REINDEER CONSUMER ALERT: STAY AWAY FROM CLYNK! Reports Show Redemption Service is 80% Inaccurate! CLYNK and HANNAFORD Need State Audit Or Divorce!

Clynk

[Final Audit results below.  Updated 8/22/17]

Has this ever happened to you?

After dropping off my returnables at Hannaford in Westbrook via the Clynk redemption service, I look forward to checking my account balance online a few days later to see how rich I am.  Oftentimes I feel like I should have a higher balance.  But, I figure, their way of counting and accounting must be right and my instinct must be wrong.

So I conducted my own audit.

On 6/26/17, my balance was $9.40.  I dropped a Clynk bag with $2.10 worth of containers.  On 6/27/17, my balance should have been 11.50, but it was $11.30 (20-cents less).  “Hmph,” I thought.  Perhaps 4 glass containers got broken in transit?  Or perhaps 4 containers were from NH?  So, I tried again.

On 7/15/17, my balance was still $11.30, and I had clynked 8,170 containers.  I dropped off another bag (thoroughly checked for deposits—all legit, none crushed)—a total of 52 containers valued at $4.10.  On 7/17/17, my account balance should have been $15.40 with a total of 8,222 containers.  Instead it was $15.05 (35-cents less) but somehow I ended up with a count of 8,225 containers (I KNOW that was wrong…what do aluminum cans do when no adults are in the room?).

It’s not my job to audit Clynk, or to question the relationship between Hannaford and Clynk, or to supervise employees who might be damaging a lot of product, or worse, skimming (for which casino employees notoriously faced harsh penalties at best).  But, as a loyal Clynk fan and a regular Hannaford customer, I am concerned there’s a serious breach that needs to be immediately addressed.

Just from my two recent experimental audits, I find myself short 55-cents, not a major blow to my budget (I’ll probably still be able to pay my mortgage), but considering this scenario has likely repeated itself throughout my many years of clynking, the collective damage to my pocket could feasibly be in the hundreds of dollars.  Now, combine the many customers who clynk at Westbrook Hannaford, multiplied by the number of Hannaford locations who are married to Clynk and the amount of damaged goods and/or under-reported/skimmed deposits has now reached major theft/fraud levels.

Not to be an alarmist, but I’d like to get my under-reported deposits back over the years (how is that even calculated?).  And I’m sure once this information is made public there may be another Clynk customer or two…or thousands…who feel a class action suit might not be out of the realm of resolutions.  But don’t get me wrong…I love the convenience and cleanliness of the Clynk redemption service.  I just don’t like getting ripped off.  So I’m making my story public—clanking about Clynk as it were—in hopes that someone with proper authority might research the matter, perhaps conduct their own audit, and righteously resolve the matter.

UPDATE 8/14/17

According to the Clynk site, on 7/17, I had recycled 8,225 containers and my balance was $15.05 (a loss of 55-cents less since I began auditing my drops).

On 8/2, I dropped 47 containers totaling $3.15 (Drop #3).

Clynk accurately reported that exact match, for a total of 8,272 containers and a balance of $18.20 (of course this was just after they got my complaint).

On 8/8, I withdrew $15.  New balance is $3.20.

On 8/11, I dropped 39 containers totaling $2.85 (Drop #4).  My new totals should’ve been 8,311 containers for a new balance of $6.05.  Instead, the Clynk site claims my balance is $5.95 after 8,309 containers clynked (2 containers less than I had triple-counted and 10-cents less).

Again, no big deal financially, except for the fact that for the last FOUR DROPS, Clynk has under-reported the amount of containers I dropped off, and shorted me THREE OUT OF FOUR TIMES–75% of the time.  Not good.

As of this date, according to my calculations, I have been short-changed 65-cents in less than two months (I wonder what that total is for all the years I’ve been Clynking?).  Troubling.  On behalf of all the organizations and individuals that trust Clynk and are presumably also being short-changed, I am compelled to report my latest findings.  75% error rate within 60 days is a red flag.

UPDATE 8/22/17

According to the Clynk website, I recycled 8,309 recyled containers for a balance of $5.95.

On 8/20, I dropped 24 containers that totaled $1.75 (Drop #5).  A few days later, Clynk credits my account with 27 containers and 20-cents more.  ??? Definitely wrong!  This is the first time their error is in my favor, but an error nonetheless (and my loss is now 45-cents, not including the purchase of the required CLYNK bags).

CONCLUSION:  In about a two-month period, my audits have proven CLYNK to be incorrect 80% OF THE TIME!    This is a class-action suit waiting to be filed, a major rip-off to thousands of Hannaford customers and businesses and non-profits that utilize the CLYNK service.

