CVS Bows to Pressure, Will Shorten Its Insanely Long Receipts

A long receipt exits a self service register at a CVS Pharmacy store in Brooklyn, New York.
Alamy
Following an onslaught of media coverage and social media mockery, CVS has agreed to stop giving comically long receipts to its ExtraCare Rewards members.

In a Facebook post Friday night, CVS (CVS) chief marketing officer Rob Price acknowledged the complaints about its receipts -- which in some cases measure more than 3 feet long for a single item -- and said it would take steps to shorten them.

"You asked for ALL the savings and LESS paper," he wrote. "So, we've found a way to reduce the size of the ExtraCare portion of your receipts by 25% while still providing you all the coupons and rewards."

He went on to say that the shorter receipts will be rolling out in the next few weeks, and that the "Send to Card" program, which allows you to send select coupon offers directly to your ExtraCare card, will be expanded next year to include all coupons and offers. That means that ExtraCare members can get all the offers, but with a standard-sized receipt.

We stumbled across the issue last week, when an AOL employee bought a single item at a local CVS and wound up with a 38-inch receipt. As we would discover, plenty of shoppers had begun grumbling on social media about similarly long receipts, with some musing about alternative uses for the paper.
Other media outlets, including FastCompany and the Huffington Post, likewise picked up on the spreading meme. In its post Friday, CVS showed some sense of humor, acknowledging the "very creative uses" people had come up with for their receipts.

It's worth noting that the receipts are still going to be pretty long. It's only a 25% reduction, and only in the coupon portion of the receipt; by our math, that's a reduction of between 6 and 10 inches, so you're still looking at receipts that are upwards of 2 feet in length. That's not quite long enough to wear as a beauty pageant sash, and will prompt a bit less mockery on Twitter, but it still seems like quite a waste of paper.

So if that's a concern for you, by all means take advantage of the Send to Card feature. And if not, take CVS's advice: "Don't forget to recycle."

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

Learn about investing from the comfort of your own home.

Portfolio Basics

Take the first steps to building your portfolio.

View Course »

Investment Strategies

Learn the strategies you need to build a winning portfolio

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

73 Comments

Filter by:
crimeslawyer

Just give us a discount at the register when we use the card. Safeway does it.

August 28 2013 at 12:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
tmlbtb

CVS isn't the only one.

August 28 2013 at 12:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
howlar2

And the paper manufacturers wept.

August 28 2013 at 10:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

Sears does the same thing only they cut the receipts into about 6 pieces.

August 28 2013 at 9:36 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Ann

I have complained about this for ages. I bought two items and my receipt was 42 inches long! Yes, I measured it, as I had been complaining about it and CVS suggested that I "exaggerated" the length of my receipts. Everytime I shop there I feel like I am chopping down a tree. It is not necessary--the stupid coupons are always for something I just bought from a different brand or soemthing I would never buy.

August 28 2013 at 8:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
adamsleretired

That's very intelligent "NoPaper7." Assault the clerk who is only doing his/her job for the system doing something the clerk ha no control over.

August 28 2013 at 6:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ejbrisco

THANK YOU

August 28 2013 at 2:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dpkjj

No, no, do not ever recycle thermal printed receipts. Try not to handle them, too much either. Toxic (BPAs). Throw them away.

August 28 2013 at 1:05 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
eareadjr

Yesterday, when I went to CVS, the pharmacist was feeding "MILKBONE" to dogs from the drive thru window. I advised him that it was an unsanitary practice. He claimed that he washed his hands after touching doggie mouth. I declined to discuss the emotional problems that cause him to act unprofessionally.

August 28 2013 at 12:33 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to eareadjr's comment
wntmoretime

and touching your money is sanitary???? get a life the pharmacist doesn't do the drive thru the pharmacy clerks do did I mention my dogs mouth is cleaner than yours that's right as bite from a person has more bacteria than a dog

August 28 2013 at 2:18 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wntmoretime's comment
betty_brock

No, dog's mouths are dirtier (look up the truth). Most humans don't lick their butts clean.

August 28 2013 at 9:34 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
mjswalsh

A couple years ago I had an oil change at the dealership. When I dropped the car off I had to initial 2 ea. 8-1/2 X 14" preprinted forms. When I picked it up later, six more forms of the same size. I told the write-up man, "That's more paperwork that the Louisianna Purchase!"

August 27 2013 at 11:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply