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Is coupon abuse illegal?

What can some retailers do when they find out some of their returning customer abuses their coupons? For example: coupon states one perhousehold, however there is no way to track it down. If the same customers keep using coupons at the same store and management finds out, what would happen?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Wow, good question

    Even though I don't see how thats possible, usually the manufacturer/store take the coupon.

    But if one day they do decide to take your coupon, leave it at that, I don't think they have any legal duty to lock you up because of a misuse of a coupon... lol!

    Unless the manufacturer/store has their own rules and regulations, then they can charge you to the highest degree, but I highly doubt that.

    Good luck though!

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  • 1 decade ago

    The worst that would probably happen is that they would stop letting the person use any coupons...but my guess is even that would be pretty rare. Stores are increasingly implementing systems where (if you have a frequent customer or credit card account) they can keep track of what coupons have been used on your account and simply won't accept any more.

    In my store we just ignored stuff like that if we couldn't prove it was invalid. For example a photocopy (where it said no duplicates permitted) we would turn down but if the same customer came in with six coupons that she had gotten from her friends or whatever on six different days we wouldn't have even said anything. After all, from a corporate standpoint we were still making money - she wasn't getting things for free.

    I suppose in a very extreme case they could ask the person not to return to the store but I can't imagine that ever happening unless there was some serious fraud involved. Really serious fraud - printing fake coupons by the thousands and distributing them - would probably be prosecuted at the corporate level.

    Source(s): Retail management
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  • 1 decade ago

    Yeah it's illegal. The individual store could press charges on you. I don't think the cops are out looking for coupon abusers though. The limits are in place so that doesn't happen so each individual/family can take advantage of the coupon. Actually there are ways to track it down. If you shop at Ingles, Food Lion (I'm from the south-east) and use your 'advantage' card that has YOUR personal information tied to it. THEN you scan those coupons with their UNIQUE bar code OR try to get more than the limit they state on the sticker in the isle per the sale. You just got caught. Will they do anything? I'm not sure however is it worth the risk. You are basically committing a mild form of fraud against a company to steal from it. Depending on how much you do it... how much money they loose and how many other people are doing it I'm sure they can.

    Did you ever read a grocery store's terms and conditions hehe? I didn't know a baseball stadium isn't liable for personal injury until my mom got her hand shattered by a pop-fly (North Carolina, Asheville Tourists). We tried to get them to cover medical expenses but in the TOC they stated they aren't liable as soon as you walk in. I'm fairly sure each individual grocery store thought this out as well and has responded accordingly to have the ability to press charges when applicable and seemingly necessary.

    Source(s): Fraud is illegal in every state. Violating store offers is defrauding them out of money.
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  • 1 decade ago

    it doesn't really matter, there r only certain numbers of coupons printed out, one per each household, if someone is using more, that means they got it from someone else, more than one coupons is not allowed to be delivered to the same household...in the end they're all still payed for by retailers.

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    4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    You can actually make an executive decision to refuse a coupon, even if you don't have proof. Your own eyewitness account of them previously using a coupon like it with a limitation of one-per-household is proof by itself.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Nothing except refusal to sell maybe

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