Confirmed: 200 more counterfeit coupons used on Extreme Couponing

After the news broke in February that a shopper had used counterfeit coupons on an episode of "Extreme Couponing," readers from around the country emailed, urging me to take a closer look at the season finale of "Extreme Couponing: All-Stars." Numerous readers pointed out that shoppers in the final episode purchased Quilted Northern bath tissue with free-product coupons. As the Coupon Information Corporation (CIC) has confirmed that the Quilted Northern free coupons shown in Season 2 of the show are counterfeit, did these shoppers also use the same fraudulent coupons in the All-Stars season?

This episode does not show a clear shot of the Northern coupons being scanned, making their legitimacy difficult to determine. But there was another product coupon that many readers have been pointing fingers at: Free Tide laundry detergent.

If you're familiar with Procter & Gamble's coupons at all, you may know that P&G, like most manufacturers, is very careful with the free product coupons they issue to consumers. It's rare to see coupons for entirely free P&G products without a security hologram on them, especially in the quantities that shopper Chris Duff used on the show. On the show, Chris asks the store to bring 200 bottles of Tide from the back of the store up to the register for his trip. The voiceover states, "Chris has full value coupons for the detergent and will get all $800 worth free." How does someone gets 200 coupons for free bottles of Tide?

After reviewing the episode, there was definitely something questionable about the free Tide coupons Chris used. Take a look:

Each one of Chris' free Tide coupons has an "Abt" logo on it. "Abt" is the name of an appliance store located in Glenview, Illinois (view their logo on the upper left corner of their website.) I live in Chicagoland and have often heard Abt commercials on the radio offering shoppers free laundry detergent when they buy a new washing machine. On February 14th, I called Abt to inquire about this promotion. An Abt sales representative explained that when you buy a washer, you receive a booklet containing coupons for free Tide laundry detergent.

"How many coupons are in the booklet?" I asked.

"Four," the sales representative replied.

Four.

How would Chris, a shopper from Pennsylvania, acquire 200 coupons for free bottles of Tide, when the coupons are branded for an in-store promotion at an Illinois appliance retailer... and these coupons are only issued four at a time and only to people purchasing a new washing machine?

Logically, there were only two possible explanations to this. Chris traveled to Illinois and bought 50 new washing machines, netting himself 200 coupons for free Tide. The least expensive washing machine that Abt sells is $339. That would be a $16,950 investment (before tax) to legitimately obtain enough Abt-branded free Tide coupons for his Extreme Couponing shopping trip. Possible... but highly unlikely.

Or... the Abt-branded free Tide coupons were not obtained by purchasing washing machines. If Chris didn't purchase washing machines to obtain these coupons, there was no other legitimate way for him to obtain them.

But there was another problem. The Tide coupons that you receive when you buy a washing machine at Abt also contain a security hologram. The coupons Chris used on the show did not. Considering the sheer volume of hologram-free Tide coupons that Chris had, the most logical explanation seemed to be that his Abt-branded free Tide coupons were likely counterfeit.

I sent this information to the CIC and Procter & Gamble. On February 27th, Dave McCracken, P&G's North America External Relations, responded:

To: "media@supercouponing.com"
Subject: P&G Follow-Up -- Free Tide Coupons
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 22:36:22 +0000

Hi Jill

I received your question from the CIC regarding the Free Tide Coupons that were seen during a recent episode of Extreme Couponing. I can confirm the coupons are counterfeit. We will be issuing a PSA very soon to alert consumers and customers of this.

Thanks for your interest in P&G and actions to determine the truth in this matter.

Dave McCracken
NA External Relations
Procter & Gamble

On March 6th, the Coupon Information Corporation (CIC) issued an official notice that these Tide coupons are counterfeit. I asked Mr. McCracken to verify that these Tide coupons would not be reimbursed by P&G, and he replied, "P&G does not pay for counterfeit coupons."

