Monday, August 12, 2013

Scored New Microsoft Office for Free with Purchase; A Word on Price Adjustments

Scoring Microsoft Office for Free

In preparing our little angel for her first year of college, we found ourselves not only needing to purchase a new laptop for said angel, but also Microsoft Office for it. Urgh!!! Her university had really marketed how we parents should purchase the software through them for $39--what we thought was a great deal--but neglected to tell parents that we'd have to purchase it as a CD only. See, this last little caveat really ticked us off because during the parent orientation I specifically asked what type of laptop our little angel would need and what capability was necessary for the software. Then, after inquiring of the university of the purchase link for the Office download only to be told it wasn't available through them, we needed another option. We carefully combed the sales for tax-free weekend in North Carolina to get the best deal on our daughter's new laptop, then found out literally the day after the tax-free weekend ended that we had to buy Office somewhere else!
To rub salt into that financial wound, our daughter received a coupon in her university email for free Office (a four-year, two-machine package) with touch-screen laptop purchases. Incensed we received the poor information from her school and the coupon a day late (it specified at "time of purchase"), I had an idea: try for a price adjustment.
For those unfamiliar with a price adjustment, it's essentially a refund from retailers. Usually if an item is purchased and then goes on sale the next day or a coupon is found within a specific period, a retailer will adjust a price and refund your money. I remembered this from my brief stint after college many moons ago when the store I worked for in our local mall would do these within a day of purchase.

Price Adjustment from Best Buy

So, I downloaded the coupon code for our place of purchase from the emailed coupon, then chatted the electronics' store's (Best Buy) customer service. They were very helpful and when I explained I had neglected to enter the coupon code at the time of purchase, the associate very helpfully provided me an 800 number to call to have the adjustment applied to receive the free Microsoft Office package. Now, I must warn that this required over 20 minutes of alternating being on hold, but by the time I was off the phone, I received an email stating that our free software key code for downloading the software was on its way. A week later, and I'm preparing to download!
So, I guess the university's discount problem turned into a blessing for our frugal little family.

**Special note: Most electronics and software can be purchased through the makers' websites at a discounted rate for all students and teachers. So, if you're a parent or a teacher, then don't forget to check those sites for direct purchases and discounts before paying those higher retail rates.

Other stores that do price adjustments include Kohl's, Macy's, Target, and many others. I've done price adjustments at stores like Express, The Limited, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. For Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I always seem to receive those mailed coupons a few days after a sale, so I just take them in to receive back my 5-10 % off.

Ask for a discount

The most unusual discount I received was out of pity. That's right, pity. My lovely little angel shredded a tire this past winter, and when I went to purchase a replacement tire, I was asked if I was in the military to receive a discount. I told the salesperson that I'm not, but I'm in combat every day as a high-school teacher. After consulting with another salesperson, the clerk said that was good enough for her, and they applied a 10% military discount to my tire purchase!! So, even if it doesn't say you qualify for a discount, ask anyway. The worst that can happen is the store will say no.

Have a happy frugal week friends!

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