Speed Bump: Kroger Contest Confusion

Kroger has teamed up again with the Daytona 500 to host yet another Fast Track to Savings instant win contest. The game, which has been around since at least 2013 and can now be played at www.FastTracktoSavings.com, grants thousands of prizes to instant winners, as well as two Grand Prize winners. The Grand Prize winners will earn the following NASCAR prizes, respectively:

  1. A 3-lap ride with Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Charlotte Motor Speedway, right here in Charlotte during the stock car races in October. The winner can bring along one guest and will also receive VIP treatment, a pair of autographed skull gloves, two tickets to the XFINITY & Sprint Cup Series, two tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, two VIP Swag Bags, and a three night stay at the Hampton Inn in nearby Huntersville. The winner will be flown into Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  2. A VIP Experience with Austin Dillon at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Again, the winner can bring along one guest and will also receive two Martinsville race tickets, two hospitality gift bags, an Austin Dillon meet-and-greet, two all-access passes, a $100 spending money gift card, and a pit/garage tour. The winner will be flown into the Piedmont Triad Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina.

All that seems pretty cool. And all you have to do to win is play Kroger’s Fast Track Instant Win game.

There’s a greater chance that you’ll win an instant prize, like Coca-Cola, shampoo, or steak sauce, since a total of 26,000 instant win prizes will be awarded. But what to do if you win?

For those that live near a Kroger store, the plan is simple. Get your prize loaded onto your Plus Shopper’s card and head to your local Kroger-owned store to pick up your free prize. But some consumers down here in Charlotte may already be playing the game (even though the nearest Kroger store is more than seventy miles to our south) due to the fact that Kroger announced the acquisition of local grocery chain Harris Teeter in 2013. So how do Charlotte-area winners redeem their instant win prizes without having to travel to another state? The real question is: can Charlotteans redeem their Kroger prize at a Harris Teeter store?

According to the Official Rules, game participants “must have a valid participating Plus Shopper’s Card from one of the following participating retailers: Kroger, Ralphs, QFC, King Soopers, City Market, Food4less, Fry’s, Gerbes, Dillons, Foods Co., Baker’s, Smith’s, Jay-C, Owen’s and PayLess, which may be obtained without cost. Fred Meyer stores are not participating.” Nary a word about Harris Teeter.

We contacted Kroger, which is headquartered in Cincinnati & is the nation’s largest grocery chain. Shortly after our request was submitted on February 18, Kroger responded. A Kroger representative explained that the company was working on incorporating Harris Teeter into their portfolio. They also said that Kroger was attempting to merge their Plus Shopper’s program with Harris Teeter’s VIC card system, contrary to what the company stated in July of 2013 when the acquisition was first announced. As of now, the representative said, “I don’t believe you can [redeem your prize] at Harris Teeter. It’d have to be at one of Kroger’s ‘Family of Stores.'” They proceeded to direct us to Harris Teeter’s customer service department.

Two different reps from Harris Teeter told us that Kroger & Harris Teeter were “two totally separate entities.” One representative explained that Kroger didn’t have any plans to implement their Plus Shopper’s program at Harris Teeter, and the other rep claimed she knew nothing of the Kroger acquisition.

From all this information, we gather that, if you win an instant prize in the Fast Track to Savings game, you must visit one of Kroger’s “Family of Stores” and use your Plus Shopper’s card to redeem your prize. You cannot redeem your prize at Harris Teeter, even though Kroger owns them.

As of now, the closest Kroger store to Charlotte is over 75 miles away in Columbia, SC. There are several other Kroger stores in the Raleigh-Durham area, as well as in South Carolina and nearby Virginia & Tennessee. To find a Kroger-owned store near you, click here.

Joey Logano won the Daytona 500 on February 22. Kroger’s Fast Track to Savings game ends today, February 25.

(Sources: Kroger, Harris Teeter, Bargain Blessings)

Columbia skyline, Kroger logo, & Harris Teeter logo images are credit Wikipedia. Kroger Plus Shopper’s card credit BeConcerned.org

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