Kroger software upgrade eliminates practice of coupon 'stacking'

(WMC-TV) - You may notice a change the next time you take your coupons to Kroger, thanks to a change in store policy.

Like many shoppers, Beth Townsend relies heavily on coupons.

"I use the computer and websites and all kinds of things to save money at the grocery store," she said Tuesday.

Townsend and other shoppers are now reacting to Kroger's coupon policy. In the past, Kroger customers could use or "stack" an electronic coupon with a paper coupon for the same item.  They could use both because Kroger did not have a good way of monitoring that the customer was using two coupons on the same item.

But on March 21, new software was downloaded on all store registers which now rejects a second coupon for the exact same item purchased, eliminating the ability to stack coupons.

"It checks to see how many coupons you have," Kroger spokesperson Joe Bell said. "Is that item in the order?  Are you trying to use more than one coupon?"

"It will now mean that I've done the work finding the coupons and putting it together, pulling it out, because I want to use it that week," Townsend said. "That will mean my work is in vain, apparently."

According to Kroger's policy, electronic or digital coupons cannot be doubled.  Paper coupons are doubled up to 60 cents, and Kroger picks up the additional 60 cents,

The manufacturer picks up the initial 60 cents only.

"When someone abuses the system where it becomes coupon fraud - and I'm not saying stacking is fraud - if they have the ability to use coupons and not buy the product, then manufacturers stop generating coupons."

"I do have a lot of friends that use coupons, and they can figure it all up to where they really do save a lot, so I know it'll probably affect a lot of people," shopper Allison Butler said.

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