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Class Action Lawsuits Against Target For Coupon Debaucle

by Ginger on November 17, 2010

Class Action Lawsuits Against Target

For Coupon Debaucle

It seems that a woman from Alabama and another from California have experienced the “last straw”, so to speak concerning Target’s problems with coupons being scanned through the system and giving the customer the correct amount of credit.

Below is an article that appeared on AL.com – Alabama’s online news source.

A Jefferson County woman has filed a federal lawsuit against Target Corporation, claiming two area stores did not give her full credit for manfacturers’ coupons she presented for purchases of baby wipes, frozen meals and baby food in September.

Target’s treatment of manufacturers’ coupons — not giving full value for the coupons — has been the subject of news stories since this summer.

Amy Reilly, spokeswoman for the Minnesota-based store chain, told The Birmingham News on Thursday that the chain had implemented a systemwide fix for Target stores nationwide to address the manufacturers’ coupon issue. “We certainly regret the inconvenience to guests,” she said.

Target often blames glitches in its computer system to account for the company-wide behavior “but they never correct these glitches,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Birmingham on behalf of Michelle Norris against Target Corp. and Target Stores Inc., seeks class action status in order to represent others nationwide who presented a valid manufacturer’s coupon for merchandise since Nov. 1, 2004.

A phone message to the Montgomery attorney who filed the lawsuit, W. Daniel “Dee” Miles, III, was not returned Thursday afternoon.

According to the lawsuit, Norris was shopping Sept. 8 at the Target on U.S. 280 when she presented a manufacturer’s coupon she had gotten online for Huggies brand baby wipes. The coupon stated she could buy three packages of the wipes and get $2.50 off the purchase price.

The lawsuit claims Norris instead received a credit of $2.39 for the coupon.

Later that same day, Norris went to the Target store in Hoover and bought three other packages of the same baby wipes with an identical coupon and again received a $2.39 credit, according to the lawsuit.

On Sept. 21, Norris presented at a Target store a Heinz North America coupon to save $4 off any 10 Weight Watchers products, the lawsuit claims. The store deducted $1.80 for the coupon. On that same visit, a $1 coupon Norris presented for buying seven Earth’s Best Baby Food Jars was credited with 57 cents, according to the lawsuit.

All the coupons reimburse the stores the face value of the coupon, plus 8 cents for handling the redemption, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that Target receives a “monetary windfall” from its coupon policy and discourages the use of coupons.

Target, the lawsuit claims “is benefiting by and through the manipulation of paying the consumer less than the value of the coupon, while having the ability to redeem the coupon with the manufacturer for full face value in addition to the handling fee.”

The lawsuit states a Minnesota television station reported on the issue in August.

The lawsuit claims breach of contract, unjust enrichment, conversion, and fraud.

Besides seeking class-action status, the lawsuit, among other things, seeks an unspecified amount of money for compensatory and punitive damages, creation of a trust, and costs incurred on the lawsuit.

Also on Tuesday, a Los Angeles County, Calif., woman filed a class-action lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming that she did not get full credit for manufacturers’ coupons for baby products at Target.

I would say that the masses of us tried pretty hard to get Target to listen to us that there were problems. As much as I love Target, I can’t feel too much pity on them for poor customer service at the top, poor training, not listening and ignoring problems that their customers experienced. What say you?????

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1 Jenny November 17, 2010 at 12:35 pm

I want in on this…I have complained over a dozen times, somtimes losing out on more than $50 in coupon savings!

2 Deb November 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Ginger,

Have you head anything about problems with Target store coupons? I purchased two boxes of Stove Top last week for $1.00 each. In this week’s ad, they were now on sale for $.76 each. I went into the store for them to adjust the price (per their policy) but was told they could not do it. Since I had used a $.50/2 Target coupon, the system would not allow them to adjust the original price. Any thoughts? Has this happened to you?

3 Ginger November 17, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Have I heard? Oh Deb, I have been hearing it for over 6 months about how bad it is. You can get in on the Class Action Law Suit, call corporate, call management etc. Just keep calling and go up the line.

4 Deb November 18, 2010 at 10:15 am

Hi Ginger,

I had read your reports (thanks by the way on the great coverage), but never realized that it covered Target coupons as well. Thanks – I’ll call corporate as soon as my voice comes back.

5 Melody November 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Ever since I have been reading reports of Target issues with coupons, I hand over each coupon one by one and have them scan them. I watch to make sure the amount comes off correctly.
I haven’t had any problems recently.
However, about 3 months ago, I tried using a coupon for Benadryl $4 off wyb 2.
I had 2 Benadryl items that were approx 2.39 each. When I handed the kid (and I do mean kid – he was YOUNG) the coupon, I watched and it only took off 2.39 total. I showed him the coupon and told him the coupon states $4.00 off when you buy 2. He told me the system was set up to only deduct the amount of one item on “those kinds of coupons”. So I told him I didn’t want the items and took my coupon back.
It is so frustrating that you have to watch a store so closely so you don’t get ripped off.
They are making money – the value of the coupon plus .08 cents. They are NOT losing money by people using coupons.
I’m glad to see there has been a suit filed. Maybe this will get the ball rolling and we’ll see some positive changes.

Love your blog! Thanks for all the work you do!

Melody

6 Ginger November 17, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Melody,
Sounds like you have been doing all you can do. However, there is a directive that was put out that the cashiers were supposed to take care of the customer, give you the value of the coupons. My gripe is that they have NEVER gotten all of their store manager on-board, trained, have them training the store employees to see that EVERY customer is treated the same no matter what the location is or the value of the coupon is as long as the customer isn’t violating THEIR coupon policy.

Of course you are absolutely correct. They ARE making money (hand over fist) as we stroll in there and hand over the coupons giving them our trust that they will process them correctly.

7 Jennifer November 17, 2010 at 9:35 pm

I live in Jefferson co, al and have had issues with the 280, fultondale, and trussville locations. I have also had issues with items not ringing up correctly at the register and getting grief when I point it out. I wonder who is handling the lawsuit.

8 Ginger November 18, 2010 at 8:36 am

Montgomery attorney who filed the lawsuit, W. Daniel “Dee” Miles, III is who was mentioned in the AL.com article.

9 Busy Mom November 20, 2010 at 11:11 am

I have had the same problem at Target! They will scan you coupons and they discount less than the amount stated on the coupon. I am sure when they turn in the coupons to the manufacturer they ask for the full amount back. If you add up a few cents here and a few cents there it adds up very quickly! I have even had them scan my valid coupons and give me no discount at all, then quickly shove the coupon into their drawer. I am so glad that someone is standing up to them!!

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