Thursday, July 9, 2009

KMart Coupon Policy

I recently contacted KMart customer service in search of a Printed Coupon Policy. Joanne J., a retail Customer Care rep responded, "Unfortunately, we do not have a coupon policy that we can send to our customers. However, we would be glad to answer any questions you have regarding our coupon policy." She answered my questions, but after deeper questioning, I later got someone else who sent me what appears to be an actual policy, at least regarding Internet Printable Coupons, included below.
Here is a copy of my Coupon Policy Interview with KMart. I let Joanne know that I would be publishing this info here:

1. Do you take ALL manufacturer coupons? Do you exclude any? Ex: above $5 off, BOGO offers, coupons for free product?

We accept any manufacturer's coupons that have a scannable bar code and that are not copied from an original coupon. Upon using the coupon, it must be surrendered to the cashier. We accept $5 off coupons, BOGO offer coupons, and free product coupons, but they are not doubled during our double coupon events.


2. Do you accept Internet Printable Coupons? May I print them in black and white? What if any restrictions do you place on IPs.

We do accept internet printable coupons as long as they have a scannable bar code. They may be printed in black and white, and we do not have any restrictions on IPs that our office is aware of.


3. May I use a Kmart store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on the same product? Does this vary based on the store coupon?

More than one coupon may not be used on a single product, so we could not accept a Kmart store coupon along with a manufacturer's coupon on the same item.


4. What is your policy on overage: when the value of the coupon exceeds the value of the product? {Your registers auto-adjust down, Ex: $1.00 off coupon on $0.97 cent product.}

We do not accept nor double/triple coupons where the value of a coupon exceeds the value of the product.

Are you reading this one as shocked as me? See KMart IP Policy & my commentary below.


5. Is there a limit of # of coupons per transaction?

During our double coupon events, there is a limit, and that limit varies by event. However, during regular business days, any limit the number of coupons a customer may use during that day may be imposed by the store manager if necessary.


6. Are individual stores allowed to impose their own rules or vary from these policies?

Individual stores should not be imposing their own rules nor vary from our policy unless they have previous permission from our corporate office.


7. Do your stores give out rain checks? (a rain check is given if a sale product is out of stock, when the next shipment arrives, even if the sale period is over a rain check guarantees you the sale price for your items)

We do give out rain checks on certain items. However, if an item is part of a sale that only lasts a few hours, or if the advertisement specifies that quantities are limited, we do not offer rain checks.

8. Do you stores allow special ordering, in order to buy in larger quantities without clearing shelves?

Our stores are unable to place special orders for customers. When we are having a special on a certain product, a larger quantity of that product is usually sent to our stores.


9. Is there a contact phone number that can be called if a customer is having policy trouble?

If you are having any issues with your local store, including coupon problems, you may email us at help@customerservice.kmart.com or contact our Retail Customer Care department at 1-800-549-4505.

Concerning Double Coupon Days:
10. When policy states only 10 coupons may be doubled per customer per day:
May I still use more than 10 coupons? Example: May I use 15 coupons, but only double 10 of them?

When policy states only 10 coupons may be doubled per customer per day, you may use more than 10 coupons, but only 10 will be doubled. For instance, you may use 15 coupons, but only 10 will be doubled.

11. If I shop with my child may I have them do a transaction with another 10 coupons? Who constitutes a customer? Someone over 18 or anybody?

Anyone making a purchase in our store should be considered a "customer". However, during our double coupon events, we ask our cashiers and managers to use their own discretion when a customer is wanting to have their young children do transactions with coupons in addition to the adult customer's transaction.


I asked for clarification on the policy regarding a coupon's value exceeding the item's value. The first response told me to speak with my store manager. I replied to that response and asked if that meant that the policy was up to each individual store. At last, I received this:
(kinda wished I hadn't asked. . . brace yourselves. . . it's not good.)

Kmart's Print-at-Home Internet Coupon Acceptance Policy:
sent to me 7/9/09 from Elizabeth A., National Customer Relations

Effective March 1, 2009 , Kmart will accept industry-standard, secure print-at-home coupons.
Due to the continuing shift in utilizing online facilities, allowing the redemption of print at home coupons is becoming a larger more important aspect to the budget wise customer. But there is a significant risk in fraudulent alerted coupons. It is critical that the following guidelines be understood and followed to identify coupons that will not be accepted by the Kmart register operators.
Kmart can only accept print-at-home coupons if they scan properly at checkout.
Legitimate printable coupons are delivered using special software designed to print a properly rendered barcode on the coupon and limit the number of coupons printed. If the coupon does not scan properly it cannot be accepted
Kmart will not accept coupons for more than about 75% of a product's value.
For example, a $2 off coupon for a product that sells for $2.25 is unlikely to be legitimate. If there are exceptions, Kmart is usually provided advance notice by the manufacturer.
Coupons will be rejected if they appear distorted or blurry, altered in any way, or are obvious duplicates.
Kmart will not accept " FREE product" (no purchase required) print-at-home coupons.
It is currently an industry practice not to produce print-at-home manufacturer's coupons for free product. Buy-one-get-one-free coupons and other values that have a purchase requirement are acceptable.

