16 CFR Part 424 Retail Food Store Advertising and Marketing Practices Rule, Project No. P104203
I have no problem with the grocery stores in my area as they are very good at giving "rain checks" for the items not available to buy. Albertsons will allow me to prepurchase items if the purchase is for a multiple item buy (buy 10 items from group of 10 items - get $5 back) where some of the items are sold out and where I get a monetary coupon on my next purchase. My problem is with Walgreens where the "best" items are usually missing. Walgreens purchase often includes a Register Reward on a future purchase. An example is Crest toothpaste. Cost is $5 with a $4 Register Reward so the actual cost if bought that week is $1. With no merchandise on the shelf, with a "rain check" issued, when bought during the next week I do not get the Register Reward. Therefore the cost is $5. Pre-buying is not allowed. To make things even more difficult any Register Rewards used must be spent on an order with at least one item bought without using a coupon. Rite Aid has a similar promotion called UP rewards. If an item isn't available during the sales time a "rain check" is issued with the sales cost of the item and the UP reward listed so when the item is available I will get the exact buy as I would have gotten during the original week. Also the UP rewards are easy to use as Rite Aid treats them like cash. Walgreens is notorious for having very limited inventory - even if I shop on the day of delivery I often find bare shelves. Sometimes I have been told that none of the missing items had been ordered even when it is one of big-draw items.