Target & Their Coupon Policy?

I have had many readers email me so excited because they did not know about Target coupons. They did not know about the wonderful savings that are right there for them to take advantage of. They did not know that being creative with your coupons means dollars in your pocket. And they did not know that Target has a pretty clear coupon policy. Or so I thought.

Let me start by telling you that I purposely limited the amount of Target coupons in my order tonight because they take so long to punch in. Punch in? Yes I said punch in. Target coupons don’t scan at least 90% of the time. Don’t ask me….I don’t know why. If it’s to discourage use of them they are doing a good job. I have stood there while the cashier scans, scans, scans and scans some more…oh sorry am I putting you to sleep. Well then you get the picture. Finally, after I mention that “you might have to punch in the numbers”, scan, scan, scan. Oh boy, this is going to take a while. And then FINALLY they reluctantly punch in the numbers and would you look at that, they work.

Well tonight, we scanned, scanned, scanned and yes scanned some more. And then something different happened. She walked away. Where was she going? Who was she getting? A special scanner employee. That’s it, they hired a professional scanner to make those buggy Target coupons work. Oh but no, she came back alone. Handed me the coupon and proceeded to finish ringing me up. No explanation, no apology, just handed me the coupon.

As my thoughts raced through my head, I found the words to say “is there a problem”? “We can’t take your coupon” she answered. “Your total is $6.54”. “What, wait, what do you mean you can’t take my coupon”? I said. “My manager said if the coupon doesn’t scan we can’t take it” was her response. “But it’s a Target coupon, it’s your own coupon, you just need to key it in” I answered back. “My manager said we can’t take it” was her final answer.

Well at this point, I obviously called for THAT manager who claimed that this was a “new” Target policy and she could print the policy out for me if I liked. Well of course, I liked.

Ten minutes later she came out with some printouts. She quickly pointed to the bottom of the second page, which by the way had something cut off the bottom. What could have been there that she didn’t want me to see, I thought. Hmm?! At the bottom of the second 1/2 page it states:

“Cashiers can accept coupons printed from the internet
Fact: If the coupon scans, accept it”

Her interpertation, “we can’t accept a coupon if we have to punch it in”.

OMG, this is crazy I thought. That is not what it says nor what it implies. Yikes! It’s hard to argue when she just didn’t get it. So I took my FREE Special K cereal I had just purchased and my newly printed Target policy and left.

Once I was home and was able to digest what had happened and really read through the policy, I can see how truly wrong she was.

“When trying to decide if it’s okay to accept a coupon, use this general rule: If the coupon scans at POS, it’s okay to accept it. If hand-keying the numbers from below the left barcode works, accept it. If neither of these approaches works, refuse the coupon”.

Hello Target, I would like to register a complaint.

Nuf said.

To see a copy of the policy go here and here

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  • Anonymous

    Cindy, I have had the same Target exp several times this summer. Each time I leave angry, swearing never to return. And each time it's with Target's own coupons. I wrote to Target, and the man simply clarified their policy — not helpful, since I know the policy — and didn't really do anything else. I also get tired of the eye-rolling, here-she-comes-again that goes with this experience. Mine is the Union target, but it happened in Fairfield too.

  • Cindy Livesey

    It's so frustrating. This was in East Hanover. When I spend my letter to Target I will be sure to say that I already know the policy and have a copy of the coupon policy. Thanks for sharing.

  • lisa

    Cindy, when you print coupons from a kiosk in Target or from Target's Web site, they scan fine. If you print them from a third-party site that is hosting them [[AFC, HCW, ect.]] they DO NOT scan. Those sites resize them and they don't print with the barcode at the correct size. So, you're better off to use the kiosk, print what you think you'll use, and then save them for sales later on.

  • Cindy Livesey

    you have a good point. Thanks Lisa

  • Donna

    This is just a thought, but it may be beneficial to occasionally calibrate your home printer/inkjet, especially after inserting new inks. Calibrating ensures proper color plate registration when printing, which if off, can affect scanning bar codes. I'm not saying this is the problem with Target coupons, because it would affect all coupons, I'm just making a suggestion to do it every now and again.

  • Cindy Livesey

    Good to know. Thanks Donna.