Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ethical CVS Couponing in Light of Extreme Couponing Allegations

There have been some allegations that one of the participants in the latest episode on TLC's Extreme Couponing show misused coupons in her shop that was recorded.  I have delved into it all, but have read snippets that report some of the coupons were not for the exact product purchased, they were the same name brand, but not
the product the coupon was for.  With this fresh in the news (and couponing community) I wanted to address ethical couponing at CVS.

There are several ways to shop at CVS using their Extra Buck program and coupons that will net free items that are against the store's and the manufacturer's intents.  Unfortunately many shoppers apparently feel that "rules" are made to be broken and so they do--often giving all couponers a bad image.  There are so many great deals to be had at CVS within the rules and if we as couponers practice our savings within these boundaries, we will win the respect of the store staff and the corporation and be able to continue to enjoy these great savings that are offered.

I once read this quote in a member's signature on a couponing board:  "Just because it doesn't beep doesn't make it right."  That along with "if in doubt do without" sums up my personal bottom line.  I will choose to practice ethical couponing as I understand it and share only deals and coupons here at Simply CVS that I understand to be within the rules.  This is why often I will not share a printable coupon that is in PDF form as this is the easiest way to provide fraudulent coupons online.  If I can confirm the source to the company itself, I will share it.  But I can easily make a mistake, especially in the excitement of finding a great deal I want to share with you all, that is why I have the Deals Disclaimer posted.

There is a Simply CVS reader, Taika, who is a CVS employee and she will definitely let us know if she sees anything on Simply CVS that is not within the correct usage of coupons or the ECB program.  I once read a coupon I clipped as $1/2 and posted a great deal to be had with it, but when I did I copied the info from a coupon data base which had the correct value:  $1/3 which I did not notice.  Taika quickly pointed out that it could not be used in the manner in which I had posted it since it was off of three not two.  It is comforting to me to know she is watching and will catch what I miss.

I do not write this post to pass judgement on anyone's shopping ethics, just to let you know that what you find posted at Simply CVS is intended to be the correct usage of coupons and extra bucks according to the rules set out by CVS and manufacturers as I understand them.

If you wonder if extreme couponing is possible at CVS, check out this post I recently wrote:  Is Extreme Couponing Possible at CVS?

20 comments:

tmana said...

Great post!!!

Valencia said...

Shows like that and things like this are what bother me. They give us good couponers a bad name. Then we get hassled everytime we get a great deal. There are already those that are leery of us anyway and people who take advantage make it worse on us.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I know I occasionally make an honest mistake on my own, and I appreciate knowing that you support & teach ethical couponing.

Trena said...

I am new to this site and have shopped for 2 weeks now using a LOT of info I learned here - I am LOVING it. There are only 3 of us in my family, so I have no need, nor do I have room to do extreme stockpiling. I like BIG savings on the small stockpile of items my family uses and needs - not hoards of mustard that will take me 10 years to use - lol!

I have not watched the new show, but my guess is that, just like any other reality show - it is minupulated to make you go AHHHH....It also makes me wonder how many of the retailers work with these shoppers knowing they will get to be on TV versus the average joe, like myself running into "corporate" policy issues. I LOVE my local CVS, but I have had my share of issues with certain employees in the store. I try to avoid checking out with them. I understand that its all about the education of the employee, so I just hang with it and come back another day - YEAH for rain checks!

I would be interested in knowing other readers opinions about shows such as these.

Anonymous said...

Execellent post - i wish all coupon users are as honest as you are. There're a way to save $$$$ without loosing our integrity.

JRFrugalMom said...

Great post Cheryl! I completely agree with everything you are saying here, and if I am in doubt I would much rather contact CVS customer service first (not the CVS employees), and at Publix I know which managers are knowledgeable about coupons.

I want to add that just because the cashier says it, does not mean that it is right....CVS customer service rocks!

Still ethical couponing is a must!

sksweeps said...

Good for you for being ethical and sharing that! It's sad that the unethical gets the publicity and even more sad that that tends to ruin it for those who do follow the rules and don't abuse things!


sksweeps (at) earthlink (dot) net

Amy said...

Thank you! I am glad to see that I am not the only one who feels this way. Being ethical should permeate all areas of life..including extreme couponing.

Holly @ posypocket.blogspot said...

thank you so much! i think this is really important! thanks for the reminder to be ethical!

lollimom said...

Great post! ...and if unsure, you can always ask.

shar(dot)donoho(at)comcast(dot)net

Tina said...

