Monday, September 24, 2012

Walmart Coupon Policy Changes

As of September 1st, Walmart has made some changes to their internal coupon policy and to the register systems. These changes are more procedural and clarifying, so you won’t see any changes to the actual Walmart Coupon Policy.

Walmart Coupon Policy Changes:

1. All Walmart Register systems were updated to accept the GS1 Date bar Codes that most coupons have switched to and all eventually will go to.
2. All coupons must be scanned on the flatbed scanners, the handheld scanners are not supposed to be used any longer.
3. The coupon must scan (not a new change) . Cashiers/CSM’s or Managers are not allowed to override or manually enter coupons.
4. If a coupon does not scan they are instructed to return the coupon to you. This applies to Printable Coupons and newspaper insert coupons.

Here are a few major reasons for these changes:

1. Coupon Fraud:  The average dollar amount of coupon fraud per Walmart location has been as high as $10,000 per month. There are nearly 4,000 Walmart Stores in the US. $4,000 x $10,000/month = $40,000,000 per month!! That’s a huge hit each and every month!
2. Employee Coupon Fraud:  There have been several stories about massive scale coupon fraud being perpetrated on Walmart stores by their own employees.
3. Coupon Bar Decoding: This is a form of coupon fraud. The old bar codes had a lot of info that could be deciphered and used on products that they were not intended for. The new GS1 bar codes will eliminate that.

How Does This Affect You?

1. Both a negative and a positive:  The decisions have been taken out of cashiers hands, the computer knows all and determines all. If the coupons scan they take it, if not they don’t. Sometimes this seems unfair, but unfortunately some couponers are making poor choices and the rest of us have to live with the consequences.
2. All Printable Coupons should be printed at the highest quality, it doesn’t have to be color but it should be the best quality available. I have heard that some cashiers have a hard time deciphering a fraudulent coupon from a poorly printed one. So making sure your coupons are neatly printed with all parts visible will help everyone out.
3. This will hopefully severely reduce the amount of fraud and eventually lead to the return of higher value coupons.

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