Retailer Said My Coupon Expired... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 10-15-2008, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
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My $40 government-issued converter box coupon was declined by a retailer who said it had expired even though the expiration date on the card had not passed. In fact, the card wouldn't actually expire for several days. I had to call the Retailer number on the back of the card to help me sort things out.

The customer service agent explained that the coupon can be processed in one of two ways. It can either be swiped like a credit card, or data from the card can be entered through a web site. Using the website method may cause your coupon to be declined if you try using it near the expiration date. The reason is that the web site only allows the retailer to enter the expiration date as month / year and for some reason this can cause the coupon to appear as though it expired. (I was also told that three unsuccessful attempts to process the card will "lock it out" for 24 hours.)

The swipe method can reliably tell the actual expiration date of the card. Large national retailers like Walmart and Target usually use the swipe method. Circuit City also swipes; that's where I successfully used my coupon on the day before expiration.

Bottom line: If your card is about to expire, make sure you visit a retailer that uses the swipe method. As a side note, I used my first coupon a couple of months prior at a store that uses the web site method and had no problem. But I later had a problem at this same store when I tried to use my second card a few days before its expiration date. Hope this helps someone avoid the problem I had.
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post #2 of 23 Old 10-16-2008, 07:25 AM
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Good advice, but better advice is to be sure to use your coupons more than several days before they expire!

Not much has changed recently on CECB models, pricing, or availability... don't hold onto your coupons till you're up against the expiration!
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post #3 of 23 Old 10-16-2008, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeMumbulu View Post

The customer service agent explained that the coupon can be processed in one of two ways. It can either be swiped like a credit card, or data from the card can be entered through a web site. Using the website method may cause your coupon to be declined if you try using it near the expiration date. The reason is that the web site only allows the retailer to enter the expiration date as month / year and for some reason this can cause the coupon to appear as though it expired. (I was also told that three unsuccessful attempts to process the card will "lock it out" for 24 hours.)

I don't think that is true universally, at least not previously..

There are on line sites that currently say that the card has to be good for that business day. I have ordered online in the past with the card good for only a day or two more. If only a month could be entered then that would not be true.
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post #4 of 23 Old 10-17-2008, 08:11 AM
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I own FreeDTVShop.com and can attest that we can redeem coupon cards up until 11:59:59 PM eastern time of the date listed on the coupon card. There is no issue with that, however, what I would guess happened in GeorgeMumbulu's case is that the wrong month or year, or even the wrong CVV was entered 3 times and locked the card out.

Also, if you use one card right away and then try to buy another converter more than 30 days later with the same coupon card, the retailer will receive an expired card error instead of a insufficient funds error (meaning that it had already been used). If you look up the card status on dtv2009.gov, though, it will show that the card had been used for a purchase already. This is the wonder of government systems. And of course, none of it is documented for us -- we've found out for ourselves the hard way.
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post #5 of 23 Old 10-24-2008, 08:47 AM
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mosquito,

If your company can redeem cards up to 11:59:59 of the cards expiration day, why is this disclaimer on your website?

COUPONS EXPIRING TODAY MUST BE ENTERED BY 4PM CENTRAL
AND MAY NOT BE USED ON BACKORDERED ITEMS

Also, I found that if I put in a fake coupon number (1111111111111111) in your system, the coupon is approved. Do you actually process the cards?

Finally, at the end of the checkout process this disclaimer is displayed.

***** All coupons will be validated with the government
before your credit card is charged and your order is shipped.
Your credit card company may show a temporary authorization
on your account while your coupons are being validated *****

I almost forgot this disclaimer:

DUE TO EXTREMELY HIGH ORDER VOLUME, IF THERE IS AN ISSUE WITH YOUR COUPON INFORMATION, YOUR ORDER WILL BE CANCELLED AND YOU WILL NEED TO RESUBMIT IT WITH CORRECTED INFORMATION. THIS WILL DELAY DELIVERY OF THE ITEMS TO YOU.

So, I could enter in my coupon information on the day it was to expire and by the time you process my coupon it may be already to late?
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post #6 of 23 Old 10-26-2008, 06:07 AM
 
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It's standard practice for companies to run a credit card twice (yes even at a major retailer like JCPenney). The first swipe checks to see if your card has enough credit to accept the charge. This is a temporary authorization. That temp authorization is later updated with the actual charge. Standard Operating Procedure.
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Originally Posted by couponSkeptic View Post

If your company can redeem cards up to 11:59:59 of the cards expiration day, why is this disclaimer on your website?

Probably because the online store wants 8 hours of "buffer" between the time the customer enters the coupon, and the actual deadline. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Nor do I see anything wrong with not processing the coupon, or the credit card, immediately. Perhaps this vendor prefers to do things "by hand" on a order-by-order basis. That doesn't make him a criminal.
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post #7 of 23 Old 10-26-2008, 12:00 PM
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Well said ElectricTroy.
I can vouche for Mosquito being a solid retailer and an all around good guy that contributes here regularly (when he has time of course).

CouponSkeptic, chill-out

I would like to add though that a locked out card (from three incorrwect tries) apparantly declines with a zero balance from what I've read around the net, not from expiration. Would the net lie?

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post #8 of 23 Old 11-02-2008, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by couponSkeptic View Post

So, I could enter in my coupon information on the day it was to expire and by the time you process my coupon it may be already to late?

Finally have a few moments to respond to your questions here. Sorry for taking so long to get back on the forum.

We chose to use a manual redemption method instead of the automated online webservice. Because of the manual process involved, we have to cut off coupons at 4PM. I find it surprising that other sites that are using the webservice don't even allow same day redemptions, but we still do. This is also why yes, you can enter all 1s and submit an order, but our disclaimer that the coupon needs to be validated with the government will result in that order being cancelled. The disclaimers are there to help you ensure that your coupon number is entered correctly. We have a few that mess up a number or two, but it really has worked quite well as a general method of entering coupon info.

So you're probably wondering why we don't use the webservice? 3 reasons: 1) We didn't want our site to be "down" while the standard (and no-so standard) maintenance windows were being enforced by the NTIA (i.e. it allows us to continue to take orders on late Saturday nights or during those unforseen server failures at the NTIA); 2) it allows us to take backorders for product that will be in within the next week or so (we don't run the coupons until the product is in stock to be in full compliance with the NTIA -- and yes, they have checked our process); and 3) I just don't trust the webservice -- having been a consultant and web developer for a number of years for some large corporations, there are always things that are missed and/or left out due to budget/time/whatever. Since $40 of nearly every transaction that goes through my site relies on that coupon going through properly, we opted to spend the extra energy on manually running coupons to ensure that they were processed properly.

BTW, it is our internal policy that if you enter your coupon data properly and correctly before 4PM on the day it expires and we miss redeeming it due to human error, technical glitch, etc, we will eat that cost. If your order is placed after 4PM, there are no guarantees.

I hope that answers your concerns. Gotta get back to it -- we found the right place to be in this down economy. We're busy round the clock and we appreciate everyone's business!
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post #9 of 23 Old 04-19-2009, 08:45 PM
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Quote:


Also, if you use one card right away and then try to buy another converter more than 30 days later with the same coupon card, the retailer will receive an expired card error instead of a insufficient funds error (meaning that it had already been used).

Has anyone run into this problem recently? I just tried to redeem a coupon at Amazon.com that expires on 4/20, and it was rejected. The other coupon that came in the same envelope was redeemed about eight weeks ago.
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post #10 of 23 Old 04-22-2009, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenDB View Post

Has anyone run into this problem recently? I just tried to redeem a coupon at Amazon.com that expires on 4/20, and it was rejected. The other coupon that came in the same envelope was redeemed about eight weeks ago.


RE: Date of post 4/19. , 10:45 PM ... "I just tried to redeem a coupon at Amazon.com that expires on 4/20, and it was rejected. "

Sounds like you waited too late for a online order .

Some retailers require several days lead time, others not so much... On what time frame the retailer demands, you'll have to check their FAQ's /Polices.

PS: Re-read mosquito's post(s)... he's a online vendor and can give insight on how the coupon is processed.


