Rules are rules, and getting some special deals requires playing by the rules. If a company’s website lets you use multiple coupon codes together, then that means that the codes can be combined, no matter what the coupon fine print says, right? Well, no.
Using multiple coupons together is a practice that veteran bargain-hunters call “stacking,” and e-commerce sites generally don’t let you do it, because then the deals would be too awesome. The Gap family of sites does, but it isn’t allowed on all codes. One handy code that gave customers 40% off two regular-price items could be stacked with a 25% off coupon code, and online deal-hunters rejoiced. Then they stopped rejoicing when Banana Republic started canceling their orders.
I never received any emails (checked both inbox and spam) since Friday, so I called. I was told (after waiting for about half an hour) that my order had been cancelled because using more than one promotion at a time isn’t allowed. Apparently, even though the website allowed it, it was mentioned somewhere in the fine print.
The CSR offered to apply the 40% off promotion, but when I had her break down how much each item would cost, the base prices were higher than when I originally placed my order, so that even 40% off was really only ~30% off for some things. Totally not worth it.
We’ve discussed in the past how companies aren’t liable for pricing errors, and that also applies to errors in their system that let customers get away with things that they normally can’t. Does that mean that Gap should have canceled all of these orders because the customers got too good a deal? In some cases, customers claim that the extra savings they go through using both coupons was only a few dollars, so the cancellations were automated or executed on principle.
We contacted Gap about this coupon mess, and will let you know what they have to say if they get back to us.