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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Walmart Coupon Policy Changes September 2012

-Walmart has made some changes to its internal coupon policy this month.  Here's a brief rundown to what you might see happening in the store, and why.

According to Paul from over at I Heart the Mart, Walmart instituted a new coupon policy for cashiers, CSMs, and managers beginning September 1.

Going forward, Walmart cashiers must scan all coupons on the flatbed scanner, not on the handheld scanner.  If a coupon doesn't scan, neither the cashier or the manager can override the computer -- they will just refuse the coupon.

This new policy applies to ALL coupons -- both newspaper coupons and printable coupons.

In the long term, this will help Walmart cut down on internal and external cases of coupon fraud -- Paul says his store has been losing over $10,000 a month on improperly used coupons!

So obviously this is a step that Walmart really needs to take -- if stores are losing that kind of money to coupon fraud, it's only a matter of time before all shoppers pay for it in the form of higher prices.

But in the short term, this could be a real pain for couponers, especially if a coupon is printed with both the new GS1 bar codes and the old bar codes.

It's very likely that your cashier will not know which bar code to scan -- and that could result in a coupon being refused when it's completely legitimate.

So if and when this happens to you, be sure to ask for a CSM or manager -- they won't be able to override the computer for a fraudulent or improperly used coupon, but they may be able to help the cashier figure out which bar code is readable by their register.

Also, I don't think it's a bad idea to start using a higher-quality print setting on the coupons you print.  I have personally found that coupons I print in a draft setting seem to be refused more frequently than coupons that use a touch more ink.

Your turn:  How do you handle it when your coupons don't scan at check-out?  Do your cashiers work with you, or have you walked away empty-handed?  Share your experiences in the comment section below.

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