I talked about the ethics of couponing a few weeks ago, but I have something new to add to the discussion – dealing with internet coupons. A lot of people seem to feel that it is okay to print unlimited numbers of internet coupons if there is no technology in place to stop them. They say it is similar to buying three or four copies of the Sunday paper and the manufacturer should know better than to issue a coupon as a pdf, etc.
My feeling is that just because I can do something it doesn’t make it right and I don’t print off multiple copies.
However, I also agree that the manufacturers should be more internet savvy. While you certainly can buy more than one newspaper to get multiple coupons, the manufacturer knows that a specific number of inserts are printed for newspapers and that a certain percentage won’t be redeemed. It then is able to budget a specific amount for coupon redemption. By offering a coupon without using the available technology that limits the customer to one or two prints of the coupon and not even saying there is a print limit of one coupon per person, the manufacturer has set up a situation that has the potential to get out of hand. And with the number of times companies have gotten upset about the overuse of an internet coupon in the past, you’d think that it would no longer be a problem, but it is.
So, what do you think? Is it okay to take advantage of manufacturers that seem to be living in the dark ages of the internet or should you consider what the manufacturer probably intended?