Ask FTM: Are These Coupons Good?

Reader V writes:

Help!! I printed some coupons last night. Some of them are missing the smaller scan code that begins with a 5. Are these good?

Dear V:

These coupons are valid! In fact, the old barcodes are being phased out!  For a long time, we saw the new Data Bar Code along with thestandard UPC codes. You can read up on the Data Bar Codes here.

Many stores have implemented the computer systems to handle the new barcodes.   Are there any stores that have not updated their computers to accept coupons with Data Bars only.

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  • Amy

    Our Walmart doesn’t accept the new ones at all, so I just don’t shop there anymore. But, everyone who is having issues needs to contact Where is a place on there website which instructs you to let them know if you are having issues with store acceptance – they want to know and we need to let them know!

  • Liz

    My Wal Mart here in Ohio about a month ago said they take internet coupons but only if they scan. So I tried to use some that evidently only had the new bar code on them and it wouldn’t take it and they just told me sorry it must not be a real coupon. I just wish they would update all the stores at once because most coupons now have the new bar code on them.

  • Rebecca

    Thank you so much! I appreciate it. I must have missed this post.

  • Taryn

    I tried to do the Centrum Pro Nutrients deal on 1/2/12, and the scanner at my Rite Aid didn’t know what to do with the new barcodes. The on-duty manager came over and said that without the old barcode they couldn’t accept the coupons. If they type them in, they don’t get reimbursed. I asked him when that would be fixed, and he just shrugged. So, yesterday I chatted with Rite Aid customer service and explained the issue. I explained to the agent that I wouldn’t be able to shop there until they accepted the new barcodes, and asked to be notified when the system was updated. She was clueless at first during our chat, but later on was looking at her own coupons from the paper and said all she was seeing were the new codes. Hooray! Someone with common sense! So, I hope to hear something soon…

  • Jennifer Anne via Facebook

    Ugh! I’m nervous to use mine now! I don’t want to fight!

  • Melissa Geyman via Facebook

    coupons that look really good! Its amazing what someone will do to try to get some free batteries, lol…it is aggivating to be denined using coupons. they gave one back to me today.

  • Melissa Geyman via Facebook

    They are watchful of coupons bc at my work, which does not sell groceries…but other items that have coupons, we have a big book of false cou

  • Carrie Burke BelleIsle via Facebook

    Lisa and Danielle Candlen Savoy I try to avoid that Shaw’s whenever possible. I’ll remember Lyn though, thanks for the tip:)

  • Michele Morris Zuspan via Facebook

    Is there an article somewhere I can copy out and carry with me that explains the new barcodes, so if this should happen at one of my stores I can pull it out and know what I’m talking about.

  • Danielle, my friend and I always try to go to Lyn at the Shaws in cedarville. she is very helpful and friendly.

  • Danielle Candlen Savoy via Facebook

    Carrie Burke BelleIsle I have that exact same problem @ Shaws in Cederville – they treat me like a criminal in there & they always have their eye on me… There is one supervisor who will even go out of their way to come bag on my line to keep an eye on me..

  • Carrie Burke BelleIsle via Facebook

    Danielle Candlen Savoy Manomet won’t scan the band-aid, neosporin, reach etc. They were so horrible, they always make me feel like I am trying to get away with something when I use coupons there, like they are trying to “catch” me. But they can’t because I know what I am doing lol!

  • Danielle Candlen Savoy via Facebook

    Carrie Burke BelleIsle which Stop & Shop? I went to the one in Manomet w/o a problem and did the kashi/milk deal, my coupons scanned fine.

  • Carrie Burke BelleIsle via Facebook

    It was so embarrassing. I tried to explain the new barcodes and they said, “No, you’re just trying to get these items for free and you can’t do that”. I had them return my whole order and walked out but how embarrassing with a line of customers behind me. ugh.

  • Carrie Burke BelleIsle via Facebook

    Stop and shop wouldn’t take mine and basically accused me of coupon fraud. Ugh.

  • Sylvia

    Has anyone else had trouble with Walmart scanning your coupon, the scanner actually beeping to “accept” the coupon, but not taking the value of the coupon off the purchase price? I have had this to happen to me on more than one occassion at my local Walmart. The first time, it was my fault because I didn’t catch the error until I got home. The second time, I was more aware and when this happened I had the lady running the cash register print the receipt out and she saw the coupons had scanned but were not taken off and enterd the coupons manually. The third time, some young guy said, “Well, the scanner beeped so it took them off.” I told him to print the receipt out and prove it to me. After he printed the receipt, he saw the coupons had not been taken off and took them off manually. So if you go to Walmart just don’t assume that since the scanner beeped the coupons were taken off of your purchase.

