Update – Kroger Digital Coupon Confusion

by Beth Montgomery on July 2, 2010 · 4 comments

in Coupons & Rebates, Kroger, Store Deals

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It’s taken me a while to get back to you with what I found out about the Kroger Digital Coupons and if they’re stackable or not.   that’s because it’s taken me this long to find someone who actually knew the answer!   First, I’ll start with the good news –

Kroger is in the process of writing an official nationwide coupon policy to help with the store-to-store confusion!   When it’s finalized, they’ll be sending me a copy, so I can let you know.   I don’t know if that’s a coupon policy only for the digital coupons or for all coupons, but I really hope they hop on board and make some decisions about all coupons nationwide, so there isn’t ‘so much store to store confusion!   Currently, their coupon policies vary by region and/or store.

Now in other news… Here’s what has happened.   Kroger, wanting to drive traffic to their own website and simplify things for their customers, is now using a service that streams digital coupons from Cellfire, Shortcuts, and P&G e-Saver into one spot on their site and mixed them with Kroger store coupons.   So, Kroger’s coupon page is a mixture of store and manufacturer coupons.

- – Standard Facts – -

  • Most stores, including Kroger, allow you to use one store and one manufacturer coupon per item.
  • Manufacturers do not want stores accepting two manufacturer coupons per item and even include this in their coupon fine print.
  • Cellfire, Shortcuts, and P&G e-Saver do not encourage using their digital manufacturer coupons with manufacturer paper coupons.

- – Problems – -

  • There is no way for couponers to know which coupons are from which source, so if you load coupons from Cellfire, then unknowingly try to load the same coupon from Kroger’s website, you’ll get an error message saying you’ve already loaded this offer.
  • Manufacturer and store coupons are mixed up without any way for couponers to easily know which is which, so we can’t easily try to play by the standard coupon policies.
  • There is no way for the check-out system or cashiers to know which are store or manufacturer coupons.

- – Kroger’s Answer – -

Because of this, Kroger has taken this stance –

It is up to each store’s manager, if the store will allow digital coupons to be stacked with manufacturer coupons or not.

So, basically, you’ll have to ask at your store to get the answer.   And, when you do find the answer, it’s an all or nothing situation currently.   If the store allows stacking, then they allow all digital coupons, even manufacturer coupons, to stack with manufacturer paper coupons.   And vice versa, if they do not allow stacking.

- – In Good Cent’s Weekly Deals – -

Below is an excerpt from the official Indiana-Area coupon policy for Kroger Stores

ONLINE COUPONS versus PAPER COUPONS:
Customers may not use an online coupon and a paper coupon together for the same item.   The online coupon will always take priority over the paper coupon.

Since In Good Cents uses the Indiana-Area circulars to do weekly coupon matchups for Kroger, I’ll be taking the “no stacking” approach to match my area’s current coupon policy until further   notice.   However, some stores in Indiana are still allowing the stacking of digital coupons with paper coupons, so you may get bonus savings if you’re one of the lucky ones.

- – My Unanswered Questions – -

Personally, I feel that Kroger has put themself in this situation, so if my store allowed stacking, I wouldn’t feel bad about doing it.   It’s Kroger that will get the heat in the end from the manufacturers, since we’re just following their current policy.

And, I probably shouldn’t care, but I over think everything, so I have a ton of questions I’ll probably never get answered!

  • How do the manufacturers feel about this?
  • Is Kroger store getting reimbursed for both coupons from the manufacturer if they allow stacking? Or are they eating that additional coupon cost?
  • Is this even legal according to Cents-Off and digital coupon participating companies, like P&G and General Mills?   Or is it out of their jurisdiction?
  • Are the cash register systems now up-to-date to stop stacking or are the cashiers told to manually checking for this?
  • Why don’t stores have an actual serious couponer or two involved in decisions like this? Any one of us could have immediately pointed out this issue, since we all want to stack for maximum savings and always think about store versus manufacturer coupons.

Oh well.   I guess this case is closed until we get that nationwide policy!   Can you stack digital coupons with paper coupons at your local Kroger store? What are your thoughts?

Don’t forget to check out all of the store deals and the other Kroger deals.

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