We went to Bricorama today in Marmande (the company we wanted to buy wood from was closed for the whole of August so we had time to kill!). There were huge notices saying 10% off everything till 23 August with another picture of a square with €10 -10% with admittedly some very small print beneath. Signs all over the shop and trollys (ies?) So we started shopping (all the while thinking where's the catch?) and clocked up over €300. Got to the check out and started putting through the stuff when I asked (in French) whether I would be getting 10% off. Did I have a card from Bricorama? No. Therefore no discount. I said what about all the signs. No card, no discount. Ok, we were used to this, took our purchases to the car and packed them in. We then returned to buy some large planks of shelving. While my husband went to get the wood I decided to pursue this further. At "Accueil" I was told that there was a special card, not a Bricorama card, being issued just for the sale until 23 August. "Can I have one please and get the discount on what I have just bought?" You can have a card but no discount on what you have just bought. But I have just spent a lot of money and the lady at the check out did not tell me that I could come here to get a card before going through the checkout and it is not at all clear on the promotional notices that you need to get a card beforehand. Three times she said no (it is always 3 times) after which I asked to speak to the manager. She made a phone call. She was told how a reimbursement of the discount could be made and we got along fine. We saved about €25.00. So, if you want 10% off all your purchases try your local Bricorama - but get a card before going through the checkout1
Thinking about it afterwards I realised it may be a way of getting around the two week only sales dates, end July/beginning of August. I would not have bothered if we were not buying quite a lot as we also live some distance away and are unlikely to be returning. I do like to challenge their odd practices sometimes and as everything is on computer these days everything done can be reversed, hence a refund!
I had a card last year, then fortune had it that I bought nothing except spend €10 on the card! So this year I said 'No'. I know all the people in Lalinde Bricorama, the one on the till and nearby could not believe it. In fact, I buy odds and sods constantly but never spend enough to bother with the card. If I did, then I would go somewhere cheaper and save more than the 10%. There are great big notices up about it, but unlike you spending a tidy sum, some of us may well not find it worthwhile. I find it a weird way of doing business, so perhaps your story is good warning about the strange trading manner to others.