One pesky item is still staring at me from my to-do list: "Go to Target and get $5 back." Last week, I bought the five Kraft cheeses needed for my $5 off coupon to work. Then I went home and scoured the receipt - something I always do. Although a line for the coupon showed up, I was looking at a big fat zero.
Turns out I'm not alone.
Target Corp. has known since August about a computer glitch that's caused some manufacturers' coupons to ring up at the wrong value. The story did get some attention in August and resurfaced after couponing blogger Jill Cataldo wrote detailed blog entry on Monday.
It has Carrie Rocha of Pocketyourdollars.com and her readers steamed. “If I am not going to get the full value of my coupons I will redeem them elsewhere,” Rocha said. She went to Target on Wednesday and piled her cart full of the 10 frozen entrees required to redeem her $4 coupon. The register took off $2.54 — the price of one entree — instead. “I am getting comments on my blog of frustration from shoppers and really kind of a sense that it’s probably not worth using coupons at Target,” she said. It's not a problem she's seen at Cub Foods, Rainbow or Walmart. In fact, she described Walmart registers as being "generous" when it comes to allowing coupons to work.
Shoppers complained primarily about coupons that require the purchase of multiple items. But Rocha is quick to caution that the glitch spans wider than that and low value coupons have also been affected. The comments section on her latest Target blog entry is peppered with complaints about transactions involving coupons and Target gift card giveaways.
Rocha even had a reader email her a detailed account of her current Target nightmare. She shared an excerpt of the email with me:
This week I purchased:
--2 qty Reach Dental Floss $97 - 2 coupons $1.00 - coupon beeped and cashier manually input (expected).
--Marketplace Wheat Bread $1.27 - Target coupon $.50 - register sounded like it went through, but showed $00 - I mentioned it to the cashier who first assured me it went through ok, but then checked and saw it didn't. She manually inputted.
--Tabasco Sauce - $1.29 (I think, going from memory) - $.75 coupon. Register again acted like it rang through...but showed $0. By now cashier was also watching and input manually.
-- Land of Lakes Butter w/ Canola - $1.88 - $.50 coupon. Register acted like it was accepted, but again showed $0. By now the cashier was totally thrown. She tried to input manually - but it didn't take.
--a cd for $14.99 At the end the cashier (who was very nice this time) counted the coupons on the receipt and matched them to the paper coupons I had handed her. She discovered the $.50 coupon had not gone through.....and handed me $.50 in cash.
I am beyond weary of Target.
Note that the Marketplace coupon is for a Target brand. Whoops!
It certainly does make you wonder how hard you want to work for your discounts, especially if there's a line of people tapping their toes behind you!
Until this is fixed, Rocha suggests shoppers tally up the value of their coupons and mentally subtract them from the subtotal before handing them to the cashier. “If they tell you your total is $43.25 and you know you have about $9 in coupons, you can do the math.”
The big question is, what's Target going to do with their shoppers' dollars? Retailers typically submit for reimbursement the face value of coupons. In Rocha’s example, Target would get $4 from the manufacturer, netting the retailer $1.46 cents. It quickly adds up.
How about you? Have you been having difficulties? Are you about to give up with coupons at Target?