highres_smiley_strWe received this email from KCL JoAnna:

My name’s JoAnna, and I love your website!I recently had a problem with WalMart,  and was hoping you could help,with at least advice if nothing else.
I purchased 6 Magic Erasers, used 3 BOGO free coupons and 3 $1 off coupons.  I was told by the cashier (and later the manager at this Walmart and another that I stopped by) that the 2 different coupons could not be used together.   I then asked the manager if I could just return the 6 and get a refund.  She said they would probably only refund the 3 that I paid for.  I think that’s ridiculous, since P&G has already received those coupons for reimbursement, and they’re just going to sell them at full retail to someone else.  Thanks for any advice or insight you can provide,

Walmart’s Official Coupon Policy states pretty clearly that you can only use 1 coupon per item.  You should be able to make the argument that you are using the B1G1 Coupon on the item you get for FREE, and the $1 off coupon on the one you are BUYING.  However, this will have to be left up to the manager on duty.

Secondly, when returning items purchased with coupons.  They can:
1. Refund you the full amount and submit the coupons to get reimbursed.
2. Refund you the amount paid after coupons, and return the coupons to you.
Under NO circumstances can a store only refund you the amount after coupons and keep the coupons.  This would mean they get paid on both ends.

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36 thoughts on “Couponing at Walmart: Reader Questions”

  1. Nynelly says:

    best new blog

  2. Kelly says:

    I have yet to have a problem with Walmart. I used the 2 dollars off Zyrtec and got 5 for 3 bucks. Also used the Magic Erasers both BOGO and $1 dollar off. It worked. I have probably just jinxed myself but.SO far so good.And I have used both printed and insert’s.
    I think it is just the luck of the draw.

  3. Karen says:

    I disagree with a lot of these comments. If you go in with a BOGO coupon that is your coupon. You’re just being cheap if you try to use coupons on stuff that you are already getting free. THAT is being ridiculous and it ruins it for everyone else using coupons the “normal” way. I have never had a problem using coupons at Walmart and I shop there all the time.

    • Neva says:

      I haven’t had a problem with couponing at WalMart either, but I also don’t shop there a whole lot for a variety of other reasons. I also think that trying to use a coupon on something that you’re getting for free is pushing it. I have loved saving money with coupons, but I also think that many stores are going to start seeing couponers as free-loaders. Let’s just respect a store’s policies and focus on the good things we get from couponing, not spend a bunch of time and energy focusing on the bad.

    • Becky says:

      Actually, Karen, the BOGO coupon is for the free item and the other $$$ off coupon is for the item you purchased so you could get the BOGO item for free. Example: Reeses PB Cups coupon BOGO coupled with a $.55 coupon off any Reeses product. You use your $.55 coupon for the 1st PB cups and the BOGO coupon for the 2nd (free) one. It isn’t being cheap, its playing by the rules. (2 coupons; 2 products)

    • Stormy says:

      I completely respect what you’re saying, but feel that no matter what any coupon says it’s no reason for a confrontation. A simple “We can’t honor this coupon” would’ve done it for me, and I would’ve paid a higher price, and left with the items. I think what’s ridiculous is creating a hostile situation over a coupon of all things, no matter which side of the cash register you’re on. I’ve seen some pretty snotty shoppers!

      I too thought it was strange at first to pair a Bogo with a cents off, and had some reservations in doing so, and have only just started using coupons this last spring, but in my “research” for lack of a better term everyone from the Coupon Queen, Jill Cataldo to this website, and many people on the blogosphere have championed this coupling, and no matter your income, when you hear someone just spent pennies on the dollar for $300+ worth of groceries or 22 cent CVSyour ears perk up. I don’t think any of us deserve to be called names, or labeled as “cheap” for trying a combination that is posted up and down several sites just like this one that encourage us to get the most out of our dollars. I completely take responsibility for myself, and in no way am I blaming a website for me pairing these two types of coupons, but if it is felt that this is so ridiculous and cheap it should be taken up with the writers and publishers of the sites putting out such information for hundreds of people to follow and try, instead of only chastising the commenters who’ve had less than stellar experiences trying the very same system outlined on these sites that many have had great success with.

      I certainly don’t expect a red carpet to be rolled out for me to lay down cash at a store, but I definitely don’t need a brawl either, and I think that’s the point several commenters throughout posts like this one are trying to get across.

      I like to think all of the commenters in this post are trying to respect the store’s policy, and maybe instead of the cashiers WE were the ignorant and uneducated ones on what they will and will not accept, by all means educate us, but don’t criminalize someone who isn’t aware … just simply make them aware.

      As for what Neva is saying, I agree, I love hearing the wonderful stories people have to share about awesome couponing trips, and would love to focus only on the good, but that’s not the reality of what’s happening, so why not share all experiences good and bad? I feel that my particular experience was a lot less of a bad couponing experience and a lot more of a bad Wal Mart experience in general. My coupons were just the gross icing on an already hard to swallow cake.

      • Shelley says:

        I believe that whenever a store develops an adversarial attitude with any shopper, it is seriously time to stop shopping there. Our dollars can be spent anywhere and for any store to place a consumer on the defensive, means that they have lost their perspective on who they work for (US AND OUR BUSINESS). There is real power in the hands of the consumer. If enough couponers picked a month that they refused to shop at any store that treated couponers badly, or even picked a day when all unhappy couponers would send a letter to the headquarters of that store…..you know what? Things would change. No store can afford to ignore their patrons, ESPECIALLY in this economy. Never accept sub-par service from ANYONE you PAY for service! Believe me, their ears are located on the hand that takes your dollars!
        You may think, I’m only one person, but blogs like this allow consumers to form strength in numbers. I UNDERSTAND THAT KCL MAY NOT BE ABLE TO SUPPORT A BOYCOTT, but certainly forwarding unhappy customers emails allows the store to see how their policies are being seen by possible customers.
        Thanks KCL for all you teach us, you are awesome!

  4. Bev Tank says:

    I actually had a problem returning some shampoo/conditioner at Albertsons. I had used a $1 coupon on each one, with a doubler. I did not like the shampoo, and when I returned it she only gave me back what I paid AFTER coupons. I explained to her that the store would be getting reimbursed for my Manufacturer coupon so it wasn’t right that I didn’t get that back, but she said that is their “company policy.” Now that I know it shouldn’t be that way, I think I will try to find the receipt and go talk to a manager.

    • Neva says:

      I think it IS their policy to only refund the money you paid out of pocket, which is fair. I don’t think you’re supposed to get money back from a coupon, since a coupon has no monetary face value. Besides, you didn’t like the shampoo anyway, and most places won’t let you take back health and beauty items. I’d say you did okay with this …

      • Shelley says:

        I am responding to the comment about returning beauty items…..Many stores return cosmetics now without batting an eye…..due to the high prices! Fred Meyer’s is the best, but I have returned or exchanged beauty items at Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Albertson’s. They should all return them…they aren’t stuck with them, they just send them back to the mf.

        • Michelle says:

          You are sooooo RIGHT!!! You can return your product only ….if you try. I don’t know what store you shop at Neva but I have NEVER had a problem with returning product to the store. Yes, the store does return the product back to the mf…

    • Katie says:

      Why would you expect to get money back from a coupon. I think you should get your coupon back if you cancel the transaction right then because the checker is being difficult, but to return something later because you don’t like it and expect to make money on it???? I don’t think that is something to make a big deal out of…it’s no wonder SOME couponers frustrate checkers.

  5. elizabeth says:

    I laugh every time I see their slogan “Unbeatable Price” and I have just gotten the same item at another store for cents or free!

