You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Consumer Alert

When store policies defy logic, it’s OK to speak up

Q. I went to Walgreens today with a coupon that was mailed to me that had today’s date as the expiration. It would not scan. The clerk and manager were polite, but said they could not help, and referred me to call corporate. I called and was told by the rep (and then her supervisor) that the expiration date on Walgreen coupons is the midnight before the day, so my coupon technically expired. I explained to her that that did not make any sense. She was adamant that this is corporate policy with no further explanation. Is it legal to use a date, but to use a technicality to go back a day? Is this something worth pursuing with the attorney general?

TERRI SIRIGNANO, WILMINGTON

Continue reading below

A. I can see why you were taken aback. It doesn’t make sense for a coupon to expire as soon as the expiration date starts. But as for breaking the law, that’s another story.

A spokeswoman for the state’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation said they are not aware of any laws that specifically address coupons. A company’s coupon policy can be whatever the company says it is.

That said, the information given to you was incorrect — even though you heard it at both the local and corporate levels, according to a spokesman for Walgreen.

“Concerning the coupons you asked us about, customers are able to redeem them through the end of day on the expiration date shown,” said spokesman Phil Caruso. “We are sorry this occurred. It appears to be an isolated incident and we are reviewing our coupon policy with our team members to avoid such incidents in the future.”

OK, so if anyone who works at Walgreens is reading this I hope you got the message: Coupons expire at the end of the date of the expiration. Got it? Hopefully, that will take care of that.

There isn’t a law for everything, but when your common sense gets rattled, it’s probably worth making a stink – even if it’s just on principle.

Mitch Lipka has been helping consumers out of jams for the past two decades. He lives in Worcester and also writes the Consumer Alert blog on Boston.com. Mitch can be reached at ConsumerNews@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @mitchlipka.
Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.