Q & A: Will doubled coupons offer overage?
Posted January 7, 2013
One of our readers e-mailed me with a question that some of you may also be asking. Her question is about whether coupons will double to more than the cost of the item and why she sometimes gets overage.
Here's her question and my thoughts on the subject.
QUESTION: "If you recall, one of the Saturday specials for many of us was the purchase of up to two Lysol products for just $0.97 each. Although that’s a great deal in and of itself, I also had a manufacturer coupon for $2.00/2 – which is the quantity I had, and would have ended up being a “money maker” I guess (although I’ve never quite understood what that meant, since HT isn’t allowed to give us money back.)
If I understand what happened correctly, instead of allowing that $2.00 coupon to double (as part of the Super Double promotion,) he put it in for -$1.94 instead, saying that they’re not allowed to use coupons for more than the value of the product(s) being purchased as part of that coupon (hence the -$1.94.)
I’m fine either way, but I could have sworn I had a situation just a few days prior where due to everything in my order being free (due to my coupons), I had a balance of -$0.52. The cashier just told me to grab a candy bar or something, which I did, and just paid the difference. "
ANSWER: The cashier who rang up the Lysol was correct. The Harris Teeter coupon policy indicates that they will not let manufacturer coupons double to any more than the price of the item(s). He did the right thing.
In your previous order, where you had a negative balance, you probably had manufacturer's coupons that doubled up to the price of the products making them free (or close to it) AND a Harris Teeter ZVR e-coupon, competitor's coupon or Catalina coupon in addition to the manufacturer's coupons? Any of those could allow you to have overage and end up with a negative balance.
Every once in a blue moon, a coupon may scan for more than the product price giving you overage, as well. This is rare for most coupons, though. I have seen this happen a number of times with free product coupons or Buy 1 Get 1 Free coupons for items that are on sale, but the coupon still takes off the full price amount. That exact scenario is actually taking place this week at CVS with the BOGO Stayfree pads. They are on sale BOGO for $3.79, but the coupon is taking off $4.49 when it is scanned. My cashier simply adjusted the coupon to take off $3.79, making the product free with no overage.
And then sometimes, a coupon may not scan at all, causing the customer service manager to do an override and enter it manually. When this happens, the coupon will usually double completely (if it is within the dollar amount that the store is doubling), even if the product price was less than the coupon doubled. This happens because the coupon is entered manually and not attached to the product so the register doesn't realize that the coupon doubled is more than the amount of the product.
So, although it does not happen often, sometimes you will get overage and you'll just need to make sure you have enough product in your transaction to cover it since they are not supposed to give you cash back. This means that sometimes, you may have to buy a pack of gum or a candy bar to get back into the positive.
If you have any other thoughts on why this could happen, please share them.