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"Extreme Couponing" Exposes Coupon Fraud Due to Loophole in Barcode System

submitted on May 12, 2011 by HouTex in "Coupons / Coupon Codes"
TLC's "Extreme Couponing" has really opened a can of worms, and the controversial methods featured on the show to achieve maximum savings have emphasized the need to change the barcode system.

The Coupon Information Corporation issued a statement about it last week and offered assistance to TLC (which was declined). http://www.couponinformationce.....p?st=5fe98 . The CIC is a nonprofit association of consumer product manufacturers dedicated to fighting coupon misredemption and fraud.

CIC Position on Extreme Couponing
May 5, 2011

The Coupon Information Corporation (CIC) expresses our great disappointment with TLC’s current series, Extreme Couponing, and hereby offers our expertise and other assistance to TLC and Sharp Entertainment (which produces the show) to enhance the program with more accurate and realistic information. In addition, we hope they address potentially illegal acts that appear to have been portrayed on the show.

Professionals in the coupon industry believe this show creates unrealistic expectations about how coupons work and promotes the misuse of coupons.
For example, the show appears to portray coupons being used in violation of the terms and conditions printed on the coupons, such as using coupons to obtain products other than those specified by the coupon offer, and focuses on consumers who have procured large quantities of coupon inserts from unknown sources, which may raise civil and/or criminal issues.

In a recent interview, the Maryland woman who appeared on the first show admitted that she used coupons for items other than those specified, but "didn't see anything wrong with what she had done."

However, retailers and manufacturers disagree, and are already rolling out a new system.
Believe it or not, using a 50-cent coupon for a single 33-cent carton of yogurt, when it’s intended to be used for a multi-pack, would in theory result in “overage” or an actual profit for the customer. In a busy grocery store with long lines, this might go over the head of the cashier who is busily processing coupons on a large family shopping list. However, it hasn’t gone over the head of the industry: retailers and manufacturers began rolling out a new barcode system “GS1 Databar.”

However, until the transition is complete, many cash registers in smaller grocery stores are still set to the old UPC barcode.

  • 114255
    10 5 1
    Posted by DebsFreebies on May 13, 2011
    [reply] 1 0
    I wonder how, if at all, it will affect those online printables we all love and print?
  • 114261
    23 14 8
    12 10 2
    Posted by CouponNut on May 13, 2011 [reply] 0 0
    K-Mart has a couponing system that allows the clerk to select which coupon the customer presents because the scanned bar code pops up all the manufacturer's products associated with that bar code.
  • 117292
    Posted by velosity on June 23, 2011 [reply] 0 0
    I kind of though it would be just a matter of time before this was dealt with...

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