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Commissaries announce coupon policy changes

FORT LEE, Va., April 12, 2012 – Changes are on the way in how commissaries handle coupons and product returns without receipts, among other things, as the Defense Commissary Agency enacts customer service policy changes to protect the commissary benefit.

“The average coupon user might not notice the policy changes because they are aimed at preventing possible misuse of the commissary benefit – primarily using coupons to get large amounts of cash back,” said Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA director and CEO.

Commissary shoppers are big users of coupons, as evidenced by DeCA’s consistent ranking among the top 10 grocery retailers in coupon redemptions over the past several years. Commissaries welcome coupon usage, and to acquaint customers with the changes in the coupon acceptance policy, it has been posted on the agency’s website here and on Facebook.

Key changes, which go into effect May 1, include:

  • Gift cards will be issued to a customer, in conjunction with cash, whenever a transaction total reflects $25 or more is owed to the customer due to coupon “overages” (when the face value of the coupon exceeds the selling price of the item purchased and the transaction results in a negative balance)
  • Gift cards will be issued to customers, in conjunction with cash, for refunds of $25 or more when a receipt is presented showing the merchandise was originally purchased with gift cards
  • Gift cards will be issued to customers, in conjunction with cash, for refunds of $25 or more when a receipt is not presented
  • Clarification for instances of suspected privilege abuse
  • Update to the coupon acceptance policy that clarifies dot-scan barcode requirements and pin requirements for unique numbering, that photocopies and counterfeit coupons are not accepted, and that coupons must be printed in English

“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,” Jeu noted.

“We value coupon usage because it helps our customers boost their savings,” Jeu said. “These changes are in the best interest of all concerned to help ensure that coupons continue to be a great source of savings for our customers.”

For more information on these policy changes and other frequently asked questions, please visit our FAQ page.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America's military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773

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