MEMO TO HANNAFORD:  What would you do if a cashier incorrectly reported his/her daily cash register tally incorrectly 80% of the time???  Exactly!

Except for a call from CLYNK’s Marketing Director apologizing and insisting my case is not the normal CLYNK experience (social media begs otherwise), neither CLYNK or HANNAFORD seem to have the will to do the right thing and conduct an investigation.  Someone’s making money off of unsuspecting Hannaford customers…and someone has to pay.  And still the Maine Department of Agriculture which oversees bottle redemption regulations remains silent.  I predict a divorce on the horizon.  In the meantime, I have closed my CLYNK account and am very happy to get 7-cents a container from Friendly Discount’s fast and efficient self-serving redemption machines.

–Louis Philippe

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10 Responses to “REINDEER CONSUMER ALERT: STAY AWAY FROM CLYNK! Reports Show Redemption Service is 80% Inaccurate! CLYNK and HANNAFORD Need State Audit Or Divorce!”

  1. This was a wonderful post, much thanks for writing it.

  2. Ahhhhhh the notorious Clynk Caper and the crying victim claiming foul play or better yet ” skimming by employees “to fraud the community of their dirty, disgusting, trash infused recycling bags full of less than common sense. Now while I applaud your attempt at acute inspection of your returnables to ensure there is no flaws in the bar codes before dropping your returnables……Oh wait! You didn’t thoroughly inspect each line of the bar codes from the manufacturing company to ensure accuracy???? Of course not. Your most likely one of them people who just throw and go but are quick to find an issue not with just Clynk but any company you deal with. The reverse world of a consumer fraudulently skimming as much as they can from companies all over the state.
    When your trashy disgusting bags arrive at the facility they are properly processed. People include their household trash as well as incorrectly add some pet food cans and laundry detergent bottles. This slows the process down due to your ignorance to the rules of Clynk requests. You probably have a bunch of cats too don’t you? But all cans on
    Another good idea is you can take your trash elsewhere and get your returnable money the old fashioned way, counting your cans and bottles at drop off.

    • Dear John,
      Every one of your sentences is laced with bad grammar, insulting innuendos and downright false info.
      When it comes to proving my point and delivering outstanding customer service, you are an exemplary ClynkRep!

  3. Tracy perez Says:

    This is also happened happened to me i dropped off 6 bags that where never added to my account

  4. I too have felt that we are being ripped off by Clynk. At my local Hannaford (Valatie, NY) I drop off a bag about once every two weeks. I check my balance before I drop the bag off and two days later I check it again. Almost every single time — and I’ve been doing it for almost a year — I feel that my balance is less than it should be. I have not done an actual audit yet, but I plan to next time. But I do know several things for certain. For one, I NEVER return bottles that do not have a NY deposit on them. Two, my bottles and cans are always clean and free of debris and uncrushed. Finally, I have brought bags that I know contained at least 80 cans and bottles and have been shorted by at least 20 redeemables. The latest case in point happened last Sunday the 21st of January. I dropped off a full, completely tied off bag of mostly cans and 1 liter plastic bottles. I am confident that I had close to 80 in there. My balance going in was $70.15. Two days later it was $73.45. That means I got credited with $3.30 or 65 redeemables. I know damn well I had more in there than that. And this happens almost EVERY time. Of course it’s always just a little here and a little there. Enough to notice, but not enough to keep you from questioning yourself, “Did I count right?” I think that they either have lazy, uneducated employees that miscount or they are deliberately skimming in order to up their profits. There really isn’t any other reasonable explanation. Can the consumers all be miscounting their cans and bottles every time? Really? It’s not rocket science and since the bags can only hold so much, it isn’t as if you have to count 200-300 redeemables — a quantity large enough where you might expect an error rate of maybe 5%. But with an average bag probably holding say 80 -100 cans, how can a person miscount by as much as 15 cans? That would be roughly 15 – 20% error. Not likely.

    • Thank you, Tony, for your valuable feedback. CLYNK customers are not the cause for their high level of economic discrepancy. I continue to gather feedback such as yours for submission to authorities that can address CLYNK’s blatant indiscretions. Their apparent violations are unethical and fraudulent, for which there are consequences.

      • connie shiers Says:

        the convenience is worth it to me. I used to throw them away or give em away anyway. Not worth the trouble to me.

  5. We might all be better off if there was no deposit and we simply put our containers in the recycling bin, with everything else. That would be better than paying a 4 cent handling fee per container – which we never get back – and having to make a separate trip to Clynk or Patmans just to get our 5 cent deposit. Just sayin.

  6. I almost always end up short, too. Short by $2.00 and change every week. Once when dropping off on a Thursday I was shocked to see they credited the exact amount due!! This never happens!!

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