Centsible Saver

Update: Harris Teeter continues stacking of paper, digital coupons

Update: Harris Teeter’s digital coupon program relaunched on Wednesday and there’s good news for the chain’s most price-conscious shoppers -- contrary to what was earlier reported.

Customers will still be able to combine or “stack” a manufacturer’s coupon with a digital coupon for additional savings.

This type of double-dip savings is rare in the grocery industry, and coupon-savvy Harris Teeter shoppers have long taken advantage of the unusual policy to reap huge savings and, oftentimes, free groceries.

When the company announced late last year that the old E-Vic digital coupons would be replaced, coupon shoppers feared that Harris Teeter would eliminate the policy to more closely align with its parent company, Kroger, which does not allow coupon stacking.

When the company relaunched the e-coupons on Wednesday morning, wording on the fine print of the digital coupons led coupon bloggers -- myself included -- to incorrectly conclude that the combined use of paper and digital coupons would no longer be permitted.

In case you’re wondering how the mistake was made, here’s the back story. I thought I owed it to you folks to explain.

In preparation for Wednesday’s relaunch, I emailed Harris Teeter’s corporate communications office on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, I followed up with phone calls but didn’t get a response to my questions.

I wrote the original post based on the wording in the fine print of the digital coupons, which said the coupons could not be combined.

Thankfully, I made another round of calls and emails on Thursday, which is when I received the correct information.

“The program is launched, and it works the same way that it always has,” Harris Teeter corporate spokeswoman Danna Jones wrote in an email. “Shoppers who were linked before can start clipping coupons....Shoppers can still stack.”

Customers should enjoy the extra savings while they can.

On the Harris Teeter Facebook page on Thursday, in response to a customer’s question, the company hinted that the perk may ultimately disappear.

“We apologize for the misunderstanding,” the Facebook response says. “This was going to change but until further notice you can still use the eVIC coupon with a paper coupon. Thanks!”

Last fall, Harris Teeter announced its new digital coupon service would be operated by Silicon Valley-based YOU Technology.

Both You Technology and Harris Teeter were acquired earlier last year by Cincinnati-based Kroger, which has a much less coupon-friendly reputation.

Kroger was among the first grocery chains to use digital coupons and also among the first to prohibit their use with paper coupons.