Readers share coupon complaints


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Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2012, 2:52 pm
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By Jill Cataldo
My readers continue to share many coupon tips, stories and complaints via email. Here's a sampling of what has landed in my inbox lately! First, Rick offers a strategy for dealing with coupons that a cashier incorrectly refuses to honor at the register:

Dear Jill,
While merchants can refuse any coupon, if they refuse one because the product is the 'wrong size' when the coupon does not include a size restriction, I say let them make a scene. I love to embarrass merchants and point out their lack of comprehension of the English language in front of as many customers as possible. – Rick J.

Dear Rick,
While I don't aim to cause a scene, I have been known to question cashiers when their judgment seems to supersede the wording on a coupon. Once, a cashier questioned my use of a deodorant coupon that stated it was valid on any size.

Of course, I wanted the travel-sized deodorant and the $1 coupon would make the deodorant free.

She said, "I don't think you should get this free." I gently explained there was no difference to the store whether I paid $1 for the deodorant or gave them a $1 coupon – the store would still get a dollar and I would get my deodorant.

I added if the manufacturer intended to exclude the trial size, that exclusion would appear on the coupon. The cashier then allowed me to use the coupon.

Dear Jill,
Have you ever heard of a particular national pharmacy chain that advertises items as "on sale" in the Sunday paper, but somehow manages not to have many of the most popular sale items in stock during the sale?

This chain also refrains from restocking sale items until after the rain check expires. Other than boycotting the business, is there anything shoppers can do about it? – Cathy O.

Dear Cathy,
Finding sold-out sale items at the pharmacy is an unfortunate happenstance most couponers have experienced. We're pretty skilled at spotting the best deals each week. Often, the smaller shelves at drugstores mean limited quantities of the products we're all chasing.

However, most rain checks are good for at least 30 days. One month seems like an awfully long time to have open space on a shelf that could be selling product and generating revenue for the store.

Have you tried asking your store manager if you can simply special-order the products? I've had good success asking my local stores to order a specific quantity of the item I'm seeking, and having them call me when the item is back in stock.

In this case, the store may hold your items so you can simply go in and pick them up – long before your rain check expires.Wrapping up for this week, Nathaniel has a question on store coupon policies:

Dear Jill,
Why do stores and cashiers not know their own coupon policies? My local store has the policy where if you forget to use a coupon, you can bring it back within 30 days and get the cash back for the coupons.

But nearly every time I try to do this the cashier looks bewildered. It's so bad I printed out the store's coupon policy from its website and now carry it with me while shopping. Is there anything we can do to get cashiers to know the store policy better?" – Nathaniel N.

Dear Nathaniel,
Coupon shoppers often know the intricacies of a store's coupon policy better than the person standing in front of us at the register. In defense of cashiers, they often get little or no training on the store's coupon policies.

There's nothing wrong with carrying a copy of the store's coupon policy with you if it helps alleviate confusion at the register.

Next week, I'll share more reader shopping and couponing grievances – and offer solutions.

Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about Super-Couponing at her website, www.jillcataldo.com. Email your own couponing victories and questions to jill@ctwfeatures.com.




















 



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  Today is Friday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2014. There are 103 days left in the year.
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1889 -- 125 years ago: The George Fleming company had begun its dried fruit packing in a branch plant on 16th Street, Rock Island, employing nearly a hundred workers.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The cornerstone of the new Eagles home was laid. Building committee members were John Kobeman, Fred Ehmke and Frank Wich.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Former Kaiser Wilhelm, in exile, is sad as the Nazis march with communists.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Ninety-two members of the acappella choir at Davenport's West High School today accepted an invitation to perform at the New York World's Fair on June 13, 1965.
1989 -- 25 years ago: A Rock Island woman is one of 50 winners of $10,000 in cash in the Illinois State Lottery's "Celebration "89" instant ticket game. Dawn Loeffler was the third winner to be chosen through daily drawings that began Aug. 28 and will run 50 consecutive days.






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