Bar Code Decoding - Is it Fraud?
Bar Code Decoding is a fraudulent method of using coupons by deciphering the bar code on a coupon to see if it will work on different (preferably less expensive) items.
Why is this wrong?
Despite what many people think, the bar code is not the intent of the coupon. The bar code is merely a way to speed up the processing of the coupon. The official terms of a manufacturer- or store-provided coupon are printed directly on the coupon in words. By redeeming a coupon, a consumer is agreeing to the written terms, not the barcode. Taking advantage of a glitch in the bar code to get around the text of the coupon is fraud.
Bar Code Decoding is:
- Using a coupon good on (for example) ”Brand X Lotion” on “Brand X Body Wash” just because the bar code matches up, unless the text of the coupon states that it may be used for a Body Wash.
- Using a coupon for a completely unrelated item, just because the manufacturers code on the barcode matches.
- Taking advantage of a glitch in the value code section of the bar code to buy less of a product in order to get the same discount.
- Using a coupon in any way other than the wording of the coupon
For further information on a prevalent type of fraud, called "glitching" or "glitches" decoding, check out Super-Couponing's article: