We’ve watched P&G decrease the face values of their coupons over the past couple years and we’ve also seen their no-so-nice wording appear on the coupons. They’ve essentially punished consumers for the shortcomings of fraudulent or less scrupulous coupon users. Now, they’ve decided to change their redemption policy so the stores are forced to abide by and jump through the hoops P&G lays out. They should follow the guidelines so they get fair reimbursement, but P&G is to an extent, laying out how the store’s individual coupon policies should read. This is just another disturbing trend in our coupon world. P&G has been such an icon when it comes to coupons for so many years many manufacturers will look at their example and follow suit since they can essentially set the industry standards. Industry standards…interesting term P&G used in their own redemption policy…I just have to wonder if they believe they actually do set the industry standard…
18. P&G encourages retailers participating in digital coupon promotions to use industry standard formats for reading, writing and transmitting data and to implement industry standards for digital coupon promotions to promote efficiency and strong controls.
Those of us who enjoy electronic savings from our grocers know that P&G has tried to stop the stores from allowing a store’s electronic coupon from stacking with a paper coupon. This was evident at Harris Teeter when they started changing their EVIC electronic coupons (aka ZVRs). We went through a period of time where our EVIC coupons didn’t “come-off” and the CS department basically said no to reimbursement. That abruptly changed after a couple weeks back to “normal”. As of now I’ve not had any trouble with the electronic and paper coupons stacking at Harris Teeter. But they said to be prepared for the entire program to change to where the electronic coupons simply would never stack…pretty much like Lowes Foods or many other retailers who don’t offer the stack. I believe the heavy hand of P&G is going to change our coupon use completely. It will be these changes that very well could change our beloved EVIC e-coupon ZVR policy forever. I’m not sure if some of this paragraph is “new” or just changed…
17. Retailers and/or intermediary agents may qualify for participation in P&G digital coupon promotions with written agreement by P&G. Requirements include, but are not limited to: a) consistently high quality coupon submissions; 2) ability to meet industry standard data transmittal requirements; 3) ability to provide point of sale data; and 4) acceptance of digital coupon requirements and terms. <—- this is where our ZVR changes could/will happen since many are offered by Harris Teeter and are duplicates. However NON-P&G offerings are sometimes very different from the coupons we hold in our hands, I see the entire process changing. Also found in #2 below…
In line 2… This is new, but not new on our coupons, they added the wording IN RED BOLD no less, many months ago…now, a store will be MANDATED to follow the 4 coupon rule…this won’t affect those who shop stores with a 3 or 4 like coupon rule…but will in stores who allow a higher amount in their coupon policies. NOTICE, that they again talk about electronic coupons and “stacking”…
2. Coupons are redeemable only by a consumer purchasing the brand, size(s) and quantity(ies) as indicated on the coupon. The face value of the coupon is deducted from the retail selling price. Multiple P&G coupons, including using a paper and digital coupon together, may not be applied against the purchase of the same item. There is a limit of four (4) like coupons per household per day.
Line 8…We know this, but I never thought of swap boxes as being wrong…this would have to also include us sending expired coupons to the troops over seas for the commissaries which is very sad! I guess P&G would rather worry about their profits from other countries (note the Venezuela article below) than our US Military needs!
8. Coupons are non-assignable and are void if transferred from their original recipient to any other person, firm or group. P&G does not permit the unauthorized distribution, collection, sale, auction, trade or assignment of its coupons for any reason. Therefore, coupons are not to be used in swap boxes, taped to product, placed on hooks near P&G products, gathered and distributed by any person or group for charitable fund-raising purposes, or otherwise used in any way except as described in Requirement 2 above.
Line 6… This is going to cause some issues…especially with a store who rides the law to the letter…if we forget a coupon, generally we can go back to CS and they’ll fix it…
6. Coupons must be presented at time of purchase. Coupons presented after the purchase transaction has been completed should not be honored
Line 11…this is nothing new, but it appears more controlling now…”Gang cuts, similar cuts or tears, evidence of tape….” ”Gang cutting” means cutting all at once…WTF?! I cut my papers all at once with a paper-cutter or scissors and I only cut 2-6 papers! If they put coupons in the middle/crease of an insert and I tear it by accident, YEAH, I’ll tape it back together…that happens sometimes when we tear the 2 halves apart.
11. P&G will deny reimbursement for any coupons which exhibit signs of misredemption. Examples include, but are not limited to: gang cuts, similar cuts or tears, evidence of tape, mint condition, sequential number patterns, excessive or larger than normal quantities of coupons in single or multiple transactions, accuracy or quality issues in data files, excessive or unusual patterns of redemption, or point of sale overrides. P&G will notify retailer of any possible misredemption. Retailers who do not respond to repeated notification and/or do not demonstrate willingness to eliminate problem areas will be suspended from receiving reimbursement for P&G coupons.
EVERY coupon user needs to know the rules, there is no disputing that…EVERY retailer needs to know how they’ll be reimbursed for coupons. So this policy is very necessary. But I have to call P&G on some of this due to the fact we’ve been punished for a good while now. 25¢ off Charmin?! 25¢ off Bounty?! 50¢ off Tide?! Is it really worth it? P&G thumbs it’s nose at the insert schedule historically followed by Smart Source and Red Plum and makes us get out of bed at the butt-crack of dawn even on Easter Sunday (as was last year) to get papers when the others are on holiday. So I have to wonder after tossing several P&G inserts either not cut or cut by a couple of coupons into a donation bin (OOPS that’s against the rules, eh???) …is it even worth going to get the paper with a sole P&G insert in it?
Check out this article about how “Procter & Gamble Cleans Up With Luxury Paper Towels” as written by Business Week! Does THIS explain why the pathetic 25¢ off?!
Now look at P&G “brag” page! —> Investor Shareholder Relations
AND take a look at —> their Annual Report! (They’re certainly not hurting because I might get 50¢ off my “luxury paper towels” instead of 25¢!
While coupon fraud and misuse is a problem, THIS is NOT a US consumer’s fault – P&G lowers 2014 profit outlook – taking a look at the feeble offerings, I’ve been tempted to mail P&G back their insert uncut/unused with a note… “If you need the money so bad…here’s your coupons back, maybe that will help” since they’re pathetic anyway…it’s obvious that the price increase in Charmin, Bounty, Tide and all the other products more than absorbs the measly amounts of the coupons they’re giving us.
P&G does great things…we can’t discount that part at all…but looking at the bigger picture, who exactly is paying for their generosity? It should be THEM! I don’t mind helping the Olympic teams or giving to help fund great programs, however, I feel I should be able to decide when and how this happens…don’t misrepresent WHERE the funding is coming from…we all know it’s not out of the pockets of the upper-crust! With billions in profits according to THIS article from Yahoo Finance, they certainly can afford to fund these programs without passing the “buck that isn’t now” on to us. In the same article Unilever “Earlier this weak, rival Unilever (ULVR.L)(UNA.AS) said it would stick to its emerging markets growth strategy as a fourth-quarter recovery in sales there boosted 2013 results.” Way to go Unilever ♥ Now, lets see if Unilever loves us as consumers or follows the P&G lead to smother the benefits of using their coupons….only time will tell!
—> The FULL REDEMPTION POLICY can be found HERE <—