• Report: #53877

Complaint Review: AAFES

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  • Submitted: Tue, April 22, 2003
  • Updated: Mon, November 15, 2010

  • Reported By:APO New York
AAFES
http://www.aafes.com Dallas, Texas U.S.A.

AAFES Army Air Force Exchange Service ripoff the business that doesnt give a dam Dallas Texas

*Consumer Comment: Military Pay and Benefits

*UPDATE Employee: Then AAFES is not for you.

*Consumer Comment: S in Ft Worth, you are behind the times

*Consumer Suggestion: Do you realize...

*Consumer Comment: AAFES / NEX Exchange System can very from base to base...

*UPDATE Employee: The problem is Dallas headquarters

*Consumer Comment: You can shop on the town!

*Consumer Comment: Pay attention to dates on these rebuttals

*Consumer Comment: The reason the AAFES PX charges so much

*Consumer Comment: AAFES doesn't have the same prices from post to post.

*Consumer Suggestion: Reason AAFES prices seem high.

*Consumer Comment: A few higher prices does not make a rip off

*Consumer Comment: AAFES is a scam

*Consumer Comment: Shawn and Jamie are right on it.

*Consumer Suggestion: Definitely Shop Around

*UPDATE Employee: Ensive Baby Wipes

*UPDATE Employee: Ensive Baby Wipes

*UPDATE Employee: Ensive Baby Wipes

*UPDATE Employee: Ensive Baby Wipes

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: SHAWN IS SOOOO CORRECT!!

*Consumer Comment: Anybody who has been in the military for any period of time knows that military folks don't make much money.

*Consumer Comment: Yo Emma

*Consumer Comment: Wipes jacked up???

*Consumer Comment: Badgering?

*Consumer Comment: Shawn

*Consumer Suggestion: For Jasper

*Consumer Suggestion: Drafted?

*Consumer Suggestion: Drafted?

*Consumer Suggestion: Drafted?

*Consumer Suggestion: Drafted?

*Consumer Comment: That is the Truth & Everybody thinks the military makes tons of money

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AAFES, The Exchange Store for service members, what a rip off. Not only are they price gauging their customers in the states, but they have jacked up the prices for those of us stationed overseas as well, and many young families have to pay their prices because they don't know or feel comfortable enough to shop off post.

The average consumer already believes that military members and their families get a big break because we have our own shopping facilities, well I am here to tell you Wal-Mart, Target and other stores like it are cheaper than your Army Air Force Extorsion Service that we have to deal with.

But what really has got my dander is this: I am stationed overseas, my spouse is deployed for the War, so I send him and his unit care packages weekly. The biggest things that they are crying for is Toilet paper and kool aide, and baby wipes.

Before the war in Iraq started, a box of baby wipes, generic, was $1.79, Since the war the PXs in the immediate area are charging between $5 - 7 dollars for the same wipes that I am sending for $1.79.

Toilet paper, a 12 pack of good TP was roughly $3.15, last week I went in to buy some more and now the price for the same 12 pack is almost doubled.

I don't understand it, AAFES is supposed to be there for our soldiers, but all they are doing is price gauging us to death.

I for one, will no longer give AAFES my business anymore. I am overseas, but guess what....there are Wal-Marts over here as well.

Shawn
APO, New York
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/22/2003 05:11 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/AAFES/Dallas-Texas/AAFES-Army-Air-Force-Exchange-Service-ripoff-the-business-that-doesnt-give-a-dam-Dallas-Te-53877. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Military Pay and Benefits

AUTHOR: mifor4 - (United States of America)

My husband is about to retire from the military after 26 years of service. The money a soldier gets for housing is a benefit which is why its not taxed . If you compare some of the military occupations with the civilian counterparts , such as my husbands situation, the pay is MUCH lower as a military member. My husband will be making double what he makes in the military for the SAME job he does in the military as a civilian and that includes his allowance for housing ect. Using the stores on post are also a benefit which is WHY you need a military id to shop there. Its not a benefit if your paying more than in the civilian community.  I noticed that we pay less in the town outside the base for gas than on the post.  The reason why the post exchange charges more is because alot of members have the star card so they charge outrageous prices. Personally my husband and myself do not live on post and do not shop on post most of the time. The civilian community outside the post can be just as bad. I noticed every jan all of the stores close to the base all raise their prices because they know the military just got a raise. People in the civilian community think because the military gets a housing allowance that we make so much money, but its not true. The only benefit to that isnt the amount of income, its simply tax free. If you add the bah ect to the base pay its not as good as some think it is. This is why being in the military is a service and NOT a free ride. On top of all that they work ourageous hours sometimes, are away from the family sometimes for over 15 months. What other job requires such sacrafices for the amount of pay and benefits? I can not wait for my husbands retirement date and our new life of being ON easy street as a civilian compared to being a active military member. Aside from all of the financial gains you also gain your freedom as a civilian. The military is NOT a democracy and members have limited freedom. To sum it up, yes we should complain about on post prices that are said to be a benefit when its a rip off. The answer it just dont shop there.  

