Well a new season of Extreme Couponing has begun. And of course with that comes the exposure and television airing of people using fake coupons.
Contestants from last night's episode were shown using a couple of different free product coupons that are confirmed by the product's companies to be fraudulent. These people knew they had fake coupons, straight up. That is fraud and shoplifting. Any person in their right mind would know that obtaining and using 50+ free product coupons is too good to be true. I mean, if someone in an orange jumpsuit offers to sell you an iPad3 for $25, you wouldn't exactly think everything was on the up & up would you? Well, the idiots on this show would probably answer that question with a straight face like this: "well, maybe he got a good deal on it, or just didn't like it, so he was selling it". Yea, right.
Hilarious side note: of course, one of the contestants has a website that she is trying to promote through this show. Part of her website title (we don't want to promote it here, obviously) has the word "bandit" in it! LMAO! Maybe I'll start a new site called the "Crazy Counterfeit Couponing" and teach everyone how to use fake coupons to save money.
Additionally, we were shown stores bending their coupon policies for the thieves on this show. Stores who have a limit on how many coupons a customer can double were not following the rules they impose on everyone else. Kmart is a sponsor of the show this season and is one of the culprits in bending their policy for the show. I wonder how the general public will feel when they are denied the ability to use coupons in the same way they saw on a TV show sponsored by Kmart...
Another side note: it appears that Kmart is trying to dominate the show and I would not be surprised if every show has at least one shopping trip at Kmart. Hopefully this is a step in the wrong direction for the show. If people see the same thing happening at the same store, it becomes less believable and more monotonous, hopefully leading to less viewers.
Stores who accept fake coupons will not be reimbursed for those coupons. Clearly Kmart does not care about this because like a Kardashian, they will do anything for exposure (good or bad). But what about the little guys? Someone using $1,000 in fake free product coupons at a local grocery store can be crippling to that store. Sadly, this has happened on the show, as Jill Cataldo discusses in this post.
What is really sad is that there is nothing being done about this fraud. J'Amie Kerlew (google it) was the worst culprit so far. She was able to figure out which bar codes would scan without beeping and then intentionally used coupons on the wrong product and later admitted it to the Wall Street Journal. Why she was not taken out of that interview in handcuffs, I have no idea. To this day, she is able to run free with no repercussions whatsoever. Is that crazy to anyone else?
Every time this show airs and shows someone using fake coupons, I feel like I am taking crazy pills! Maybe I'll start printing US currency and using it. Then I will admit I did it and hope for the best!
We encourage you to join in the attack on this show and those who use fraudulent coupons on the show. Also, the stores who participate should not stop hearing about it. Questions like, "why can't you extend the same coupon policy that I saw on TV to everyone?" or "will your allowing someone to use fraudulent coupons cause your store's grocery prices to go up in order to cover the losses?" are good. :D
Fake coupons and illegal stuff aside, this show is terrible for coupon users everywhere. It places unrealistic expectations in shopper's minds of the savings they can get. It also promotes shelf clearing, selfishness and hoarding. We spend hours each day showing you how to properly use coupons, promoting legitimate deals and coupons only for this show to come in and attempt to corrupt that. Couponing is not a competition or a sport. It is a way to save money. It can even be a hobby, but should NEVER be extreme.
So if you can't tell already, I hate this show. A lot. It doesn't look like it's going away any time soon. It's up to us to speak up and raise those difficult questions for the companies involved.