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post #11 of 23 Old 04-22-2009, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
"Also, if you use one card right away and then try to buy another converter more than 30 days later with the same coupon card, the retailer will receive an expired card error instead of a insufficient funds error (meaning that it had already been used).


Quote:
Originally Posted by BenDB View Post

Has anyone run into this problem recently? I just tried to redeem a coupon at Amazon.com that expires on 4/20, and it was rejected. The other coupon that came in the same envelope was redeemed about eight weeks ago.

I noticed in the text you quoted you are confusing things from your situation...
In your case you redeemed (1) of your (2) cards eight weeks ago... and on card #(2 of 2)... you waited till (Saturday) 4-19 10:45pm to redeem it, and it expired on the (Sunday) 20th.... Your problems arising from waiting till the last moment to redeem..

BTW: If you re-read the quote you posted.. Mosquito is talking about what happens when using the SAME COUPON... twice.. What he is saying if you try to use a coupon which has already been used more than 30-days after the date it was processed (paid-out-on.. EG a converter box was bought).. the retailer will receive an expired card error instead of a insufficient funds error (meaning that it had already been used).


.
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post #12 of 23 Old 04-24-2009, 03:06 PM
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Similar thing happened to me not long ago. Had a coupon with a few days remaining on it, so went down to my local CC to get another CECB. Well, lucky me, I got the "gum snapping teenie bopper from Hell" assistant. All would have been fine, except she was constantly getting interrupted with questions from the store manager while attempting to input my card information. Well, you guessed it, she tells me the coupon is expired, after I just saw her run the thing through the card reader a dozen times. Pissed me off to no end. Just took back the card and left in a hurry. I guess karma is on my side, because CC is no more...bwahahahahaha!
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post #13 of 23 Old 04-24-2009, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeAreNotAlone69 View Post

RE: Date of post 4/19. , 10:45 PM ... "I just tried to redeem a coupon at Amazon.com that expires on 4/20, and it was rejected. "

Sounds like you waited too late for a online order

Well, Amazon was giving me a message "Unfortunately, our attempt to validate the code you entered with the NTIA...was unsuccessful." which sure makes it sound like the coupon has a problem. But in hindsight I think you may be right, and Amazon's message was in error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WeAreNotAlone69 View Post

I noticed in the text you quoted you are confusing things from your situation...
In your case you redeemed (1) of your (2) cards eight weeks ago... and on card #(2 of 2)... you waited till (Saturday) 4-19 10:45pm to redeem it, and it expired on the (Sunday) 20th.... Your problems arising from waiting till the last moment to redeem..

BTW: If you re-read the quote you posted.. [b]Mosquito is talking about what happens when using the SAME COUPON... twice..

I get it now. I was confused--I was thinking the two cards were the 'same coupon' but of course they are not. Thank you for the help.

In any case I went to solidsignal.com and used the coupon there with no problems. Except they charge a fairly high shipping and handling charge, and do not pack the converter in an external box. The converter made it without apparent damage, but its retail box has no padding at all on two of its six sides. Plus they added a mandatory 'insurance' charge near the end of the check out process - without disclosing it when giving a quote on the shipping and handling fee.
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post #14 of 23 Old 04-24-2009, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QAM View Post

Similar thing happened to me not long ago. Had a coupon with a few days remaining on it, so went down to my local CC to get another CECB. Well, lucky me, I got the "gum snapping teenie bopper from Hell" assistant. All would have been fine, except she was constantly getting interrupted with questions from the store manager while attempting to input my card information. Well, you guessed it, she tells me the coupon is expired, after I just saw her run the thing through the card reader a dozen times. Pissed me off to no end. Just took back the card and left in a hurry. I guess karma is on my side, because CC is no more...bwahahahahaha!


CircuitCity = $40 ahead..., you the customer $40 behind...

BTW: You said you took the card back... for giggles did you ever check the DTV2009 website and see if they showed the card as being redeemed?

Are you sure the card was un-used?... I ask because my father got some coupons and I had him read the card number to me on one of them... and I used that to purchase a unit online.... about a month later he "found" the card and gave it to me, and I presented it at point of purchase and was told the coupon had been used (which it had).