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#2 UPDATE Employee

Then AAFES is not for you.

AUTHOR: Tracy - (U.S.A.)

You're not being truthful. AAFES is like any other retailer. Walmart has items are that are more expensive than AAFES and Target, and Target has items more expensive than Walmart and AAFES. What do you think price matching is for?
You act like AAFES doesn't do a thing to accommodate you!

We strive to provide you a service, we give you discounts, refunds on items that you know good and well are long past the return policy but we do it anyway hoping that when you go home you will be convicted about bringing something back that has been well used.

We ship anywhere you need, bring in the most popular items and don't charge tax for it, bring in name brand items that are 40% less than off base, give out free gifts and gift cards.

Now here is another point, what about the customers who come into our facilities stealing when they have a wallet full of money? Like any other retailer, AAFES pays for that. Who cares right?

What about all the money we give to MWR programs that make it possible for you and your family to enjoy recreations on base? Who cares right?

What about the times we remain open during increment weather to ensure you and your family and soldiers in training have the necessities they need. Who cares right?

So in your words, what gets my dander is that you like so many others don't see our effort behind the scenes. I work hard at my facility to service people like you who are ungreatful, complainers, and think we owe them the world.

Guess what AAFES isn't perfect and neither is Walmart.

You are an idiot!
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#3 Consumer Comment

S in Ft Worth, you are behind the times

AUTHOR: Lin - (U.S.A.)

Just a quick comment from a mother of 4 active serving members of the military and the wife of a retired 20yr naval veteran. S - you are behind the times, the base housing is no longer "free" Service persons living on base are given a "housing allowance" which IS taxed as income, and then that housing allowance is deducted to pay for the "privatized" base housing. Figure that into your calculations on military pay and benefits and you will see that the military vs civilian pay gap is widening. As for AAFES, I have found them to be both higher and lower on pricing, depending on the brand and the location. The problem here is that AAFES has also been "privatized" and is no longer a govenment entity, but a for-profit corporation going out to the highest bidders (shades of Halliburton anyone?) Thank your local republican "business uber alles" mentality.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Do you realize...

AUTHOR: Navywife - (U.S.A.)

I do have a question, Do you realize why the prices are so high compaird to wall mart or other retail stores.

First off when you go to any exchange, check the brand of items you are buying. We will for this example compair pants. So you buy a pair of jeans at wall mart for what $10-$20, and then you go to the exchange and see a pair of jeans for $30-$60. Well what brand are you buying at walmart? I do know that our exchange only carrys brand names like Tommy H, Ralph Lauren, Polo, you know the high end quality names that would typically cost youon average over $100 in a retail shop to buy. So yes in this view you are getting a great deal. You can not compair all items at the exchange to all items found at lower end retail store who do not offer all of the same brands.

Now no one forces people to shop at the exchange, if you find a great deal there awsome, but please do not sit here and put them down or disrespect them the way you have been doing. When it comes to Top brand items yes they are a deal. Please in the future learn to be more selective on who's reps you try to tarnish.
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#5 Consumer Comment

AAFES / NEX Exchange System can very from base to base...

AUTHOR: Constance - (U.S.A.)

We are a Navy Family, and I can just make this comment. My husband is a smoker, and has almost always purchased his cigarettes at the local NEX/AFFES. I will also say this...if you walk into the Navy Exchange on base here in Newport RI, a pack of name brand cigarettes sell for between $4.65 and $5.00 per pack. Cartons run from $42.99 - $48.50. Now take a drive of less than one hour to the Navy Exchange on the base in Groton, Connecticut. The cigarettes are $3.85 a pack and about $34 a carton. Since they are supposed to be tax free, why are they not the same price at both bases? It's called Cigarettes in Rhode Island sell for about $5.65 a pack or over $50 a carton, in Connecticut, the taxes are lower, therefore the price of cigarettes are lower at the exchange. It is as simple as the exchange making their customers think they are getting a bargain, while putting the largest profit margin in their pockets.
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#6 UPDATE Employee

The problem is Dallas headquarters

AUTHOR: Matthew - (Korea, Republic of)

I understand the feeling of shopping at any AAFES exchange. The only overseas military shopping service that you can count on and really benefit out of is DECA, i.e, the Commissary.

I am an employee at a Post Exchange in Korea, and I must say, as a casual customer myself I am very disappointed with the handling of ordering, shipment, and customer service.

