Vons: Some bad news ahead….

by Jess on October 19, 2010

Alright friends, well….we’ve got some bad news on the Vons front. It looks like the days of stacking a manufacturer coupon with an e-coupon may soon be coming to an end.

*tear*

I read rumors of this possibility about 2 weeks ago, but didn’t want to get us all in a panic over something that wasn’t set in stone yet, at least at Vons. Last week Dominick’s, another Safeway affiliate out in Chicago, become the test market for dropping the e-coupon site Cellfire and the ability to stack e-coupons with a manufacturer coupon.

Some of you may be familiar with Safeway’s Just4U program? It was previously only available to Hawaii residents. Today the program went live to those that shop at Safeway (it doesn’t work for Vons shoppers just yet). Just4U offers a set of e-coupons similar to the ones already offered when you log on to Vons.com.

The “Coupon Stacking” section of the Safeway coupon policy only applied to Hawaii because they were the only ones that were part of the Just4U program. Because the coupon policy read, “Coupon Stacking: (Hawaii stores only)” those of us not in Hawaii were still able to “stack” an e-coupon with a paper manufacturer coupon.

So here’s the deal. Things are going to get a little wonky over at Vons over the next few weeks. I will do my very best to stay on top of the changes and alert you to any new developments.

From what I’ve been able to gather, the last few days shoppers at regular Safeway stores have begun incurring issues with e-coupons not coming off when they use a manufacturer coupon for the same item. Worse, once a shopper keys in their phone number or slides their club card, the e-coupons will be deducted but you won’t be able to use any of your manufacturer coupons! Ugh. What a mess, especially considering the e-coupon sites do not let you unload a coupon once it is loaded.

To get around this, people have been handing over any paper manufacturer coupons first, and once those are scanned then you can key in your phone number or slide your club card. Any e-coupons loaded will deduct, but then the register adjusts the total to only use the e-coupons that you have not provided a paper coupon for. Doing it this way helps you to not get “stuck” into being forced to use an e-coupon when you have a paper coupon with a higher value. Does that make sense? My head now hurts.

I haven’t heard from you guys about this issue at Vons yet, but it’s only a matter of time before they roll this mess out here. I’m heading out to Vons today to test this, so I’ll let you know when I get back if anything happens.

In the mean time, the Vons Coupon Policy on Vons.com has not yet changed over to reflect the policy changes that have begun at Safeway locations. I believe this is now the 3rd time the policy has had an overhaul in the last 6 months, so hopefully they’ll get everything ironed out and more importantly, Safeway corporate will actually train and provide Vons stores with the most up to date policy. You know how some of you still aren’t able to use more than 2 “like” coupons per transaction? That’s from an old coupon policy that’s been long gone for awhile now.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

geegarland October 19, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Thank you soo much for keeping us informed!

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Prohomemaker.Com October 19, 2010 at 9:54 pm

I wonder what the rationale is? The only thing I come up with is they want the ecoupons to be solely from their site so they make the most money on 'em. But why do away with stacking them with paper? They still get reimbursed. Hmmm

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Jess @ This Frugal Life October 19, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Well technically an e-coupon is a manufacturer coupon, so stacking the two is like using more than one manufacturer coupon on a single item. Most places don't allow that, but Vons was one of the few that did.

I just go back from Vons to test it out and they still took off my e-coupon and manufacturer coupon for the Sweet Moments, so at least for now it looks like Vons stores may be still on the old system.

However, I did have two $1/1 e-coupons loaded from Cellfire and only one of them came off, so I'm still stumped on whether newly added ones will work with a manufacturer coupon.

Only time will tell!

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Prohomemaker.Com October 20, 2010 at 7:42 am

I've been having hit and miss luck with Ecoupons, too. I had multiples on the recent cake and frosting deal, but only one came off, but then this past week, I hit the jackpot on the Banana Cherrios, and ended up making $1.25 when I bought those. … Thanks so much for keeping us updated. And, by the way, I think I need a Finish Quantumatic intervention. … I've been rolling that deal like no tomorrow. I joked with my favorite cashier tonight that everyone is getting one in their Christmas stocking. :-)

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Anonymous October 20, 2010 at 5:51 pm

@ Vons, checkers are told not to scan coupons until the club card is accepted. This is a policy that went into effect earlier this year. But there are always those who do not follow the policy.

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Denise October 23, 2010 at 4:10 am

At my Vons in Riverside, CA, the Vons self checkout register rejected the paper coupons after the e ones came off. (When I didn't have an e–like for the yakisoba, the paper one came off fine.) In my opinion (not based on any facts at all) this is coming down from General Mills, who have the most duplicate coupons, and not Vons corporate. But what do I know? As long as multiple e coupons keep coming off for one purchase I'm good.

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