PCRS strongly recommends that retailers create and advertise a coupon policy that informs customers of what coupons the store accepts and under what conditions. The policy should be at a minimum posted at the customer service area and on the company’s website. All cashiers and customer service personnel need to know and follow the policy.
With respect to the print-at-home Internet coupons (any offer that is a one-sided black & white or color coupon printed by the consumer on “plain” paper) that are most vulnerable to fraud, minimum standards should include:
Internet coupons are only acceptable if they scan properly
at checkout. If the
coupon will not scan, that may indicate the barcode was manipulated Internet coupons are only acceptable if they scan properly at checkout. If the coupon will not scan, that may indicate the barcode was manipulated.
Internet coupons for FREE product are prohibited. It is an industry practice not to produce Internet coupons for free product. BOGO coupons and other values that have a purchase requirement are acceptable.
Set a maximum value allowed for any Internet coupon between $5 and $10. Internet coupons with unusually high values are often bogus. Retailer needs to select the cut-off value based on their risk tolerance for not getting paid from the manufacturer for a fraudulent coupon vs. the potential of alienating a customer by refusing the coupon.
Do not accept coupons for more than 75% of an items value. Be wary of Internet coupons that have a high value relative to the cost of the item. For example, a $2 coupon is acceptable for a product that normally sells for $5 or more, but a $2 coupon for a product that sells for $2.25 is unlikely to be legitimate.
Reserve the right to refuse any coupon that does not appear to have been properly redeemed or for which you are concerned you may not receive reimbursement from the manufacturer.
Here is a sample Coupon Policy that you may use and modify as necessary to fit your stores needs: Coupon Policy:
The customer must purchase the specific item(s) to which the coupon applies.
Coupons must be presented to the cashier at the time of checkout.
All manufacturer coupons must clearly indicate that they are a manufacturer coupon and have a valid manufacture address on the printed coupon.
Coupons must have an expiration date and not be expired.
We accept only coupons that scan accurately at the checkout register.
We do not accept altered or tampered (i.e. expiration date cut off) or Xerox copied coupons.
We do not accept coupons from competitors.
The value of the coupon cannot exceed the price of the item.
Coupons are subject to advertised offer limitations and all other limitations and restrictions printed on coupon.
Coupons have no cash value and they cannot be exchanged for cash or gift cards.
Any applicable sales tax, bottle deposits, etc. must be paid by the consumer.
We reserve the right to refuse any coupon or to limit the number of coupons being used in a transaction.
In order for a coupon to be doubled, the customer must use their (insert name of store loyalty card).
We do not double the value of FREE coupons, Catalina coupons or store coupons.
The total doubled value cannot exceed the price of the item.
Only one coupon for the same item will be doubled, all others will be redeemed at their face value.
Only one like coupon will be doubled.
Only coupons with a face value of up to an including $x.xx will be doubled.
Note: if the store does not offer double coupons, the Double Coupons section should be omitted and the following clause should be added to the stores overall Coupon Policy: We do not offer double coupons all coupons will be redeemed at their face value only.
We gladly accept valid Internet/Print-at-Home coupons (the same coupon rules above apply to all Internet/Print-at-Home coupons) with the following exceptions:
No FREE item coupons.
Coupon face value cannot exceed $x.xx.
Coupon value cannot exceed 75% of the sale price of the product.
Note: if the store does not accept Internet/Print-at-Home coupons, the Internet/Print-at-Home Coupons section should be omitted and the following clause should be added to the stores overall Coupon Policy: We do not accept Internet/Print-at-Home coupons.