For one, the exchanges themselves don't get a say in what the store can order and have shipped, priced, and ready to sell.

It's all gone through their buyers and they have no choice in what's being ordered, so ultimately if the customer requests a product and it's not in the list of items the buyer supplies AAFES with, it'll never make it to the exchange.

Yes, I can order online, pay taxes, shipping, and wait 4-6 weeks for my item to arrive... but I shouldn't have to.

Another thing, as an American employee (I'm an American citizen), I am denied a lot of the jobs there because I am not Korean. All the Koreans are granted the high-paying associate positions such as electronics dealer, jewelry dealer.. clothing dealer, and so on.

As an American, I am solely granted the position as a cashier, and it's unfair. I am often told by customers that I should be working in PowerZone (the electronics section) because I know what I'm talking about and I know more about the stuff there than the Korean employees working there do. On my breaks, I decide to help out, and all I get in return is security bugging me about working in sections I don't belong. I am punished for helping people.

Well, that's AAFES.
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#7 Consumer Comment

You can shop on the town!

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

I am not sure how you got on their bad check list, but I find it hard to believe for one check you are having all these problems. I have dealt with AAFES for more then 30 years and have few if any problems. I have purchased items for Christmas and then returned them the next time I was on base with no problem and after 120 days have past.

As to the prices we find at the BX/PX state side I agree it not much of a saving, you have to watch for clearance and sell items to get a good deal. This is because Wal-mart. K-mart, Sears and other stores off base complained about the BX/PX prices being cheaper then them and soldiers going on base and purchasing for civilians also. So the PX/BX system had to re-price every thing to make it more completive for Off base stores.

I do agree with one response you received and that is your SGM/E-9 or 1st Sgt could take care of problem. Good luck and hope you can get it resolved. My wife also worked customer service when I was active duty and they always went out of their way to ensure the customer was happy and that the customer was always right.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Pay attention to dates on these rebuttals

AUTHOR: Mark - (U.S.A.)

For all of you out there thinking that Shawn was unjust in making these statements, as the price of babywipes is not that high, because you bought them yourself, in Germany, Belgium, Korea, or wherever, consider this:

The date that he submitted this original report was a few days over a month after the war in Iraq started. Right when babywipes became important for servicemembers in Iraq.

I can verify his statement, as I was in Iraq on the exact same date that he submitted his report. I remember in April, when AAFES opened up its first tent shack at Camp Bucca, Iraq, down in the south-east by Um-Qasr, I went to the tent the day the opened. I was in desperate need of hygeine products.

As I went through the tent, nothing was labled with any sort of price, so I gathered what I needed and went to check out. After checking out, I had paid over 4 dollars for a bottle of Sauve shampoo, that would have cost me .99 cents in America, and 2.50 cents for one bar of soap. Among other items, I was taken advantage of.

Thank God AAFES didnt charge me interest on my Star Card (nice of them) because they dont charge interest on items purchased while in a combat zone. AAFES - Always And Forever Exploiting Soldiers.

BTW, does anyone remember their old slogan, "We go where you go, and our prices stay the same", After the war started, it changed to "We go where you go, and serve the best customers in the world"
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#9 Consumer Comment

The reason the AAFES PX charges so much

AUTHOR: Al - (U.S.A.)

Many years ago while on active duty (20+ years ago), I went through a month long finance course at Ft Ben Harrison.

What they told us was that the PX surveys prices within a given area (I believe 50 miles from the post) and sets the price to be the average found.

The reason is that the profit from the PX goes to fund all the non-appropriated fund things on the post.

These include all the things like the golf course, some gym facilities, etc.

Wal-Mart will beat these prices all the time.

Remember, many times the PX sees its job to provide money for the non-appropriated funds not the mulitary consumer AND it is run by bureacrats.

It is possible though that something has changed since I took that course. But buying the the PX has never been "a deal" compared to finding a good discount store.
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#10 Consumer Comment

AAFES doesn't have the same prices from post to post.

AUTHOR: Megan - (U.S.A.)

I live in Graf, where a 1/2 liter bottle of Culligan water is 75 cents. In Vilseck, which is right down the road, the same 1/2 liter bottle sells for 65 cents. I haven't said anything about this difference b/c the price in Vilseck will be raised to 75 cens. That is the only difference I have really noticed, except that since the 2nd Cavalry Regiment arrived, prices have been jacked up.
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

Reason AAFES prices seem high.

AUTHOR: Jade - (U.S.A.)

As a soldier I understand your frustration. The reason it seems that AAFES prices are so high is because they sell items at retail price. Stores like Wal-Mart and Target are able to buy items whole sale which in turn helps them sell at a lower price point then the PX.

