Online Stores Send Customers Handy Pre-Expired Coupons

BJ received the coupon at left, offering $9.99 off at Heartland America on September 9 (9/9/09, get it?) Which would be great if they had mailed it to him before 10 AM on September 10th. “Looks like if I want to use the coupon I will need to build a time machine,” he wrote.

Similarly, Jenna received this e-mail coupon from online makeup store e.l.f. She wrote:

So I got this email which offers free shipping from 1:00pm to 3:00pm EST at Eyes Lips Face! Sweet! Except… I received it at 4:13pm EST.How was I supposed to take advantage of this deal, exactly?

Why send out useless coupons, internet merchants? Why?