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Will you take my printable coupon?

by Freebies4Mom on June 16, 2008 8:05 am

Robin emailed me this compliment and question:
I just wanted to say Thank You from one Mom to another. I love your website and I’ve begun checking it daily. I’ve also shared it with several friends in my area, and you’ve definitely won us over.

I also wanted to mention that I have found that the local Kroger (our major supermarket here in Dublin, GA) will not accept any printable coupons. Do you find this to be the case in a lot of grocery stores? Is there anything you’ve found that I can do to persuade them to change their mind?” -Robin

My Answer for Any Store:
I used to think that most stores were free to set their own coupon acceptance policies, but now I have learned that is governed more by Corporate than by individual stores, so you have the right to question it. Talk to the Store Manager because sometimes the cashiers do not fully understand the store’s coupon acceptance policy. If the Store Manager says they do not accept printable coupons, and the store is part of a larger chain, contact Corporate through their website or by calling. Ask Corporate for their printable coupon acceptance policy in writing. If they provide it to you in writing and it varies from what the Store Manager told you, then take a copy of it with you and ask if they will follow Corporate’s policy and accept your printable coupons. If they do not, follow-up with Corporate with the specifics about your visit and what the store told you. If you are still unable to use printable coupons at that store, then you need to shop at a different store with them.

I find that most stores accept printable coupons, although they may not accept the “FREE product” coupons because of problems with fraudulent coupon usage. I am finding that some of the stores I visit are becoming more strict about what format the printable coupons need to be in for them to accept them. My CVS is the perfect example of this, the Store Manager has told me that the printable coupons need to be printed in color and on a full-sheet of paper (not cut out) because they are having problems at that specific CVS with people bringing in photocopied coupons (this is illegal). So, I bring in my full sheet of coupons, if there is more than one coupon on a page I cut it out in front of the cashier.

My Answer for Kroger:
Contact Kroger by email to request a copy of their printable coupon acceptance policy. Take the email that you receive to the Store Manager. Be prepared to carry this email with you every time you go there, it should help prompt the store to accept your printable coupons. If they will still not accept them, contact Kroger again and give them specific information about your visit and the coupons that they would not accept.

Here’s an excerpt from the email that my friend Elizabeth received when she contacted corporate about a similar problem at her Kroger. Here is Kroger’s response:
Kroger instituted a change in the company’s policy to now accept print-at-home (PAH)s internet coupons as of November 29th, 2007 and as store divisions across the United States have already complied with this change…hopefully, management’s word in your store has gotten to each store’s head-cashier.

We do accept internet coupons, providing the following is true:
1) The coupon is not for a Free product or for more than 75% off the original cost – we do not accept those from the internet.
2) The coupon scans properly at the register. If the registers do not register it, it is most likely not a valid coupon.
3) If the coupon is altered in any way.

Other than that, yes, we now accept Internet coupons. You may simply provide your cashier with the coupon at the time of check out and as long as it scans, it is fine.”

Remember that you as a customer have the right to question your store’s coupon acceptance policies. Just remember to always be polite in making your requests, the goal is to gain knowledge about your store, what coupons they accept, and how the store serves their customers.

What’s your experience if you’ve questioned your store’s policy on printable coupons?

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

TammiD December 24, 2008 at 6:57 pm

chrissybeagle…….I had the same type of experience today, but I was not equipped with the corporate policy at the time so I just ended up not getting to use the coupons. I’m ready next time though!

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chrissybeagle June 19, 2008 at 10:03 am

I had a similar expereince at walmart…we were at my mother in laws hosue and she had a walmart close by, not the one i normally shop at…i go to purchase my items and lo and behold the kid at the counter says i ont think we can tke these…i said would you mind asking your manager..so she came over and said i dont think we can take these and i said would you mind getting your superviser..she came over and said weve been having problems withthese not scanning because they are photocopies, i assured her that they were not photopies but the original…she looked at me dumbfounded so again i pulled out the walmart coupon policy and asked if they did not follwo corporate internet coupon policies…she said they did and i asked her if they would “try” to scan my coupons…if they scanned could they accept them…they did, they scanned fine ..i got my stff but will never go back there…i felt like a criminal for using coupons that are LEGAL to use…i wasnt doing anything wrong but felt my integrity was questioned which made me upset.

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Cristy June 16, 2008 at 10:05 pm

The Kmart comments are interesting to me because I went to my local Kmart about 2 weeks ago when they were having the sale where if you bought $20 worth of a companies items you got $3 back, $30 you got back $6 and even though the cashier went to the manager, the manager accepted them. I guess I got lucky, however, target was a different story. My coupons would not scan for the trial sizes, not sure why and they were rejected so I left about $7 worth of trial sizes behind, which they had to void. (a bit embarrassing…oh well)

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Robin June 16, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Kmart doesn’t take them either. So now, Kmart doesn’t take my money!

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Marcy June 16, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Hopefully I won’t jinx myself by saying this, but I have had very little problem with printable coupons at the stores where I shop (mainly Kroger, Giant Eagle, Meijer & Target). Wal-mart can be funny though…

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Theresa June 16, 2008 at 3:44 pm

Just yesterday I was using some PAH coupons at my local Walmart, which I have done several times before. Yesterday however, the kid at the counter looked at me like I was trying to pull a fast one on him. He then called his manager over and the manager just looked at him and said, “Those are fine. Those are just coupons printed at home. Scan them and they work like a normal coupon.” I’m thinking that the kid was possibly new to the store?