  6. Tracie says:

    I feel for all who have had such trouble at Wal-mart
    though I have been lucky at ours. I think Wal-mart better offer some coupon classes to their cashiers.
    No one should have to have such awful times at the store who always says thet are here to save us money
    and make our lives easier and healthy.

  7. Chris says:

    This is why I do not shop at Walmart at all!!! I agree with Stormy that a couple of bucks here and there is not worth the headache of going to that store! I find GREAT deals at other stores that take my coupons without blinking an eye!

    Keep the coupons coming!!

  8. Heather says:

    For me it was helpful to understand why checkers are refusing coupons for trial size products.

    Here’s what happens when item is less than the coupon’s value:

    1. Cashier scans item
    2. Cashier scans coupon
    3. Register beeps with prompt on the screen for cashier “Correct coupon amount?”
    4. Cashier can hit the “Yes” button and register will give overage OR cashier can enter the price of the item .97c OR he/she can get all flustered and decide that you can not use the coupon because its beeping and they don’t know what that means…in this case ask for a STORE manager to assist.

    If you try to buy a trial sized item again, this info may be helpful- so you can explain to the checker that you don’t expect overage, and it’s okay to enter $.97 instead of $1.00

  9. Daleene says:

    Stormy, You rock! I think that you need to send this little rant to a top exec. at Walmart. Who knows if anything maybe you could get a gift card out of the deal. Then you could get what ever you want for free! :D
    Seriously, I agree with you. I wish there could be a day where every one in America would ban Walmart for 1 day. I would love to see how much money they would lose. I hate Walmart with a passion, but I still shop there b/c for every day items Albertsons, Fred Meyer, they are just too darn expensive. I only go to those stores for the awesome deals. Ugh, I feel your frustration.

  10. Jessica says:

    First, I would like to say Thank you for such a wonderful site and all of the hard work you put into it. :)

    I had a very similar problem like JoAnna with the BOGO free coupon and $1 off coupon on the Magic Erasers just tonight at Wal-Mart. I figured “okay, oh well, it was $1.” But then I had 5 coupons for “$1 off any size Tide.” No where on the coupon did it specify that it had to be used for a certain size bottle or that it could not be used for a trial or travel size product. I was trying to purchase the travel pack size as I have heard can be done with these coupons to get them for free. The cashier hands me back all of my Tide coupons, so I proceed to tell her that she can go ahead and void all of them off of my transaction. Don’t know if anyone else has run into this problem; maybe it was just the cashier I happened to get. Oh well, I have to go to Target right across the street from Wal-Mart this week, so I guess I will try and use them there.

    Thanks again for a great blog and site. I enjoy reading all of the good deals to be found!! :)

  11. kylie says:

    Well put, Stormy! I try to keep my coupon use at Walmart very simple and very minimal. Not much more than a .40/string cheese and a .35/gogurt. Much more than that and cashiers get weird, and it gets tricky. Ugh.

    Heather and Joanie, I would like some clarification on using a BOGO and a $/off coupon in the same transaction. I have a couple in my stash that would stack nicely, but I’m nervous. Like Glade plug-ins, buy one refill, get a holder free, and then use a $1/off on the 1 refill? Make sense?

  12. Stormy says:

    I just experienced a similar situation about 2 1/2 weeks ago myself, and was just about to blog my frustrations about the whole ordeal. I should’ve known better because even w/o trying to use coupons, the Wal-Mart on 312th in Federal Way, WA is substandard at best, but I thought what the heck, I’ll go for it.

    I attempted the deal with the Glade candles, tins, refill packs, etc. I had 6 items and 6 coupons, and they were the exact ratio I’d seen so many of you have great success with, so why not give it a whirl? I thought one of my coupon couplings would be questionable because it was a bogo coup + $2.00/2. I thought there would be no harm in trying. What’s the worst that could happen, they just refuse one of the coupons, and I tuck it back in my purse, continue with the transaction, and go home a happy girl with a bunch of candles anyway.

    Not so much.