  • Cathode RayTube via Facebook

    Yep my Rite Aid won’t take coupons with just one barcode. =

  • Jess Winters via Facebook

    Food lion manually entered mine

  • aw …. crap

  • I ran into this problem last week at Shaw’s with the GM cereals. Initially they wouldn’t take them, however, the manager called me later (he took a copy of my coupons and called corp. front end support) apologized and said they could manually enter them in until their systems are updated. Same problem at RA, but they were aware.

  • Heather Jablonski via Facebook

    Acme had to enter it in manully too

  • Dee Lucas via Facebook

    They had to manually input all mine at Wally world yesterday. Another blog said they didn’t even take his

  • Virginia

    I’ve emailed the corporate offices of several stores that I frequent asking if the POS systems have been updated to accept the new Data Bar Codes. Of these stores, only one (H.E.B.) has actually told me no, they have tested the system in some locations, but there are still bugs that need to be fixed. Others, such as Walmart and Target emailed me their coupon policy, which did not answer my question. Pretty much, in these cases, the store managers need to be asked in advance which to me is taking more time than most of us have to give. I’m still waiting to hear back from Walgreens and Foodarama.

  • I went to Safeway today to get the great cereal deal that they had (on different cereal then Giant) and I went to the self check out because the lines were so long. The coupons wouldn’t scan and I looked and they were the new barcodes. At all the other stores, they have to do the new barcodes on the hand scanner. I asked her if she could do it from her computer and she said no. Then I asked her if she could rin up my whole transaction at her register and she said no. I asked what I should do… she rang me up instead of standing and taking more time with me. Her scanner didn’t read them either so she manually entered them even though she told me that she couldn’t before…. Luckily she didn’t accuse me of photocopied coupons or she would have seen a much louder customer. I don’t know why people have to be difficult in the face of confusion. I am sure that the “customer is always right” mentality is gone (at least with couponers) but common courteousy would be nice. I am not there to steal money out of their pocket but they do always make you feel that way. I guess the new scanner code just makes people would always be that way, nastier. On the other hand, the cashier at Giant told me that I did a great job and she was amazed at how much I got for so cheap!!! She even did a double take when more money kept coming off but never said one negative thing to me! I spend a lot of time looking for nice cashier when I am checking out at a store so that I don’t have to fight. It means so much when you are already tired from shopping :)

  • Mary

    WOW… is all that comes to my mind when I read all this about these new coupons. I have been out of the printing loop for over 2 months as my printer had died and we bought one that for whatever reason would not work with my PC. Thank God my man fixed that after the holidays. I can now print. Does anyone have the location of or an example of the coupon style coding that is presenting itself as an embarrassing issue to so many. Oh, ANDREA, I too have been on the end of accusation of fraudulent coupons, I notified corporate in writing and in email as back up. That manager was addressed and continued to give others mistreatment when redeeming coupons therefore he is no longer employed by my RITE AID. Try to never feel bad when you are using coupons.Tell troubled cashiers that you are attempting to redeem legitimate coupons for which you chose not to be hassled with nor hold up the line any longer than necessary.Insist on presence of the highest management in the store to handle the issue. Remember to make it known that you know you are right and you do not have any intentions of any mistreatment or disrespect given being ignored and that you plan to follow through giving their names and the situation details to the company heads themselves. Most often this results in a good follow through and sometimes a bonus for your troubles, not that it takes away from the embarrassment you may have endured but it will get the message out that we need to show respect to all our customers, even the ones with a fistful of coupons.

    • Andrea

      Usually, I shop with my 2-year-old and 7-month-old so by the time I get to my coupons, I am either so tired that I just want to be done and don’t feel like fighting, or I am so frustrated that I HOPE someone will mess with me lol I hear you, though. I worked in customer service for 10 years and get irritated when I am treated any less than stellar at a store. I hate it. That’s when I usually take the person’s name and write in about them. And for the record, I just got back from a long day and don’t feel like rereading this, so I sure as heck hope it makes sense.

  • Lisa

    How about we start a list of stores that do accept the new databar codes?

  • julie

    I had the same problem using one at CVS. The cashier was very wary of the coupon and told me that she has never seen one like that, and it was probably a “fake.” I explained that this was the new coding on coupons, but she said their system would not take it. I told her from what I understood, this is what they were going to as far as coupon coding, and that I guessed they would have to be updating or changing their system. She told me matter-of-factly that they would NOT update or change their system. I told her to just forget it, and I left.

