Sunday, February 17, 2008

CVS Coupon Confusion

I'm wondering what is the "real deal" with CVS coupons that I often find here. There are more than 200 comments on this blog and many of them from people discussing whether using the CVS coupons found on this blog are "legal" or not. Some of the comments going back and forth are really heated. There are people from all different states, so I'm not sure if rules vary by region.

Here are excerpts from some of the comments.

"Yes, CVS is cracking down on these "internet" coupons, at this moment it is up to the store managers descretion on accepting such coupons. As changes come about, duplicating such "internet" coupons as this will be challenged and all CVS stores will refuse duplicated coupons. ... Continue and enjoy, injuring our system, government and economy with your "duplication of coupons" and "unpaid" credit cards."

"your wrong... talked with multiple managers at cvs and was told that printing and using them are fine. check your facts better. the managers are very happy that people are using them. cvs gets reimbursed by the manufactures for them........."

"Hi everyone, I am a CVS employee and just so you know all of these coupons should be valid at any CVS. You can use any combination of the coupons also. If you have a problem with the coupons going thru ask the cashier nicely to please just punch it thru. That is what we are told to do by management. Hope this helps everyone out, thanks for the coupons because we employees do not receive any of these in the mail.They help me out alot. Thanks again!!!!!"

"The $5 off $15 purchase coupon is a fake. I am a CVS employee. A corporate email came out to refuse this coupon. NO store will take this coupon"

"I am a CVS employee have not heard that we are going back to clipping coupons and I use these coupons all the time. No email has been sent down in our region or district telling us to refuse these coupons as a matter of fact our district manager said to do what it takes to make the customer happy and reassure a good shopping experience for them. KEEP USING THOSE COUPONS EVERY PENNY HELPS!!!"

Have any of you had problems using coupons at CVS? Most people are fine with these coupons when I used them. One person did have an accusatory tone with me and asked if I copied the coupon. I told her that I had not and that I found it online. She let me use the coupon, but made me feel like a criminal. What's up CVS?

*Updated March 31, 2008*
I have to say that the enthusiasm and interest in this post has blown my mind. I never knew how many people were searching for CVS coupons online. Well since I first wrote this post in February, CVS appears to have pulled their coupons from the website that I mentioned. Below is the notice that is there in place of the printable coupons.

"Sorry ! Cvs pharmacy has requested to have all their printable coupons removed from this page .. Anna

Note : You can find Cvs coupons on ebay for a fraction of the price ..."

I don't quite understand why anyone would want to buy CVS coupons on ebay, but I guess to each his or her own. The coupons were good while they lasted. Now I'm going to be doing some more careful comparison shopping.

*Updated June 1, 2008* Please click here to read this new post.

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Anonymous said...

I went to the site you referred to and I know that the first coupon should not be posted. Anyone can get that emailed to them by registering their CVS Card online and joining the mailing list. The link that site provides is to a jpg - I know when I got my coupon it was in my email as html.

Tera said...

My my my...this reminds me of the latest Juicy Juice fiasco! They were actually scaring people by saying they were going to call the authorities on them for their bogus coupons!

Anali said...

anonymous - Welcome! I really wonder what CVS's official policy is regarding these. It seems that different stores would be fine with the coupon that is posted.

tera - I haven't heard about that one. That's scary! Just over a coupon!

Anonymous said...

I am a CVS pharmacist, and we have been dealing with various coupons, both ours and our competitors, since we were bought by CVS in 2006. While we are happy to accept any valid coupon, it amazes me that people get so upset when I have to refuse them either because they are not valid for the transaction involved, they are copies, or they are restricted by the terms of the coupon (i.e. they are on welfare or a government sponsered plan). The idea of the coupon is to get people in our store, show them that we can fill their prescription promptly and courteously, have there medication in stock, and all is well! There is often a lot of behind the scenes work we do, calling other pharmacies, calling doctors, calling insurance companies, only to give them their medication for a few $$$ copay, and a $25 coupon to boot!!!! Then they just leave us the next time to get their coupon elsewhere. It's become such a game, and headache for us pharmacists, that we HATE THESE COUPONS. So, if we refuse to honor it, it's most likely for a valid reason, but it's also because YOU DON'T APPRECIATE IT...!

Anali said...

anonymous - Welcome! Thanks for your comment. I'm assuming that when you say "YOU DON'T APPRECIATE IT" in all caps that you are not referring to me in particular and that the situation has exasperated you so much that you must vent.

I imagine that your job must be pretty stressful even without the coupon issue, because there are often lines of people waiting at the pharmacy that I go to. Dealing with the public is very difficult and I'm sure you've had to bite your tongue a time or two or fifty.

From what I've seen from that website, it looks like CVS pulled all their coupons and requested that they be taken off of that site as well as some others. I'm going to do an update to this post.

Anonymous said...

I work in a pharmacy and have let plenty of invalid/fake coupons slide in order to keep the customer happy and keep up the important pharmacist-patient relationship...the only time I crack down on it is when the person is annoying or doesn't treat me with respect. For example, last month a customer brought a coupon for "transfer" but the customer was using it for a new rx. I'll generally accept it. But I was shocked when she brought up groceries to pay for with her rx and starting acting rude/complaining directly to me about items that are suppose to be on sale that are not ringing up right. I couldn't believe she was being so petty over a couple of dollars when she was getting a $30 gift card. I had to waste my time calling the Cust. serv. desk to double check only to find out the items she brought up weren't on sale (wrong size she grabbed). Anyways, she goes to get the right size and we finish up. Next month she comes in with another new rx with a "transfer" coupon. This time I didn't accept it...she just played dumb and was like "O, I didn't read the fine print exactly".