Thank you Cheryl. Great Post! A few months back, I was printing coupons someone had posted on their blog.(not a PDF) I began clipping them and noticed where it is supposed to say manufacture coupon, it said fraudulent coupon. I don't want the $1.00 that way.

Taika Maris said...

Thanks for the post Cheryl. I love the: "if in doubt do without" So many times I've looked at a coupon only to second guess myself.

said...

Thank you Cheryl, for posting this. I have unsubscribed from several other couponing sites because I believe they encourage this bad behavior. These other "extreme" couponers have enabled an entire country to see all of us couponers as hoarders. I hate couponing now. I used to have so much fun before. Now, it is a hassle because of the stares and whispers from employees and other shoppers. Very sad.

Genevieve said...

I never, evr complain about CVS, but I had an experience last night where I accidentaly got the wrong item, so I was charged almost double what I was expecting. I was in a hurry and didn't notice it until I had gone out to my car, and the cashier was new, so she didn't catch it either. When I went back in to exchange for the correct product, the girl in charge ended up giving me a gift card with the difference amount on it. But, because I HAD originally used a coupon, she couldn't do the refund for the price-the coupon price, and she proceeded to tell me how that was dishonest and would red-flag her name. I wasn't trying to rip them off! If she had told me that BEFORE she had completed the refund, I would have told her nevermind! This right on the heals of trying to teach a cahier giving me more on a coupon discount than it was supposed to be, and being shut down. So I got guilted for trying to be honest! I was soooo frustrated and embarrassed that she thought I was intentionally trying to "red-flag" her! :/

Cheryl said...

Genevieve, that is so nerve racking--I have had that happen in the past, not exact same thing, but I try so hard to do coupons exactly right that when something goes wrong and they look at me like I intentionally was trying to misuse them makes it so hard. I think they are only going to get worse with all the talk of extreme couponing and I know CVS had some employees fired over coupons not too long ago so many employees and managers are afraid of losing their jobs over them.

Taika Maris said...

I'm not entirely sure what happened with Genevieve. (Sometimes it hard to understand what's going on just by reading what someone wrote.) Just in case this is a problem with someone else . . .

If you buy the wrong product and use a coupon the following is technically the correct way to do it.

The item is refunded at 'purchase price'. The coupon amount should go on a money card & the rest should be refunded in the form of original payment. (Debt & checks are treated as cash.)

EX: A $15 item is on sale for $10 and there is a $3 coupon for it. (Rings up at $10 price.) $3 goes onto the money card and $7 is returned in the form of original payment.

If a customer is making another purchase or 'exchanging' for the correct item I will always offer to use the money card first. (It's their choice after all.) Then will apply what ever other payment is necessary. (If any at all.)

Genevieve, I'm sorry that you felt guilt about what happened. I'm not entirely sure about 'red-flagging.' A one time occurrence shouldn't be an issue. Unless the employee has had issues in the past and currently is on probation. I would hope such an employee would call over management to double check for an okay if they really thought this would 'red flag' they're name.

Sounds like the situation was badly handled. I would talk to a manager and suggest retraining of the individual. It's just bad customer service. And if the individual was the manager either contact the district manager (the store manager's boss) or corporate. (Customer Service is your friend.)

Cheryl said...

Fantastic, Taika! I am tucking this info away to share in a post later if that is okay with you--would love to have you do a guest post if you'd like with a link back to your blog
:-).

chriscee said...

Hi Gals,
I just wanted to let you know that I watched the show the last couple evenings, and to me to be an extreme couponer is just pure craziness..using up all the room in your home and adding on to make for so much more items..I feel like they are just taking away from other customers. It just makes me so mad when I go to my CVS on Monday and they are allready out of products for ecb's after me spending all of my quality time to get my scenerio together..sure I know you can get a raincheck but you shouldnt have to all the time. That gal last night that went running to get the last floss was ridiculous, first she held up the line and 2nd she took the last one...geesh! and to buy all those diapers and dont even have a baby..now it would be a different story if she were donating them. I am just not happy at all and they are "hoarders" to me..just my opinion!!
Thanks for the post Cheryl, it was great!!

chriscee said...

oh an one more note...I dont remember whose blog it came from but I clicked on it from FB and ended up with a bad virus. It was not yours Cheryl, and I dont remember which but i had to do a restore...was pretty scary..just thought I would let you know.
Thanks!
chriscee

Cheryl said...

Chrsicee, I haven't watched either of these yet. I did record last night's because Nathan from We Use Coupons was on and he was donating to troops and I wanted to see that.

Viruses are scary, I agree! I always fear getting one and not being able to get on and post! Did you click on the blog's link from FB and that's how you got it?