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Dead Deal 101: What to do if your Coupons are Denied

Posted: 02/15/10 9:08 AM (Modified: 02/15/10 9:08 AM)

I actually posted this awhile ago but after an experience yesterday at a local store, I decided to pull it back to the front. Most of us have had coupon issues at one point or another. The question-what do you do when your coupons are denied?


1. Make sure you’re not wrong. There’s nothing worse than fighting to the death only to discover you were trying to use an expired coupon.

Be humble enough to admit you are wrong and either put the products back or buy them without the coupon.

2. Check the coupon policy and point it out. Are you sure you can use internet coupons at that store, etc? If possible, print the official coupon policy and carry it with you in your binder (be sure to do this for Walmart) so you can point it out to a cashier or manager if needed….nicely, of course.

3. Be nice. Very nice. Even if the temptation hits you to get hysterical.
People do not respond well to screaming and yelling especially over .50 cents.

Honestly, getting extremely upset and hateful over coupons hurts all of us in the long run. Stores will quickly develop attitudes about couponers that will make it difficult for anyone looking for a good deal.

That doesn’t mean that we become push overs, but if all else fails, put the items back instead of yelling.

4. Always, always ask to speak to a manager. Do not take the cashier’s word for it, ask politely to speak to a manager.

Most stores do not train cashiers on coupons, only a few offer coupon training and in fact, it’s actually voluntary. This means it’s completely logical for a cashier to think something weird is happening when you walk out with four bags of free food. Politely asking for a manager will likely clear up the issue.

If the situation persists, ask them to put your items back and get your money back. Then, call/e-mail the corporate office to let them know what happened.

5. Always read the fine print. Does your coupon have a minimum purchase requirement? Is it only good on certain dates? Or, in the case of Walgreens, can it only be used at certain registers?

Sometimes just one little missed sentence can throw the whole deal off. Be sure to take a quick glance at your coupons before you hit the store.

I teach the ‘official’ coupon policies of area stores. However, if Manager Joe decides he doesn’t want to take your coupons-that’s up to him. You’ll have to take that up with corporate.

Typically stores are not supposed to change their coupon policies on a whim and calling the corporate offices can get things right back on track.

I get many e-mails from folks who have had a coupon issues at area  stores. While I do want to know if policies have changed and I do want to hear your stories, I do not work for a store so I cannot properly handle the issue for you.

Also, I hate to say it, but mentioning my name at the checkout will not get you special treatment. Maybe one day, but not today.

 If you want to see real change or if you think you were done wrong, please contact the manger and/or the corporate offices. They do listen to customers!

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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Feb 15, 2010 09:59 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

EXCELLENT post...thanks for the reminders!

Feb 15, 2010 11:37 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Thanks for the great post!

A future post idea is "how to politely deal with coupon hating customers in line behind you."

I had an experience in Target two weeks ago where a woman in the lane next to me (not even behind me) was laughing at me and shouted hatefully as loud as she could "Did you save your 20 cents???" while all the other customers gawked and the cashiers snickered.

I was baffled that someone could be so rude, that I just ignored her and went on handing over my coupons. If that negative woman only knew the power of couponing, she would know I was the one laughing my way out the door after I saved $55 on Pampers!!

This experience was by far the worst, as I've had my fair share of people in line behind me sighing, rolling thier eyes or loudly stomping off to another line while muttering under their breath.

I try to warn people behind me that I'm using coupons and/or price matching, and it usually goes smoothly, but there are those times when a coupon won't ring up right and a manager has to paged and it holds up the line.

Coupon Queen, do you have any advice on dealing with these types of situations?

Feb 15, 2010 03:15 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

WOW!! I can't believe that woman said that to you! In a perfect situation, I would reply 'Nope, I didn't save .20, I saved $55 bucks!'

However, I will say, I'm more confrontational in writing than in person. I've learned to not even pay attention to people acting that way. I get it too. I've had people make fun of me b/c of my name (Coupon Queen), my site, etc. The thing about it is that it actually works and we are actually saving money. Plus, we don't just save a measly .20-we save thousands of dollars a year!

It has taken me a long time to be confident in saving money especially when everyone around us is spending it. But, with half a million views on this site every month, I would say you have more people behind you than against you!

I think that woman went beyond rude but in most situations, I would say just ignore it-they have no idea what they are missing! =)

Feb 15, 2010 04:26 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I completely understand people being rude about coupons. I like to use restaurant coupons at work for lunch and most of the time I get to eat for free because of it. The girls I work with laugh and call me the Coupon Queen (I consider myself a princess I would never try to dethrone the real Queen). Some say its a waste of time, If they only new how much I save with clipping coupons.

Feb 15, 2010 07:18 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

LJ, I would say that she's just jealous! :) I have people make comments too or give me looks like they deserve to be in front of me in line because I have coupons. Well, whatever! I also get some cashiers who are hateful too. And do you think that's going to stop me from couponing? NOPE! I should take a pic of my freezer, my cabinets and my bank acct balance and show them that this is all worth it!!!

And honestly, I have learned to not care about what they think... I just kill them with kindess and off I go saving!

Feb 16, 2010 09:56 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dear Coupon Queen,

As far as getting manufacturers coupons off their websites, most of them require you to fill out a bunch of personal info before giving you access to coupons. I feel uncomfortable about putting my personal info all over the place. Are there other ways to get those coupons without revealing personal info? I really apprecaite and admire you.

Feb 16, 2010 05:29 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I have just become interested in couponing but not sure how to go about getting started. I am probably trying to make it harder than it really is. Any tidbit of help would be appreciated.

Apr 7, 2010 10:03 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

[...] Check out this past post: What to do if Your Coupons are Denied. Be sure to call managers if your coupons are in question and take [...]

Apr 7, 2010 10:59 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I want to know how LJ saved $55 on pampers!!!! I have a 3 month old and could use any tips/coupon knowledge on diapers!

Apr 7, 2010 12:05 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I have had problems using coupons at Walmart too. If they have Del Rio, TX on them the Walmart in Skiatook won't take them. Cashier said the company doesn't exist and they can't get there money back.

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