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How to Use Free Printable Coupons at Wal-Mart

Using free printable coupons should be easy. You print them directly from your computer with sites like coupons.com, redplum.com or a similar website.

You then take the coupon in to Wal-Mart and after picking up the items, sending them down the conveyor belt to the cashier, you hand the coupons over to be scanned. S/he scans them, the world is good and you have saved money on your purchases.

Except that some Wal-Mart store managers have decided to take it upon themselves to say that they no longer take printed internet coupons. Some of them train their cashiers to just say no to all internet coupons and not only the ones that look suspicious or fraudulent and others actually put out signs that say they no longer accept free printable coupons. They think all consumers are stupid. They think couponers will just take it and go on their way, avoiding the hassle of having to scan coupons, send them in to the manufacturer and possibly having to identify fraudulent coupons - because heaven forbid, at $7 an hour, a cashier have to do such a thing as think.

Well, surprise, no Wal-Mart has the right to create a rule like this. Wal-Mart corporate coupon policy supersedes any coupon policy a store manager may choose to makeup. And it is making it up since they don’t have the authority to do such a thing.

First, print a copy of the Wal-Mart coupon policy and keep it in your wallet, purse or coupon carrier; I keep it in the envelope I keep my coupons in, that way I always have it when I’m using coupons. This clearly states that printed internet coupons must be taken as long as they are legible and say manufacturer's coupon on them.

If your coupons are refused, not because the cashier suspects they are fraudulent - and it is up to the cashier’s discretion to determine such a thing - but just because they are free printable coupons, ask to speak to a manager. If the manager also refuses because of some ‘policy’ of not accepting them, show the corporate policy and tell them each Wal-Mart has no right to make such a policy as corporate already has a contradicting one.

Now, sometimes managers will try to lie to you and sometimes they are merely misinformed by the managers above them - the six or more managers that are on duty are not really THE manager, but are just floor managers who must follow the orders of another. They may tell you that ‘this is a new policy we’ve just adopted’ or ‘we just received an e-mail from corporate that says the policy has changed’.

Well, some Wal-Marts and some store managers have been trying to pull this stunt for years, ever since printable coupons were made available and popular for ease of access, and it’s just not true. The policy hasn’t changed yet and it’s likely the media and couponers around the globe would go nuts if Wal-Mart suddenly did change the corporate policy. The backlash would be immediate and unmistakable.

So what do you do if you’re fed a line like this?

If you’re still in the store, call Wal-Mart corporate at 1-800-925-6278. I actually have this number saved to my phone just in case. Usually just threatening to call corporate and showing you have the number makes the manager change his/her tune if they were feeding you lies. If they were just misinformed themselves you’ll be issued an apology and your coupons run for you.

If you’re not still in the store, visit http://www.walmart.com/. Go to the Contact Us button - which is located at the bottom of the page under ‘Help’. Choose e-mail walmart stores and then ‘Company Feedback and Questions’. Explain the situation, what store it happened at, including the store number which can be located on Wal-Mart.com’s store locator.

In a day or two you should be called by the top manager at the Wal-Mart you had trouble in and an apology will be issued for the improper behavior as well as a guarantee that it will never happen again. Some follow through with removing the no internet coupon policy after receiving a dressing down from corporate, but others may still try to keep that policy. Remember the name of the manager who issued the apology and ask to speak with him/her the next time your free printable coupons are refused at the checkout.

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