Anonymous said...

the fake/photo copied/scammed from the internet coupon thing makes me SICK. i too work in a cvs pharmacy, and the people who bring in the fake coupons are always a pain in the ass, and rude, and argue over their fake/EXPIRED/invalid coupons. and i happen to know they buy the 'extra care bucks ' items with coupons and gift cards from the stuff they've basically stolen and then returned just to scam cvs. cvs is a very good company and pays well, and treats its employees well. they give very good deals and real savings to people everyday. one of the scammers sells the stuff they get for nearly free, we know they do it and cant say anything. soon cvs wont accept any coupons at all because of this.
its disgusting, and you should be ashamed of working so hard to get free shampoo, you could ACTUALLY GET A JOB AND PAY LIKE EVERYONE ELSE DOES.

Anonymous said...

Please CVS' profits are through the roof.

Anonymous said...

What frosts me is the deal with the gift cards. I bring in a coupon to get a $25 one on a new 'script for instance. First CVS gets paid by my insurance plus my co-pay, so they aren't losing out. Next, that gift card is for THEIR store, I have to come back to use it. I've never failed to spend more than the card is worth, ever. Lastly, if the card is a $25 card the only POSSIBLE amount they are losing is actual cost of the item, not the item plus the profit...they never had a guarantee of selling the item.

What I typically do is use the card or cards to buy big ticket items like electric toothbrushes that have a higher margin for them anyway. Now I realize not everyone does that, but the reason that they do that is to get someone back in the store.

Case in point. I can't use but one gift card coupon at a time, but today I have three scripts that I had sent to my CVS, just because they take that ONE coupon. I think that they will do very well off of me today.

Anonymous said...


March 24, 2008

Sender Information:
CVS Enforcement
Sent by: [Private]
OpSec Security Group, Inc.
Boston, MA, 02210, USA

Recipient Information:

Sent via: email and first class mail
Re: DMCA Notification
Dear copyright agent:

On behalf of CVS Pharmacy, Inc. (“CVS”), I write to notify you of infringements of CVS’s intellectual property rights on your website,

CVS is the owner of the exclusive rights protected under copyright law and other intellectual property rights in CVS coupons. The following link is a specific example of a web page that infringes upon CVS’s intellectual property rights. CVS hereby notifies you that the following constitute or incorporate unauthorized excerpts of CVS’s intellectual property, and are infringing and unlawful.

Links to any printable, in-store redeemable CVS Coupons are infringing and unlawful. CVS requests that you act expeditiously to remove or disable access to all unauthorized copies of CVS’s intellectual property, including the infringing file identified above. CVS further requests that you destroy any and all unauthorized reproductions of CVS’s intellectual property, or unauthorized portions thereof, within your possession, custody or control, including, any unauthorized reproductions in computerized or digitized form, and cease and desist from further unauthorized reproduction, distribution, publication, archiving, or other exploitation of CVS properties.
The undersigned has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner described herein is not authorized by CVS, its agents, or the law. The information in this notice is accurate. Under penalty of perjury, the undersigned is authorized to act on behalf of CVS with respect to this matter.

Please be advised that this letter is not intended as a complete statement of the facts or law as they pertain to this matter. CVS reserves all rights and remedies.

OpSec Security Group, Inc

Anonymous said...

I wish I did not have so many medical problems and need so much medication; then I would not need to redeem ANY CVS coupons. I take thousands of dollars of meds a year and use the gift cards to defray my co-pays and buy formula and diapers for my grandchildren. So, here's a thought for you CVS corporate thinkers: You know you make nice profits off my business, even with the $25 gift cards which I spend in your store. You stop my use of coupons and I will just take my business to your competitors. In that case you will make zero profit from me. It's your choice; part of a loaf or none at all. Choose.

Mandi said...

I am a supervisor at CVS, and needless to say, I hate coupons. 90% of the time, the coupons are real and acceptable IF the customers would read the fine print!! Most of them say "one per customer", "one per item", "one per transaction", and recently a few also say "not valid with any other offer". That last one means you need to pay for that item with that coupon and ONLY that coupon (no extra bucks/other cvs/mfg coupons) separate from you other purchases if you wish to use other coupons. The cashiers are nowhere near as frustrated by this as management is. We are the ones that get called to the front, and yelled at by the customer after explaining the policies. We're doing our jobs and some people do not seem to appreciate how generous CVS is. Other dont realize that if we just "punch it in" as was stated by an employee above, not only does our coupon scan rate drop for the entire district, we also risk our jobs just by "cutting some slack" as I've had many people beg me to do. By all means, use your real coupons and shop at CVS! Just please, read the fine print and do not go off on the employees for doing their jobs!

Anonymous said...

i hate cooupons

Anonymous said...

The prices at CVS are very high. I only shop there for my prescriptions. They should just lower the prices and forget the coupon game. Otherwise people will just keep using the same extra bucks coupons over and over.

OfficeDepot Coupon said...

The idea of the coupon is to get people in our store, show them that we can fill their prescription promptly and courteously, have there medication in stock, and all is well!

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