Coupon wording GONE WILD — POM Wonderful coupon

pom coupon cannot be used during in store promotions or discounts

A couple of you have emailed and commented saying that your Jewel stores didn’t let you use the POM Wonderful coupons because the insert coupon states: “Cannot be used during any in-store promotional offer or discount.” Well, look at that, it sure does. This is getting ridiculous. It’s bad enough when Johnson & Johnson decides to limit all its coupons to one (sure, I’d never need two boxes of Band-Aids, or more than one box of Stayfree, or maybe only one of my kids needs a new toothbrush today and the other one can just use his finger). But prohibiting the use of a coupon during a store sale? If POM is $4.99 and my store decides to put it on sale for $4.98, I can’t use the POM Wonderful coupon? If Jewel decides to add POM to “gotta love lower prices” and drop its everyday price — shelf tag shows a discount, oh no, we’re done. If they’re sampling the product — oh, that’s promotional, can’t use the coupon.

I understand that companies are trying to tighten up on coupon usage. I understand that the optimal situation for a manufacturer is that we try a product using a coupon, get hooked, and then continue to buy it at full price. And you know what? I know people who now drink POM because they were once able to get it free on a store promo and found they really like the stuff — it sometimes does work.

But wording like this? It’s fine, POM — you can keep your overpriced juice. I was thinking of trying their new flavors on the Jewel deal; now, that’s simply not going to happen.

Think it through, manufacturers

Another reason manufacturers put out coupons is to create a positive association with their brand in consumers’ minds. Even if you don’t use this particular coupon for a product, you’ll remember seeing that coupon, you’ll remember that the company puts out coupons, you’ll remember it as advertising. That all works to make you more likely to buy brand X in the future over brand Y, because repeated exposure breeds familiarity and we tend to reach for brands we know.

When companies impose artificial and arbitrary limits on their coupons, however, especially when they overreach to the extent of “no coupons with a sale” or “just one per person, folks!” that creates a negative association in consumers’ minds. I’m pretty annoyed at J&J after repeatedly seeing “limit one” on all their coupons for a couple of months. All things being equal, I’ll probably grab Nexcare over Band-Aid next time I’m in the market for, say, bandages. And, I’m honestly aghast at the POM Wonderful coupon wording — we’ll be drinking any other kind of juice around here. In their zeal to limit and control, companies that go overboard on coupon restrictions might just end up hurting their own image and their own sales in the long run.

What do you guys think?

Am I overreacting here? I’m really disturbed by this trend, and think that this POM Wonderful coupon wording just takes it to its logical extreme. What do you guys think?

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Comments

  1. Kelly says

    I feel bad now because they did let me use the $1 off coupons without issue. I didn’t even bother to read that statement because I have never seen that before. They didn’t let me use the BOGO because they beeped and stated “not enough items sold” or something like that.

    • says

      I wouldn’t worry about having used them — they go in a big pile to the clearinghouse, and it’s not like they can tell it was used on something on sale and not reimburse Jewel for it.

  2. says

    You hit it on the head, Rachel. Very well said. I’m glad I used the printables, as they don’t have this wording. If your readers want to do the deal and don’t want to worry about being declined, use the printables!

  3. Sandy says

    I agree they are getting crazy on the wording and restrictions. With the price of gas these days, I’m not going to drive to the store every day to buy ONE Unilever product or whatever their silly wording is on their coupon. I just will not buy their product then. Just amazes me that they don’t mind if someone comes in and buys 20 Dove Shampoo and/or Dove Conditioners…yet if I want to use a coupon, I can only buy one or two of them. So they are, once again, discrimating against coupon users. If they don’t want us to use coupons, the lower the price of the product and quit printing the darn coupons. The 25 cent P&G coupons crack me up…cost more to print them than it’s worth, I’m sure! And by the time P&G pays the store the 8 cent handling fee….ugh! Don’t get me started!!! And now Target with their limit four like coupons!!! I asked once if they are going to limit ALL CUSTOMERS to only buying four of a like item and they told me yes. Um, I think NOT! I can walk in and buy 10 boxes of Fruit Loops no problem. But if I have coupons I have to put 6 boxes back as I’m only allowed to buy four as that is a “reasonable” amount. Reasonable to who????!!!

  4. says

    I’m with you. Completely crazypants. And honestly, those of us who live in this frugal world would happily wait until the Old Orchard and Healthy Balance coupons show up once per month and stock up then if we need to. If they are trying to drive us to their competitors, it’s working! :)

    • Kristy says

      I don’t even go with name brands. Centrella and Indian Summer apple juice goes on sale at Super Tony’s fairly reliably, $1.50-1.75 for a 64 oz container. We’re not big juice drinkers (I mainly stock up for jelly making when it’s super cheap). But the Pom coupons were nice to use on pomegranates near Christmas time when they’d go on sale for $1.99 or BOGO.