The reason the commisary can sell certain items so cheap (e.i. meat and produce) is because they get the items the same way the grocery stores do. They just don't have much of a mark up.
Really the only savings you are gaining by going through the PX and AAFES is the fact that you don't have to pay tax.

Overseas I know it seems like a gouge, but I guess you should learn the exchange rate fast and go out and spend your hard earned euro.
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#12 Consumer Comment

A few higher prices does not make a rip off

AUTHOR: Maggi - (U.S.A.)

I can't believe this all started with some baby wipes and TP. Military stores are a convenience for service members and their families. It pays to shop around for items and be a responsible consumer.

My husband retired from the Navy recently after 21 years of service. Because we do not live near a base, we no longer take advantage of the commissary, something I feel everytime I do grocery shopping (we have 4 kids). I also miss the opportunity to shop at the Exchange. Yes, the selection is limited, but I never found the prices so far out there that I refused to purchase.

2 weeks ago I looked into buying a Dell online using a discount through my husbands current employer. The price, after discount was just over $1,300 plus tax (I don't recall the shipping). I decided to see what kind of discount I could get for the same computer through the online exchange. No shipping, no tax, and the same computer I had configured previously was sent to my home 5 days later for $771. No one can refute that this was a great deal delivered to a retired service member through our aafes connection.

If I had found the price higher at the exchange then I would have purchased it somewhere else and called it a day.
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#13 Consumer Comment

AAFES is a scam

AUTHOR: Rob - (U.S.A.)

Anyone who has served for any amount of time will tell you how much the prices fluctuate at you local BX depeneding on whats happening in the world. I have been active duty for almost 13 years now, and 12 of that has been at over seas locations. The reason aafes can get away with this, is mainly our own fault. alot of people have no other choice, but to shop there due to lack of products off post. There was a time when I boycotted affes and still today, if I can buy it off post i will, even if it is more expensive. one thing most of you dont realize, is that straight from the begging, befor a new BX/PX opens. affes is making 1000% in profit due to not having to pay for building/construction costs that other companies do. not only that, they dont have to pay for upkeep, the installation does. I am a safety inspector and after looking at a BX's fire extinguishers that were grossly due for inspection, " about 15$ per extinguisher" the affes manager told me he was not going to pay for it, and they base would have to contact a service team to come out and correct their problem, out of the bas's pocket. if you dont beleive how cheap affes is, try to return something. you'll see.
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#14 Consumer Comment

Shawn and Jamie are right on it.

AUTHOR: Jason - (U.S.A.)

I was stationed at Suwon in South Korea. Just to give you a example of the price gouging that AAFES does. A pack of Marlboros sells for 3.30 at all the installations because its the same AAFES from post to post, right? Wrong! Suwon here doesn't have much and there is only about 600 service members here but a few months ago if you were to buy a pack of smokes it would cost you 3.85 at the shoppette and 3.95 at the snack bar on post. One day I went to Yongsan, Osan, and Camp Humphries and bought a pack of cigaretts from each post for 3.30. I then went to buy a pack from the shoppette on suwon and it was 3.85. I asked them if that was correct and they said yes that prices are set from the states. When I confronted them about the price being lower everywhere else and showed them my reciepts for each purchase they acted dumbfounded.

AAFES will hick there prices anywhere and at every opportunity that they get. I for one know that when I redeploy to the states I will personally never shop at AAFES ever again.
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#15 Consumer Suggestion

Definitely Shop Around

AUTHOR: Brian - (U.S.A.)

AAFES definitely had a run with prices being higher than off-base. It got to the point where I wouldn't buy anything from the BX or Commissary. Lately they've been getting better again but I still do my comparing. I buy some things from Walmart & some from the Commissary. There's still not much I buy from the BX usually. The tax-free part doesn't affect the price of most things that much, the small percentage saved is often offset by the extra paid. The Sat card is something else. I had a rough period a bit ago with my budget. Every other company I had a bill worked well with me to get through it & they're all good to go now. Odds are I would do business with them again &/or recommend them to others. AAFES wouldn't even talk about the chance of working with me to arrange a staggered payment setup of sorts like I had with the others.

As for Jasper, not all of us are married & get housing past the airman ranks with all the utilities covered. Even those who do often don't have all their utilities covered. All of those who are married don't always get the chance for them either, bases are seeing more commonly waiting lists up to six months or a year to get a house on base. Those off-base, contrary to DoDs touting, are still paying extra beyond the BAH to cover rent/mortgages. According to the Air Force as a Staff Sergeant/E-5 I make around $47,000 a year. They take every tiny possible thing that could be considered a benefit & add it in like I used it every day or something. What I actually make is around $32,000 a year if that, before taxes. I say give me the $47,000 a year & let me pay taxes on all of it. Plus I'd get some of the taxes back as well every year.

