Help! My grocery store won't accept internet coupons

Unfortunately some grocery stores do not accept coupons printed from the internet. This can be a frustrating experience for shoppers who may not receive a sunday paper and don't have any other avenues for obtaining coupons.

Why would stores not accept internet coupons? Probably the biggest reason is the opportunity for fraud is much higher than with newspaper coupons. It's easy to print and copy an internet coupon multiple times and pass it around. In some cases this is acceptable but many grocery coupons are printed with an unique ID that is supposed to be used only once.

Several online distributors of coupons provide information on what to do if this occurs to you. Coupons.com provides a resource page which recommends you do three things: 1) contact Coupons.com, 2) call the store's corporate headquarters to make sure the local store is correct in rejecting the coupons and 3) call the store's customer service number to request a change in policy.

SmartSource also has a PDF document that it encourages shoppers to distribute to stores who do not accept internet coupons.

Realistically it will be difficult to single-handily change a store's policy. But it certainly helps to inform your local store that you want to use internet coupons and you are willing to take your business elsewhere.

• Published: November 11, 2011
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