WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Perfect example of couponer greed

Posted November 5, 2013



If you are wondering why there are often many items sold out by the time you make it to a Super Doubles event, it's probably because people like this shopper blatantly break the store policies. Here's a perfect example of couponer greed (ie: what not to do in couponing).

I was told by a Harris Teeter customer service manager this morning about a woman who shopped there earlier today.  She was surprised when none of her 20 coupons would double. When the employee asked her if she had been to any other Harris Teeter stores today, she said that she had NOT shopped at any other HT locations today.

The customer service person then let her know he just needed to look up her card to verify it had not already been used already.  At that point, apparently the shopper developed a little twitch in her eye and suddenly remembered that she HAD been to another Harris Teeter this morning. She said she only picked up a few things though.

Well, when the CSM went to check the system, it was clear that she had already used 20 coupons at TWO different Harris Teeter stores this morning. The store she was at was the THIRD store at which she attempted to use 20 coupons. When I asked the CSM how she was able to do 2 shops with 20 coupons using the same card in the same day, we both thought that the other store probably didn't bother to check with customer service to see if she had already shopped at HT today and just did an override for all of them.....which they should never have done (and I have never seen another store do).

Obviously, the astute CSM that caught her explained that she would not be able to double any more coupons today so she had them remove every single item other than a box of Pop Tarts from her order.

The CSM also noted that she was not a regular Harris Teeter customer at that store and clearly there for only the Super Doubles deals.

If you are the Pop Tart lady, please know that there are many other people who follow the rules and coupon ethically.  We are NOT okay with you going from store to store against company policy so you can hoard all the good deals. I will be contacting my HT corporate contact to encourage further training for stores so they do NOT let shoppers break the rules like this. 

Thoughts, anyone? Have you seen any coupon fraud being committed lately?


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  • claytonsaver Nov 9, 2013

    I appreciated this post, especially about the ZVR issues as mine did not work last week.
    Odd to me that when I used 14 coupons last week during my one trip of the week to HT Super Doubles, the cashier got a message to call a supervisor over. I jokingly said, "Were my deals too good?" and they responded positively. Wondering now how that works and if the cashier thought I was a thief. This was the same trip were I did not get my ZVRs and bought items that were not SD spending about $30.
    I contacted Faye awhile back about people trying to use coupons that would scan without the product. It was obvious to the cashier that this was fraud and she had the manager deal with the situation.

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Nov 7, 2013

    Agreed, jdouglas. Happy2.0 - just go to your favorite HT, and explain the issue to customer service. Trust me, they know how messed up the ZVR system has been for a long time. Give up the old card. Get a new one (and you may want to use a different e-mail address when you sign up the new card) and start over. Hopefully that will solve the issue. :-)

  • jdouglas13 Nov 7, 2013

    Happy 2.0, you aren't trying to defraud HT, you are just trying to get your VIC card to work right so you can get all the benefits from it that you are entitled to. Personally, I would go to a store to CS and close out the old card, and just start over with a new card and account. There is nothing unethical at all about that.

  • happy2.0 Nov 6, 2013

    Reading all these comments has put me in a dilemma. Awhile back, I forgot my password to log in to HT. I wrote to them and asked for it to be reset because I never got the email link that you are supposed to get. Well, they never wrote back. I wrote to HT several times. Truly frustrating. I've stopped shopping because I can't access my ZVR's. So I was thinking the other day that I would just open a new account but now I wonder if they will think that I'm trying to scam.

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Nov 6, 2013

    jondoe - very true.

  • jondoe Nov 6, 2013

    This may have already been posted, I didn't bother to read every single reply but it is not always fraud that clears the shelves. Today there are so many couponers that if a handful of them go to any one store and buy 1 or 2 of the same item, the shelf will clear very fast until they restock later that day or night.

  • hillbillyspitfire Nov 6, 2013

    after reading this post and all the stories, to me its just the same as stealing!!! I no longer even go to HT the closest one to me is over an hour drive, and it doesnt matter what day i go on SD most of what i want or need is always out of stock.Its just not worth it to me any more, i have found watching the sales at walmart, foodlion and drug stores i can still get some really good sales...And when you use coupons people and cashiers really do treat you differant

  • smolder13 Nov 6, 2013

    Things like this make me so mad. The greed of people like this, who abuse the system, are going to ruin couponing for the rest of us.

  • meredith88 Nov 6, 2013

    Actually I did just remember a story of dishonest couponers. Last December Food Lion put out a great coupon for $5 off any $5 purchase. When I went to use mine on the last day before it expired there was a long line at the register. All 5 shoppers before me were from the same family and all wanted to use the coupon on $6 purchases. I'm happy to say that the cashier immediately caught on and did not allow the other 4 shoppers to use their coupon because they are in the same household. 3 of the shoppers were kids, all under age 10. Sadly by the time we left the store we'd seen 3 other families try the same thing. It seems as though the better the coupon, the more people try to take advantage of it instead of just being grateful for the awesome coupon!

  • smccausley Nov 6, 2013

    What irks me more than anything else is going to the store and seeing a whole family, each pushing their buggy and filling it up, from the Mom & Dad down to the 3 kids, including one around 10 years old. I was under the impression that there was a limit of 20 coupons per day per household - are they all living in separate locations? And then you go to the flea market down the road and they're selling what they purchased to make money for their next trip. I love going shopping and go several times during events --- but any excess I get I give to those less fortunate than me - a cousin who is up in age and on an extremely fixed income, an aunt who is not able to even go out anymore to the food bank once a month, aides at the nursing home where our mother lives - raising families on small incomes and working hard to make our mother's life much better --- nothing is worth having unless you can share it with others -