Thanks for your service, I think you should've gotten paid a fair bit more. I think the same of teachers, firemen & police. But inflation also has it's part to play which has been inflating itself considerably the past decade or so.

Yes I volunteered. No I don't have a problem with low pay. Yes I have a problem with DoD inflating it to make it seem like we get more than we do. Yes I have a problem with different pay scales for married & single (marriage &/or having kids is a choice, we all do the same job so why do single get less?). No I'm not going to start petitioning it because the cheapskates in DC would reduce their pay instead of raising the others to match. I'm not into ruining others lives to make mine better. Yes I do have a problem with a company taking advantage of a singular access to a target population (AAFES).
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#16 UPDATE Employee

Ensive Baby Wipes

AUTHOR: Tim Adams - (Germany)

Shawn,

I do not know where you have been shopping at but the price of the generic baby whipes (Exchange Select Brand) is $1.49 for an 80 count refill pack. National brand Pamers are $2.49. This is the same exchange wide.

If you did truly pay between 5-7 dollars for baby wipes than there is something criminally wrong.

Also, in fact, upon changing from AAFES brand to Exchange Select brand the AAFES brand phased out at a price of $.47!!!! I personally had sold thousands of them.

Please, if you have issues that you feel need adressed please see your local AAFES manager and they will be happy to help you. Also keep in mind that you have a fraud, waste, and abuse hotline if you feel that something is not quite right. In Germany it is toll free 0800-181-3299. In the U.S. it is 1-800-527-6789 or e-mail hotline@aafes.e-mail.com.

As an employee I can assure the our commitment to the soldiers, airmen, and thier family members remain strong and true which is shown daily in the far reaches of the world where our troops are deployed from Iraq to Afghanistan. Thank you.

Wuerzburg Germany
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#17 UPDATE Employee

Ensive Baby Wipes

AUTHOR: Tim Adams - (Germany)

Shawn,

I do not know where you have been shopping at but the price of the generic baby whipes (Exchange Select Brand) is $1.49 for an 80 count refill pack. National brand Pamers are $2.49. This is the same exchange wide.

If you did truly pay between 5-7 dollars for baby wipes than there is something criminally wrong.

Also, in fact, upon changing from AAFES brand to Exchange Select brand the AAFES brand phased out at a price of $.47!!!! I personally had sold thousands of them.

Please, if you have issues that you feel need adressed please see your local AAFES manager and they will be happy to help you. Also keep in mind that you have a fraud, waste, and abuse hotline if you feel that something is not quite right. In Germany it is toll free 0800-181-3299. In the U.S. it is 1-800-527-6789 or e-mail hotline@aafes.e-mail.com.

As an employee I can assure the our commitment to the soldiers, airmen, and thier family members remain strong and true which is shown daily in the far reaches of the world where our troops are deployed from Iraq to Afghanistan. Thank you.

Wuerzburg Germany
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#18 UPDATE Employee

Ensive Baby Wipes

AUTHOR: Tim Adams - (Germany)

Shawn,

I do not know where you have been shopping at but the price of the generic baby whipes (Exchange Select Brand) is $1.49 for an 80 count refill pack. National brand Pamers are $2.49. This is the same exchange wide.

If you did truly pay between 5-7 dollars for baby wipes than there is something criminally wrong.

Also, in fact, upon changing from AAFES brand to Exchange Select brand the AAFES brand phased out at a price of $.47!!!! I personally had sold thousands of them.

Please, if you have issues that you feel need adressed please see your local AAFES manager and they will be happy to help you. Also keep in mind that you have a fraud, waste, and abuse hotline if you feel that something is not quite right. In Germany it is toll free 0800-181-3299. In the U.S. it is 1-800-527-6789 or e-mail hotline@aafes.e-mail.com.

As an employee I can assure the our commitment to the soldiers, airmen, and thier family members remain strong and true which is shown daily in the far reaches of the world where our troops are deployed from Iraq to Afghanistan. Thank you.

Wuerzburg Germany
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#19 UPDATE Employee

Ensive Baby Wipes

AUTHOR: Tim Adams - (Germany)

Shawn,

I do not know where you have been shopping at but the price of the generic baby whipes (Exchange Select Brand) is $1.49 for an 80 count refill pack. National brand Pamers are $2.49. This is the same exchange wide.

If you did truly pay between 5-7 dollars for baby wipes than there is something criminally wrong.

Also, in fact, upon changing from AAFES brand to Exchange Select brand the AAFES brand phased out at a price of $.47!!!! I personally had sold thousands of them.

Please, if you have issues that you feel need adressed please see your local AAFES manager and they will be happy to help you. Also keep in mind that you have a fraud, waste, and abuse hotline if you feel that something is not quite right. In Germany it is toll free 0800-181-3299. In the U.S. it is 1-800-527-6789 or e-mail hotline@aafes.e-mail.com.

