If a coupon says that it expires on July 4th, most people assume this means that you can use it on July 4th. Not so, in Petsmart’s universe. In their coupon vortex, July 4 ends at 6:00 AM on July 4th. Which is a little weird for an online coupon, but completely insane for a printable in-store coupon when no Petsmart store opens until several hours later.
This is a new one on us, and a pretty dirty trick. Look at the coupons below, which were emailed out on Thursday to PetSmart rewards card holders. In bright, large letters they say “Hurry–offer expires 7/4/10″. So you can imagine that most consumers would bring these coupons to PetSmart stores on that day, July 4th — not having read the mouseprint and realized that the coupons expire 7/4 at 6:00 AM, before any PetSmart store has even opened. And of course lots of people will learn this at checkout, with piles of pet supplies that of course they’ll wind up buying anyway at full price. Sneaky!
Lesson learned: always read coupon fine print before loading up a cart with Kong toys and feathers on a stick. But you already knew that, didn’t you?