After P&G confirmed that Chris' Tide coupons were counterfeit and would not be reimbursed, I called Bill Glazier, owner of Glazier's Food Marketplace in Las Vegas, Nevada, the store where the season finale of Extreme Couponing: All Stars was filmed. I expressed to Bill that I appreciated him taking my call, and I brought him up to speed on the previously-used counterfeits on the show. Then, I read P&G's statement to him over the phone.

Mr. Glazier said, "Is there anything sacred anymore... where is the sanctity? I hope to God they weren't fake. I'll hunt them down... that show, God Almighty. They used $12,000 worth of coupons in my store."

Mr. Glazier then said, "Wouldn't the producers of that show verify this themselves? What about Gabby at TLC?" I shared that many viewers and websites following the show have noticed numerous instances of fraud, and that when the last set of counterfeit coupons were confirmed, I reached out to Dustin Smith at Discovery for a statement, and he gave none. A reporter from the Wall Street Journal's SmartMoney.com also asked Mr. Smith for a comment on that situation, and he declined to give one. The Tampa Tribune also covered the counterfeit story, and again, Mr. Smith declined to comment.

Mr. Glazier continued, "It was that Chris that used those [Tide coupons.] If I find out this son of a [expletive] did knowingly use counterfeits... Chris, that little mouthpiece? That's the one." He paused for a moment and said "How would he get them, get so many?" I said that I didn't have any information as to where the counterfeit coupons came from. He continued, "You know, if the coupon scans, we take it. The only time we're going to find out is if it doesn't come back to us as paid."

As we ended our call, Mr. Glazier mentioned that this was actually the fourth episode of Extreme Couponing filmed at his store, and he said "Do you know that they actually brought one girl from Boise, Jessica Hacker, here to our store to shop? Because she couldn't shop for the show at any stores in her area. When the big guys say no, where do they go? To the poor, independent retailer. They were here for three days after Thanksgiving!"


There are several issues here to consider.

The entire season of Extreme Couponing: All Stars has been a game show-style competition to win a golden shopping cart trophy, as well as national recognition as the winner of the show. Each week, shoppers competed to see who would save the most with coupons.

The winner of Extreme Couponing: All Stars used counterfeit coupons to win.

Discovery's website has a statement from its CEO which reads in part, "Discovery Communications has been committed to making a positive impact in the lives of our viewers with the highest quality nonfiction content... in that same spirit, we understand that Discovery’s impact and potential to make a positive difference in people’s lives extends beyond the screen. Building on the mission-driven nonfiction content that is at our core, we are committed to responsible corporate citizenship..."

Yet TLC continues to decline to comment on multiple instances of counterfeiting shown on this program. With this revelation that additional counterfeit coupons were used, I again reached out to Dustin Smith at Discovery Communications. At the time of this writing, I have not received a reply. I also reached out to Chris Duff and offered him an opportunity to speak. And, at the time of this writing, he has not returned my call. (UPDATE: 3/8/12 11:00AM CST: A reader shared Chris Duff's email address with me, and I have also reached out to him via email.)

At what point will TLC release a statement about the confirmed counterfeit coupon usage on their show by multiple shoppers? Are they prepared for the possibility of even more counterfeit coupons coming to light in the days and weeks ahead?

Ultimately, where does the ratings race end and the criminal conspiracy begin?

It's my hope that the appropriate law enforcement or federal agency will begin looking into this. I truly feel for Bill Glazier over the financial loss his store will face. And, what if more manufacturers confirm that additional counterfeits were used? With over 800 additional free-product coupons used in his store during this episode, not counting these counterfeit Tide coupons, Glazier's Food Marketplace could be facing a loss of up to $12,000 if additional counterfeit coupons surface in the days ahead.

Image from TLC's "Extreme Couponing" used under Creative Commons license.


More instances of counterfeiting, fraud, and rule-breaking on TLC's Extreme Couponing:



Extreme Fraud

I believe that the TLC network should reimburse the store for the entire value of the counterfeit coupons used. It is irresponsible of the show directors not to have checked out the validity of the coupons used on the show.
The retailer should not have to suffer for the fantasy entertainment value of the public. Was the retailer paid anything for their appearance? Probably not.
The person who had all the coupons, if he or she knew they were counterfeit, should be prosecuted, just like any other fraudster, for fraud for the amount of the coupons.
In my opinion, most so-called 'reality' tv is odious, time-wasting dreck that shows that the media thinks the American public is stupid.