As an employee I can assure the our commitment to the soldiers, airmen, and thier family members remain strong and true which is shown daily in the far reaches of the world where our troops are deployed from Iraq to Afghanistan. Thank you.

Wuerzburg Germany
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#20 UPDATE EX-employee responds

SHAWN IS SOOOO CORRECT!!

AUTHOR: Jamie - (U.S.A.)

Aafes is a rip off! I was stationed in South Korea about a year ago so i know about the higher prices overseas.

Stick with walmart, target, or your local supermarket!

military soldiers need to save what little they get paid, not spend it all at aafes.
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#21 Consumer Comment

Anybody who has been in the military for any period of time knows that military folks don't make much money.

AUTHOR: Bruce - (U.S.A.)

I was in the military for 22 years and there were times when we made money that was competitive with our civilian counterparts. On the oher hand, we would go through years of receiving raises that helped us maintain our spending power. That might sound great, but maintaining your spending power when you are already behind just allows you to fall farther behind. I guess it is in the eye of the beholder. Yes, every survey that I have seen indicates that most senior citizens' only means of income is social security which is on average either below or right around the poverty rate.

The main problems that I see with AAFES is some of the managers believe military people are like welfare recipients and should be happy with what they get. I think the best way to resolve these issues is to remind the managers and employees that it is a priviledge granted for service to our country. Therefore, it is their jobs to serve us with the same level of commitment that they expect from us. The tax benefit is only important when you buy big ticket items, otherwise downtown is a better choice sometime.

AAFES has to run their stores like regular businesses while the commissaries don't. Also, beleive it or not, some of those retailers that you patronize are responsible for the prices not being lower. They pressure AAFES through Congress not to lower their prices too much. They cry unfair competition since AAFES doesn't pay taxes, rent or other expenses that they have to pay. I don't go to the BX much, but when I was on active duty, I always believed that AAFES hire some losers for managers. Make sure you bring every complaint to the manager and work it up the chain of command if they don't fix the problem.
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#22 Consumer Comment

Yo Emma

AUTHOR: Shawn - (U.S.A.)

First of all, since you are former military brat, than you should know that it's against the regulations for your parents to be buying you baby wipes at the BX. I am sure they look at it as a "gift".......but come on.... You should know better.

We have sent our complaints to Dallas. We have talked with the Commander of AAFES. Nothing changes.

So tell me why is my complaint unfounded? I have done the research, I have had my friends back in the states compare prices on base and off. It's cheaper in the long including postage for them to send babywipes than it is for me:

You buy a box of baby wipes off post and pay $4.00 including taxes, The same box of baby wipes cost me $8.00 at AAFES OCONUS....

Baby wipes is not the issue. The issue is the jacking up of prices Overseas.

You can complain up the chain as long as the day is long, but nothing happens overnight. And in this case, nothing happens at all.

I stand by original thought...."AAFES is a Rip Off".

I only shop there if there is something specific that I need that I can't find on the economy, or at the Commissary. Or when they have a sale on Coca Cola, cause I don't like the German coke.

But since I am living overseas, and have ACTUAL access to AAFES....I think I know what I am talking about, more than you!
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#23 Consumer Comment

Wipes jacked up???

AUTHOR: Emma - (U.S.A.)

I don't know WHAT you're basing your pricing issues on, but I'm a former military bratt who's parents are now retired from the Air Force. There are certain things my parents buy for me at the BX when they take trips to Langley. They are cheaper and tax free than when I get them on my own in the civilian world ....the main one being BABY WIPES!

Whatever injustice you think is taking place, I'm sorry you feel ripped-off. But I must say your attack on prices for baby wipes is a TAD bit unfounded!

Try getting a petition together on the base you live on and send it to Dallas Headquaters (seriously DOUBT they are looking this web-site up to see what kind of job they're doing).

It's YOUR AAFES, not some foreign enterprise. Get a grip, stop bitching, and be more innovative with your complaints.
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#24 Consumer Comment

Badgering?

AUTHOR: Jasper - (U.S.A.)

S Ft., Texas,

First off, I don't consider myself a hero. I volunteered to do a job, I did it, and that's the end of it. Neither am I looking for thanks for my service. These people today, go in the military of their own free will, just as I did. The difference I see, is they know or can find out what the pay is before they go. You say I would be surprised at the number of senior members that qualify for government assistance. Ok, surprise me, show me numbers, and where you got them from. I mean a nationwide statisical study, not just one local area.

As far as all those wonderful retirement benefits I'm receiving, with the exception of utilizing the Commissary and the BX, that's it. I don't go on base for medical, it's not free, I use my coverage from work. I don't use the MWR facilites either, because of my schedule, they're usually not open.

