cruise line itself (after extensive research I'm confident in this statement). I started questioning her and she didn't like that so she told me not to be naive and that the online places can scam you. Alright, pot. I see you're going after the kettle. At this point I left, but damn if that wasn't some horrible customer service. And I truly believe they're preying on service members, which makes me sick to my stomach. It also proves that military discounts aren't always beneficial to the service member anyway (sad, right?).

But back to the original story. I have a difficult time getting upset about not getting a discount when it's not an entitlement in the first place. Or am I totally off base here? Don't get me wrong, I love a good discount and I've gotten plenty of military ones in the past, but again, it's a perk. I don't expect it and don't get upset if I can't have it.



1 comment:

  1. Some companies/people are just rude. Vacation in July sounds wonderful. Ethan will love going with you on a vacation.