A local supermarket chain (and I use that term loosely since they only have a few stores) recently instituted a policy that they will no longer accept coupons from the Internet. This means coupons from Coupons.com, Smartsource.com, Redplum.com or other sites that offer legitimate manufacturers coupons will no longer be accepted.
I’ve heard for a long time that Internet coupons will eventually take more and more market share from the traditional Sunday paper inserts.
Our household uses both. We clip coupons, and I also go onto the coupon sites once a week and print out offers from there. We print all of our coupons from one computer so we don’t game the system by over-printing or copying coupons.
This, apparently, was what led the grocery store chain in question to prohibit these coupons, as they said some customers were using them in ways that they shouldn’t, so they decided to stop accepting them altogether.
Only one time have we ever had a problem with Internet coupons. At a Meijer store, a rather difficult cashier wouldn’t accept one of the coupons, claiming it was a fraud. This was odd because she accepted other printed coupons in the same order. A manager later apologized after we complained. Other than that, we’ve had no problems. But this concerns me a bit.
Just a bit, though, for now.
The chain in question has never been one of my favorites. As I said before, they only have a few stores so their influence is not all that great. I’ve never been impressed with their stores, layout, or pricing, but apparently they do well enough to stay in business for decades.
Still, when you see something like this, you wonder if they’re bucking the trend or if other stores will take notice.
Personally, I think internet coupons are great, but I can see where stores or manufacturers might get burned if customers start using them improperly.
Have any of you used Internet coupons regularly? Have you had any times where they’ve not been accepted or heard of policies where they might not be accepted? I’m curious what experiences others have had.