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Hydroxycut coupons

Hope you’re not looking for a discount on Hydroxycut any time soon – or looking to use a Hydroxycut coupon for an illicit discount on another product. The manufacturer has taken the unusual, and perhaps unprecedented, step of withdrawing every current coupon offer for its products.

Every single one of them.

It’s something of a no-win situation, as the company’s efforts to stop widespread fraud may well turn off its regular customers who don’t understand – and aren’t being told – why they can’t use coupons that appear perfectly valid.

In notices issued this week by the Coupon Information Corporation, and distributed to retailers nationwide, Iovate Health Sciences has announced that it will no longer accept its own coupons. Among the eleven notices are high-value offers for $5 off 1, and $10 off 2, Hydroxycut products that don’t expire until the end of the month. Also included are coupons for other Iovate brands like Xenadrine and Purely Inspired. Retailers have been instructed to refuse the coupons, because Iovate will not reimburse them.

And it’s all because of lax coupon coding, and coupon fraudsters who have managed to trick Iovate into paying for their groceries and other purchases.

“Iovate Health Sciences USA Inc. is taking this action due to widespread fraudulent activities involving theft by deception,” the notices read. “There have also been numerous unauthorized sales of our coupons by third parties with no relationship with our company. Iovate does not authorize the sale of its coupons.”

That last part refers to individuals who sell coupons online, which manufacturers forbid, but are mostly powerless to prevent. Still, that alone isn’t enough to prompt a company to pull the plug on an entire coupon campaign.

But the first part is. “Theft by deception” refers to violating the printed terms on a coupon, and misusing it to get a discount on the wrong product.

And, oh, were those Hydroxycut coupons misused!

Versions of the $5 Hydroxycut coupon have been offered for several years, while the $10 coupon made its debut just a couple of months ago. And both quickly became well-known among so-called “glitch groups” online, whose members share tips on which high-value coupons will “work” on products for which they’re not intended.

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The fine print on the coupons seemed to check all the right boxes. “Void if sold” was aimed at coupon resellers. Wording such as “excludes Hydroxycut Lean Protein Bars” clearly stated what the coupon could, and could not, be used on. “May not be used for items with retail value less than coupon value” prevented customers from getting cash back, or overage that they could apply to their total order. And the coupons’ expiration dates notified users that they were valid for just a couple of months at most.

Except some couponers simply ignored the wording, once they discovered that many of the coupons were not properly coded to expire at all – and that they would scan just fine when used on “any” Hydroxycut product, even the single 98-cent protein bars at Walmart.

It’s hard to beat getting $5 off a 98-cent protein bar. And glitchers who got in on that “deal”, have been bragging about it for months.

“I used (the $10 and $5) Hydroxycut on bars,” one Facebook glitch group member wrote recently, while sharing a photo of her haul. “All gave me overage, depending on which one I was using. Used the overage for the toys.”

“I did it!” another group member shared recently. “I went into the Walmart, got a $20 gift card so my activities can’t be traced to me, got out my $4 Hydroxycut coupon, found that .98 protein bar” and proceeded to check out, applying the $3.02 in overage from the Hydroxycut coupon to other products.

And in case you missed it, she paid with a gift card so her “activities can’t be traced” to her. Typically not something that someone does, if they’re using coupons correctly.

Evidently tired of subsidizing glitchers’ purchases of protein bars, toys and other products, Iovate went for the nuclear option of cancelling perfectly valid coupons. Often when that happens, a company will offer a new, more secure, replacement coupon. But Iovate hasn’t done that, nor is it talking about the withdrawn coupon offers publicly.

And that has some customers confused and upset. It’s not a pleasant experience, after all, to innocently present a coupon to your cashier, have it refused for unknown reasons, and you’re stuck with the choice of buying the product anyway, or handing it back and maybe never wanting to buy it again.

“I want to know what to do with my coupons,” one commenter wrote on Hydroxycut’s Facebook page. “I won’t buy your product without the high dollar coupons.” She was told by a Hydroxycut representative that “we will look into this and get back to you.”

They’re still looking. And an Iovate spokesperson did not respond to Coupons in the News‘ repeated requests for comment.

In the meantime, the glitchers themselves are in mourning. “It’s a very sad day in glitch land,” one group member wrote this week, after discovering that stores are no longer accepting the Hydroxycut coupons. “It’s ok,” another reassured her. “We all will find something else that ‘works’ cuz we’re smarter than them.”

Iovate can only hope it’s smarter than the glitchers, when and if it issues new coupons with more accurate and secure bar codes. Until then, it appears that Hydroxycut customers who now have to pay full price, are the ones who are really smarting.

5 Comments

  1. I could have told you this was happening a long time ago. I have hidden in many glitch groups, and have tried warning local stores and manufacturers. They never listened. Too bad! Could have prevented this.

    1. If stores did not allow coupons at self check, that would help.
    2. If stores trained their cashiers on coupons, that would help (they are not, I have asked and seen the training materials at all of my local retailers).
    3. If manufacturers actually coded their coupons correctly and set limits on them.
    4. If systems would actually stop scanning coupons after you reach the limit, that would help.

  2. But what about manufacturers’ auditing policies with retailers? Why doesn’t Iovate audit Walmart for quantities sold vs. redeemed? Seems 50% of the fault lies with Walmart for not verifying purchases at the register, it’s also the problem with their blanket rule of “if it scans we’ll take it”.

    • You can use the correct coupon at Walmart and they WILL STILL TELL YOU NO! IT’S such a turn off from couponing… It’s so hard for them to even WANT to accept you correct coupons… I don’t see how these people actually get away with this….

    • Do you actually want cashiers wasting their time reading coupons and matching all of them to your items? Are your cashier lines not long enough as it is? What about at self-scan? The manufacturer got lazy and did not code the coupon properly to work only on the specified items and they paid the price for it.

      I will say that Walmart’s registers allowing you to get the full value for a coupon that exceeds the items’s price obviously contributed to this problem.

      • An experienced cashier knows what to look for. I always go to the same cashiers at the stores I shop at because they know me and I know them. They know that I read the coupons and I know that they know what they are doing and don’t question every coupon.

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