Online Coupon for New York Stores Gives Kmart a National Black Eye

Online Coupon for New York Stores Gives Kmart a National Black Eye

via Consumerist, someone in Kmart's promotion department is having trouble grasping how the internets work. The mega-store sent out e-mails to customers in New York and two other urban markets offering $10 off a $20 purchase. Problem is, the coupon was living on their server in pdf format, and someone in marketing saved some valuable layout time by saying the offer was "Valid at all Kmart store locations."

Only it wasn't. Kmart only intended to honor the coupon in the three markets it was mailed to. Unfortunately, the folks who posted the link at online coupon sharing sites had no way of knowing that, and neither did the people who downloaded it. Neither, apparently, did Kmart employees outside the intended area of the offer, which is when things got ugly.

Managers outside the targeted markets apparently weren't warned about the coupons, and, according to visitors to Kmart's facebook page, some of them accused customers of fraud and attempted theft.

That, predictably, didn't go well.

you assholes my mom is 73 years old and got your email "reintroducing" her to kmart and she went through that email and printed her coupon off last night, took it into her store in Minnesota today and your son of a bitch "manager" told her to get out of his store or he was going to call the police on her, called her a... thief and a fraud. you can be sure that first thing monday morning I will be putting complaints into my attorney general, her attorney general, and your attorney general. I've already put in a complaint with the BBB and emailed media. this is bullshit.

oh and I'm guessing my mom got the email intended for your pet markets since she moved from new york city a month ago to minnesota.

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I must say to walk into Kmart and be treated as a common criminal by a manager who called this a fraud. Kmart had this coupon on their site with a statement of valid at all stores. Glad that I did not have my three year old with me as he could have been upset with the exceptionally poor treatment I recieved. A manager ...handing a customer a highlighted sheet of a corporate e-mail is quite ridiculous. Never thought I would be shouting I LOVE TARGET leaving Kmart!!!

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THINK ABOUT IT. RECEIVE A COUPON, DRIVE TO STORE, READY TO MAKE PURCHASE, AND THEN GET MANAGER TO COME OVER IN FRONT OF THE STORE AND SAY YOU ILLEGALLY RECEIVED THIS COUPON AND WE COULD PROSECUTE YOU IF YOU INSIST ON USING. NOW THAT'S GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING I HAVE THE ACTUAL EMAIL AND LEGIT COUPON THAT WAS CIRCULATED PRIOR TO THIS WHOLE DEBACLE. NOW THAT IS CLASSY CUSTOMER SERVICE AND ONE GREAT WAY TO RETAIN CUSTOMERS!

and, because it's the internets, a simmering flamewar on facebook between people calling for boycotts and mass defriendings and Kmart loyalists talking smack about "walmartrash."

If you can find it, the coupon is supposedly still valid for New York stores, if you can find them.


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