Really Jill please rethink your posts

I joined just to comment on what you have said about Chris Duff as I was horrified when I read your little post including him.

You have him labeled as if he is a theif here in this post. Newsflash, No, honey if anyone is a theif you are by charging money to teach people how to save. Splashing ad after trashy ad across the screen upon sign up begging for our 9.99 all the while trash talking other who actually TEACH others instead of begging them for their money.

Chris seems very real and if he did use fraudulant coupons I bet he didn't know about it.

You seem to like to try to capitalize on others, and to be more specific you capitalize on their mistakes. Intentions or not you really seem to like to treat everyone on that show as a theif, are you jealous perhaps that TLC didn't invite you to the party so you could add that to your tiny list of tv appearances?.

Chris and his wife are no theives, they help out their community. So if you want a good blog post how about writing about how he and wife's giving nature is a good thing for couponers to think about doing instead of spouting lies about them?

When have you done something that important for others? Talking down about other all the while praising yourself and giving out coupon advise that anyone can find minus your fees is not going to win you any respect. You also could do good as Chris has, instead of trying to ride a news story to the bank by tagging in your posts with coupon fraud busts and then trying to tie innocent persons such as he and his wife to it.

My best guess is that you wouldn't even know how to help others. Your site seems very self-absorbed. You don't seem to care about the fact that even if his coupons are not what he thought they were he is guilty of nothing as he did not know.

The only thing he is guilty of is being a target for troublemaking bloggers such as yourself who have nothing better to do that to hate on someone who is trying to do good in the world.

The information on your site about couponing is limited at best and anyone can learn how to do it by Google as long as they don't ask you because you seem to want to charge money for your "help".
I agree with other posters here when they tell you that what you write about people can come back to haunt you if they decide to take it into court for labeling them as criminals.
Please for the sake of every couponer out here in the world find out the real story before you decide to trash someone without cause.
You would come off as more of a professional couponer than just another sideshow gossip blogger. Maybe then more couponers would take you seriously.

If not then I feel bad for the persons from the show who you decide to target as it is a given that people make mistakes. That does not entitle a petty person the right to label them a theif as you have here for nothing more than to link to a famous couponers name to a poorly written blog post.

WRONG!!!

Sorry to tell ya but YES Chris is a THIEF AND SO IS TLC!!! You CANNOT TELL ME HE HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF ALL THOSE "FREE" TIDE COUPONS BEING FAKE... SURELY EVEN YOU WOULD BE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER...I AGREE THAT PAYING JILL TO TEACH US HOW TO COUPON IS STUPID AS HELL BUT COME ON LADY...SERIOUSLY THIS GUY KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING AND TLC KNEW WHAT THEY WERE DOING...

I have reached out to Chris numerous times...

... via email and telephone. I am aware of several news agencies who have done the same -- Chris simply has not responded to the media. If there is nothing to hide, why not? Again, I've tried numerous times to offer Chris a platform to speak on where he obtained his coupons. We know they were not obtained directly from the manufacturer, and we know they were counterfeit.

The post you are responding to is more than six months old. Since it was written, we learned that there was an enormous counterfeit coupon ring running in Phoenix, Arizona that was busted. A large number of the coupons they sold were also utilized on Extreme Couponing, and if Chris purchased his coupons online, it's also likely they may have come from this counterfeiting ring.

I'm guessing from the tone of your post that you know the Duffs. I would still love to speak with Chris about what happened and where his counterfeit coupons came from.

