AKRON (Sept. 25, 2014) — Let's get this out of the way. I am not what you'd call a couponer, digital or otherwise.
I have never been much of a couponer, and I am willing to bet all of the active promotions sitting in my inbox (and trust me, there are several) that I won't become one before said promotions expire.
Many a coupon code has come and gone with nary a glimpse from yours truly, and I can't recall the last time I actually remembered to use one of the deal receipts I get when I use my CVS Extra Care card. Discounting the fact that CVS seems convinced my primary needs revolve around women's hair dye and makeup, I just carry the card to avoid being handed a new one by the counter salesperson every time I make a purchase.
A friend of mine recently told me she believes I often prefer the idea of things to the things themselves (i.e. going to the gym, learning to play guitar, writing blogs). There's probably a lot of truth in that, and, for me, couponing fits squarely in that category. It sounds great, and I'm happy for those who choose to make it a regular part of their life, but I'm just not dedicated enough.
That all said, I was still somewhat miffed the other week during a lunch outing with coworkers when I saw a sign taped to the door of our chosen restaurant explicitly stating that its own coupons would not be accepted if displayed on mobile devices. All coupons must be printed out.
Now, on the rare occasion I do stumble upon a coupon I can't turn down — or my wife won't let me — it's nearly always one I found online, and I almost always redeem the coupon via my phone. This was not such an occasion, but that's beside the point. It could have been. My curiosity had been piqued, and the journalist in me needed an answer.
When I inquired if the server knew the reasons behind this policy, even he seemed a bit dumbfounded. His response was that the owner liked having “physical copies of everything,” but the blank stare that accompanied this response seemed to indicate his assessment of the rule mirrored my own. It was a look that said, “Hey, I don't get it either.”
For the sake of this blog, let's look past the fact that this server probably didn't respond appropriately. That's a separate issue. The desire for hard copies is certainly an understandable sentiment — I myself still love to own real books, CDs, DVDs, etc. — but there's a difference between personal preference and good business practice.
Considering the digital reality in which we live and society's ever-increasing reliance on mobile technology, it seems strange that any retail business would actively avoid catering to customers who utilize digital promotions.