  5. Lisa says

    I agree. If companies want to put limits on coupons that make it extremely hard to buy multiples with coupons, then I’ll just buy a competitors product that is the same price or cheaper! Unless you live by yourself, most households are gonna buy multiples–especially if there’s a sale!

  6. michelle says

    And people wonder why there are those of us that stock up on the non parishables when we can get them cheap…. so we can feed our families better.

  7. Susie says

    I think this wording is really stupid. I understand the reasoning for limit of 4 like coupons. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to say target and the shelves are empty, and a target employee told me how some lady came and bought 25 or 30 of an item. That gets frustrating. But if you give us coupons we can use, without jumping through hoops, I’ll use them. Otherwise, there are plenty of other bands on sale. And by the way J&J lots of sales are 2 for x. But can only use one coupon.. Really?

  8. betzy says

    I think you hit the “Nail right on the Head” I completely with you in this.
    These companies forget that we the consumers can make or break them, so they should remember that !

  9. Laurie says

    Completely agree plus, since the store promo comes out f the store pockets, it is plain stupid, as pom would sell more juices with a matched q and still get the same money each. When stores got more restrictive with Qs, more people went to Walmart, which finally hs higher sales and Walmart pays the least. I still manage well without Walmart but I stopped going to jewel, no sales almost there, and I must have not been the only one as sales there dropped. Walgreens is doing badly too after promotions dried up. Bottom line, companies should not try to buck this trend. If companies think people will buy more and more at sky high prices, they are dreaming.

    • says

      I think the wording on this POM Wonderful coupon is silly. Why did they even bother having a coupon at all? Chances are good that most consumers and cashiers didn’t even see that wording and used the coupon on a sale item anyway. Then what? POM won’t reimburse the retailer? That stinks.

      Laurie had said that a store’s price reduction comes out of the store’s own pocket, which is not true. In most cases, the manufacturer is taking some of the hit as well (if not all of it). When you see items on sale it means that the manufacturer has given the retailer some type of incentive to do so (like a reduction in the store’s cost for the product and/or an lump sum dollar amount for advertising).

  10. Melissa says

    I just printed the B2G1 coupon and it does have that statement on that printable. I do not see it on the $1 off printables. What a pain – I only ever bought this stuff because I got it on a decent price! I certainly do not need it.

  11. jenn says

    I agree with Laurie. I was just telling my husband that it makes NO sense. What difference does it make to the manufacturer whether or not the store has a sale running? I do know that sometimes the stores run sales because the manufacturers offered them a discounted rate on that item, and they made less per item to begin with, so they do not want you using a coupon to further decrease their profit margin. However, like several have stated, if that’s an issue, PLEASE don’t put coupons OUT!!! It is ridiculous to expect customers to read the fine print of each and every coupon and keep them all straight. Ugh…

  12. CHERYL JAMES says

    I don’t get why they would care if we used it with a promotional price? We used the coupon for the intended amount which is what they have to reimburse plus the extra cents, right? So why would they care if the store sold it to use for 4 dollars or 5 dollars? Won’t the store still have to order the same amount we bought to replenish their stock? Sorry to seem ignorant, but I would think they would care what we paid once they had it sold to the store?

  13. says

    Know what that wording says to me? “This coupon is only for people who have money to burn and don’t care how much they pay.” In other words, people who don’t use coupons!

  14. chris says

    I imagine that with so many people couponing these days that someone is losing somewhere, especially with a few places like walmart or now jewel offering overage towards your bill.

    So with things like the verio one touch that jewel has for $20 right now but with the $45 coupon out there, people are getting and expecting $25 in free groceries from the overage.

    Or last christmas with the Target coupoon giving $5 gift card for $50 purchase. So everyone bought one $50 gift card, got their free $5 card, and rolled them into lots of free money. Then the next time it came out said you could not do it.

    I have only been couponing for year and half and have seen all the changes in this short time because of everyone trying to work the system and hurting it in the long run from things like above or clearing shelves with attitude you should have beat me here, etc.

    I think the new policies suck and this one seems even worse, but can see it. If they would all just say something like up to the value of the item or whatever it would solve alot and all these rules would be moot.

  15. Priscilla says

    Ok, now this is rediculous! I wanted to try out POM since I have never tried it before and now never will just because of this! As for Johnson and Johnson I think I’ll just keep using the other brands because there isn’t anything that Johnson and Johnson makes that I cannot live without and I’ll just find a substitute from another manufacturer I am not usually brand loyal but I think I will start boycotting certain brands. This will all stick in my head and I will remember when I go shopping tomorrow. So no POM and no J&J!

  16. Charlotte says

    It’s a silly wording. We luckily don’t have any brand loyalties in this household, so can skip to any other brand, including store brands, if we want to “boycott” a brand. Never drank POM, but I sure won’t do it now. :)

  17. Linda says

    I tossed my POM coupon… will continue to toss and refused to buy any product that limits my usage. But not to be used during a sale? WOW! That is really a bad move!