>> So if you want a good blog post how about writing about how he and wife's giving nature is a good thing for couponers to think about doing instead of spouting lies

Again, Procter & Gamble confirmed that these coupons are counterfeit. Chris did have counterfeit coupons -- that's not a lie, and there's no way to sugarcoat that statement. And, while donating to the community is a wonderful thing, donating items purchased with counterfeit coupons is donating merchandise "obtained under false pretenses" -- stolen. Pieces of paper, with no value, were exchanged for goods, and those goods were obtained via fraudulent means. I cannot write a blog post about how someone giving away items obtained with counterfeit coupons, which the store was never reimbursed for, as if it is a "good thing." It's theft.

>>The information on your site about couponing is limited at best they don't ask you because you seem to want to charge money for your "help".

I don't think there's much point in responding to your personal attacks on me, other than to state that 95% of my coupon workshops are free. If someone wishes to purchase the workshop on DVD, they have that option, but I cannot give the class away free on DVD. There are production costs attached to it. But, workshops are free, and getting the DVD at the library is free. Money is not a barrier to learning to coupon.

>> if, are you jealous perhaps that TLC didn't invite you to the party so you could add that to your tiny list of tv appearances?.

If you actually read my blog, you would know that "Extreme Couponing' reached out to me during the pilot casting process. I'm very, very glad I did not do it. I've been on television more than I could ever have imagined anyway. Over the past four years, I've filmed more than two hundred couponing segments for TV, with Nightline, CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, ABC World News... I actually lost a Travel Channel appearance recently after being approached by casting when the producer felt I'd been on TV "too much" this year. As you stated, I've indeed done just a "tiny list" of TV appearances :)

>> You don't seem to care about the fact that even if his coupons are not what he thought they were he is guilty of nothing as he did not know.

Actually, some of the charges he could be found guilty of:

- Passing of Counterfeit Certificates
- Possession of Counterfeit Certificates
- Obtaining Property by False Pretenses

Simply saying "I didn't know" is not a defense to passing counterfeit coupons. The law says otherwise.

Great Job Jill

Excellent response Jill...I do understand the cost of making DVDs but I will still say it's stupid as hell to make them and try to sell them if you were not trying to make some kind of profit in some way...I love your response to the "attacker"...I mean come on, anyone who is smart about coupons know it's really hard to even get a Tide coupon much less get that many for "Free Tide" It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out..My 6 year old said "Mom that guy was very very lucky, we can barely find them here" This "Attacker" was out to do just that...Attack you because you spoke out about her friend Chris...Well I'm with you Chris is a THEIF!!!! AND so is TLC...Which we DO NOT watch anymore..I said from the very beginning that show was straight up FAKE..No way could someone come about that many coupons if they were not cheating the bar code or copying them or making fake ones, and I've only been couponing for about 4 months now...Thanks for keeping us informed and thank you even more for the workshops...
Rachel

Hi

This is great.

And I do not blame him for not talking to you

as you seem to be the worst kind of person.

It is noteworthy that you took time out to make sure to list the tv appearances you have had yet again. I also could sense your attempt at a snarky tone with your statement, "I've indeed done just a "tiny list" of TV appearances :)"

And you really made us all laugh when you said the following, "I actually lost a Travel Channel appearance recently after being approached by casting when the producer felt I'd been on TV "too much" this year."

Oh Jill, tisk tisk I thought even someone as self-absorbed as you knows that this is Hollywood's way of saying cordially that they do not want you to appear of their programs and find you inadequate for their shows. It is their kind way of telling you your past appearances were failures and they do not wish to add another one to the list by having you appear again and bore audiences with your bragging when they can tell from this blog you are a back-biting busybody who spreads lies on innocent people.

As to your statement, "I'm guessing from the tone of your post that you know the Duffs."
I will say this: wherether we know them or not is irrelevant, and fyi if we did we would never tell you for fear you would begin begging for his information so you can take your stalking behavior to new heights.

I do not blame him nor his wife for not wishing to speak with you. You seem to like to try to ride his and other famous couponers to the bank by "leeching" onto them in almost every post. I saw today you are doing the same with Honey Boo Boo. It is sad that you feel you must do this to increase your views but I and other couponers are glad you have as it shows you for what you are.

