It is a pretty wild week for Catalina deals (still think we are talking about an island off the coast of California or something to pour over your leafy greens? Go HERE). My head is spinning trying to keep all of the promos straight (but isn't this money-saving madness fabulous!?!).
And while I would hope that everyone is having perfect shopping experiences with the correct cat. printing after every transaction, I do live in the real world. I know that Catalinas don't always print when they are supposed to. And I also know how frustrating that can be when you have spent hours organizing a shopping trip.
If your cat. doesn't print and you are absolutely certain it was supposed (ie. you have purchased the exact amount/brand/size/flavor/variety of the items included in the promo), there are a few things you can do.
1. After verifying with the cashier that the correct items have been purchased, ask them what they would like you to do. If there is a line, would it be easier on them to take the issue up to customer service? Would they like you to stand off to the side while you wait for a manager so they can assist other customers? While it is not your fault the cat. didn't print, it is also not their fault or the fault of the person waiting in line behind you. Try to find a solution that minimizes frustration (taking deep breaths and counting to 10 also helps!).
2. Once you have been directed to the proper person/place, they will probably re-verify you have purchased the correct items. They may rerun the transaction to see if the cat. will trigger, or they may rerun the transaction using different promo items they know will trigger a cat. This is called forcing a Catalina. While that practice is not encouraged, if you purchased the correct promo items and are owed a cat., the company is not out any additional money.
3. If all options have been exhausted and a Catalina cannot even be forced, your last option is to call the Catalina Marketing Company (where the "cat" gets its name!). Call them @ 888-322-3814 during normal business hours. Have your receipt from your transaction in hand, because they will need certain information from it. With that info, they can tell you if the proper items were purchased and if the cat. machine was working properly during your transaction. If they conclude you are owed a cat., they will issue you one by mail. It can take 6-8 weeks to get to you (see why we try every other possible solution first!).
Hopefully you will never need to use this information because all of your cats. print on command. But on the off chance you find yourself frustrated when that greedy little machine spits nothing out, now you will know what to do!