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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 26813
Experience:  16+ yrs. of legal experience.
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I have a 30% off coupon for a major store. The coupon does

Resolved Question:

I have a 30% off coupon for a major store. The coupon does not have any per transaction, per customer, per visit or per purchase limitations. The only limitations are on particular brands. The percentage coupon mentioned in their website does not stipulate these limitations either. Does this mean that I could actually purchase almost everything in the store for $0.00 if I have enough coupons?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

I understand your question. The answer is no...that is, you are not going to be able to force the store to combine 30% + 30% +30% etc to reach a sale with no cost.

The reason for this is tied to the law that covers this.

The law considers a coupon as such as you describe as an "invitation to offer"

The law that covers this is actually very clear. When a retail establishment uses coupons for sale of a product, this is considered an "invitation to offer"

This comes from contract law...in order to have a contract you need both an "offer" (an offer by one party to do something or refrain to do something in return for consideration (something of value)) and "acceptance" (an agreement from the other party to the terms of the offer).

SO if A says to B "I will pay you $399 for that washer/dryer" and B says "I accept" then you have an enforceable contract.

But there is a catch.

The courts have held, over and over, that advertisements like coupons are not considered "offers".

They are, rather, an "invitation to offer"...they are an invitation for the public to go to the store and make that offer...at which the retailer can either accept or reject the offer.

So if this was a mistake by the store (they did not make it clear that you can only use one coupon at a time, there is no way to force them to honor the coupon.


Sorry to have to bear bad news


Now...if there is some evidence this was done on purpose...that they did this as some form of "bait and switch", you can report them to the Attorney General and ask they be sanctioned. There is not any way to force the sale, but you may be able to have the state impose sanctions for false advertisement and you could even sue them for any damages you suffer as a result (lost time/money). But this would require that you prove it was not a mistake on the part of company, but done on purpose.

I am sorry to have to bear bad news but there is no way to force them to honor a coupon


Let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I recall many years back a lady who tried this with coupons for a car. Of course the dealership did not agree. She sued them and actually won. Have they changed the law since. I know that in this situation, the vendor did not purposely defraud. They simply did not put a limit to how many coupons could be used.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Ma'am, I can tell you what happened in that case...I have not read it.

But it may be the person who filed the case was able to prove fraud. As I mentioned above, if you could prove this was done on purpose, then you could sue them for damages

I can tell you that the law is clear absent fraud, a coupon is an invitation to offer. The law has not changed in this regard...it has been the law for many years (there are cases from the 40's and 50's that are still good law)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

First let me start by saying that I am giving you an "Excellent Service" review. But, I am curious what percentage of bad reviews you receive when people simply don't get the answer they want. Just wondering how many people out there are cheap and use this web site for FREE. Or rate there satisfaction based on the possibility of receiving money for a lawsuit.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Ahhhh

Ma'am you ask a loaded question.

I have been with this gig for over 5 years now...and it is interesting how it has unfolded.

The reason I have stuck with it is I enjoy it AND MOST folks are honest. So most folks are willing to pay if I (or anyone) takes time to assist

And a LOT of what I provide is not good news...


But there are some folks who abuse the system

My experience? 70% or so pay. And of the ones who do not? I believe at least half are for some reason that is not a bad reason(site problems, confusion, etc)

But there is that 10% or so that just want something for free.

Not much you can do about them...I find it annoying at times, if I consider it. But as I mention, I generally enjoy this and have heard back from folks that the information I provided helped (that is like a huge bonus for me) so when i see the folks who are abusing the system to get something for free?

Well...I shake my head and move on

THanks for the chance to share!

P. Simmons, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 26813
Experience: 16+ yrs. of legal experience.
P. Simmons and 4 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you

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