.
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post #15 of 23 Old 04-24-2009, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeAreNotAlone69 View Post

...did you ever check the DTV2009 website and see if they showed the card as being redeemed?

Where on the site can you do this? I'm sure I'm missing the obvious.
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post #16 of 23 Old 04-24-2009, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenDB View Post


In any case I went to solidsignal.com and used the coupon there with no problems. Except they charge a fairly high shipping and handling charge, and do not pack the converter in an external box. The converter made it without apparent damage, but its retail box has no padding at all on two of its six sides. Plus they added a mandatory 'insurance' charge near the end of the check out process - without disclosing it when giving a quote on the shipping and handling fee.


Solid Signal added a mandatory insurance charge?, and is still shipping units minus a proper shipping box? (LOL)

* I bet the "reason" for them adding a mandatory insurance charge is FED-EX, UPS has been denying some claims due to them shipping units in the RETAIL PACKAGING, instead of a "proper" shipping box !!!!

Sounds like FED-EX, UPS is turning down claims now, so SoildSignal has added a "fee" as a way to get customers to "pay" the cost of units damaged in shipping!...


To say it another way: Sounds like SoildSignal is charging "extra" for shipping units in the retail packaging.... (LOL!)



Please re-post the above info in this thread about SolidSignal shipping units in a retail box:



http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1087503


Please re-post the above info in this thread about SolidSignal shipping units in a retail box:

.
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post #17 of 23 Old 04-24-2009, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenDB View Post

Where on the site can you do this? I'm sure I'm missing the obvious.


Pretty sure it's this link:... if not look around on the site:

https://www.dtv2009.gov/CheckStatus.aspx



NOTE: They may have changed how the site works... So keep that in mind... Pretty sure a month or so ago I do remember when I typed in a couple of coupons the site did give a status on the coupons (EG They had been redeemed)

.
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post #18 of 23 Old 04-25-2009, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenDB View Post

Well, Amazon was giving me a message "Unfortunately, our attempt to validate the code you entered with the NTIA...was unsuccessful." which sure makes it sound like the coupon has a problem. But in hindsight I think you may be right, and Amazon's message was in error.


Last Friday I even called Amazon and had them try to do it themselfs. They failed too.
I purchased elsewhere, because even the staff couldn't enter them.

Hope someone at Amazon reads this...

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post #19 of 23 Old 04-25-2009, 02:22 AM
 
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post #20 of 23 Old 04-25-2009, 10:02 AM
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Amazon is at the root of this problem for a number of our customers. They redeem the coupon BEFORE you complete your order, so if at the last minute, you decide that you want to back out and go to another retailer, the coupon is already redeemed and you have no choice but to place an order with Amazon. We have lost TONS of orders due to this problem, but the NTIA does not seem to care and has not forced Amazon to change their redemption process.
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post #21 of 23 Old 05-14-2009, 11:33 AM
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I am out of the country until the 8 of June and I got the coupons just before I had to leave the same day.

The expiration date is 06/10/2009.

Do you think that's too close to exp date?

I am going to purchase my 2 boxes at Kmart.

Also, do the retailers ask for ID when you cash in your card?


Thanks,


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post #22 of 23 Old 05-14-2009, 01:14 PM
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If you cards expire, you have until July 31st to reapply.

When purchasing at a B&M, you can use them the same day they expire (as long as they have product).

You don't "CASH" them, you use them to discount the price of the CECB by $40.00. Anyone can use yours. There's even sites where you can donate your card number.
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post #23 of 23 Old 05-14-2009, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intravino View Post

I am out of the country until the 8 of June and I got the coupons just before I had to leave the same day.

The expiration date is 06/10/2009.

Do you think that's too close to exp date?

I am going to purchase my 2 boxes at Kmart.

For an in-person purchase the coupons should be accepted up to the day of expieration, but what if your return is delayed, or if the store where you plan to buy is out of stock?

Quote:
Also, do the retailers ask for ID when you cash in your card?

They shouldn't, because it's permissible to give your coupons away or to have someone else make the purchase for you.
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