    The minute I pulled out coupons, the magic light went on, and my cashier started playing dumb to stall until the customer service sup. came over. At which point the cashier started acting like I’d been berating her and causing a scene the entire time. I didn’t know “Hi, how are you?” was offensive.

    Long story short, it was a 20 minute 1 sided argument since I wasn’t the one arguing until I could FINALLY show them how I had intended on using the coupons, by placing each coupon on top of the item I wanted to use them for. Then the cust service sup bundled up all my coupons and told me I couldn’t decide how I wanted to use the coupons, at which point I said “And she can? Because she rang up 2 tins instead of a tin/refill combo like it was supposed to be?” Then the woman tells me, “This is what you’re going to do” and gives me the run-down of the transaction. So I simply replied “No, I’m not. I’d like to take my coupons back, and you’re going to cancel this transaction.” And I snatched my coups back, from both their hands, and told them to have a nice day, and walked out of the store.

    I was never angry about the coupons in question, I was frustrated that they had no interest in listening to me, started bossing me around and telling my how I’ll be spending MY money in their store, putting words in my mouth, and yelling at me as if we’re in a bar fight! I was floored. I have a thick skin but a lot of other people don’t, and regardless of that NO ONE deserves to be treated like trash. What’s worse is that the woman doing the most yelling was the BEST their customer service center has to offer!

    For me it was the last straw, I can find better deals elsewhere. I’ve been trying to come to terms with shopping at Wal-Mart anyway, their entire company’s ethics are in the toilet, they treat their employees apallingly, keep their co running on the backs of underpaid illegal workers (how many times can one co. be raided?), and not to mention the shoddy treatment of their foreign manufacturers. I can no longer justify saving a dollar or two off a product (easily purchased at another store) at a company who clearly does not care about PEOPLE (employees AND shoppers alike). I may miss out on deals here and there, but it will all even out in the end, and I don’t have to lose sleep over supporting such an atrocious corporation, or at the very least I get to reduce confrontations in my life by avoiding their stores.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled for those of you who have found wonderful cashiers, and have good experiences, and I hate to be a “quitter” at something, but this just absolutely is not worth my time. I do want to end on a positive note, I think this site is awesome and I love how everyone feels they can share their stories, good or bad, and encourage each other on our quest to spending wisely! ;-)

  13. JoAnna says:

    Thank you so much for the support and offered advice. At least I don’t feel so crazy! I did email P&G. Their response was “While we reimburse stores for the full face value of the coupons they redeem (plus the normal retailer’s handling fee), we can’t force them to accept our coupons. Sometimes stores develop their own policies regarding coupon redemption; or they aren’t familiar with our coupon redemption rules. If that’s the case, you might want to encourage the store manager to contact our coupon redemption center directly.” I’ve also contacted WalMart but have not received a response yet. And unless I can get free items, I may avoid WalMart for awhile, except to return my Magic Erasers.

    • Lea Ann says:

      I had a terrible experience at Walmart 3 wks. ago. I had the Proctor and Gamble coupon b1g1 free for Tag spray. I purchased (2). I had a $2.00 coupon off one and the other would be free. This is legitimate- I am purchasing 2 products, one coupon per item, not 2 coupons for one. Apparently a red flag goes up, this I found out is in the cahiers training. Even with the cs rep. and manager they could not understand and refused coupons. They are rude and make you feel like a criminal.
      I left the store so upset over a $2.00 coupon and the way I was treated. I emailed corporate at Walmart. Almost a week later, one of the AM from my Walmart called me. I explained everything and she stated she would tell cashiers this is alright w/ couponing. She also offered me a $10.00 gift card to pick up. I went the next day and of course coupons for the same transaction were refused again, until I told everyone I spoke to Ginger. After a huge ordeal, making me again feel like a criminal, they “adjusted” coupons like they were doing me a favor. You have to ask yourself is this worth it? My Target and Wegmans do this, no problem, also Walgreens. Follow up with corporate and let them know how you feel.
      : )

  14. Sara says:

    I had this problem today at Kmart. Long story short, they had some problems on there end, and being in the store with 2 little ones I had had it. I wanted to just return the items, but they said they would be keeping the coupons. I just don’t think that’s right…if they are only giving me back the $$ I actually paid minus the coupons, then I should be getting the coupons back so I can use them elsewhere.