Chris and his wife are innocent and you should be ashamed for your behavior.You do not have a law degree, nor are you a Judge, and you're cetainly not any kind of authority that can pass judgements. It is funny to watch you act as if you are in the position to do so as you have neither the credentials nor common sense to back up your claims and lies.

Your stating, "Actually, some of the charges he could be found guilty of: are blah blah etc." is laughable, seeing as how what you are writing about him and other couponers could get you sued for harassment, slander, emotional damages, and libel. Maybe you should stop openly harassing Chris and claiming you "reached out to him" (aka stalking: when a person does not wish to have any contact with you and you ignore it just to make other advances) long enough to look up what the aforementioned terms are.

Again, I feel bad for Chris and his wife for being the target of your hate and bitterness. If you are not ashamed for yourself then, trust me, there are plenty of couponers out there that are not only ashamed for you but of you for even claiming to be a part of the coupon community.

LOL!!!

You are ridiculous. Jill would not be on TV 200 times if she were no good at it. She was just in in a new commercial for CVS so I guess she still "got it." Jealous much?

And yes actually Chris could be convicted of counterfeiting for what he did, you're kidding yourself if you think otherwise. If I was Chris I would be PRAYING my name and address is not showing up as a customer from those counterfeiters in Phoenix. Sure will be interesting to see how many Extreme Coupones bought their fake coupons from those ladies.

This has been funny but it might be time to give this idiot the boot. Still tryin to figure out why it took six months for Chris to read this story that has been all over the place.

YOU ARE Chris!!!

Your user name "couponinglikeaboss" should read "couponinglikeaBULLY"! Let's get honest, you ARE Chris and you are just trying to justify your theft. Come on, fess up. We know it is you, Chris.

Have a great Sunday morning, and again thanks for the laughs. I love to just sit back and watch the craziness roll. :):):):) ha-ha! lol!

chris

i think so too.
me think he doth protest too much.
guilty concience.

2nd account?

This has just got to be eating away at "couponinglikeaboss". All that pent up anger reading Jill's blog site and not being able to answer. I feel a "2nd account" coming on. :)

Hi crazy person

Clearly you have not spent much time on this blog to make wild accusations about Jill who is well known for her stance on ethical couponing.

Clearly you know the Duffs.

Clearly you are willing to excuse everything they did.

If I was a MINISTRY STUDENT who went on national television using thousands of counterfeit coupons I would be moritified, apologizing to the public and repaying EVERY PENNY OF THE MONEY I STOLE FROM THOSE STORES. AND YES, THEY STOLE.

Quit attacking Jill and tell your friends the Duffs to do the right thing here.

Another account huh Jill oh

you are making us laugh at how fast you log out and login to your multiple accounts to attempt to defend yourself and your deplorable actions.

Do stop trying to figure out if we know the Duffs. I can tell you this no one would want to know you.

As to your statement, "Quit attacking Jill and tell your friends the Duffs to do the right thing here." Please; We are not attacking you. We are bringing to light your poor judgements in hopes that you have some simbalance of morality which you, sadly, do not.

Did you perchance call ABT to find out if they gave Chris the coupons? No you didn't. Your shortsighted narrow mind would have never thought to do that before twisting your pathetic lies.

A journalist you are not. A hack middle aged mom that owns a computer with nothing better to do than lie and scheme on others? Now that is a title you live up to! :) It fits much better than your self glorifying, self-imposed "Super Coupon Queen". What a laugh!

Do the right thing, Chris!

My "Hell to the yes" comment is not for "couponinglikeaBULLY".

I am glad to see that you have nothing better to do on a Sunday morning than attack, Jill. You talk of slander and yet you are the pot calling the kettle black. I have never met, Jill, but only know her from her blog and, in my opinion, all of her comments and advice has been on the right side of the ethical line.

Isn't it possible that what Chris did was wrong? Admitting the wrong and learning from it is the only way for him and his family to move forward, in my opinion. Come on Chris, just admit that what happened was not right, whether you knew or not about the conterfeit coupons. Do the right thing!

