Colder’s “Half Back” Promotion Might Be A Scam

Last night we experienced, first-hand, a denial by a local Colder’s store manager, flat-out refusing to honor advertised sale pricing on merchandise because part of the payment would be made using a “half-back” store credit from a purchase we made at their location earlier this summer.


We were shopping in this particular Colder’s store location last night and overheard several salespeople telling other customers they would have to pay the “redemption price” (the regular, non-sale price) for any item so marked if they wanted to apply any half-back credit they might have to redeem, and that they could not take advantage of the advertised sale price of the item at ALL if they planned on using that credit.

What it means is if you’re trying to pay for an item using a store credit from a previous half-back promotion, they are going to insist you start at the FULL NON-SALE PRICE instead of any advertised sale price for the item, and apply your credit from there.

So, an example… You see a $1200 item on sale for $900. You have a store credit worth, say, $500. Instead of getting that item for $900 – $500 = $400+tax, you’re instead charged $1200 – $500 = $700+tax. Your store credit just lost the amount equal to the sales-pricing discount, and suddenly you’re paying a lot more for the item than you’d (rightfully) expect!

From our perspective, this is stealing or some sort of retail-variety long con.

I have a $500 store credit. You’re a store advertising an item at a sale price of $900. I redeem my $500 credit toward that item, paying the $400 difference, plus any taxes/fees/etc. This is how these things work, Colder’s. Simple.

None of this was making any sense–so we got curious about the details and went to the customer service counter to ask for any actual written information about the promotion.

We were told by both the customer service desk and the summoned sales manager on duty whose name I don’t have in front of me (though we do have his business card; we’ll post names and other details later as necessary) that they don’t have anything in writing detailing the terms and conditions of the half-back promotion.

No written terms or conditions exist for the promotion at all, we were told. How is any customer able to agree to unwritten, unspecified terms like this, exactly? How is this even remotely enforceable? Or legal? There is nothing written anywhere–not on our receipt, nor on any signs or other customer-facing brochures or literature–regarding this credit having any sorts of limitations, exclusions, terms or conditions regarding future purchases, etc, in any fashion.

As mentioned, we have an existing half-back credit from a few months ago and no such conditions were ever presented to us. We were certainly not informed of any such restrictions at the time of our original mattress/box-spring purchase earlier this summer. My wife and I were there, with her parents–so we had plenty of people witnessing the entire transaction.  No language to that effect exists anywhere on our receipt. No written information to that effect was included with our purchase. No store signage indicated this anywhere. Nothing regarding this limitation was presented to us verbally at the time, either. Had we known about any such restrictions, we would likely have not made the purchase we did.

Two of the conditions we were told about at the time were apparently lies anyway: we were told we could only use the credit at THAT particular Colder’s location, and additionally, that if we lost the receipt, we’d lose our credit, period. We still have the business card/name of that original salesperson.

The sales manager we spoke with last night confirmed our salesperson’s original statements to us were incorrect. Apparently–according to this sales manager, anyway–half-back store credits can be used at any Colder’s store, and any transaction/receipt can be looked up as necessary, so while the original receipt is handy, it’s not essential to receive the credit.

If those conditions weren’t true, how do we know these other conditions are true, lacking anything at all in writing, anywhere?

Several times during our conversation last night, this sales manager kept mentioning “our lawyers”. We don’t know if he was attempting to threaten or otherwise intimidate us, but it won’t work. What did happen, though, is we lost out on a chance to take advantage of a pretty big Columbus Day sale. And Colder’s has lost both a sale–so far–and some customer loyalty. Neither come cheap anymore…

We’ve not spoken with anyone higher up than the store sales manager so far regarding this…thievery. We’ll attempt to reach a district or regional representative in the next day or so at the West Allis location.

More on this as we work through it.  In the meantime, buyer beware… Colder’s may be ripping you off.

52 thoughts on “Colder’s “Half Back” Promotion Might Be A Scam”

  1. Trying to choose (from so many)the reasons to avoid Colder’s,any location. Initially, we made a purchase frome the last ‘Half-Back’ Scam Promotion. This sale ended that evening. Wanting a different model than originally, we wanted to verify measurements to be sure they would fit but NO, sale ended that evening. No holds, no returns, no exchanges or re-stock fee etc. Therefore buy one/ one free would be over. We THOUGHT we were actually getting buy one/one free, as promised/advertised so we went ahead with purchase. When asked about purchasing extended warranty, we did not agree so wanted to take a day to discuss. Absolutely not, must be purchased ONLY at time of sale. I suspected this to be not correct so we passed on it. we did discuss it and call ANOTHER day to puchase and Guess What? Noooooooo Problem!!! He added it immediately. What a joke. I only whish I had followed my intuition and cancelled the whole thing but did not, partially due to his telling me about the ‘fees.We SPECIFICALLY asked for delayed delivery and salesman answered’ we’ll keep it as long as you like, just call when you are ready, afterall, it is on backorder anyway, then they will call when it is in-stock, then ahead to confirm del day ,and call delivery day am, Never got a single call. Woke DAYS later to the doorbell. We were all asleep, new spot not cleared. What a mess. So inconsiderate, entire sale…all lies. Nightmare. Never again, wish I had read this.

  2. @Kathy: Sorry to read about your experience. Thank you very much for sharing it, though; hopefully it helps someone else.

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