Why Bath & Body Works Deals Aren’t Really Deals At All

Why Bath & Body Works Deals Aren’t Really Deals At All

As a long, and I mean long,  time customer of Bath and Body Works, it pains me to say this: I’m no longer planning to shop there.

Recent events have soured me on the company to the point that I am ready to give up the thing I love most- their 3-wick candles, and take my money elsewhere.

The problem is that they offer all these discounts and savings that you have to jump through hoops to get- and then when you go to use them there are so many restrictions you can’t get what you want. 

Let me explain. This all started about 2 months ago when I went to the Bath and Body Works store. An employee informed me that I would no longer be receiving coupons via email or regular mail; the store was finally getting an app, where I could order, track purchases, get points and earn rewards.

This sounded promising,  as she explained app members would get exclusive deals as well.

I downloaded the app and sure enough, there was a discount for joining and some early, member only offers, like access to new fall scents.

However, things quickly went downhill from there. To start, the app gives you points, based on purchases and when you reach a certain amount you receive your rewards. Every $1 counts as 10 points and you need 1000 points for a reward with a value of up to $16.50

For me, this was not an improvement, or an incentive. Before, I received coupons for money off or a free lotion and it was fun and unexpected. It wasn’t tied to anything as far as I could tell so it felt like a bonus where as the point system feels like a job- I have to spend to get my special offer.

Now, they may have always sent offer based on spending, but if so it’s like when the curtain revealed the wizard in the Wizard of Oz- they ruined the magic. Besides, there were stretches where I didn’t spend and still received promos and free gifts, so I don’t think there was a correlation between spending and freebies. 

But hey, I can get over that. What I can’t get over are all the loopholes that are attached to their special offers. 

To start, I received a coupon for a free item up to $16.50 in value; could be a candle, lotion, room scent, holder- whatever I chose. So, I went to the store to shop. I was so excited when I saw the 3-wick candles were on sale- for $16.50! 

Free candle for me, right? Wrong! Turns out the coupon is only good on items that are ORIGINALLY priced at $16.50. Annoying to say the least.

Their 3-wick candles are their top seller and they know it so excluding it from the coupon is like a slap in the face to their customers. 

But I carried on and  ended up choosing a beautiful Christmas candle holder, which was $16.95. I asked the sales girl if I could use the coupon and pay the .35 cents difference and she said sure.

Except she was wrong! The girl at the counter informed me I cannot pay the difference- the item has to be the exact price or it can’t be used. Seriously? I have shopped in many stores and I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t able to pay the difference on an item- especially when the difference was under a dollar.

They obviously price items in or out of the free coupon range, limiting your options in a way that is sneaky and covert. While it’s not illegal it is a horrid, despicable practice that shortchanges their patrons.  I went around the store and low and behold, all of the Christmas holder were $16.95 while all the other holders were $16.50. 

At this point I walked out. Even though it’s free I don’t want what I don’t want and I didn’t want to buy something of lesser value and lose out. Yes, you can use your coupon for something under $16.50, but you lose the difference. 

But, since I love this store I decided to try one more time. I should have quit while I was ahead. 

This past week they were running 2 specials: All body lotions $3.95 and Buy 3, Get 1 Free Select Full-Size Body Care. 

Now, nowhere does it say you cannot combine offers, so I figured I would get 4 lotions- three for $3.95 and the fourth one free.

But of course, that didn’t happen. When I got to the counter I was told the body lotions aren’t a part of body care so the 4th one isn’t free. Since when isn’t body lotion part of body care? On their site body lotion is part of the body care category.

If you wanted to exclude it you should have it written somewhere. As you can see from the coupon below- nowhere does it say body lotion is excluded from the Buy 3 Get 1 Free offer. 

Also, why are you able to include the lotions in the Buy 3 Get 1 Free online? Again, as you can see by the photo, lotions are clearly included in the offer. 

All of this has just turned me off to the store. Their deceptive practices have made me rethink my spending habits. Why do I want to support a company with such low regard for their customers? I don’t- so Yankee Candle/Sephora here I come!

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Author Profile: Consumer Expert Tracy Ortiz

I am a mom to 2 little boys: a 10 year- old and an 8 year-old and they are the only things I love more than writing. I am an avid reader, a big sports fan and love a good deal. Most of all, I love keeping up on the latest consumer news and sharing my findings with all of you. When I'm not writing I'm painting- check out my latest in my shop: etsy.com/shop/paintmeapicstudios

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