Unethical Coupon use in the Media? & Counterfeit Coupons

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With the state of the economy now days we are starting to see more and more media taking interest in money saving tips and ideas. Many who coupon are finally starting to get heard. I think that is fantastic. Well…….. almost.  It saddens me to see people who get the chance to represent all of us couponer's  in the media only to talk about unethical coupon practices.It also saddens me to see that the media is not checking people/stories out to make sure everything is on the up and up before they run them.

People who coupon already face many obstacles every day with stores and cashiers ands it is even harder when people go on national TV and teach things that is going to drive even more negative attention to us.

There has been a lot of talk about this lately  and many people have been emailing me about this! Two subjects came up !

Coupon Coding: Someone went on national television talking about this. This is a huge no no. Coupon Coding is using a coupon for other purposes than the manufacturers original intent. (reading the bar and code and using it on other items)

Using expired coupons: Someone mentioned that it was okay to use expired coupons as long as they scan. What they failed to mention was only if it is your stores policy to accept expired coupons or that some military bases sometimes accept expired coupons.

Using a coupon just because it scans does not mean that it is right! Its like you are trying to find a loop hole in the system and taking advantage of something that could hurt other parties in the long run. Some retailers will not get reimbursed for expired coupons and you wonder why cashiers are starting to be so hard on coupon policies. 

One mom sent me an emailing about this and I wanted to share her comments. she said “that  this would kill the companies efforts and desire to provide new coupons for consumers“. (You said it girlfriend)

Another mom said” this is taking advantage of the system” 

It is NOT okay to use  a coupon that goes against the manufacturers initial intention for the use of the coupon!!! 

Now I know couponing is a learning process and we are all learning new rules every day and we all certainly make mistakes. That's  how we learn the process, of what is acceptable and what is wrong. I cannot tell you how many mistakes I made getting to the knowledge of couponing that I have today.  I thinks its great when seasoned couponers can use their knowledge to help people who are new to couponing so they do not have to hit all those bumps in the road that we experienced.

Be aware you will find people who will try to justify their actions just to save a buck. But are they really saving in the long run if what they  do is cost more and more stores to bring on more coupon restrictions. Wow I really hope they love that .50 cent savings they tried to sneak through LOL. Is getting a good deal now causing people to ignore ethics?

Also there will always be an up-rise in Counterfeit Coupons when the economy is low! This saddens me because again they are only hurting the coupon industry in the long run. You have to be very careful out there. Never buy free product coupons on eBay because you never know if they are legit. Selling coupons is a big no no anyways. The manufacturer frowns on this because no-one should have to pay for something the manufacturer offers for free. That's also making a profit off of something the manufacturer attended to be free.

Working for a manufacturer(Advance Brands) has opened a whole new world for me. I have gotten a taste of what it's like on both sides. It is nice to be able to talk to them about this issue and gather their thoughts. Many companies don't realize this is a big issue until it happens. It's something I take seriously and definitely keep on top of for Advance Brands ! I was able to go to the CIC Industry Summit back in 2008 as a representative of Advance Brands and got to sit in and listen on what the CIC is doing for the industry in fighting coupon fraud. Let me tell you Bud Miller has his hands full. If the economy stays the way it is I don't doubt he will have a job for a long time LOL.

You can stay up on the latest news about what fraudulent coupons are out there and whats going on  with the CIC buy going to their website! I actually received a Fraudulent Coupon by email this past week and you can read my story her on Coupon Fraud ! If you ever have a question about a coupon you receive please email me and I will take a look at it and see what I can find out. Listen to the interview we did with Bud Miller from the CIC at Blog Talk Radio !

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22 Comments

  1. I am the mom of a very large family and I would never consider committing fraud like this. It scares me that more businesses are going to reject coupons because of some dishonest people.

  2. I am the mom of a very large family and I would never consider committing fraud like this. It scares me that more businesses are going to reject coupons because of some dishonest people.

  3. For a long time, I stopped bothering with internet coupons, because Wal-mart refused to accept them. Occasionally now, I will print a coupon, if it’s for a specific store or restaurant. About three years ago, I won a few Coca-Cola coupons through a sweepstakes. Coke mailed out the coupons and they were clearly not printed on a home printer, but they didn’t have printing on the back, so Wal-mart wouldn’t take them, claiming they were internet coupons. Other stores balked at redeeming them because they “didn’t scan right.” The coupon was for five free 2-liter sodas, clearly stated on the face, so they cashier needed to add up the prices and enter the value. It was a lot of trouble to redeem them, and primarily because some people try to take advantage of the system.

  4. For a long time, I stopped bothering with internet coupons, because Wal-mart refused to accept them. Occasionally now, I will print a coupon, if it’s for a specific store or restaurant. About three years ago, I won a few Coca-Cola coupons through a sweepstakes. Coke mailed out the coupons and they were clearly not printed on a home printer, but they didn’t have printing on the back, so Wal-mart wouldn’t take them, claiming they were internet coupons. Other stores balked at redeeming them because they “didn’t scan right.” The coupon was for five free 2-liter sodas, clearly stated on the face, so they cashier needed to add up the prices and enter the value. It was a lot of trouble to redeem them, and primarily because some people try to take advantage of the system.

