E-Coupons FAQ: How and When to Use

by Lee on March 10, 2010 · 1 comment

I’ve had a number of questions on e-coupons and so I thought it’ll be useful to do an E-Coupon FAQ! You can also look at the faq from shortcuts and cellfire, this guide is meant to be a summary.

Safeway and affiliates stores (Safeway, Carrs, Dominicks, Genuardis, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb and Vons) have access to the e-coupons listed in this guide.

What are e-coupons?

Where can I use e-coupons?

Stores might change. See list of participation stores for shortcuts and cellfire.  P&GeSavers and Upromise are associated with Safeway and affiliates stores.

How do you “load” e-coupons?

Register your club savings card on their site by adding your club card number, or if you don’t have your club card number, HERE is a good guide on what do to for specific stores (look under “Grocery Store Savings Card”). To load the coupons, click on the corresponding products and you see “loaded” or “added”. These coupons should be available to use immediately. Note: It’s been reported that P&G eSavers may need 24 hour to appear in your card after you “load” them.

I don’t have my Safeway Club Card Number. Can I use my phone number?

It appears that at least for Safeway, Cellfire and Shortcuts only recognize the actual club card number (see cellfire FAQ HERE, under “I don’t know my savings card number, how do I add my card?”). For places like Kroger, Dillons or Ralphs you could add your phone number associated with the card number when signing up at the e-coupon sites. For Safeway, you’ll need to call customer service as mentioned in the FAQ link.

How do you redeem e-coupons?

By purchase the specific products, just like in paper coupons. These e-coupons will show us as “Mfr. eCoupon” directly below the associated product, unlike paper coupons, where the coupon will show as “Scanned Coupon” at the end of the receipt with no product specified.

How come some of my e-coupons doesn’t show up on my receipt/not taken off?

There could be several reasons (all from my personal experience!):

  • The product(s) you purchased did not meet the terms. E.g. the e-coupon specify (2) products, and you only brought one. OR you brought different items E.g. the e-coupon specifics $0.5/2 Pillsbury Crescent and you brought (1) Crescent and (1) Biscuits.
  • You didn’t swipe your club card and use your phone number instead – this WILL give you your club card status at the store, but the e-coupons won’t register, because those are associated with your actual club card number. So keep looking for that card in your purse :)
  • You thought there’s an e-coupon in your card but it has expired – I recommend checking your e-coupon accounts before heading to the store.

Can I combine e-coupons loaded from different sites (cellfire, shortcuts, P&G)?

At Safeway and affiliates, yes.

Can I combine e-coupons with paper coupons?

This is a grey area – technically they’re all manufacturer’s coupon and you can’t combine them, but currently they all are treated as separate coupons. Even the same coupon you loaded at different times, that haven’t expired, are treated as separate coupons and they’ll all apply to 1 product (or 2, or 3, depends on the coupon).

If you’ve been loading the e-coupons every time they’re available, and haven’t been using them e.g. the e-coupon may come out once every 3 weeks, and they are valid for 2 months, you’d have loaded them twice (i.e. total of 4 e-coupons between cellfire and shortcuts). If you buy an eligible product within that 2 months, all 4 valid e-coupons in your accounts would come off at once.

I believe the technology is there to make the differentiation, but the fact that this hasn’t been done yet shows that the companies want us to use e-coupons. When e-coupons and paper coupons both apply, it gives people a incentive to register their cards, go online to “load” the e-coupons, and use the e-coupons (still a relatively new phenomenon compared to paper coupons).

I still have questions. Would the store’s customer service help me?

Most store cashiers, customer service people (and managers too, I found!) are not familiar with e-coupons and how they work – you’ll have better luck contacting the e-coupon companies (see above for sites and FAQ pages)

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