Do you have any information about the retirement benefits that won't be there for the force of today? I haven't heard/seen anything that they're doing away with them. I do stay in contact with active duty members since my retirement, so I have an idea of what's going on.

That's my story and unless you can provide me with more information, I'm sticking to it. The military of today makes a good, living wage. There are exceptions where I think, depending upon MOS, Rating or whatever other branchs call their jobs, should perhaps get an incentive pay, but for the most part, people need to learn to live within their budgets.
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#25 Consumer Comment

Shawn

AUTHOR: Jasper - (U.S.A.)

You're sick of AAFES jacking up prices when they have a hot item. Everyone does it Shawn. Remember gas wars, how the price of fuel efficient cars went up? How about the Honda minivan, you pay full price, no haggling, plus you usually have to put your name on a waiting list, so it isn't just AAFES. I'm sorry you haven't seen the money at work, but I have. Even back in the early 70's we had nice facilites in the 2nd Inf Div area. I'll agree AAFES is not the best place in the world, sometimes their selection is pretty scarce/slim, but considering their mission, they do a pretty good job, ordering/stocking items pretty much around the world, different climates/enviornments. Where would the troops be without them?
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#26 Consumer Suggestion

For Jasper

AUTHOR: S - (U.S.A.)

Have you ever taken a course in economics? If you compare the pay scales to the pay scale when you were serving, of course they will be different! It's called inflation. I can assure you that the purchasing power of your lower wage was greater then that of today's service men and women. And as far as "knocking on the poorhouse," as you so cleverly put it, you would be amazed to find out the number of senior members that qualify for government assistance.

And I would like to add, the retirement 'benefits' that you happily enjoy today, will not be there for the "Volunteer" folks of today. But yet, they still proudly serve. Why? They do it for love of Country.

You should really get your facts straight before you start badgering the "New Army", (or whatever branch you would like.) They are all Heroes, just as you are.

As a fellow Vet, I thank you for your service to this country. We can not forget to thank future Vets for their continued support and sacrifice.

"One Team, One Fight"
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#27 Consumer Suggestion

Drafted?

AUTHOR: Jasper - (U.S.A.)

Alright, this is going to rile you, but I'm here to make you think. First off, you complain about the prices. What year were you drafted? What? You joined of your own volition? Then quit complaining. Why is it that many of the young families are uncomfortable shopping off post? Get out and do something. Don't just sit on post with all the other Americans, and complain. I didn't speak German, Korean or Vietnamese, but I learned enough to get by. Do the same. While I will agree that Walmart, Kmart, and others may have cheaper prices, sometimes, remember, especially those people not overseas, but it could apply to you also, you get your items tax free on base. So you may have to make an effort and do a little price comparison. Now, about the military pay. Everyone feels that they are underpaid. When you start giving me examples about the pay, remember this. I'm retired military, I frequently look at the revised pay scales to see what I could be making now. Also, please remember to include the following items, which civilians don't normally get. Your base pay is taxed, unless you're assigned to a combat zone, then the last I heard, it is TAX FREE. How about that housing allowance. I know it differs for each area, but it's not taxed either. Oh, you live in base housing? Even better. Suppose they make you pay electric, water, garbage and such too. Oh, instead you have to maintain your quarters area. Well guess what, so do people on the outside. Even communities outside the military have certain requirements for lawn length. I apologize that this got to be rather long, but I feel that this all ties in with the comments about military pay. No, I don't think you make "TONS OF MONEY", because I know better, I made the same.....but neither are you, or you shouldn't be, knocking on the door of the local poorhouse. If you are, you may want to take a look at your spending habits. Live within your means. Most of your savings at the BX/PX is in the way of SALES TAX Savings. The Commissary sells items at cost, plus 5%, which goes back into building new stores, and updating others.
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#28 Consumer Suggestion

Drafted?

AUTHOR: Jasper - (U.S.A.)

