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Merrimack Valley

October 18, 2013

Coupon misuse: Who does it hurt?

(Continued)

Unless more customers step up to the plate and help their local stores prevent losses, whether due to misuse of coupons or other means, your local store just may very well close due to under performance because of those who are entitled to steal.

Anne C.

Dear Jill,

I would like to share some of what happens behind the scenes when stores don’t get credit for all the coupons they accept. Sometimes it is hard enough to get the clearinghouse to accept legitimate coupons let alone large numbers of the ones that don’t quite add up. Our store is in New Mexico and sometimes we are denied from redeeming coupons because a company says we’re trying to redeem from outside the United States. It might seem funny, but it’s not when there are thousands of dollars on the line. We recently got audited for a large number of coupons that an extreme couponer used at our store. When a store gets audited, I have to pay an employee to go through all the records the redemption center requests to show we actually sold the product. This costs us money in the long run, too. Now a lot of coupons are limited to 4 per person and we are really telling the cashiers to be careful not to take more than that because I can see it causing more headaches and time lost if we have to pull records for another audit.

Mark M.

As a shopper, I am very grateful for the savings my coupons provide to me. I don’t want to engage in actions that at best, skate an ethical line, and at worst, harm the stores I patronize. Is it worth getting a “great deal” if your store suffers for your actions later down the line? I’ve never been a “take all I can get” kind of couponer, and I’m perfectly happy with that.

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