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Friday, January 13, 2012

New Barcode (must read!)

Have you had problems lately with your coupons beeping even though you KNOW you are purchasing the product the coupon covers?  Have you noticed a funky looking barcode on the coupons? The barcodes are changing and not all stores are aware of it yet.

The image below is of the old barcode.

And here is what the new barcode looks like.

 According to DataBar, Inc., “The new format will provide manufacturers more options for purchase requirements and values and make it possible to code more complex offers. It will enable the coupon to be validated at checkout to ensure the manufacturer intended the purchase that was made.” It should reduce coupon fraud and with the ability to code more complex offers, it hopefully will mean more savings to consumers.

It can be frustrating if your coupons beep and some cashiers may even claim the coupon is fake because they don’t understand these changes. My personal experience so far with the new barcode is that it scans better if the cashier will scan it sideways. Most cashiers are friendly and easy to work with, but if you come across one who isn’t and refuses to manually enter the coupon, ask to speak to a manager.  If talking to a manager doesn’t help, it’s best to just take your coupons and walk away.  You’re not likely to win the argument.   

It will take some time for stores and their employees to be educated about the changes.  In the meantime:

*Remain calm, explain the new barcode and suggest they try to scan it sideways or enter it manually.

*If you own a smart phone or tablet, bookmark the Bar Code Graphics, Inc page so you can show the cashier and/or manager at checkout if you have problems. 

*Realize that there may be nothing you can do to convince them you are not using a fake or fraudulent coupon and walk away.  It’s not worth stressing over.  Try again at a different store or come back later and try a different cashier.  

Have you had any problems with the new barcode yet?