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Old 02-16-2010, 08:13 AM
2,283 posts, read 4,796,735 times
Reputation: 1720


Recently, I received a booklet of coupons from Target in the mail. They were all for purchases at Target stores only, but the coupons were generic, in other words, they were for any category of product listed. For example, one was for shampoo; any brand, any size (except trial sizes), another was for laundry detergent, any brand, any size (except trial sizes); another for cosmetics, toothpaste, pain reliever, etc. The only restriction in each category was that you couldn't purchase the trial sizes. These were good coupons, like $.75 to $1.00 off.

Well, yesterday, I took 6 of these coupons to my local Target and found the 6 items I wanted to purchase (toothpaste, lipstick, laundry soap, shampoo, aspirin, and deodorant). At the checkout, the clerk rang up my 6 items and then proceeded to scan the coupons. Good thing I was paying attention. Three of the 6 did not scan with a message on her screen saying "item not found." I asked her what that meant and she said that the coupon was not accepted for those items I had purchased. So I had her sort out the 3 coupons that were not accepted and look at those 3 products I had purchased. All these coupons said was a category, as I mentioned above, no other restrictions other than trial sizes.

The 3 coupons not accepted (laundry detergent, shampoo and deodorant) were for less expensive brands I had purchased, but not trial sizes, and I had purchased the correct category for those coupons. So I asked her why those were rejected and she couldn't tell me. I asked for a manager, and suddenly she said she would override the cash register and "accept" the 3 coupons.

Wow! If I hadn't been paying attention, or was distracted, or had a large order, I may have missed these coupons not being accepted and the blatant misrepresentation of them. If the coupon has no printed restrictions other than a particular category and size, then the coupon has to be accepted if those criteria are met.

I think stores misrepresent these coupons all the time and depend on people not paying attention at the checkout or discovering the "error" too late and not going back to the store. Another twist on the old "bait and switch" only this time, you're "baited" by good coupons and then they "switch" the terms, not allowing you to use them on the lower cost items (only on higher cost, higher profit items), unless you catch them and force them to do it.
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