Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Target Coupon Policy

I want to talk about an issue that has been coming up a lot lately. Recently I have received several emails from people who have had problems using coupons at Target. There are 3 specific issues I want to address. Also, I want to give you some action steps so that you know what to do when you have a problem.

A Few Thoughts....

First, I want to say that I try my very best to post deals on this site that comply with all corporate coupon policies. I have copies of all of the policies for the stores which I post deals from and I do my best to follow those. When I find a mistake I immediately correct the post. That being said, I am not perfect, so please know that there will be times that I get things wrong. I am still learning as I go, so I ask for your grace as we seek out the best deals together!

Second, I want to share my heart with you a little on this matter. Personally I believe that my life should be a reflection of the love and Grace that Jesus Christ has shown me, and that I am to show that same love and grace to others. The bible tells us to treat others the way we would want to be treated, and to love our enemies as ourselves. I personally believe that these belief's must be the core of everything I do.... Yes even couponing! :)

I also believe that God will provide for all my needs according to His riches. If I don't get to take advantage of a deal regardless of the circumstances, I can rest assured that He will provide for my needs and life will be okay. I think some times it's easy to get caught up in the game of using coupons and getting the best deal and we forget to stop and realize all that we already have. Getting 1 more free tube of toothpaste is not worth loosing my testimony over.

I say all that to say that when you encounter problems, please take a deep breath before you Begin arguing and remember that couponing is a blessing, not a right. There are some stores that choose not to accept coupons and we don't want Target to become one of those stores because they are sick of dealing with all of us "Crazy Couponers" :)

3 Issues that have come up lately:

1) You cannot use the $1.00/1 Hershey Bliss Target Coupon on the $0.99 Hershey Bliss Bar.
I called Target Corporate Personally Yesterday and confirmed that this is allowed and that there is no restriction on the coupon. Customer Service and Guest Relations both told me that in this instance specifically the coupon should have been adjusted down.
2) You cannot use the $1.00/1 Banana Boat Coupon on the Trial Size Items because the coupon is for a Regular size item
Again I asked yesterday when I called about this specific coupon and was told that since the coupon states on "Any Banana Boat Sunscreen (Excludes Lip Balm)" that the only item it could not be used on was the Lip Balm. It was perfectly valid and legal on the trial size as long as it doesn't state "excludes trial or travel size"
3) You must purchase 4 items to use a $1.00/2 Target Coupon and a $1.00/2 Manufacturer Coupon.
This is probably the case of a cashier who doesn't understand the coupon policy. Target allows combining 1 Manufacturer's Coupon and 1 Store Coupon. So you would only have to purchase 2 of this item to use both coupons. In this case I am guessing the cashier didn't scan the coupons because both should have scanned just fine.

The Target Coupon Policy:

I suggest that you email Target at guest.relations@target.com and ask for a copy of the coupon policy. You will receive a standard reply back and then can print this off and take it with you to the store.

Also, if you have a specific question you will need to call Target. I have received this same coupon policy 6 times in the last week because regardless of my email I get the same response. I was told by Guest Relations yesterday that it's all automated and you need to call if you have a question.

Here is exactly what I have received:

- We accept two kinds of coupons: Target-issued and manufacturer-issued.
- We'll accept one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon for the same item, unless either coupon prohibits it.
- We can't give cash back if the face value of a coupon is greater than the purchase value of the item; in this case, we're able to adjust the value of the coupon to equal the price of the item.
- We can't accept coupons from other retailers, or coupons for products not carried in our stores.
- All valid coupons should be presented to the cashier while you're checking out.

If you have any questions about a specific coupon or experience using a coupon at Target, we want to help! Please give our Guest Relations team a call at (800) 440-0680.

What you can Do:

While I believe that I have to be nice and courteous to all of the stores cashier's and management I also feel a great responsibility to make sure that when there is a problem it is addressed. Yes, I may walk out of the store without my products some times, but I want to make sure that the problem is corrected for the future deals that may come up. We all have to work together to be ethical, informed, and courteous couponers!

Here are 3 steps to take when you encounter a problem at Target.

1) Call Customer Service/Guest Relations from the Store

Yesterday I was told more than once that they WANT us to call Guest Relations from our phone, while we are in the store so that they can address the issue with the Manager on Duty. It is much harder to deal with a She Said/He Said issue later. I have had great experiences with Customer Service on the phone so far, so I highly recommend you stop reading right now and program this number into your phone. 1-800-440-0680

2) Write Down the Manager's Name

This was one piece of information that I didn't have when I called Target Corporate. They asked several times for the Manager on Duty's Name. Even if you don't feel like arguing or calling in the store, simply ask for the Manager's name so that you can call and file a complaint.