Yes

>> Did you perchance call ABT to find out if they gave Chris the coupons? No you didn't. Your shortsighted narrow mind would have never thought to do that before twisting your pathetic lies.

Actually, yes, I did phone ABT, and that information was in my story if you'd chosen to read the entire thing. The fact that you're asking proves that you didn't even read the story above before you started commenting on it. The ABT coupons are only issued to people purchasing washers and dryers in Illinois, which is the only state ABT is located in. Chris lives in Pennsylvania. Plus, the coupons P&G issues to ABT have holograms on them - I confirmed this with ABT. The coupons Chris used at Glazier's Food Marketplace in Las Vegas did not have holograms -- Procter & Gamble confirmed that.

Again, -you- chose to overlook this information in the above article before you began your attacks, which tells me you're only reading what you choose to.

And, as you're clearly not here to read or contribute anything of value, but seem only motivated to disrupt, I am removing your account from the blog. I always welcome discussion here, but your comments have degenerated into unwarranted attacks. All of the information you are asking me was already in the story above, had you chosen to read it versus skimming it.

As far as "multiple accounts," there are currently over 50,000 registered users on my blog. My readers are pretty good at speaking for themselves :) I have neither the time nor inclination to "create" additional accounts, as there are already plenty of people posting here daily.

As another reader posted, why don't turn your attacks toward Time Magazine for reporting on this story (6 months ago) to far more people than this blog reaches?

You go girl!

I understand that you have to cancel the "couponinglikeaboss" account, but I just wanted to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to join in and stoke the fire of this crazy person. I did it out of fun and I hope I have not offended you, Jill. Keep up the good work, I really appreciate it. Have a great rest of the day. Now it is time for football. Go Patriots and Texans!

Listen

It's very rare that I block an account, but there's really nothing constructive coming from this discussion at this point, and from the nature of the posts I doubt there will be. I would still love for Chris to come forward to anyone in the media and talk about what happened to him - it could serve as a warning to people trying to imitate what they see on the show, and the dangers of buying coupons online in general. But the poster is going to believe what he or she would like to believe, regardless of the facts that have long been presented.

And yes, it's time for football! And deal writing :)

I can't imagine

How thick your skin must be for having to deal with anonymous crazies!

Hell to the YES!

I completely agree!

A woman of class

Jill, you are a very calm and collected woman. You did nothing wrong, but "report" what had happened and gave the information to your readers. The "couponlikeaboss" person, was just upset, and I understand that, but to attack you was strictly emotional and not factual in anyway shape or form, and because it was emotional, it has no merit, in my opinion.

I applaud your coolness and I want to thank you for all of your knowledge on couponing. There are many of us who are truely grateful for all that you do. Keep up the good work.

I see Jill is a friend or maybe this is your 2nd account?

Honestly this is just sad. If she did nothing wrong then why are so many couponers outraged at her playing Judge and Jury with innocent persons.

Her "Reaching out" sounds more like stalking as she has already admitted to gaining Chris email addy from a couponer she knows, which proves he wants nothing to do with her.

Personaly I do not believe miss Jill has contacted him at all but would rather her readers think she has so she can have a tiny jumping off point to say she tried.

I do not blame Chris nor his wife one bit for not wishing to speak to this holier-than-thou nosy busybody.

Dear Jill, if you have went to law school and have a law license then please maybe you can get a better job, but if you don't as we all know then please leave the accusations to professionals with more heart and mind than yourself.

Love to Laugh

Your comments are a piece of work. Thank you for the good little giggle it has given me this fine Sunday morning. Please don't stop. I love to read a good "rant and rave" every once in awhile. I hope I have fueled your fire to keep this rant going. Thanks again! :)

FYI- What Chris did was steal. If he "didn't know" then he should have made restitution to the stores and paid for the products for which he had used conterfeit coupons. That would be the honest thing to do since he is such a good, giving and moral person. Do you disagree? Do what is Right by making it Right. Isn't that what the young man, age 14, and his mom did? Hmm, makes you wonder about Chris's true character.