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Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net June 16, 2008 at 3:09 pm

I’ve done the same thing for Kroger and got a similar response. Luckily, they didn’t give me the exclusions like you have listed 🙂 Either way, the printable coupons are an excellent way to save additional money! Good post 🙂

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Penny June 16, 2008 at 2:07 pm

Kmart does not accept printed coupons (I blogged about their policy here: http://dreadfulpenny.com/2008/05/28/kmart-doesnt-accept-printed-coupons/ ). I’ve changed my shopping routine as a result, which is a pain in the neck, but still cost effective.Stores are so inconsistent in how they handle coupons. The Walgreens near me won’t adjust coupons down or allow overages (so if I have a $1 coupon for a $.99 product, I can’t use it). The CVS in the next town won’t take a B1G1 coupon if the product is already on sale for B1G1, but the CVS near me will. I’m slowly learning the quirks, but it can be embarrassing and frustrating to hit a problem when there’s a line behind me. That’s one of the costs of saving, I suppose.

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MrsCoach June 16, 2008 at 1:40 pm

I got a reply back from A&P; Corporate when I questioned their policy (my store isn’t taking them!) Here is their response:Thank you for your message. Our company policy states that we do not accept Internet coupons due to the difficulty in getting reimbursed by the manufacturers and the high degree of fraud associated with these instruments. The policy is under review and may change but, for now, we do not accept Internet coupons. The opportunity to address this matter is appreciated. Bummer!! A&P; is SO expensive to begin with, but they do have certain great deals once-in-a-while. I’m just grateful I have a SuperWalmart 20mins in the other direction in the next state!!

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Martha June 16, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Cool! Thanks! I’ve had one cashier at Kroger tell me they didn’t accept printables, and I was just starting out so didn’t question it, but since then all the other cashiers have taken them. Guess he didn’t get the word. 🙂

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jennyisaacks June 16, 2008 at 1:10 pm

I had a major problem with my printed coupons for awhile. We live in a small town and nobody uses coupons at all. When I use printable coupons, the cashiers actually think that I take copies of the coupons from the sunday paper! I have contacted Kroger corporate, and they contacted my store, so they do take pretty much any coupon I throw their way now. Unfortunately, they do know who I am, and I am treated like a “problem customer” just because I like to save a buck. Good luck to you about all that. And just remember, if the employees come off as rude, they are just most likely just trying to cover their own butts.

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Petula June 16, 2008 at 11:47 am

This is a great post! The Kroger right up the street from me no longers accepts the at-home printed coupons although they had in the past. I don’t even bother there anymore. But a Kroger that is on my normal route does accept them and was surprised when I told them another one doesn’t. It’s good to know; however, that I can send that email and get assistance with this.It is really annoying to be penalized for trying to save money.

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RachelV June 16, 2008 at 11:33 am

We shop at Winco for all of our boxed goods. A few years back, we took in Beechnut printed out coupons and they wouldn’t accept them. Now they have a sign at all of the registers stating they will not take any coupons printed from the internet.The other supermarkets that we shop at (Raleys & Savemart) do take them.

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Lisa June 16, 2008 at 11:19 am

Heather, you can also go to Kroger.com and LOAD manufacturers coupons to your Kroger card as well as Proctor and Gamble product savings. You can also take those coupons and create with them a shopping list (add other items to it) and email it to say the hubby to pick up on the way home or print and take with you to the store. THis way you don’t worry so much about the printed coupons. For Wal-Mart you can print a copy of their policy and take it with you. Try whenever possible to print in color.

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Momma June 16, 2008 at 10:38 am

The only place I have consistently heard bad things about with the coupon policy is Wal-Mart. No two Wal-Mart employees appear to interpret their coupon policies the same way. When I was there last week, the Customer Service Manager said that they were not going to accept my printed coupons. So, in anticipation, I whipped out the handy dandy coupon policy I printed from their corporate site. My husband was both highly amused and very impressed that my coupon-fu is so strong 😉 Seriously though, your tips are dead on correct. If you think you’ll have a problem, always get it in writing.

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Samantha June 16, 2008 at 10:03 am

Just wanted to say I love your blog. I stalk it! Thought you might like my post about free gift givinghttp://livingincontentmentwithless.blogspot.com/2008/06/frugal-gift-giving-ideas.html

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Anonymous June 16, 2008 at 8:33 am

I live in griffin ga. and I dont know any stores that take internet print coupons. If anyone around where I live know, how about giving a shout out? thanks.

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Melanie June 16, 2008 at 8:19 am

I just had a terrible experience at Target. They had sent us a “clipless” Target coupon card recently and when I went to use it yesterday, they would not let me use manufacturer’s coupons with it! It was a Target coupon! They called over manager after manager and they would not accept both. I have never, ever had this issue at Target and even the woman in line next to me said she does it all the time! Needless to say, Target is on my naughty list right now!

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