Archive for Hannaford

My 2-cents: Count Your Clynks!

Posted in Hot Off The Press with tags , on July 17, 2017 by Ringer

ClynkHas 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 (now 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 have a relationship with 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 total of 55-cents less than my calculations 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 $1.05 in only the past two months (I wonder what that total is for all the years I’ve been Clynking?).  I can no longer accept this troubling pattern.  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 within 60 days is a red flag.


–Louis Philippe