Quiznos Million Sub Giveaway Fiasco Makes Them Penny-Wise and Pound-Foolish

I posted the other day about Quiznos’ awesome Million Sub Giveaway.  You were to go to their website and print a counpon for a free sub, redeemable within five days of printing.

Husband and I each printed a coupon, and the ink wasn’t  dry before I began hearing rumblings about problems redeeming them.  Some franchisees were refusing to redeem them at all while others were insisting on an additional purchase or only allowing them to be redeemed for $1 or $2 off the regular price.

Apparently Quiznos corporate was telling franchisees that they were not going to be reimbursed anything for their  costs for this promotion and many franchisees were…displeased.  Then Quiznos said they’d reimburse $.75 for up to 300 coupons per store, raised it to 500, then said they’d reimburse with no limit.

So although I did have a bad taste in my mouth from the shaft Quiznos was giving their franchisees and from the franchisees’ response, that wasn’t enough to stop me from trying for some free subs.

Yeah, you already know this didn’t end well.  In fact, it ended with me sending this e-mail to Quiznos:

To Whom It May Concern:

My husband and I attempted to redeem the properly executed coupons we printed from your giveaway site and were refused service.

The Quiznos at (one of a million strip malls in)  Florida had a copy of the coupon taped to the counter with a sign that said something to the effect of “Not Accepted Here”.  The proprietor was unapologetic, saying that you were only going to reimburse $.75 per sub and that was not enough.

What puzzles me most is how short-sighted both Quiznos corporate and these franchisees are.  We’d not ever been to a Quiznos before, so we were using this giveaway as an opportunity to try your food.  We walked into that store at 7:10 pm and there was not a single other person there.  On a Friday night.  And the Italian restaurant next door was packed.  With people waiting to get in. Your franchisee refused to accept these coupons, perhaps thinking he would have made no money at all.  We could have been planning to order one or two or five more subs in addition to the free ones, not to mention drinks and perhaps chips.  So he lost all THAT potential business today, too.

But that’s not all.  What that franchisee – and you – are now left with is two people who will likely never enter Quiznos again – certainly one thousand percent sure never enter THAT Quiznos again.  And one of us has a fairly popular (okay, I’m reaching) blog where our experience will be posted for many more to see.

We are very curious to see your response to this e-mail, and if you’ve learned anything from your penny-wise and pound foolish decisions.

Be This Way

Honestly, I could care less about the free sub.  I can’t help but think that Quiznos would have had a much better return on their promotion dollars by being mensches.

Restaurant Deals Galore!

Restaurants must really be hurting,  at least if the number of offers I’m seeing are any indication.  Here are just a few of the offers I’ve seen lately:

Mangia!

Not in Front of the Children

Kate at One More Thing is doing a weekly carnival of sorts, choosing a topic for other bloggers to write about.  I’ve been on a blogging hiatus (Look!  No posting for weeks and then three in one day!), so this is my first entry.

My post is a bit of a twist on the theme, but this is what’s on my mind today.

An old friend of mine passed away last week, after a courageous battle with cancer.  Monday was Louise’s  funeral, and I attended with Son in tow.

Some think that funerals aren’t appropriate for children.  I disagree.  Death is as much a part of life as anything else, and I don’t think attending a funeral will scar Son for life.

He didn’t know this friend, but we talked about her and I showed him photos of her and her family.  He already has a pretty good understanding of death (as much as a 4 year-old can), as we lost my stepmother two years ago and we still talk of her, and visit her grave.  He asks age-appropriate questions, and I give him age-appropriate answers.

“Is she with G-d?”  Yes, buddy.

” Is she with Grandma?” Well, I’m not sure if they know each other, but they’re both with G-d.

“Will you die before me?”  Yes, I probably will.

“Will I be 87 when I die?”  I don’t know.  But I’m pretty sure you’ll live a very long and happy life.

“Will Louise be a baby again (referring to our previous discussions about where he was before he was born – with G-d)?”   That’s a good question, buddy.  It’s a nice thought, isn’t it?

He was very good during the service – I’ll venture that most of the 300+ guests had no idea that a 4 year-old was present.  We looked at photos of Louise throughout her life, and he was really interested in those of  her as a little girl.  When her young grandson stood up and gave a eulogy Son was rapt, and when the grandson cried Son told me the boy was sad because he missed his Nana.

At the graveside service he asked the Rabbi if Louise was in the box, and the Rabbi explained that her body was there, but her soul was with G-d.  I don’t know if he really understood, but he was very enthusiastic about throwing dirt on her casket (a Jewish tradition).

But I think he would have been happy to throw that dirt anywhere.

Free Quiznos Sub!

quiznos

Quiznos is giving away a free sub sandwich to the first one million people who register here. I signed Husband and I both up to receive a free sub sandwich coupon.  You need a different e-mail address for each person, and I think it’s adults only.  It prints your name and zip code on the coupon, and they say you need to show ID when you redeem it.

