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Homeland coupon

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It could be one of the greatest grocery coupons ever. What would you buy, if your grocery store gave you a 75% off coupon good on your next shopping trip – with no limits? Expensive cuts of meat, high-priced health and beauty products?

Abby Koch of Jay, Oklahoma decided to buy 15 shopping carts full of groceries. And now she’s threatening to sue, because her store wouldn’t let her.

It all happened at Koch’s hometown Homeland grocery store a couple of weeks ago. Shoppers at the store had been given coupons with various percentages off their next order, to make up for the fact that the store would no longer participate in the chain’s gas rewards program. Koch scored a big one – “You will receive 75% off your first order 8/23/14 – 9/30/14,” the coupon read. “The discount will automatically trigger on your first order starting 8/23/14.”

There was no mention of exclusions or limits, so Koch decided to take full advantage of the offer and make her “next order” a mammoth one.

“I thought it was a blessing,” Koch told Tulsa’s Fox23 news. Her plan was to donate her purchases to local charities. And she said her mother even called ahead to make sure it was okay. “We went in there with the thought that we were going to be able to get all of this stuff,” she said.

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Instead, store employees saw her approaching the checkout with 15 shopping carts and stopped her in her tracks. Koch said they told her she was clearing shelves, and that they wouldn’t honor her coupon. “We told them that our intention was to give it away and they did not care one bit,” she said.

Koch left the store without buying anything, and went straight to her lawyer. Attorney Susan Muscari told Coupons in the News that she’s preparing a lawsuit for false advertising, if Homeland refuses to back down. So far, she hasn’t heard back from the store’s attorneys.

Homeland representatives did not respond to a request for comment, but they told Fox23 that they thought Koch was taking advantage of the offer. Of course she was, Koch countered. “If they did not expect this response from certain people, they are crazy,” she said.

The store has since posted signs saying that the maximum discount anyone can receive using a percent-off coupon is $200. But Koch and Muscari believe that’s too little, too late, and if there were restrictions, they should have been disclosed beforehand and not after the store realized the omission.

Fellow Homeland shoppers are divided over whether Koch pushed the limits beyond reason, or whether Homeland should have known better. “Let Homeland learn a lesson here, don’t issue coupons or vouchers they have no intention of honoring,” one commenter wrote on Fox23’s Facebook page. “If they issue her the coupon with no limitations, then they need to honor it, period,” another wrote. “I hope she sues their tail off.”

Others found fault with Koch and not Homeland. People “will take advantage of any loophole available,” one commenter lamented. “Any person with common sense knows a business can’t take that kind of a loss.” Still others questioned whether Koch really was going to give away all of the food, or whether the well-worn “but I’m donating it to charity” explanation is even an excuse. “All that money she has spent on a lawyer she could have donated that to her community,” another commenter wrote. “Pretty sure they can benefit more from a monetary donation than 15 baskets of food.”

Koch and Muscari say Homeland should allow Koch to buy what she had originally intended, and give her the full 75% off, or they’ll see them in court. Either way, depending on how the situation is resolved, someone has just learned a very expensive lesson.

4 Comments

  1. If you want to take it in the most black & white terms, then Koch is correct and Homeland should honor it. Personally I am not a fan of stores that limit quantity or coupon use, but I am not a shelf clearer either. I just don’t think it is up to a store or employee to determine what I need.

    All that said, I try to keep the overall picture in mind and feel if everyone kept the overall picture in mind we would have a lot less problems using coupons. In this situation, this is/was a nice promotion from this store, but due to this woman’s gluttonous approach no customer will ever see this promotion again, so everyone loses.

    A little common sense and moderation keeps the stores happy, the promos coming and the coupons coming if you’re in this for the long haul.

  2. This story reminds me of that shopper that saw the free sample offer and decided to take them all.
    Prevailing attitude was that the store offered the samples and this shopper was going to make darn sure to they regretted it!

    Some think Koch just won the lottery. Society today says that she should sue the store into bankruptcy. When the store closes all the employees will be harmed. Abby might make a few bucks-but you have to admit some lawyer out there is going to get VERY rich. 🙂
    Yay for more millionaire lawyers!
    And Boo, Hiss to stores who offer high value coupons to their customers. That’s just disgusting and we need to put a stop to that. (The sooner the better.)

  3. Frankly it doesn’t matter if she was donating the food or stocking her own pantry and taking advantage of the offer. Homeland issued her the coupon with no restrictions on amounts or products only on the dates it had to be used between. Since she was within the only restrictions put on the coupon Homeland should honor it, it’s not the shoppers fault they rethought the offer after it was given.

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