Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Take on Digital Coupons/eCoupons

I've had some people ask me recently if I still use the digital coupons (eCoupons) that I post on here. I put them on here because I know that there are some people who do not like to clip coupons...or maybe do not have the time. This is just an easy way for some people to save money on their grocery bill without much effort. This is why I continue to post them.

I personally still check them out to see if there are eCoupons available for things that I maybe do not have a paper coupon for and will load them to my card. I have, however, stopped using them together with paper manufacturer coupons because there was/is so much controversy. So much so, that it was starting to make me uncomfortable. I feel VERY strongly about honest couponing and being ethical in using my coupons. I had also read on other blogs that Kroger would be implementing a new program that did not allow the use of eCoupons when a paper coupon was also being used on the same item. Whether or not this has taken place yet, I'm not sure.

Before I EVER loaded any eCoupons on to my Kroger card, I had called Kroger to verify that they were okay to use on the SAME item that I was ALSO using a paper coupon for. Truth is, if I could not get my coupons doubled...I did not see the benefits of using the eCoupons. I was told "yes" at the time--that I could use a paper coupon AND an eCoupon on the same item. I asked about the ethics of it and several other questions to verify that it was okay. At the time I felt comfortable with it because I felt I had covered "my bases". I've since been told that it is NOT okay...I've read several articles saying that it is NOT ethical...I've tried to contact the websites that make the eCoupons available and have gotten either no response or confusing answers. I've been told that it is sometimes okay...based on the final cost of an item and how much of a savings percentage it is. Some cashiers at Kroger say it is okay...others do not agree. I've asked at Guest Services for a coupon policy and they have not been able to provide me with one...even after a call to corporate. It seems that those that work the Guest Services counter all have a different opinion on the use of digital/eCoupons.

Kroger has eCoupons available on their site and I have contacted them via the website to see if they are able to be used WITH paper coupons. I emailed them because I was not sure if these were considered to be store coupons or manufacturer's coupons. I was emailed back after a couple of weeks and told that the eCoupons from their site CAN be used WITH paper coupons AS LONG AS the amount of the coupons does not exceed the cost of the item. I emailed this person back and asked her if she had any information regarding the other digital/eCoupons that are available through sources like Cellfire or Shortcuts but have not heard back yet. I will let you know when (and if) I hear back!

I'm not sure why there are not some definite rules in place when it comes to these digital coupons...but I hope that some day soon there will be!! For now I choose not to use them from sources like Cellfire or Shortcuts because there are no for sure answers...BUT I have loaded some of the eCoupons from the Kroger site to my card. I need to print off the email that I received from their offices stating that it was okay so I have proof if it ever comes into question.

Do any of you use eCoupons? Have you had issues with them?

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