One of the things that I like about Target is that unlike Walgreens they are very consistent in what they say from corporate so it's easy to know when something should have been accepted or not. Yesterday I was told that the second lady I talked to in Guest Relations would call the store personally and discuss the coupon policy with the manager that was on duty at the time I had problems!!! Hopefully if enough of us call and complain we will start to see changes at the store level.

3) Save your receipt

I didn't know this one either, but when you call to file a complaint they will ask for your receipt number from the other purchases you made. This let's the computer system track who was working when you were in the store. Have your receipt handy when you call the 1/800 number.

I hope that this post will help everyone know what to do when they encounter a problem. I have seen a lot of complaints recently, but let's also remember all the great deals we have gotten at Target in the past few weeks! In NWA Target is one of the few places I can get Grocery Stuff for free, so I am very thankful that they 1) allow combining coupons, and 2) accept my Internet coupons!


  1. Your comments are fantastic. I don't want the chance to get a freebie to ruin a chance to share Christ's love with someone. I had my first negative experience with Target last week and was so glad to get this info. I'm going back tomorrow and will try again. Thanks for your good posts--I check yours everyday.
    Kansas neighbor

  2. Wonderful information, and great reminders! I agree ~ it's so important to share God's love in all circumstances, and yes... He will provide for us coupons or no coupons. :) Thanks for posting!!

  3. What an informative post. I agree completely with you on being courteous as we are examples. I've walked out of Target numerous times without my product due to a cashier or managers incorrect knowledge of Target's coupon policy. I've taken your suggestions and also wrote a post directing my readers here.

  4. What a great post! Thanks for that. I had my first really negative experience at Target about two weeks ago. I was so upset because my Target is usally so great with coupons. But I remained calm and polite with the cashier, and I contacted Target Corporate later. They were very concerned, and assured me they would follow up with that store. I agree with you that Target is a good place to get some great deals. So, I am also hopeful that if we report issues like you explained, we will see changes.

  5. I agree, great post and a great reminder that our first priority should be to exemplify Christ. Thanks for all you do to make shopping and saving money easier for some many people.

  6. Thank you- I am the one who posted about my horrible experience with the banana boat trial size... I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I too, want to glorify him in my actions and reactions to others. I appreciate you reminding me of what is truly important! Thanks again, April

  7. Thanks for the information. My Target is notorious for not knowing the coupon policy and I always get so much grief from both the cashiers and the managers that I often hesitate on going there.

  8. Thank you for the great post. I am going to post a link to your post on my blog to help people when they go to Target. thank you!!

  9. this is making me realize how great my target is! last week i used 69 coupons, and all but about 5 were printed, many were duplicates (meaning same coupon i printed twice, not that i copied them). i had no trouble at all! in fact, the cashier was extra helpful when a couple of my coupons weren't working he went out of his way to get it fixed for me. i heart target!

  10. Thanks for posting this. I had some coupons that I had wanted to use and it was over the amount that the item was and they wouldn't take it. The manager was even the one who told me there was no way to adjust it. Frustrating!! Then the other day I went in with about 40 different coupons, the cashier major messed up, so I tried to help her figure it out, she thought that I was trying to be sneaky. So the manager got involved and they wouldn't even pull out the coupons from the drawer to figure it all out. And of course, the lane that I was in was the only lane open. I had some not very happy people behind me. In the end I overpayed $10.00 that my coupons didn't add up.
    So after reading your post, I immediately called corporate and explained the situations that happened. And the girl that I talked to said they would send me a gift card in the amount of $10.00 to make up what I lost in coupons!! I couldn't believe it. Way to go Target!
    Thanks for posting this, otherwise I wouldn't have ever known I could have called to let them know the problem.

  11. Having worked in the retail world for 8 years, I can tell you that when someone is nice to me and treats me with respect, it encourages me to go the extra mile and make sure that I give them the best service possible.
    Since I frequent stores at least once a week and often at the same time of day, I get the same cashiers a lot. When you take the time to have small talk, or remeber their name it goes a long way as well. People help their friends, so if you take the time to be friendly, it goes a long way.
    That being said, I also always make sure to talk to a manager or customer service if I feel a situation was handled wrong.
    Thank you for your post on Target Policies. I have not had any problems there, but I know what do if I have some!

