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?

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.