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Returning an item that a manufacturer's coupon was used...

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  • May 4th, 2008 10:40 pm
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Oct 15, 2007
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Returning an item that a manufacturer's coupon was used...

I was in a hot debate on another forum regarding this topic and I'm wondering what everyone thinks on here...

Suppose you purchased an item with a manufacturer's coupon (for example, you purchased a disposable blade with a $2 dollar off manufacturer's coupon). Afterwards, you decided to return the product. Should you be getting the full price refunded or the price after the $2 coupon was applied (ie. what you pay in the first place)?

My argument was you should be getting back what you paid for it but a lot of people thought that they should be getting back the full price since the retailers would get the $1 from the manufacturer anyway.
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Sep 22, 2007
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jeffrey815 wrote:
Apr 27th, 2008 7:55 pm
I was in a hot debate on another forum regarding this topic and I'm wondering what everyone thinks on here...

Suppose you purchased an item with a manufacturer's coupon (for example, you purchased a disposable blade with a $2 dollar off manufacturer's coupon). Afterwards, you decided to return the product. Should you be getting the full price refunded or the price after the $2 coupon was applied (ie. what you pay in the first place)?

My argument was you should be getting back what you paid for it but a lot of people thought that they should be getting back the full price since the retailers would get the $1 from the manufacturer anyway.
But technically the retailer won't get the money from the coupon. In order to get the money refunded, the retailer has to sell the product. If the product is returned, then there was no sale. That doesn't necessarily stop the retailer from submitting the coupon however if there was an audit done, they would be in trouble with the manufacturer. If you received the full amount back, what would stop people from buying things with coupons in order to return them for the full amount. Essentially getting money for nothing.
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Oct 8, 2006
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spf1971 wrote:
Apr 27th, 2008 9:15 pm
But technically the retailer won't get the money from the coupon. In order to get the money refunded, the retailer has to sell the product. If the product is returned, then there was no sale. That doesn't necessarily stop the retailer from submitting the coupon however if there was an audit done, they would be in trouble with the manufacturer. If you received the full amount back, what would stop people from buying things with coupons in order to return them for the full amount. Essentially getting money for nothing.
also whats to stop the company from printing off these coupons and getting the money if this was the case
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dunt see why a company would print the coupons themselves to use though
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trixR4kids wrote:
Apr 27th, 2008 9:45 pm
dunt see why a company would print the coupons themselves to use though
I think it was meant to mean the store would print off the coupons. If you owned the store you could print off a few hundred coupons and make some money. Most coupons say the store has to have bought enough stock to cover the coupons in a certain previous period to be valid.
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Apr 17, 2005
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You should get back the full price before the coupon was deducted, since the store will get reimbursed for the coupon anyways. I have purchased many things with coupons, then changed my mind & returned the item & I have always received the full price back. The store will obviously not give you the coupon back, since they might have already sent it out to the manufacturer for a refund, so why should the store make the money twice :idea: :rolleyes: That's why they have to refund you the entire amount, because coupon is like cash in a way.
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patrob wrote:
Apr 27th, 2008 10:37 pm
You should get back the full price before the coupon was deducted, since the store will get reimbursed for the coupon anyways. I have purchased many things with coupons, then changed my mind & returned the item & I have always received the full price back. The store will obviously not give you the coupon back, since they might have already sent it out to the manufacturer for a refund, so why should the store make the money twice :idea: :rolleyes: That's why they have to refund you the entire amount, because coupon is like cash in a way.
A coupon is not like cash as it can only be redeemed for the item it is meant for and cash can be redeemed for pretty much anything. If you return something you are only entitled to get a refund for the amount you paid to the method you paid. Coupons will also usually have something along the lines of "no cash value" on them. To allow someone to essentially cash the coupon in for money would open up a tremendous opportunity for fraud.
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Hunter316 wrote:
Apr 27th, 2008 10:58 pm
A coupon is not like cash as it can only be redeemed for the item it is meant for and cash can be redeemed for pretty much anything. If you return something you are only entitled to get a refund for the amount you paid to the method you paid. Coupons will also usually have something along the lines of "no cash value" on them. To allow someone to essentially cash the coupon in for money would open up a tremendous opportunity for fraud.
I disagree. I feel you are entitled to a full refund of what the product costs, since the store will submit that coupon to the manufacturer to get their money back, so they are not loosing anything by refunding you the full amount. Unless they can give you back the coupon that you gave them, then yes, you will get back only what you paid for it, since they will not be submitting that coupon now... But I have ALWAYS received FULL money back when I used coupons! When I mean cash, I mean the coupon has value like cash since you are getting a discount, obviously it's not "real cash" but very close IMO ;)
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Jul 31, 2004
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I think it's easy to lose track of the fact that there are two separate transactions here. One between the customer and the store, and one between the store and the manufacturer.

