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Stores not accepting printed internet coupons - A New Trend?

submitted on June 15, 2010 by midget in "Coupons / Coupon Codes"
I know it's been mentioned somewhat before in comments, people saying that a coupon they tried to use at some store was not accepted because it was printed off the net....

Well, I just had this happen to me at a grocery store of all places.

I tried to redeem at Vons, the coupon some of us received for a free box of better Oats oatmeal.

According to new Vons/Safeway policy, they are no longer accepting any internet printed coupon that is a freebie due to internet fraud.

After they refused my coupon, I told them to take the product off my total and came home. I had a long talk with corporate and another long talk with the store manager where they refused my coupon.

Their rational is that the freebies are largely fraud when they come off the net. I argued that the policy was rather stupid the way it's spelled out, cause now, if I was into making my own coupons, I would now no longer make the coupon for a Freebie but instead would make it a $ off coupon and i'd still get the item free but now I'd be complying with policy. So to single out freebies is wrong.

After speaking with the manager he told me to bring in my freebie coupons the next time I decide to shop and he'd look at them and more than likely accept them. I told him how I got them, sites they came from and everything.
He said he's gonna call his bosses and see what can be done.

Is this a new trend? are we all gonna have to fight to keep our freebies or throw them away cause of the fraud that does exist out there on some coupons.

I explained to the manager that there are many legitimate coupon sites out there and the internet has many avenues to obtain legitimate printable coupons. It's a business.

He said unfortunately the few that like to make fraudulent coupons spoil it for the masses.

Has anyone else experienced something like this at the grocery store?

this is a new policy that was just handed down through a memo and I believe it's for all stores safeway operates.

I felt i needed to fight the issue cause I'm holding on to 11 coupons for 11 freebies (over $30 in free groceries)

What do the rest of you think of this policy?

Ok, I'm done ranting now. Big Grin

  • 66449
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    Posted by mooncow728 on June 15, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    Well none of the stores in my town will accept internet coupons for freebies. I can actually understand this. While working as a cashier I saw tons of fake coupons. People don't realize how much trouble they can get into for it so they keep doing it. It's kind of like printing money but doesn't seem as harmful to many. Most companies send coupons for free items through the mail anyway so it doesn't bug me much.

    The problem that I have is with stores that won't take dollar or cents off coupons. I've been refused a few times with high dollar coupons that make the item almost free. I've also been refused on coupons that are more than the item is (i.e. a $1 off coupon on an item that is on sale for 99 cents). I don't expect to make a profit from these coupons but it irritates me that the stores won't accept them up to the purchase price. Walmart has also denied me from using ANY P&G coupon also after tons of fraudulent attempts by other people. I know that P&G never posts printable coupons online so if it's not printed then I don't get it.

    It irritates me a lot, but really what can be done? Unless the corporate office of a company makes a policy change, nothing happens. Even then some stores still have their own policies depending on issues with that individual store. Maybe they are just jealous that we have magical paper that gives us free stuff. Mr Green
  • 66453
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    Posted by midget on June 15, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    It irritates me a lot, but really what can be done?

    If people start complaining about policies it's possible to get them changed. After I had the conversation with the manager they were willing to look at my freebie coupons and likely accept them whereas in the beginning, it was a straight out refusal.

    The more people speak up the more people/companies are willing to re-evaluate decisions made.

    I know coupon fraud is out there. It was out there even before the internet, just the internet has made it easier and more widespread but not all coupons are fraud.

    Hell, people make fraudulant money, are stores gonna stop accepting money cause a few bad apples? I don't think so....
    It's not in the same category but it's the same priniciple.
  • 66458
    Posted by bert on June 15, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    A manager @ Walgreens told me they did not accept internet coupons. I explained to her that you could only print 2 like coupons & they have a different code on each one. I told her if they were copies they would all have the same number on them. She said "lets see if they scan" & of course they did & she took them. She did'nt even know that Smartsource is also the company Walgreens uses for their own internet coupons!
  • 66464
    Posted by webbyone2010 on June 15, 2010
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    I can say it isn't a new trend. Stores have been burned too many times by scammers.
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    Posted by DebsFreebies on June 16, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    I know a small chain of stores called Pic N Sav (there are two chains by similar names) won't take ANY internet printed coupons, even if it is cents off. And, they scrutinize every "real" coupon that comes across their register lanes.
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    Posted by orangearrows on June 16, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    Question : If the coupons are fake - how do the bar codes work?
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    Posted by lootango on June 16, 2010
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    I've never been turned down for a printed internet coupon. Hope this trend doesn't hit in my neighborhood.
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    Posted by tammy987 on June 16, 2010
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    The only store I've ever had problems with is Target. It happened twice, so I don't shop with coupons there anymore. Too much trouble.
  • 66576
    Posted by iggy27 on June 16, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    A Good Discussion. How Do The Bar Codes Work If The Codes Are Fake. Alot Of The Coupons Are Real.
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    Posted by mooncow728 on June 16, 2010
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    To answer the question on how coupons scan if they are fake, they were once real. Most coupons were legit coupons that someone got in the mail and they scanned them to alter the date. A lot of them are sent out by manufacturer's after a product is defective. I once got one in the mail for a Swiffer SweepVac starter kit (value up to $40) after buying a defective one. So manufacturer's put out a lot of high dollar coupons. Then a lot of times they get thrown on the net and most people I honestly believe think they are real. There are only a few that for sure know it's a fake but they try it anyway.
    • mooncow728
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      Posted by mooncow728 on June 16, 2010
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      I forgot to add that some coupons are also edited to change an amount required, or the limit and quantity. For instance a $4 off $20 CVS coupon could be changed to $4 off $4. A coupon for a Free 12pk of Coke with a limit of $4 could be changed to 2 free 12pks with a limit of $10. Then there are the coupons that don't scan but sometimes legit coupons also won't work. Sometimes the coupon just isn't in the system at the store but it's a perfectly good coupon. I don't blame stores after being ripped off so much. I just wish that the idiots that think fake coupons are fun would stop.
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    Posted by TGFCoffee on September 8, 2010
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    Some stores won't accept freebie coupons in Southern California either. Some are beginning to use odd rules for which coupons are accepted. (Sometimes, I think they make up the "rules" on the spot.) I doubt that manufacturers want consumers to get so irritated by using coupons that they don't even want to by the "couponed" product.
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    Posted by DebsFreebies on September 8, 2010
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    I have several stores in my area that won't accept internet printed coupons. Even when you give them the complete page with the URL at the bottom.
    • deby32953
      Posted by deby32953 on September 10, 2010 [reply] 0 0
      That's unbelievable! You live in FL too right? I've never come across this & good thing too seeing as our printer copies! sh-h-h-h-h!
  • 78663
    Posted by annieinmpls on September 9, 2010
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    none of my grocery stores will accept B1G1 coupons, however, I just saw on the Dollar General website,they WILL accept them per their coupon policy.
  • 79553
    Posted by Janers on September 16, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    I also work at a grocery store. There are so many fraudulent "free" coupons floating around, we do not take computer printed freebies. As far as P&G, we have received word from them, we can no longer take ANY internet printed coupons for their brands. In our office, we have a stack of e-mails with the fake freebies listed. It is indeed sad, that a few scammers have ruined it for all.

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