Bogus Store Policy
Posted: 2007-12-03. Categories: JoAnn Fabrics, Michigan, Retail Stores

Dear Annette,

I am not aware of any law regarding this particular incident, but maybe you know of this practice. In my opinion, JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores is notorious for not honoring advertised prices, mismarking merchandise, and posting confusing signs.

Every time I am shopping at JoAnn’s, the line is long, as someone is arguing with the sales clerk about prices. I was so fed up a few years ago I challenged them in small claims court and won the case.

But this particular weekend, I headed out shortly before the store closed with a 50% off coupon on the day it was to expire. I picked up the item I wanted, and there was a sign that said “10% off.” I took the item to the clerk and told her that I would prefer 50% off the regular price instead of the 10% off.

JoAnns has always honored this in the past, but the clerk told me they changed their policy. She also told me that there would be no way of knowing what the original price of the item is. (It was a book, and the price is printed right on it, like most of their items.)

Does a retailer have a right to deny a coupon price off of a regularly priced item if not noted on the coupon?

Thanks for your help!

-New Baltimore, MI

2 Comments to "Bogus Store Policy"

  1. Retail Bandit says:

    Dear Pam,

    Wow, JoAnn Fabrics has always been one of my favorite places to shop and I’ve never personally had a problem with them. I’m so sorry to hear that your local store (and perhaps others) are not living up to their obligation to it’s customers (and perhaps even Michigan law).

    Your post doesn’t make it clear where you obtained your coupon. If, as I suspect, your coupon was found in their store flier, there may be several laws covering this incident.

    The store is bound to honor their advertised prices, unless an error has occured and a retraction is publically posted. You can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office and/or seek help from an attorney.

    You can read more on Michgian law concerning sale pricing at:

    Here in California we can file complaints online with our Attorney General’s office. While they won’t work on a citizen’s behalf, they can and do investigate claims of wrong-doing.

    Thanks for writing in.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Our coupons do say on them that they are for regular priced items only. I could see how someone could overlook this real easily with the very fine print. The policy was changed in February of 2006, so as to bring there policies up to the same standards of other stores. We do not know of any store that you can go into and ask them to raise there sale price back up to regular price, so that you may use a grocery coupon or a department store coupon. Not at safeway, RiteAid or any other type of store.
    They did need to bring there practices in line with all other retailers. You may want to take another look at the coupon next chance you get and read everything that is listed on it, just to re-familarize yourself with it.