Sunday, April 5, 2009

Shopper's Food Warehouse Coupon Policy, including Internet Printable Coupon Policies

I know that we have talked about Shopper's Food Warehouse's Internet Coupon Acceptance Policy before in a comment thread on a previous Shopper's post, but since we had received a reader comment this weekend with feedback on her unfavorable Shopper's experience, we thought we would document at length what Shopper's Food Warehouse says is its policy vs. what we have experienced in real life.

Shopper's Food Warehouse's stated corporate policy is that it does not accept any Internet coupons valued at $1 or more. Of course, I did not know this for several months, as in August through November 2008's coupon doubling/tripling sessions, I redeemed several $1-valued Internet coupons (and other lower valued Internet printed coupons) in a series of Shopper's transactions.

Come December 2008, however, I had the very embarrassing and frustrating experience of having half a shopping carts' worth of groceries' and other items' Internet printable coupons turned away! At first, the cashier politely told me that she could not accept the $1 coupon (and in all fairness, this matched the corporate policy that I later read). When she called the manager over because I expressed confusion since I had used $1 Internet printable coupons in the past, he told me that they would not accept any Internet-printed coupons, period. Argh! After I told him that I had redeemed several Internet coupons there in the past months with no issues, he replied that due to Internet coupon fraud they had not accepted Internet coupons in years, and that my prior transactions' Internet coupons should not have been allowed, and even said that such discounts would have been taken from the pay of the cashiers who had checked me out (what?).

Both the manager and the cashier were very gracious, but it was so stressful - after doing painless Shopper's transactions with Internet coupons for months - only to have hours of printing and organizing selected coupons and shopping for Internet coupon items wasted for the sake of an inconsistently-enforced policy.

Of course, I came home and did what I thought best for the sake of my own future planning: I wrote to Shopper's Food Warehouse via their website comments form. I received a reply in short order - to my delight - but it was a boilerplate coupon policy response that has been posted in many a coupon forum (to my chagrin). Nevertheless, it's something.

I pasted the email's contents below at the bottom of this post so that all of our fellow Shopper's coupon shoppers might have a basis for their shopping. If your Shopper's Food Warehouse Internet coupon experience was inconsistent with corporate policy, we encourage you to contact Shopper's Food Warehouse and tell them about it! Yes, you may very well get the same template response that we've seen, but it still means that more disenfranchised customers will be communicating their frustrations, which may lead to more consistent policy application across all stores. Oh - and can we recommend that you close with a line along these lines?
"I will be saving my Internet-coupon-related purchases for other retailers (such as Bloom, Giant, CVS, and Safeway) who have gladly accepted such coupons in the past without question."

The whole dynamic seems so smoke-and-mirrors, which is why we don't go out of our way to match Internet printable coupons in our Shopper's Food Warehouse matchups shopping lists. In fact, we never bring Internet coupons with us to Shopper's anymore as it's just not worth the sweaty-palms stress of, "Will-they-won't-they?". With all of the Sunday insert coupons out there, there are plenty of Sunday insert coupon matchups worth investigating every time Shopper's multiplies coupons - as you can see from two trips, trip #1 here, and trip #2 here, a weekend in which I paid $26.89 to Shopper's Food Warehouse for $168.79 worth of stuff - no Internet coupons needed.

Nevertheless, it's true that if all stores uniformly accepted under-$1 coupons consistent with regularly-stated corporate Internet coupon policy, this would lead us to do coupon matchups and shop for those products whose coupons are available online (whereas we likely wouldn't otherwise). In other words, once all Shopper's Food Warehouse locations start complying with the corporate "All Internet Coupons under $1 accepted" policy, we'll start posting "under-$1 Internet coupons" matchups - and buying these products by the cartful - as we're guessing our readers would also do. :)

We know of the following Shopper's Food Warehouse Internet printable coupon acceptance/rejection experiences:
Incidentally, we are not aware of Giant rejecting $1+ Internet printable coupons, so if you really want to double them, try them at Giant.

What have your Shopper's Food Warehouse Internet printable coupon experiences been? Is your SFW consistent with the corporate policy of "All Internet coupons (except FREE item Internet coupons) under $1 accepted"? Or does your store reject all Internet coupons? OR (happy day), does your SFW accept all Internet coupons? We will add your experiences to this list above to help other readers who are hoping to try out under-$1 Internet printable coupons - so leave a comment with your experience!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: SFW Customer Service <SFW.CustomerService@supervalu.com>
Date: Fri, Dec 19, 2008
Subject: Customer Complaints

Dear --------,

I am glad to have had the opportunity to reply to your e-mail. Due to an increased number of fraudulent Internet coupons in the marketplace, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy no longer accepts Internet coupons for FREE items. At this time we are still accepting Internet coupons for CENTS OFF up to $1.00. I have forwarded your comments to the store manager and all parties involved. If for some reason your question has not been answered to your satisfaction please feel free to contact customer service. We hope you will continue to shop with us for many years and appreciate your business.

Sincerely,

Marshell Washington

Marshell Washington | Customer Care

Shoppers Food & Pharmacy |

www.shoppersfood.com

Low prices are only the beginning.

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5 comments:

Laura said...

I tried using them a few months back at the store in Oxon Hill, MD. They would not take any Internet coupons. I haven't tried using them since. It was one of my rare trips to Shopper's I went because of the double/triple coupon event they were having. But I have been to more recent coupon events and just used regular coupons and saved TONS of money. I will try again here with the under $1 coupons.

I live in Manassas VA. Has anyone used them at the stores here... or surrounding areas?

Running The Race... said...

I shopped at the Chantilly, VA SFW this past weekend and successfully used multiple internet coupons - and they were all valued at $1!!

... I was very nice to the cashier the entire time... it might have helped!! :-)

Jen Clark said...

I tried using internet coupons at the Saratoga Giant and Lorton Shoppers about 6 months to 1 year ago and they told me they wouldn't accept any. I haven't tried again in the last few months but I'll ask what their current policy is.

Holly said...

Hi Ladies!
I've used IP coupons at Shoppers Lorton store several times with success each time. In fact, my husband used the large value Huggies coupon for $3 off and the cashier didn't blink an eye.

I'm amazed that some people have had problems at the Lorton store. This is good information to know about.

I too emailed Shoppers and got the same information about IP coupons being "cents" not more than a $1.

Today, I didn't have any IP coupons just regular coupons and the cashier was a little stressed because the managers had to come and key the machine about 4 times.

Thank you for a great site!

frugalfriends said...

The Shoppers Food Warehouse at Bull Run Shopping Center in Manassas, VA has had a print out posted near the registers and at customer service that states that they will accept Internet Printable Coupons up to (and including) $1.00 in value. In my experience, during the past few months, they have always accepted internet printable coupons up to $1.00. I'm not sure if they accept BOGO free printables for items that cost more than $1.00... I've been too chicken to try that out at the store for fear that it won't work.
I just did a great trip to Shopper's today for their Double Coupons event.
I feel like there have been at least 2-3 special coupon events like this each month for the past 3 months (at Shoppers, Bloom, and Harris Teeter). It's perfect for us couponers!
Thanks for your great blog RU ladies!