They’ve already given out over 600,000, so don’t miss out!

Easy Come, Easy Go

Last week we received our rebate check from our American Express Costco card.  It was a healthy $265, thanks to bonuses for gas and restaurants.  We were quite excited.

That money is already spent, though.  Thanks to some damage that occurred to our Hyundai on the way home from North Carolina, we’ll be using that money towards our $500 collision deductible.  This isn’t the first time I’ve had to pay for someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, but I am gratified by my belief that you get back what you put out.  Karma can be a real bitch.

There goes my new kitchen faucet!

The Accountant’s Daughter on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

My father’s office sent out a memo to their clients about the new stimulus plan and what it could mean for us as individuals and families.  I’m sharing most of it with you…

The recently enacted “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” contains a wide-ranging tax package that includes tax relief for low and moderate-income wage earners, individuals and families with college expenses, and home and car purchasers. I’m writing to give you an overview of the more widely applicable tax changes affecting individuals and families in the new law. Please call our offices for details of how the new changes may affect you and your family.

“Making Work Pay” credit. The new law provides an individual tax credit in the amount of 6.2% of earned income not to exceed $400 for single returns and $800 for joint returns in 2009 and 2010. The credit is phased out at adjusted gross income (AGI) in excess of $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples filing jointly). The credit can be claimed as a reduction in the amount of income tax that is withheld from a paycheck, or through a credit on a tax return. Under the credit, workers can expect to see perhaps $13 a week less withheld from their paychecks starting around June. Next year, the extra take-home pay will go down to around $7.70 per week.

Economic recovery payment. The new law provides for a one-time payment of $250 to retirees, disabled individuals and Social Security beneficiaries and SSI recipients receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries, and to veterans receiving disability compensation and pension benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The one-time payment is a reduction to any allowable Making Work Pay credit.

Refundable credit for certain federal and state pensioners. The new law provides a one-time refundable tax credit of $250 in 2009 to certain government retirees who are not eligible for Social Security benefits. This one-time credit is a reduction to any allowable Making Work Pay credit.

Unemployment compensation exclusion. A provision temporarily suspends federal income tax on the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits received by a recipient in 2009.

Expanded earned income tax credit. The new law provides tax relief to families with three or more children and increases marriage penalty relief. The changes apply for 2009 and 2010.

Expanded child tax credit. A measure increases the eligibility for the refundable child tax credit in 2009 and 2010 by lowering the AGI threshold to $3,000 (from $8,500 in 2008).

Expanded and revised higher education tax credit. The new law creates a $2,500 higher education tax credit that is available for the first four years of college. The credit is based on 100% of the first $2,000 of tuition and related expenses (including books) paid during the tax year and 25% of the next $2,000 of tuition and related expenses paid during the tax year, subject to a phase-out for AGI in excess of $80,000 ($160,000 for married couples filing jointly). 40% of the credit is refundable. The new credit temporarily replaces the Hope credit.

Computers as an education expense. A provision permits computers and computer technology to qualify as qualified education expenses in 529 education plans for tax years beginning in 2009 and 2010.

Expanded credit for first-time home buyers. Last year, Congress provided taxpayers with a refundable tax credit that was equivalent to an interest-free loan equal to 10% of the purchase of a home (up to $75,000) by first-time home buyers. The provision applied to homes purchased on or after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009. Taxpayers receiving this tax credit were required to repay any amount received under this provision back to the government over 15 years in equal installments (or earlier if the home was sold). The credit phases out for taxpayers with adjusted gross income in excess of $75,000 ($150,000 in the case of a joint return). The new law enhances the credit by eliminating the repayment obligation for taxpayers that purchase homes on or after January 1, 2009. It also extends the credit through the end of November 2009, and bumps up the maximum value of the credit from $7,500 to $8,000.

Tax break for new car purchasers. The new law allows taxpayers to deduct State and local sales taxes paid on the purchase of a new automobile, including light trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, and motor homes. The tax break phases out starting with taxpayers earning $125,000 per year ($250,000 for joint returns). The deduction is allowed to both those who itemize their deductions as well as to nonitemizers. However, the deduction cannot be taken by a taxpayer who elects to deduct State and local sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes.

Alternative minimum tax (AMT) patch. To hold the number of taxpayers subject to the AMT at bay, the new law increases the AMT exemption amounts for 2009 to $46,700 for unmarried individuals, to $70,950 for joint returns, and to $35,475 for married individuals filing separate returns, and allows the personal credits against the AMT.

I hope this information helps you to understand better what you can do to take advantage of the opportunities open to you and your family.

Free photos from Walgreens – today only!

walgreens

Walgreens is offering 20 free 4×6 photo prints today only when you enter coupon code ONEDAY at checkout. If you  request to pick these up in-store you will also receive free shipping.

