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You would think given the maturity of e-commerce, that shopping cart software would work without fail. Well, never take anything for granted; software is prone to errors. If you're living cheap and on the prowl for exceptional value, you probably use coupon codes to snag bargain basement prices. But as I found out the hard way on a recent purchase with GNC, when you use coupons, shopping carts don't always process discounts correctly.
I'm an online coupon junkie and if there is one rule I live by, it is Rule #1, Never Pay Retail. Before you shop for anything online, you should always search for the best coupon offers before making your purchase. Sites like RetailmeNot and CouponCabin have saved me thousands of dollars over the years. So I was ecstatic when I scored a 30% off coupon at GNC that applied to any purchase over $150. What made the offer even sweeter was that I was splitting it with a friend and, with that kind of discount, I was bound to land a super cheap deal. Even better, when I went to checkout my order, GNC offered an additional 20% off the first day if I signed up for their Gold Card and they were going to throw in free shipping to boot. These guys were giving away the store and I was more than happy to take it off their hands. It was a Cheapster's dream - especially if you were out to buy products that are rarely discounted.
But my dream went up in smoke when I checked how my order was processed. To put it nicely, the damn shopping cart software wouldn't cooperate. Perhaps you can spot the error below:
For those of you without an eye for detail, the problem is that the $39.99 Gold Card Savings that is itemized is never reflected in the Estimated Total and when you check out, it disappears entirely. If you do the math according to the cart it should be $114.98 (per the coupon it should be $126.98 since it is 20% after all other discounts) . So GNC offers you a discount but conveniently fails to subtract it from your total.