Alright, this is going to rile you, but I'm here to make you think. First off, you complain about the prices. What year were you drafted? What? You joined of your own volition? Then quit complaining. Why is it that many of the young families are uncomfortable shopping off post? Get out and do something. Don't just sit on post with all the other Americans, and complain. I didn't speak German, Korean or Vietnamese, but I learned enough to get by. Do the same. While I will agree that Walmart, Kmart, and others may have cheaper prices, sometimes, remember, especially those people not overseas, but it could apply to you also, you get your items tax free on base. So you may have to make an effort and do a little price comparison. Now, about the military pay. Everyone feels that they are underpaid. When you start giving me examples about the pay, remember this. I'm retired military, I frequently look at the revised pay scales to see what I could be making now. Also, please remember to include the following items, which civilians don't normally get. Your base pay is taxed, unless you're assigned to a combat zone, then the last I heard, it is TAX FREE. How about that housing allowance. I know it differs for each area, but it's not taxed either. Oh, you live in base housing? Even better. Suppose they make you pay electric, water, garbage and such too. Oh, instead you have to maintain your quarters area. Well guess what, so do people on the outside. Even communities outside the military have certain requirements for lawn length. I apologize that this got to be rather long, but I feel that this all ties in with the comments about military pay. No, I don't think you make "TONS OF MONEY", because I know better, I made the same.....but neither are you, or you shouldn't be, knocking on the door of the local poorhouse. If you are, you may want to take a look at your spending habits. Live within your means. Most of your savings at the BX/PX is in the way of SALES TAX Savings. The Commissary sells items at cost, plus 5%, which goes back into building new stores, and updating others.
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#29 Consumer Suggestion

Drafted?

AUTHOR: Jasper - (U.S.A.)

Alright, this is going to rile you, but I'm here to make you think. First off, you complain about the prices. What year were you drafted? What? You joined of your own volition? Then quit complaining. Why is it that many of the young families are uncomfortable shopping off post? Get out and do something. Don't just sit on post with all the other Americans, and complain. I didn't speak German, Korean or Vietnamese, but I learned enough to get by. Do the same. While I will agree that Walmart, Kmart, and others may have cheaper prices, sometimes, remember, especially those people not overseas, but it could apply to you also, you get your items tax free on base. So you may have to make an effort and do a little price comparison. Now, about the military pay. Everyone feels that they are underpaid. When you start giving me examples about the pay, remember this. I'm retired military, I frequently look at the revised pay scales to see what I could be making now. Also, please remember to include the following items, which civilians don't normally get. Your base pay is taxed, unless you're assigned to a combat zone, then the last I heard, it is TAX FREE. How about that housing allowance. I know it differs for each area, but it's not taxed either. Oh, you live in base housing? Even better. Suppose they make you pay electric, water, garbage and such too. Oh, instead you have to maintain your quarters area. Well guess what, so do people on the outside. Even communities outside the military have certain requirements for lawn length. I apologize that this got to be rather long, but I feel that this all ties in with the comments about military pay. No, I don't think you make "TONS OF MONEY", because I know better, I made the same.....but neither are you, or you shouldn't be, knocking on the door of the local poorhouse. If you are, you may want to take a look at your spending habits. Live within your means. Most of your savings at the BX/PX is in the way of SALES TAX Savings. The Commissary sells items at cost, plus 5%, which goes back into building new stores, and updating others.
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#30 Consumer Suggestion

Drafted?

AUTHOR: Jasper - (U.S.A.)

Alright, this is going to rile you, but I'm here to make you think. First off, you complain about the prices. What year were you drafted? What? You joined of your own volition? Then quit complaining. Why is it that many of the young families are uncomfortable shopping off post? Get out and do something. Don't just sit on post with all the other Americans, and complain. I didn't speak German, Korean or Vietnamese, but I learned enough to get by. Do the same. While I will agree that Walmart, Kmart, and others may have cheaper prices, sometimes, remember, especially those people not overseas, but it could apply to you also, you get your items tax free on base. So you may have to make an effort and do a little price comparison. Now, about the military pay. Everyone feels that they are underpaid. When you start giving me examples about the pay, remember this. I'm retired military, I frequently look at the revised pay scales to see what I could be making now. Also, please remember to include the following items, which civilians don't normally get. Your base pay is taxed, unless you're assigned to a combat zone, then the last I heard, it is TAX FREE. How about that housing allowance. I know it differs for each area, but it's not taxed either. Oh, you live in base housing? Even better. Suppose they make you pay electric, water, garbage and such too. Oh, instead you have to maintain your quarters area. Well guess what, so do people on the outside. Even communities outside the military have certain requirements for lawn length. I apologize that this got to be rather long, but I feel that this all ties in with the comments about military pay. No, I don't think you make "TONS OF MONEY", because I know better, I made the same.....but neither are you, or you shouldn't be, knocking on the door of the local poorhouse. If you are, you may want to take a look at your spending habits. Live within your means. Most of your savings at the BX/PX is in the way of SALES TAX Savings. The Commissary sells items at cost, plus 5%, which goes back into building new stores, and updating others.
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#31 Consumer Comment

That is the Truth & Everybody thinks the military makes tons of money

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

We know exactly what you are saying. My wife and I feel that the PX and The Navy Exchange aren't worth shopping at. The only place we go is the Commisary for the food only because they are cheaper on alot of stuff. Everybody thinks the military makes tons of money, not the case. We cant afford the high gouging prices of our military stores which are supposed to be cheaper than the civilians. All I have to say is thank you Walmart.
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