Tesco to stop returning coupons to brand owners

Tesco is to stop returning redeemed coupons to brand owners and manufacturers.

Tesco store

The supermarket is to destroy coupons once they have been redeemed in its stores from 15 June. The only exception will be government-issued coupons.

It will continue to automatically deduct the value of coupons from suppliers’ trading accounts.

Tesco will stop allowing consumers to redeem that manufacturer’s coupons in its stores if a manufacturer insists on the return of its coupons.

The Institute of Sales Promotion (ISP) has voiced concern that the new system will be managed by Tesco alone.

Annie Swift, ISP chief executive, says: “Our biggest concern over Tesco’s plans is that, should brands want to challenge the sums deducted, it will now be impossible, as all physical evidence will have been destroyed.”

The ISP also says brand owners have previously suffered a result of “Tesco’s failure to manage mis- and mal-redemption” of coupons. In October last year, Tesco changed its redemption policy to only allow consumers to redeem coupons only if the relevant products were in the basket.

Tesco has also assured the ISP that the new EPOS system should address the issue of potential fraudulent abuse and that all coupon redemption will now be monitored using Tesco’s Point of Sale fraud monitoring system.

The ISP says: “We do not want manufacturers who wish to continue to use money-off coupons to be disadvantaged by this new Tesco policy. However, at this stage this could well be the case.

If Tesco’s new system does actually stop coupon mis- and mal-redemption and so eliminates the possibility that issuers are wrongly billed, then it would, in fact, be a major victory.”

A Tesco spokesperson says: “At Tesco our policy is that coupons can only be redeemed against the appropriate product on the coupon. We constantly review our processes to ensure that we operate in the most efficient way so that we can provide the very best service and value for our customers. The previous manual system used to count coupons is archaic and, in fact, has not been updated since the introduction of electronic checkouts.”

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