  18. Jean says

    Doesn’t it make you think about what you really need? Who really needs POM juice? We don’t but might try it for a good price. I stop and ask myself this about many products.

  19. Audrey says

    I called Unilever a while back and gave them a piece of my mind about there limit 2 or 4, maybe more people should do this.

  20. Susan says

    I agree with others — the POM wording is over the top.

    Regarding coupon limits tho, I may be in the minority here, but I’m in favor of placing reasonable limits on like coupon redemptions. No one needs tons of any one item. Manufactures issue coupons as a marketing technique, a way to incent customers to purchase their product. They don’t issue coupons so that extreme couponers can load up on items for free. That’s not the intent. I’ve worked in marketing for 25 years, and believe me, it does not matter how we try to word a campaign, there will be people who will find a way to take advantage of it.

    • Kristy says

      Maybe no ONE does, but families are comprised of MANY, aren’t they? Right now, I just have a little family of three, but I also buy things for two of my sisters (and one of them has a child.) My other sister has four children, and lives with extended family on what is basically a compound. They all shop and prepare food together and their household has over twenty people in it. You cannot convince me that they don’t need 10 boxes of cereal in a week, or 5 bottles of juice at one time, etc.

  21. jane says

    I’m with you 100%, rachel. As far as Pom goes, I only buy it on sale with a coupon—so if that’s not acceptable to them, oh well, no Pom for me. It’sreally expensive!

  22. JulieP says

    For me and my family it’s simple: If I can’t get, or try a product at the same price or less than the price of the “No Frills” store. Then we don’t buy the name brand product.
    Product manufacturers, and chain-stores, are consistant with sending the customer across the street to make their purchases on the store brand product, that is just as good and sometimes better, at a fraction of the cost.
    It doesn’t put me out to bring my own containers to bag my purchases, and a quarter for my shopping cart that is refunded when I return it. The proof is in my wallet, and on my receipt!

  23. Mandy says

    I agree with you 100% Rachel. When people learn to walk away from brands that no longer suit their needs, it should speak loudly to the companies. It seems to me that we are being punished rather than regarded as valued customers. Why do these people think they are in business? I have walked away from several co.’s due to what I felt was not being valued as a customer, and I’ve NEVER gone back. I will return, and have, when they seem to realize that I have value to them. In the last few years, I can’t believe the way I’ve been treated by cashiers and customer service people, even though I have never approached them with anger or been unpleasant. If they have a problem with illegal coupon users, than take it out on them, not me.

  24. katie says

    My Jewel let me use them but neither the cashier or myself read the coupon very well. We both looked at the ounces so she pushed them through for me. I feel a bit bad now. Had I known I wouldn’t have purchased it. My kids love this and I NEVER buy it unless its on sale with coupon.

  25. Pam says

    I agree with you all. This is crazy. All the restrictions these companies are putting on coupons is insane. Isn’t the point to use a coupon when an items on sale so we can try it for the cheapest possible price???

  26. lisa says

    Rachel, I think you are right on with this one. Frankly I was going to try Pom for the very first time on this sale. The $5 price tag for something I am uncertain if I would like has always stopped me in the past. Now, I think the arrogance of the company will stop me.

  27. jade says

    I agree 100%. It is also frustrating to “like” a company on FB to get a coupon, then have it state no coupons available or just doesn’t show a coupon.So the company has your email but you get NOTHING!

    I have worked in consumer research for 15+ years and the last thing a company wants to do is alienate their consumer. They speak with pride about how many of their consumers “like” them on FB.

    Let the companies know what you think. That is the only way they will make changes.

  28. says

    Coming from a marketing background, I understand why companies would put limits on coupons. It’s about their bottom line. At full price, POM may expect 2% of the coupons they release to be redeemed, but when matched with a sale that percent goes up and could be more than they allotted budget-wise on the coupon promotion. That said, there are much better ways to go about this without such a restrictive limit, because as you said so many things could be consider a promotion. A lot of companies have been lowering the value, versus restricting it to non-sale items or putting a more reasonable limit like “2″ or “4″ than one! After the Marsh Triple Coupon sales, Whonu Cookie’s started lowering their coupon values in my area. There were B1G1, then $1.50/1, then $1, and now were are at $0.50. I hate that so many people abuse the system and take more than they need, because I strongly believe that’s what’s creating this issue. But, there are too many non-ethical couponers out there who learned from Extreme Couponing and other similar situations without doing their research first.

    • says

      With the WhoNu, it was also a new product — we always see high value coupons when they come out to hook us in, then they gradually drop. (Remember those nice $3.00 Gain dryer sheet coupons? lol)

    • Kristy says

      Actually, the Incredible Shrinking Coupon is not backlash against Extreme Couponers. It is a deliberate marketing strategy that has been used for decades. Amy Dacyczyn wrote about it in her article on why her family chooses not to use coupons as a money saving strategy.

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