Blog post

Walmart Drops Savings Catcher, Really?

By Robert Hetu | March 18, 2019 | 4 Comments

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Walmart has been getting a lot of credit from me lately for some really smart decisions. Then they do this?  I am trying hard to figure out the motivation behind ending Savings Catcher, but it seems so out of touch. Small refunds may seem like they have negligible impact, but for many consumers these represent an opportunity to save for something special for the family on a tight budget.  Walmart just killed a great way to engage with customers, with a curt email.

Dear Customer,

Here at Walmart, we’ve always been committed to providing you with low prices every day, so you and your family can save money and live better. Savings Catcher, which compares nationally advertised prices through submitted receipts, was designed to catch occasions when a competitor’s price on a particular item was found to be lower than what you paid for it at Walmart.

What we’ve learned through Savings Catcher is that our efforts to lower prices upfront on thousands of items across our stores is working. Walmart’s prices win most often when you submit your receipts, which tells us that the program’s intent has been met.

That’s why we have decided to discontinue the Savings Catcher receipt submission, effective May 14, 2019. After May 14, you will no longer be able to submit your Walmart Pay eReceipts to Savings Catcher. But don’t worry, the money you have on your Savings Catcher eGift Card will remain yours to spend until you’re ready to use it.

The social media sphere is cluttered with people claiming hundreds of dollars in savings. I joined savings catcher about 4.5 years ago, and have received $243.54 in savings, accumulated by $.15 to $1.00 here and there across the years.

Not being a huge Walmart shopper, clearly this is not a significant impact on our household budget. However my wife was excited to recently spend our refund on a new kitchen appliance. She felt rewarded. Reading the countless posts on social media its clear to see that many people count on these savings for holidays, birthdays, special events and other things. Its very hard to take things away from people.

I must admit that when Walmart launched Savings Catch in 2014, I blogged about the solution, and was not totally sold on the idea:

Walmart Savings Catcher and the Future of Everyday Low Price

This is a great example of unintended consequences. In 2014, I was skeptical of it for violating its own every day low price reputation. Now some years later, it tries to sell its customers that the small refunds are not important. Last year, when it changed the process to only supporting Walmart Pay transactions, I saw the first compelling reason to use Walmart Pay for purchases. When I read the email from Walmart ending Savings Catcher, my first thought was “Why then would I use Walmart Pay?”  The answer is that there really is none.

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  • Tom Austin says:

    Well said, Bob.

    If they really want to compete with Amazon, they have to meet or beat Amazon and this sounds like they don’t get it.

  • CLO says:

    I’ve saved almost $300 since joining savings catcher about 4 years ago. Very disappointed they are doing away with it.

  • Brenda says:

    I have saved over $900 since this program started several years ago! Each time I submit, I get some sort of refund. That clearly proves that Walmart is NOT the lowest price around! I believe that the Savings Catcher program was Walmart’s guarantee to giving the lowest prices. Now with this program being discontinued, I feel that Walmart isn’t interested in assuring the lowest prices. This seems like a total contradiction to their claims of lowest prices! I think my shopping will be done elsewhere going forward!

  • Jeanne says:

    I loyally shop at Walmart but now when Frys which is 2 blocks from my home has the same prices, it will save gas money to shop there.