I agree!

Funny to me too! This story is so old it's been on every big coupon site since the beginning of this year. But now some friend of theirs discovered it.

Chris DID STEAL. Joel's mom went back to the store at least and repaid them back for his counterfeit coupons and the media reported that they made it right. Chris Duff not so much. But hey it's okay to keep teaching coupon classes even after you committed some big crimes. Maybe they thought enough time passes hey it's okay.

I too wonder about someone's character who can just live with themself knowing they stole thousands of dollars from a store. I myself could not. I would go to the media and talk about how all these fake coupons are out there, I made a mistake and I am in public promising to pay it all back to the store.

Funny I just went to the Time Magazine article online about Chris Duff and the Tide coupons but this peson is not posting anything over there attacking Brad Tuttle the reporter who wrote it. Hmmmmmmm. Time Magazine is BIGGER then this site is. That's pretty funny to me. You are not worried about Chris's counterfeit coupon fraud being published in Time Magazine but you are worried about a blog. LOL!

I am going to keep watching Time and see if this person starts ranting about their reporter. If not it's obvious just an attack on Jill.

Maybe you could start trying to buy up all the rest of the Time Magazines with the story about Chris and counterfeit Tide coupons so no one else reads them. Oh wait, that magazine came out in March. That ship already left the shore. Too late. LOL.

Actually...

Chris' email address was posted on SlickDeals.net, where he was a member. After SlickDeals members began discussing his counterfeit coupon usage on the show, he apparently left the board, as members there were reporting that he was not responding to their inquiries either. There is no "stalking" involved when someone posts their own email address on a public message board. His phone number is listed on Switchboard.com as well. If you've read any of the other stories on my blog, I've always made attempts to reach the people involved. I'd be remiss as a journalist if I didn't. And, several of them have welcomed the opportunity to share their stories about being on the show - Tiffany Ivanovsky, Jessica Hacker, Angelique Campbell among them. Chris chose not to respond.

Again, for being so outraged at this post... it took you more than six months to decide you were outraged.

This counterfeit Tide coupon fraud was reported on other media outlets as well - Time.com, the Augusta Chronicle, the Birmingham News and dozens of other blogs. Chris did not give comments to any of them either when this story originally broke. Are you also sending each of these sites angry replies about their now six-months-old news stories too?

Thank you

I understand how difficult it must be to know one of the people involved in using counterfeit coupons on the show. But some of the other people, like Angelique Campbell, immediately responded to my email asking if she'd like to tell her side of the story. She said that she did purchase her counterfeit coupons online and had no idea that they were fake when she used them on the show, and she continued answering questions in the Facebook comments under this post I wrote about her episode. I appreciated her quick reply, her honesty -- and what else is there to say? Buying coupons online is never a good idea, but she did it, and she was open to discussing what happened to her. Other people, like Chris Duff, have remained silent and refused to discuss the origins of their counterfeit coupons. Why not explain your side of the story? Especially if you're going to continue teaching coupon workshops as the "champion" of Extreme Couponing, but it took using counterfeit coupons to obtain that title?

When you go on a television show that is broadcast to millions of people, you know people will be looking closely at everything you do. And there had already been counterfeit coupons used by another shopper on "Extreme Couponing" prior to this episode, so people were looking more closely at what coupons shoppers were using. Many people spotted something that just wasn't right, and nobody likes seeing counterfeit coupon usage being glorified on TV. My email box was blowing up from readers all over the country when Extreme Couponing was airing. The poster upthread feels I'm "just another sideshow gossip blogger," but my couponing column is syndicated in more than 150 papers to more than 20 million people each week. Not trying to brag (although I'm proud, of course!) but those are the numbers. And even if less than one percent of those readers email me each week, I'm still receiving thousands of emails weekly.

These Tide coupons hit a chord with readers (everyone knows what Tide costs and how low-value their coupons usually are) and the day after the episode, I received a crazy amount of email asking me to see if I could find out whether or not they were real. I could, and on their behalf, I did.