Free is always good!!!

Soul Soothing

It’s not been the easiest few months, though we are still much more fortunate than so many others.  Still, getting away is always good for my soul.

We are in the mountains of  North Carolina, and the weather is wonderful.  The air is perfectly crisp and cool.  Cold enough for fireplaces and hot chocolate, but warm enough that you can spend lots of time outside without being uncomfortable.

We all find peace and simplicity here.  The mountains are very sparsely populated,  the hustle and bustle of even the nearest small town thirty miles away.   We rarely have any big plans for our  time here,  just helping my in-laws in whatever way we can.    Husband does lots of manly work like chopping wood and building shelves, and Son and I explore the woods and hills and play “school”  and watch the wildlife and listen to whatever story the mountains want to tell us  that day.

We brought our dog with us this time, and I can see that she is finding peace and simplicity here, too.  No  leash is required, so she is free to run and explore and read the smell stories left behind by other animals.  Watching her frolic in the brush after animals that are waaay more savvy about life in these here hills is amusing Son and I to no end.

It’s good.  Real good.

Take Advantage of Prescription Transfer Perks

Last month I got some junk mail from Walgreen’s, and I almost tossed it without opening it.  I’m glad I didn’t.

Inside was a check for $25 that could be mine if I transferred a prescription to their pharmacy.

I’ve seen offers like that before and not taken advantage.  Husband is on two medications that we get through mail order and one that we fill for $4 at Target.  Son is on a few medications, and I usually get samples when  I go to the doctor’s office.  I  could have taken advantage of the offer in a fewcases, but in all honesty I was too lazy to take  advantage of them. Like others in the past, I put it to the side, then promptly forgot  about it.

Then Husband got  a pay cut, and Son got sick.  We needed to get a refill on the Xopenex, used to treat his asthma.  I remembered that check, pulled it out and read the details.

The check was made payable to the Walgreen’s, and had to be used at the time of prescription transfer.  Not that difficult, really.  So, I called and got the prescription transferred.

I picked up the prescription, and all this stuff was free.

Free stuff!

Not too shabby.  A new thermometer that we needed (overpriced, but since it was free…) , Pop Tarts for our upcoming car trip, cough drops (thanks for the cold, Son!) and some staples.  I used coupons to stretch the money even further.

Definitely worth the effort!  Want to try it yourself?  Get a $25 Walgreens Gift Card with any transferred prescription, good through April 29, 2009.  This is even better than the deal I had because you don’t have to use it all at once…

Sometimes The Best Move Is No Move At All

I’ve forever been talking about selling our home here and moving to a cooler climate, with better schools and where we can afford the kind of house we’d like.   I’ve been longing to move for years, especially  after I got pregnant.

I want Son to grow up in a place where there’s a change of seasons.  I think the seasons give a nice framework to mark the passing of time, and they add color to my own memories.

I want Son to grow up in a place where he has a yard to play in, where there are lots of other children, where we can take off on a weekend trip to the mountains.  I want him to pick pumpkins straight from a real pumpkin patch,  not a parking lot.  I want him to sled down a hill and run with glee in his shorts on the first warm day after a long and cold winter.

We’ve been so close to going so many times.  The MLS listing is written, the photos are taken.  I’ve spent many a night browsing listings looking for the perfect new house for us.

My readers and friends must be sick of the subject, as am I.  I’m tired of talking about it – I just want to DO IT.

But, like so many others, we’ve been hit by the lousy economy.  Husband got a pay cut last week,  and our home is worth only 60 percent of what it was worth three years  ago.  The  job market in Atlanta is so flooded that the odds of getting a job even for local applicants is a longshot, and if I were a hiring manager I’d toss any out-of-town applicants directly into the circular file.  We just can’t risk it, at least until things turn around.

The good news is that you’ll not have to hear me talk about it, at least for this year.  The bad news is that we’ve decided that our best move is no move at all.

It’s not about risk-taking.  It’s about not making a bad decisions because we don’t want to let go of our dream.

On the other hand,  Husband still has a job.  We’re living in a home we could afford even if Husband had to work at McDonald’s.  We have no debt other than the mortgage.  We have a healthy savings account.  We have lots of family and friends here, and it’s been a nice, chilly-for-Florida winter.

So, I’ll make our too-small house work.  I’ll find a school for Son.  I’ll continue to scavenge clearance racks to find things to re-sell.  I’ll continue my de-cluttering battle, and hopefully gain some ground. We’ll go to the beach.

I’ll count my blessings that we still have a home, that Husband is still working, that we can put food on the table. I’ll pray for those who aren’t as lucky.

But I’ve not really let go of the dream.  We’re just delayed.  I can live with that.

I’m going to make the most of today.  But I’m still going to think about that house.

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