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Coupon Use In Commissaries

Question Answer

Where can I find a copy of DeCA's coupon policy?

DeCA's coupon policy is located in Chapter 7 of DeCA Directive 40-6, our customer service policy.

Quick Coupon Info

Policy Changes for DeCAD 40-6:

Question Answer

Why don't commissaries allow both a manufacturer and a military coupon to be used on the same item?

Customers may only use one coupon per purchase in DeCA commissaries. (A "purchase" is the item or set of items a customer must buy to meet the purchase requirements listed on the coupon.) This policy complies with the terms and conditions set by manufacturers for coupon use, and manufacturers only reimburse DeCA for coupons when commissaries follow these terms and conditions.

When retail stores allow customers to use both a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on the same item, they are still limiting customers to one manufacturer coupon per purchase because store coupons are provided by the retailer and funded by their profits. This practice is not possible in the commissary system, because by law the commissary sells at cost and cannot make a profit, so DeCA does not issue "store" coupons or coupons of any kind. However, DeCA allows manufacturers to make their coupons available to patrons: All coupons found in commissaries (including those marked "military" or "commissary") are issued by the manufacturers.

Question Answer

Do commissaries accept coupons?

Yes. Commissaries accept most types of coupons as part of purchase transactions in accordance with the terms and conditions stated on a coupon.

Commissaries CANNOT accept "in-house" coupons issued by commercial grocery stores or supermarkets.

Patrons who wish to use coupons as part of a purchase transaction must buy the item(s) indicated on a coupon, and-except in foreign overseas areas-must use a coupon prior to or on the expiration date stated on a coupon.

Commissaries located in foreign overseas areas accept coupons up to six months after the expiration date stated on a coupon.

Question Answer

Do commissaries ever have "double coupon" or "triple coupon" promotions like those offered by commercial stores?

No. The "double" or "triple" coupon promotions offered by commercial stores involve doubling, tripling (or otherwise increasing) the face value of a coupon. Commercial stores who offer these types of promotions get paid by the coupon issuer only for the face value of a coupon, and have to absorb the costs of "doubling" or "tripling" coupon face value in their pricing and profit structure.

Because commissaries are required by law to sell goods at prices set only high enough to cover the cost of those goods, commissaries make no profit from which to pay the costs associated with "double" coupon promotions.

Additionally, DeCA cannot use funds provided for the operation of commissaries to support such promotions, because law strictly prescribes the uses of these funds, and "promotional support" is not among the allowable uses of these funds.

Commissaries do occasionally offer a different type of "double coupon" promotion than described above. For these promotions, manufacturers or other coupon issuers agree that commissaries may accept more than one coupon on the purchase of an item, and usually supply large numbers of coupons to patrons in the commissary in support of such promotions. These "double coupon" promotions involve doubling the number of coupons accepted on the purchase of an item, but DO NOT involve doubling (or otherwise increasing) the face value of a coupon.

Question Answer

May I use coupons in combination on the purchase of an item in a commissary?

No, customers may use only one coupon per item in DeCA commissaries. Even coupons without exclusionary language, such as "NOT TO BE USED WITH ANY OTHER COUPON, " "NOT TO BE USED WITH ANY OTHER OFFER," "ONE COUPON PER PURCHASE," etc. , may not be used in combination on the purchase of an item. This policy is in line with the policies of other DoD resale activities and our commercial counterparts.

Question Answer

Can I use coupons generated from the Internet in a commissary?

Yes, commissaries gladly accept Internet or home-printed coupons provided they meet the following requirements: the coupons must have a typical barcode and Product Identification Number (PIN) or GS1 DataBar. A Dot Scan Barcode may appear below the expiration date, but is only required if stated on the coupon, e.g., "Do not accept without a Dot Scan Barcode below the expiration date." Internet coupons cannot be accepted for free products, however, "Buy One Get One Free" coupons are acceptable if they meet all other requirements.

Question Answer

Will the commissary accept a coupon that has a GS1 Data Bar on it, but no UPC-A bar code?

Yes. UPC-A bar codes are being phased out, and many manufacturers are putting only GS1 Data Bars on coupons now. Coupons with only a GS1 Data Bar are expected to be the norm for all coupons in the near future, including coupons printed from the Internet.

Question Answer

I have several coupons with the same dot scan bar code or PIN printed on them. Will the commissary accept them?

Internet coupons may have, but are not required to have, a dot scan bar code or Product Identification Number (PIN). If an Internet coupon has a dot scan bar code or PIN, it must be unique for each coupon. Commissaries are not able to accept coupons with duplicate dot scan bar code numbers or duplicate PINs.

Question Answer

My coupon's face value is greater than the selling price of the item. Will the commissary give me the full value of the coupon?

Valid coupons are generally entered at the value stated on the coupon. If the face value of a valid coupon exceeds the cost of the product (frequently referred to as "overage"), the commissary will give you the full face value of the coupon unless the manufacturer's terms and conditions printed on the coupon prohibit it. If the coupon's terms and conditions prohibit this, the coupon might require that the price of the item be written on the coupon, up to a maximum value, or may contain other restrictive language, such as "no cash back" or "no cash back if coupon value exceeds retail price."

Question Answer

If the coupon "overage" I receive on my transaction exceeds the balance I owe, will I receive cash back?

If coupon "overage" results in a negative balance to you, the commissary will issue you DeCA gift cards in $25 and $50 increments, until the remaining balance owed to you is $24.99 or less, which you will receive in cash.

Question Answer

Why did DeCA change its policy on giving cash back on coupon "overages"?

Commissaries are providers of a benefit that sell groceries at cost, and using the gift cards to cover certain refunds and coupon 'overages' discourages practices contrary to DeCA's mission.

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