  5. I won those coupons too but never had a hard time redeeming them though that I can remember! Walmart is trying to work on this slowly. Be sure and print off their coupon policy and take it with you to the store1

  6. I won those coupons too but never had a hard time redeeming them though that I can remember! Walmart is trying to work on this slowly. Be sure and print off their coupon policy and take it with you to the store1

  7. I agree , why do some people have to go and ruin it for the rest of us . I mean , I already have to tolerate the eye rolls, huffs and puffs and toe tapping in the checkout line. Now because of a few greedy (pick your favorite noun) , I have to be treated like a potential criminal as well !

    IMHO as well , those people who use the “like it or your money back” as a way to get paid are also abusing the system . If you legitimately DON’T like a product by all means get your money back . If you are simply looking to make money I think that’s a bit tacky and abusive of the manufacturer’s goodwill. I know of people who will return the product AND get a refund on top of it …terrible.

    Jami

  8. I agree , why do some people have to go and ruin it for the rest of us . I mean , I already have to tolerate the eye rolls, huffs and puffs and toe tapping in the checkout line. Now because of a few greedy (pick your favorite noun) , I have to be treated like a potential criminal as well !

    IMHO as well , those people who use the “like it or your money back” as a way to get paid are also abusing the system . If you legitimately DON’T like a product by all means get your money back . If you are simply looking to make money I think that’s a bit tacky and abusive of the manufacturer’s goodwill. I know of people who will return the product AND get a refund on top of it …terrible.

    Jami

  9. I went to Kroger in Ohio yesterday and tried to use a coupon that I had printed and they said they could only accept the color coupons, not the black and white like I had. If I didn’t already have all of my stuff scanned, I probably would have put the product back that I had the coupon for. If they can’t fix this, I’m afraid they will be losing a lot of business because us couponers will go to places that will accept these, or at least I will. It’s sad that some people commit coupon fraud and everybody has to suffer because of it. The economy is bad enough without this now.

  10. I went to Kroger in Ohio yesterday and tried to use a coupon that I had printed and they said they could only accept the color coupons, not the black and white like I had. If I didn’t already have all of my stuff scanned, I probably would have put the product back that I had the coupon for. If they can’t fix this, I’m afraid they will be losing a lot of business because us couponers will go to places that will accept these, or at least I will. It’s sad that some people commit coupon fraud and everybody has to suffer because of it. The economy is bad enough without this now.

  11. I was caught up in the facebook coupons last year. I used them several times before realizing they were fradulant. Sad people do such terrible things. Now I’m hesitant to use internet coupons unless I download them myself from coupons.com

  12. I was caught up in the facebook coupons last year. I used them several times before realizing they were fradulant. Sad people do such terrible things. Now I’m hesitant to use internet coupons unless I download them myself from coupons.com

  13. I saw a sign just like the one you posted above at my local Target not too long ago.

    Its just sad that people take advantage like that… I agree with your poster who said it makes companies more reluctant to offer coupons in the future… and that is not fair to people like us who actually play by the rules!

    Great post!

  14. I saw a sign just like the one you posted above at my local Target not too long ago.

    Its just sad that people take advantage like that… I agree with your poster who said it makes companies more reluctant to offer coupons in the future… and that is not fair to people like us who actually play by the rules!

    Great post!

  15. I recently shopped at Wal-mart and used a handful of coupons, some being Smartsource coupons, which I had printed online. The cashier told me the store just had a meeting that morning and told them to no longer accept Smartsource coupons because Wal-mart was having trouble getting remimbursed from Smartsource. He accepted them at the time but told me not to bring Smartsource coupons to Wal-mart in the future. I’ve used those coupons at other grocery stores and have never had a problem. Has anyone else heard that Smartsource isn’t paying the stores?

  16. I recently shopped at Wal-mart and used a handful of coupons, some being Smartsource coupons, which I had printed online. The cashier told me the store just had a meeting that morning and told them to no longer accept Smartsource coupons because Wal-mart was having trouble getting remimbursed from Smartsource. He accepted them at the time but told me not to bring Smartsource coupons to Wal-mart in the future. I’ve used those coupons at other grocery stores and have never had a problem. Has anyone else heard that Smartsource isn’t paying the stores?

  17. hi there, i have written on this too, to no avail….couponing doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out…i did a bang up job my whole life couponing….it just seems that these new 20-30 something age group homes arent run the way they used to be….honesty? integrity? whats that now a days?
    jmho…

  18. hi there, i have written on this too, to no avail….couponing doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out…i did a bang up job my whole life couponing….it just seems that these new 20-30 something age group homes arent run the way they used to be….honesty? integrity? whats that now a days?
    jmho…

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