  12. Thank you for this post!! I had a frustrating experience at Target last night as the checker wouldn't allow me to use my Crystal Light coupons (b/c it didn't match the picture)---but you're absolutely right in that we should make them aware of the problem, but definitely do it in a respectful manner, in the way that Christ would have done!! I would rather walk away than to get in a debate with the cashier and have her wonder about my character and faith! Thank you for addressing that! We are blessed that God does provide for us with all these wonderful coupons and savings opportunities!

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  14. Please see my blog for an official Letter on their letter head or e-mail me for a copy. I spent a very long time on the phone with them, and I will be working on this with them until I get no more complaints from my wonderful readers! Go to my blog from the link below for the letter from their Main Office. At the bottom of the letter, there is a reference number that is in thier data base, that goes with this exact letter. So if a Target Employee doesn't agree with you have them call Guest Relations with the confirmation # 1-391206860. Here is the letter:

  15. It is great that all of us Targeteers are all on the same sheet of coupon policy or as they call it, guidelines. I so totally agree with your post and am thankful that you and Debbie at Frugal Living and Having Fun and I are all saying the exact same thing to our readers.

    I've read some really ugly stories of how folks are being treated. As much as I love Target, if my store were one of the bad ones I can relate on how you'd want to stop shopping there.

    It is so sad that such a large corporation doesn't just email bomb all of their managers and employees with corporate email addresses with their coupon policy. Surely that would help.

    Every time I step up to the cashier, I try to smile, ask myself "what would Jesus do?" and make sure I thank them for their extra time to process the coupons and offer them the opportunity to save as much as I do. They usualy say they don't have the time to coupon. I tell them I do the work and all they have to do is clip and match to their shopping list.

    Great post!

  16. Thank you for this great post. So far I have not had any problems at my Target using any of my coupons, thank God! Have a blessed week in Jesus name!

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  18. I honestly must say...your is my favorite savings blog out there. You mush spend 'a million' hours a day on it. It's fantastic!!

  19. Awe.. Thanks :) It's comments like yours that help me keep going! :) I am just trying to make it easier for everone else to save even more!

  20. Thanks for this post, I was tested today. I asked before I checked out if I needed to divide my transactions, because my store manager said that they try to limit coupons to 4 per transaction. The little said no, it would be fine. Well, of course, my coupon wouldn't scan,so she had to call for help. Well, the girl that came over to help was so rude. She told me that technically my coupons weren't intended for the product I was buying but there was nothing they could do, because it didn't state a size on the coupon. Then as I was talking I mentioned the 4 per transaction thing, and she said "Oh, so you were told you could only use 4 at a time and you decided to do more anyway?" Then she said "Well if you feel ok about this, then you have to live with it". It took every bit of restraint I had to not be ugly, especially since after she talked to me that way she told me have a blessed day. I have called corporate, but I have just decided to not give Target my business, I will use my Target coupons at Publix.

  21. I just started couponing, and last week I went to Target. My printable coupons would not scan. They said if they don't scan they don't honor them. Someone, I believe a manager, came over and verified it with the cashier. I simply told them to take off the items for the coupons that did not scan and that I would use them at Walmart. I did go to Walmart. The cashier had a hard time scanning them but did not give up. I was very appreciative and let her know that. Has anyone else had problems with the printables?

  22. Hi, I had my first bad experience the other day at Target. I shopped on a Sunday which I will never do again because I could not call anyone at corporate to help with the situation I had. The cashier and manager refused to accept my coupons and refused to adjust them down even after I showed him the coupon policy. Here is the link to my posting.


  23. Just last night I had my worst expierence at Target. The cashier didn't know what to do if they didn't scan so then here comes a manger and then another manger. The problem they had was with my 5 Tide detergent coupons in which I was purchasing the trial size. The coupon does not say excludes any size or indicate size at all. The quest service manger comes over with an immediate additude saying regardless of what is written on the coupon they only will accept what the picture on the coupon. Also, she didn't accept my 10 coupons for Target $1/1 General Mills Cereal beacause I was buying the single serve cups. My arguement was that a Cherrios box was the picture on the coupon so does that mean I can only get Cherrios. Though I was right she was not giving in. That is not was is written. I will definety file a complaint because this manager was unknowledgable and rude. She refused my coupons and I left. I have never had such a bad experience. I could understand sometimes that cashiers may have a learning curve for coupon policy but come on the managers really. Target definetly lost brownie points with me on this one.