WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Food Lion explains free product coupon glitch

Posted May 5, 2016

Food Lion freebies

Food Lion has issued a formal statement about the free product coupons that appeared and then mysteriously disappeared from the digital coupon accounts of many shoppers on Wednesday morning.

The WRAL Smart Shopper blog even made the national coupon news with this story.

On May 4, many shoppers woke up to find over 29 digital coupons for free products loaded to their Food Lion digital coupon accounts. The excitement here on the Smart Shopper blog was in high gear as everyone logged into their accounts to see if they had the fabulous freebies.

Although many did have the offers loaded, they quickly realized that the free product coupons were disappearing off of their accounts. Food Lion soon confirmed that the offers were mistakenly loaded and they were not meant to be issued.

Although we were all disappointed that the freebies were not legit, I am not surprised. I have never seen a grocery store offer that many freebies at one time.

Accidents happen and this was simply a mistake. For those who made a dash to the store to score the freebies, I certainly understand your frustration when told they were not available.

Smart Shopper blog in national coupon news: Our Smart Shopper blog even made the national coupon news with this story. I interviewed with Bill Wunner of for a story about the error. As he pointed out in the article, there were many upset shoppers posting on the Food Lion Facebook page. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Food lion does to make up for the confusion. Maybe they will offer a wonderful digital coupon freebie on their Facebook page to a larger number of shoppers than they usually include.

Official Food Lion statement: Food Lion External Communications & Community Relations Coordinator Courtney James shared that "Food Lion had a technical error with free item coupons that affected some customers. We quickly identified the issue and swiftly removed the coupons that loaded to customer accounts in error. We apologize for any customers who may have been affected by the situation."

The good news is that it appears that select Food Lion stores will begin accepting competitor's coupons in the near future. I will have more details about the stores that will be included in this promotion soon.


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  • newssaavy72 May 5, 2016

    WOW! I had not heard about this.

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper May 5, 2016

    bfm0903 - I have reached out to corporate about the new competitors coupon policy and they are getting back to me with details on which stores are included and what they will take as comp. coupons. As soon as I have the information, I will post it. I sure hope they will take the drug store coupons you mentioned! :-)

    Em2s - I agree about the positive changes to FL since the remodel. It's much more enjoyable to shop there.

  • bfm0903 May 5, 2016

    My daughter sent me a snapchat of a sign on a local food lion that said they now accepted competitors coupons. I haven't had time to go to food lion and ask questions but does that mean they will accept a rite aid or wlagreens coupon?

  • jdouglas13 May 5, 2016

    Very cool mention on Coupons In The News!! :)

  • Em2s May 5, 2016

    Faye - You're right about the unintended issuance. Really, it's a wonder that more don't occur given the complexities, volume and frequency associated with couponing. Locally, the newly remodeled Food Lions are quite nice, and FL was very generous to shoppers during their grand re-opens. It seemed to boost morale of employees, as well as, improved this shopper's FL experience. I share your opinion that they will likely surprise us with an intentional freebie soon as a goodwill gesture.

    Congratulations on making national news and leading in sharing this story! Your coupon savviness and quick posts benefit us all in so many ways. Thank you for all you do!