  • Jenna

    My Rite Aid and my Target have given me problems this week. Target told me they were fake coupons, I had them call customer service and the girl told the manager that they were legit and a new system. Didnt matter, my Target is barely outside Detroit, and they are very nasty about coupons.

  • Andrea

    These coupons are what caused the people at Giant to accuse me of photocopying coupons. I still haven’t written in about that. Guess what I’m going to do now? Both Giant AND Weis in my area haven’t updated, apparently, because I couldn’t use these coupons at either store. Grrrrrrrrrr!!!!

    • Shannon


      First how are you? Haven’t “talked” to you in a bit. They accused you of photocoyping coupons? OH MY!

      • Andrea

        Looks like we have both stumbled through the holiday season lol I am doing well. Baby is getting HUGE. I can’t keep up with him about. He is 7 months old and wears size 12-18
        Month clothes!

        Yeah the photocopying incident was pretty embarrassing. I posted about it a little while back, i will have to find it and link you to it. It ended with me signing my receipt and the cashier telling me how she knew they were photocopied/fake coupons. I wanted to punch her lol

  • Lisa

    I don’t understand why the supermarkets are giving us all a hard time with these new barcodes – why haven’t they updated their systems by now. Do you think the manufactures are aware of all the trouble that the couponing consumer are having lately due to the change?

    I have personally put back an item due to the fact that the cashier would not accept my coupon with the new barcode. Has anyone done the same?

    • Just Coupons

      Yes. I have done the same – If I go in with the intention of using a perfectly legal coupon, and they don’t want to accept it – I always put the items back and buy it elsewhere.
      I always tell people that if you know you are right, then don’t give in. You don’t have to argue or whatever, but definitely don’t give in.
      I also had an issue at Walgreen’s just last night when I was buying Children’s Advil, I had printed a coupon from the ADVIL website (that I found right here in the FTM database) and it had the new barcode on it. They didn’t want to accept it. The ONLY thing that worked in my favor was that for some reason I didn’t even bother to cut it out, I left the coupon on the whole page – and I showed them that the website was at the top of the page and they went ahead and accepted it.
      It gets frustrating when you start to feel like they are doing you a favor accepting a legal coupon.

      • Brandi L

        I actually had a wal-mart specific coupon for a product that only they sell and the cashier wouldn’t accept with a single barcode. She’d never heard of them and was really puzzled by it. She told me there was no way for her to make it go through. I emailed wal-mart after getting home and needless-to-say, they told me if it ever happened again to ask the cashier for a CSM and they can put it through. The thing was I questioned the cashier and asked if someone else maybe able to help, but she told me if there was no traditional barcode with numbers under it, she couldn’t accept it.
        It is totally crazy!
        I’ve used several at Kroger with no problems. Today I had one snag up, but after several attempts the computer finally recognized it.
        I’m getting to the point that I don’t want to fight-the-fight anymore and will just put the item back, too. I really don’t like doing that, but there’s only so many times you can take it.

        • Lisa

          The same exact thing happened to me yesterday at Walmart. I was purchasing an All You Magazine with the coupon from The cashier got the manager over and she told me that the never heard of the new barcode and that they will not accept any coupon without the traditonal number barcode even if it is printed from the Walmart website!

  • melissa

    Can anybody tell me why a Hefty Trash bag coupon (for $1/1) that I printed from Redplum recently only scans for $.55/1? I was half accused of getting my coupons from shady sources by the store manager. What’s up?

  • Just Coupons

    The several Lowe’s Foods in my area have not updated their computers to accept coupons with Data Bars only. They are not particularly coupon friendly – at all – at least in MY area. On Tuesday I tried to use an insert coupon (one of the new Nivea ones) and a printed coupon (for the Lucky Charms bars) and neither would scan so they said No. However I said “The insert one is what it is, that is what they are all going to.” They reluctantly pushed it through. The ding-dong manager walked up and said they couldn’t take the IP for the Lucky Charms bars. He kept saying they are updated to read the new barcode but I said “Well no because it wouldn’t read my Nivea coupon, they pushed it through.” He looked like he didn’t understand what I said. Oy! They all need a good lesson in coupons (AND customer service.)
    Lowe’s always has something to say about coupons – in MY area at least.

  • sue g

    not worth jumping thru all the coupons to find just one and when I did it would not let me print