UNITED STATES—I did something this past weekend that I haven’t been able to do for a while? Any guesses as to what I’m referring to? I was able to take a few dollars I had left over after paying off all my bills for the month and treat myself to something. Yes, unfortunately it’s a rarity for me, but I was happy to have a few extra bucks to say the least. Now, in the past 2 years, I’ve come to the biggest realization: the mall is too expensive, so it’s much smarter for me to hit the outlet. I get a ton more items for half the price. Look, if we’re referring to style I can give a you know what about ‘what is hot’ or ‘in style.’ If I like it, it fits well and accompanies my own personal style nothing else matters to me. That is not my grip; my frustration is when you go to the various retailers who are ALWAYS asking for your email address to add you to their list to learn about promotions or coupons.

Nothing is more annoying than receiving a coupon then having a ton of exemptions for that coupon. Why the hell did you even send me the coupon if you knew I wouldn’t be able to use it to begin with? Normally, I would not call out a retailer, but in this case I’m making an exception because I always and I mean always have an issue when I receive coupons from this retailer. That place is none other than Puma. I’ve spent a pretty penny at this place in the last year and I get emails from them nonstop sometimes.

However, here is the slight problem: I can never use those coupons. Why? There are always exceptions to the coupon. You cannot use them on sale items, you cannot use it on clearance merchandise, you have to spend a certain amount, it does not include this specific brand, and the list goes on and on. So I receive a coupon for $10 off because of my birthday, and low and behold the coupon does not seem to work even though it clearly states it can be used in stores or online and at outlets and the only exception was clearance merchandise. Well, I didn’t purchase anything that was on clearance, so why the hell isn’t the coupon working?

Who knows, I just suspected it was the retailer’s way of once again offering something that cannot be used. They ask me for ID to verify I am the recipient; they keep looking at me as they have trouble entering the coupon. At this point, I am just fed up; either I can use the coupon or I’m done, plain and simple, I’m not going to spend any money at your establishment, not to mention I’ll just stop shopping their altogether.

After about 5 minutes of messing around, the manager had to manually enter the coupon and I was on my way, but in the back of my mind I told myself that was it. No more, I’m sick of the same thing over and over again with this retailer. The same applies with Macy’s, a massive department store that probably has the worst restrictions with their coupons. To be honest, you can’t really even use the coupon on ANYTHNG, it’s like why the hell put out a coupon if it can barely be used on any items in the store. It has gotten so bad, that I barely shop at the establishment and I have a department store card.

While there are some retailers that are bad when it comes to allowing customers to utilize coupons, there are two that standout in a positive light for me that I adore. I love JC Penny and I love Eddie Bauer. JC Penny, while there are some restrictions they are not to large extents and even the retailer is smart enough to note in the store, in its flyer and on its website what items the coupon applies to and which it doesn’t. I rarely have issues with coupons at this establishment and they tend to offer tons of coupons all the time to me. It’s like being able to get something for free and I love free America!

Eddie Bauer delivers me a ton of perks. I save all the time, they allow me to accumulate points that turn into rewards that I can use on ANYTHING in the store without exception and they randomly send me free rewards whenever I spend money or purchase an item. There are those retailers who actually care about their customers, while others could care less. I mean the rewards program I have with Best Buy, Kohl’s and Macy’s are absolute laughable compared to the perks I receive from Eddie Bauer and JC Penny.

If you’re going to put a coupon out there for the consumers to use, don’t comprise such a list of restrictions that it almost makes the coupon void and null before the consumer even has a chance to utilize it. I’m seeing way too many retailers indulge in this and it’s very annoying. What is the purpose of having a coupon if I can’t even use it? That is a very good question; let’s pose that to the retailers!

Written By Kelsey Thomas