The Fine Print on Coupons – When It’s Aggravating

Recently one of the local businesses in our area started to include coupons at the local grocery store on the back of the receipt.  I think this is a great way for a company to advertise because they encourage new customers to visit their store and also to keep current customers coming back.

But this past week I ran into a situation which didn’t make good business sense to me.

Last week we needed to buy more lay crumble for our hens.  Mr. A told me to go to the “new” feed store since he had a $5 off coupon.  He said if I bought three bags of feed, that would be over $35 and that’s how much you have to spend to use the coupon.  He’d done it before, so I went right down to do the same.

I went to the counter and showed the woman my coupon, and said I’d like three bags of lay crumble.

She looked at my coupon and told me they weren’t taking coupons for feed.

I looked at her not sure if I’d heard her correctly.  Seriously?  This is a feed store, and they don’t accept their coupons toward feed?   I asked her why not and she said because people were abusing the coupons, so they decided to not allow people to buy feed.  But why restrict feed? Why not restrict the number of coupons per purchase?  Or per person?

I looked at the coupon and saw in very fine print that they indeed were not to be used toward feed.  At that point, I decided I only wanted one bag of chicken feed.  I did not know how much it was at the other feed store, so I didn’t want to end up having to spend more in the end.

I don’t understand what kind of sense that makes.  This is a feed store, they sell quite a bit of “feed” whether that be hay for horses, or chicken feed, or goat chow, dog food, cat food…

It seems to me that it would have been better to allow customers to buy feed, in my case, allow me to buy my three bags of feed thereby selling $45 worth of product minus the $5 coupon, than for me to only buy one bag and make $15.  I know they know they aren’t the only feed store in town and people have loyalties to the other business which has been around for over a decade. My husband says he would have left without buying anything, because the other feed store has the chicken feed for less, and he says he will not shop at the new one again, they have lost his business.

Have you ever been aggravated by the fine print on coupons? Have you ever been so annoyed you stopped shopping at a store?




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3 comments to The Fine Print on Coupons – When It’s Aggravating

  • Oh I definitely have (interestingly enough I have a post up right now about new fine print I’ve found on coupons recently).

    Macy’s coupons have terrible fine print as well. You have to ask yourself what DO they accept the coupon for?


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Amanda L Grossman, I just read your post on the fine print. Wow. There are a lot of new changes. I know a couple of extreme couponers in real life but haven’t heard if they have been affected by the new rules. Thanks for your comment and very interesting post!


  • Just this morning I was at Bed Bath and Beyond and they rejected someone’s coupon because it wasn’t one of the 30 locations that accepted that specific coupon. The guy was pissed (rightfully so), because he made a special trip for one thing and there was no real reason why it wouldn’t be accepted at that store.


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