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RedPlum Print at Home

If you’ve visited RedPlum.com lately, you might have noticed something new and significant about the printable coupon site –

You can actually print their coupons now. Or if you could print before, maybe now you can’t.

RedPlum has updated its printing software, to a “new and improved [email protected]” applet that does not require the dreaded Java. Java has been nothing but trouble for many coupon users since at least early last year, when it came under intense scrutiny. Computer experts warned that Java was vulnerable to security flaws that could allow cyberattackers to install malware on users’ computers. That prompted an alarming warning from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which recommended that Java users “consider disabling Java in Web browsers until adequate updates are available.”

And boy, did those updates become available. Java made more than 200 security fixes between then and now. And it seemed every time Java required users to download a new update, it would interfere with some users’ ability to print coupons from sites that used the software, including RedPlum and SmartSource.

That prompted the now-defunct Coupon Network to go with a Java-less alternative last year. SmartSource said it was considering doing the same.

But RedPlum held firm. “We have no plans to switch our coupon printer from Java, as it continues to be a safe and secure way to deliver printable coupons,” a spokesperson for parent company Valassis told Coupons in the News last year. “Our advice continues to be that consumers keep their Java current with the latest version available and only run Java applets from sites they trust.”

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So what prompted the change of heart? When asked, Valassis representatives pondered the question for a week, but have not yet offered an answer.

While the change is good news for many who had given up hope of ever printing coupons using Java, it’s bad news for some users who never had trouble before. Some RedPlum visitors have been complaining about receiving error messages, or just plain unresponsiveness, when trying to download and use the new [email protected] software. RedPlum has posted installation instructions here. But the fact that software has to be downloaded at all, is not great news for those who print from computers on which they don’t have the necessary permissions to download any software.

Such as, say, at work.

The dirty little secret that many coupon users print while on the job, is what has given SmartSource pause about ditching Java for a downloadable applet, as RedPlum has done. Most printing activity on SmartSource.com occurs between the hours of 10am and 2pm, Monday through Friday, SmartSource Digital’s Senior Vice President Henri Lellouche told Coupons in the News last year. Requiring a customized plugin would prevent many of those users from printing at all, so Java remained the best alternative.

But now, SmartSource is working on an even better idea. “We’re about to test a simple solution that doesn’t involve either Java or downloadable software, which then lives on your computer and can be a complicated and time consuming process to install,” spokesperson Laura Richards of SmartSource parent company News America Marketing told Coupons in the News exclusively. SmartSource hopes to have the new system in place later this year.

And despite all the negative press about Java, it was ease of use, not security concerns, that prompted SmartSource’s search for an alternative. “There are some situations where consumers are simply unsuccessful” printing with Java, Richards explained. “We want ALL consumers who visit SmartSource.com to have a positive experience and that’s what we’re working on providing.”

Of course, it would be nice if you could just print coupons without the need for special software at all. But coupon providers do have to implement security measures, to prevent users from printing more than the standard two coupon prints per computer. Otherwise, the free for all of unlimited coupon prints that would likely result, would make this whole Java thing seem like not such a bad idea after all.

4 Comments

  1. Nope. Still can’t print. Every single time I try to print a coupon I have to download and run a new program. Not sure why they can’t get this to work better. Will not be using them again.

  2. First I could print RedPlum, then I couldn’t print RedPlum, then I could print RedPlum, then I couldn’t print RedPlum, and now I can, but my computer doesn’t seem to think it is totally safe to do so. Fortunately, RedPlum rarely has anything worth printing anyway.

  3. Pingback: RedPlum Coupon News - FINALLY Some Good News!

  4. I tried to print Redplum. It says. [email protected] has encountered a problem and needs to close. We apologize for the inconvenience. — That’s the end of redplum coupons for me.

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