Friday, April 8, 2011

Extreme Drama...

When the pilot episode of Extreme Couponing aired on TLC in January, it cause a lot of turmoil, and after a couple of days I was really sick of hearing about it.  I was expecting about the same response this time, and I certainly was not disappointed.  However, I was not expecting another form of turmoil that went along with this most recent set of shows.

Apparently, one of the shopper's shown on the program had a reputation (and not a good one!)  She had been known to fraudulently use coupons and had even posted youtube videos of herself explaining how to  outsmart the registers and use coupons on items other than what they are intended for.

When I first read about this, I thought surely this is in the past, and she has learned to use them properly, or TLC would have never allowed her on their program.  Apparently, that was not the case.  This article has some pretty blatant and shocking examples, complete with screen shots from Wednesday night's show of the items being bought that were not the items needed for the coupons that were handed over to the cashier.  If you read the comments you will also see first hand accounts that the woman has very recently been charging people for classes in which she teaches them to do the same, which I think is deplorable.

Now I'm really not trying to judge anyone (although I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the next news segment was her being taken away in handcuffs!).  I'm not even going to tell you which shopper it was.  The reason I am writing this is because I do not want all of you out there who are new to couponing to also read about all of this drama and think that it the only way to do it and that it is ok to do, or that you might as well give up because it cannot be done honestly.  THAT IS NOT TRUE!

In fact, here is another post (from the other lady on the same this should be a dead giveaway which one I'm talking about) detailing how she followed all of the rules of both the store and the coupons she used on her trip.

I really loved that she wrote this post, and I'm glad she did it.  I was concerned about her getting a bad reputation through association because I had seen clips of these two women being interviewed together on news segments.

You are entitled to your own opinion about what was depicted in the show, but remember it is a very skewed 15 minute portrayal!

What I do NOT want you doing is becoming of the opinion that misuse of coupons is OK.  IT ISN'T.  You can be fined.  You can be put in jail.  The stores will not get reimbursed, and they will raise prices on everything to cover their losses and that will affect us all!  I do not even understand how the cashiers allowed this sort of thing to slip by unnoticed!

Please go read these posts.  Educate yourself about the correct way and the incorrect way, if for no other reason than to make sure you are not misusing them in error.  This is serious stuff that affects everyone who uses coupons.  Especially with these things being shown on prime time television!  I do hope that TLC is more careful in choosing their experts in the future!


Debi April 9, 2011 at 9:52 AM  

I've been couponing for almost three years and all that talk about decoding the bar codes is news to me. I had no idea this was possible. I hope they are able to get to the bottom of the controversy. It's causing quite a stir online.

Amanda April 9, 2011 at 10:05 AM  

I know Debi, it was news to me too! But I would never dream of using one except for what it was intended. There is so much to be saved by doing it the right way that I don't know why anyone would want to cheat!

btw I was just over on the show's facebook page taking up for you ;) There are people on there who are acting like this is what every single coupon shopper is doing and scaring away the people just trying to learn. It's pretty ridiculous.

Debi April 10, 2011 at 5:58 AM  

Thanks so much Amanda! The page has definitely been interesting.

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