  15. Kelly says:

    I had a problem with Walmart a month ago. I had internet printed coupons and the cashier told me that they would not take ones that were internet printed with Del Rio, Tx for the reimbursement address. They said there is no such place as Del Rio, Tx. At the time, I didn’t know since I couldn’t remember where online I got the coupons. When I got to the car, I looked at some of my coupons from newspaper inserts and sure enough some of them said Del Rio, Tx. So they were just trying to get me out of the store. I haven’t been back to Walmart since then. They made me feel like a criminal in front of a large line of customers. ARe you listening Walmart??

    • Connie Murphy says:

      When the clerk at Walmart refused my coupon today, she told me that there is some online site that is issuing fake coupons. She said that there should be some sort of green and blue background behind the picture of the item on the coupon (??) Still a pain in the neck to use them at Walmart!

      • Shaylasr says:

        I’ve noticed just recently that on some Smart Source coupons there is a background image. Something new?

  16. Kim says:

    P.S. I LOVE the evil looking smiley face. It’s so incredibly fitting!!!

  17. Kim says:

    I just got back from Wal-mart…. I was purchasing Huggies baby wipes using those $1.50 off any Huggies diaper product that I printed out from home.When the cashier see’s those coupons she sets them aside and turns on her light. I said “is there a problem?” She say’s “I don’t know yet” and continues to process my “other” coupons and say’s to me “where did you get these?” I said I printed them off my computer and got some from my sister (I had 4). She then walks away with my coupons… she went to check to see if she could take them. WOW was all I could think. I felt like she was accusing me of something.

    I was fortunate because they took my coupons but it’s SO IRRITATING to me that they make us feel like criminals when we are using coupons. It really makes me not want to shop at Wal-mart.

    • Diana says:

      I totally, agree with you. This happened to me and I don’t shop at WALMART with coupons. Nor frequent WALMART as I use to. I felt every belittled when this happened to me.

  18. Tracie says:

    I know Wal-mart can be difficult with there coupons but there are so many times they arent and you can score big.You have to choose your cashier wisely
    and spread your coupons out. Sometimes when they are not all grouped together you can get transactions to work out easier.

    • Connie Murphy says:

      I’ve had problems the last two times I tried to use coupons at Walmart. They were printable ones off the internet. My colored ink is low on my printer and the first time the clerk wouldn’t take the coupon because there wasn’t a picture on it, although there was a UPC code. The next time I tried to use a coupon, there was a picture on it, but the clerk wouldn’t take it because the picture wasn’t in color. Has anyone else experienced this?

      • Shaylasr says:

        My local WalMart will NOT take coupons printed in only black and white. They claim they can’t tell if they are copies or not??? Also, they will not let you use 2 coupons on BOGO’s – NEVER. They claim the intent is that you pay full price for the purchased item to get the other one free. Our Wags are the same way with BOGO’s. I get so jealous when I see all these great posts and really good deals that I can’t do:) Don’t know if that helps at all but at least you know it’s not just your store and by the way I live in WI.

  19. Becky says:

    I just never shop at Walmart anymore with coupons. Its not worth it and the cashiers and managers are ignorant when it come to the whole couponing process. Fellow KCL’s will probaby agree that couponing at Walmart is just not worth it.

  20. Ann says:

    I had a similar problem with Harris Teeter. I ended up taking the items back and the refused to refund the full price for the items. I used 3 coupons, they kept the coupons and refused to refund the full price. What a rip off, I was so mad they kept my coupons and my money :(. I manager refused to budge. So I only got a partial refund and lost my coupons.