The coupon allows the customer to purchase the product at a discounted price. It does not pay for part of the purchase. For the customer that's the end of the transaction. The customer should not be entitled to anything other than the discounted price that they paid for a refund. As for the return of the coupon, it's lost during the transaction as it represented a one-time offer to purchase a product at a lower price. As noted on the coupon, it has no cash value.

The store then submits the coupons to the manufacturer to get paid. The manufacturer is no paying for the customer's purchase, but rather paying the store for having offered the customer the opportunity to purchase at a discount. It has no bearing on the customer, and has a separate contract. There may be policies regarding submissions or inventory that deal with returns.

The point is, a coupon isn't remotely like cash, and regardless of what benefit the store gets, you should only get your discounted price back.
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Feb 5, 2008
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Wasgo wrote:
Apr 28th, 2008 1:37 pm
The point is, a coupon isn't remotely like cash, and regardless of what benefit the store gets, you should only get your discounted price back.
I do not agree. You should get back full value for the product! The store will get reimbursed for it anyways.

Example: Product costs $5 & you received $2 off, so you only paid $3 for it.
You changed your mind & want to return the product for $5. If the store decides to
only give you back $3 (what you really paid for it) they obviously can re-sell that product again for $5
(assuming it was never opened/defective) but in the mean time, the store will also be getting
an extra $2 back from the manufacturer for submitting the coupon.
So now the store just made $2 extra thanks to you using a coupon, I don't think that's correct for the
store to make money off of coupons :!:

I have always received full money back when used a coupon.
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Wasgo wrote:
Apr 28th, 2008 1:37 pm
I think it's easy to lose track of the fact that there are two separate transactions here. One between the customer and the store, and one between the store and the manufacturer.

The coupon allows the customer to purchase the product at a discounted price. It does not pay for part of the purchase. For the customer that's the end of the transaction. The customer should not be entitled to anything other than the discounted price that they paid for a refund. As for the return of the coupon, it's lost during the transaction as it represented a one-time offer to purchase a product at a lower price. As noted on the coupon, it has no cash value.

The store then submits the coupons to the manufacturer to get paid. The manufacturer is no paying for the customer's purchase, but rather paying the store for having offered the customer the opportunity to purchase at a discount. It has no bearing on the customer, and has a separate contract. There may be policies regarding submissions or inventory that deal with returns.

The point is, a coupon isn't remotely like cash, and regardless of what benefit the store gets, you should only get your discounted price back.
I think that a return should restore everything to their initial condition before the sale occurred. If the company cannot return the coupon to you so that you may use it again if you so chose, then they should refund you the entire purchase amount not just the discounted amount.
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Having worked through school as both a bookkeeper and a customer service rep. (doing refunds) at a large grocery store, I can clearly state that the customer would and should be refunded the full purchase price before the coupon. The store can not return the coupon to the customer unless the transaction just took place. Also there is no way the store could prove that the coupon came off that product unless only 1 item was purchased. It would just be an impractical situation. The store will be refunded the value of the coupon plus handling fee from the manufacturer. If the store didn't refund the coupon value to the customer, they would be double dipping. Note unless the customer is pulling a scam, the benefit to the customer is minimal. However, if the store would keep both the coupon value from the customer and redeem the coupon from the manufacturer, there is the possibility of a much greater benefit to the store.

As for why a store wouldn't just off coupons and redeem them, there are checks and balances in place to prevent that. At a minimum, a store has to show that it had stock levels to cover the coupons redeemed. A sudden increase in coupon redemption which would be out of line with other retailers, would also raise red flags. It would be fraud.
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If the consumer should get the full price back, then he has basically brought the coupon to the store and received cash for it. The retailer (and essentially the manufacturer) hasn't sold anything.

If you believe that is the right thing since the company can get cash for the coupon, even thought it hasn't sold the product at this point, then you must also believe the retailer should just straight-up give you cash for coupons.
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JWL wrote:
Apr 28th, 2008 3:56 pm
If the consumer should get the full price back, then he has basically brought the coupon to the store and received cash for it. The retailer (and essentially the manufacturer) hasn't sold anything.

If you believe that is the right thing since the company can get cash for the coupon, even thought it hasn't sold the product at this point, then you must also believe the retailer should just straight-up give you cash for coupons.
Can the store return the coupon to the customer? In most cases probably not, so now the customer cannot use their coupon again for another purchase.

How do you propose the store resolve that issue?
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drunkgoat wrote:
Apr 28th, 2008 4:21 pm
Can the store return the coupon to the customer? In most cases probably not, so now the customer cannot use their coupon again for another purchase.

How do you propose the store resolve that issue?
A coupon usully states that its a one time use item so as it has already been used, no matter that the item is returned, it should not be used again. Also coupons are usually for specific items and since it is a return being requested why would the coupon be needed again unless it was to try to get more money back again. If one were to request an exchange on a purchase that a coupon was used on and then be told that you had to pay more on the new item then I could see a reason to argue but not in a case where the request is for a refund.

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