Kmart's Double Coupon Acceptance Policy
(Double Manufacturer Coupons Up to & including $2 value):
Amount of credit from doubling a coupon cannot exceed the current retail price of a single item.
No cash or in-store purchase credit will be awarded for any amount exceeding the retail price of the item.
Limit 1 coupon for each item purchased.
Only 1 coupon will be doubled per item.
You may only purchase 4 of the same item using double coupons.
Buy One, Get One offers, Kmart Savings coupons and Kmart Store coupons are excluded from this promotion.
Coupons do not apply to sales tax.
Limit 10 coupons per customer per day.


Many of these points, especially regarding the coupon exceeding the value of the item come as a shock to me. Here are my two cents on the matter. Bare in mind, I'm not KMart CEO, Coupon Queen of the world, Oprah or the Easter Bunny. I'm not looking to tell you what to do, I just want to pass along information and allow you to make your own decisions.
I have shopped at many KMart locations, mostly during double coupon days in 2 different states. My experience and the experience of ALL those I've talked to makes me very aware that KMart managers do NOT know or enfore this policy. Their registers are set to auto-adjust down the price of an item. Why even bother setting your register to do that if your policy is to not even accept the coupon if it exceeds the value?
I'm going to start actively seeking out my store managers before I do transactions where I use coupons that exceed 75% of the item's value. I believe every time, I'll be given permission to use the coupon. I respect policies like these, meant to reduce acceptance of fraudulent coupons, but I will keep posting KMart deals and freebies until they start teaching their policy to their managers, or to their customer service reps who are unaware that any policy even exists.
This is still valuable information to have. If your cashier or manager refuse your coupons, the policy is on their side. We can only do what is allowed in our stores--- aw man! Now KMart's starting to remind me of Walmart a little bit. . . never a good thing!




4 comments:

Maven of Savin' said...

WOW!! Thanks for this extensive post. I know it will help many, many, many of use newbies!!!

Sara said...

I've become more and more frustrated with the doubles at Kmart and the service I've received.

Annie said...

Our SuperK's here are superdoubling this week, but with a caveat that you must spend $25 AFTER coupons. I don't recall them having a minimum purchase before?? The text of our local ad is as follows (web version):
_____________

SUPER DOUBLE MANUFACTURER COUPONS UP TO & INCLUDING $2 VALUE

thru Jul 14
+ Add to Shopping List

With purchase of $25 or more in grocery & drugstore merchandise.

Wednesday, July 8 thru Tuesday, July 14, 2009, at participating stores only.
Participating stores only. Amount of credit from doubling a coupon cannot exceed the current retail price of a single item. No cash or in-store purchase credit will be awarded for any amount exceeding the retail price of the item. Limit 1 coupon for each item purchased. Only 1 coupon will be doubled per item. You may only purchase 4 of the same item using double coupons. Buy One, Get One offers, Kmart Savings coupons and Kmart Store coupons are excluded from this promotion. Coupons do not apply to sales tax. Limit 25 coupons per customer per day. Offer excludes products prohibited by law, including but not limited to alcohol, tobacco, and prescription medication. Not valid on non-merchandise, federal or state regulated items, prior purchases, Lands’ End, Sears merchandise rung on Sears registers within Kmart and kmart.com. In the event of a return, coupon savings may be deducted from the refund. Exclusions apply. Please see store associate for details. Sears Holdings (Kmart) reserves the right to modify or cancel this program at any time.
____________

Note the 'Limit 25 coupons per customer per day' also. That should help with the 10 per transaction question, if you want to use your kids. HTH!

Andrea said...

I take the wording "exceed the value of the item" to mean that they won't give you overage. It doesn't say it can't be "equal to" the value of the item. Also, if the coupon can't exceed 75% of the value of the item, most of the doubles deals are free only after Kmart matches the coupon value, so the coupon value itself doesn't usually exceed 75% of the item.