You don't even want to know how much email I'm receiving about the coupon usage on "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." (Am I -really- going need to watch that too now? Hee. :)

Guilty?

Chris may have been advised not to say anything regarding his coupon usage, especially if he is being investigated.

That said, I personally don't watch Honey Boo Boo, so I didn't know that they used coupons. It is just another "fantastic" TLC show.

However, I was surprised the other week when TLC was still airing NEW episodes of Extreme Couponing. Have they no moral compass? The ironic part is that I watched the darn show. What does that say about me? :) It's like watching a train reck. You know you shouldn't look, but you just can't turn your head away.

I now know that it isn't "real" and that I have to just do my best with what I have, and with that, I am satisfied. (Can you say Kraft catalina?) :)

honey boo boo

even a redneck would not be associated with that show. it is trash. MOP.lol

Please do not

watch Honey Boo Boo. I made the mistake once. I saw a lot of Marcal free TP and an infected toenail covered in bugs.

This Guy

I think what irks me the most, is that its done in the name of God and helping others. When its ACTUALLY STEALING! I mean, for the love.

Time.com has the story today

Time.com mentions the Tide counterfeits in a story today:

At the same time TLC is expanding its “Extreme” programming, more questions are popping up regarding whether all the strategies utilized in “Extreme Couponing” are legit. Last month, it was revealed that coupons used on the show for toilet paper were fake. (Again with the toilet paper!) And now, coupon expert and watchdog Jill Cataldo, who brought the first case of “Extreme Couponing” fraud to light, has unearthed another curious case of coupon counterfeiting.

Many viewers suspected that 200 coupons used on an episode of “Extreme Couponing” for Tide laundry detergent were counterfeit, and just recently, Procter & Gamble, which makes Tide, confirmed that the coupons were bogus. TLC, meanwhile, hasn’t responded to requests for comment on any of the counterfeit coupon allegations.

Maybe there could be a new show, though: “Extreme Counterfeiting.”

Read the full story: http://moneyland.time.com/2012/03/15/casting-call-for-extreme-cheapskates/

Shocking

A lot of people here in the UK look up to this show as an example of how couponing is better in the US, I used to think the same but was shocked to discover a lot of the big savings on the show are down to misredeemed and fraudulent coupons, I used to really enjoy extreme couponing but I can't look at it in the same light again. Now when my fellow Britons start praising the show I show them the links to your blog articles.

Kirlew Sticking up for Fraud

Look at Kirlew defending FRAUD. I e-mailed him about his partner using fake coupons and this is the response I got,

"I am a fan of the show and each of my show-mates. The author of these articles is not the God of Couponing so what you read is rarely true. The same bloggers tore me to shreds following my episode. I'm still standing! All of the accusations were ludicrous! You asked if I believe in ethical Couponing -- absolutely I do!!!"

J'aime Kirlew
My 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Pay Retail!
As Seen on TLC's Extreme Couponing
www.jaimekirlewcouponing

On Mar 11, 2012 4:36 PM, "Wade Schillo" wrote:

From: Wade Schillo
Subject: Fraud

Message Body:
I'm just curious if you believe in ethical couponing or save at any way possible? In a recent episode of TLC's EC, fellow couponer Chris, was obviously using fake Tide coupons. I was curious as to how you feel about that and if you feel Chris or TLC should reimburse the store the $12,000 in fake Tide coupons he obviously used. I'm a fan of your couponing, and hate to see people like Chris ruin couponing for all of us. Expiration dates are getting shorter, stores are getting tougher on coupons than ever before. Just wondering your thoughts...Thanks. Have a great day.

--
This mail is sent via contact form on J'aime Kirlew Couponing

What's fascinating is

... that ANYONE wishing to could easily verify both instances of counterfeiting with a simple phone call or email to P&G or Georgia-Pacific. Both companies have already publicly stated that the coupons are counterfeit.

Not fascinating to me but revolting...

I am not fascinated with the fact that all these fraudulent activities have been reported to them and they can get hold of the perpetrators but they have not done anything except to confirm that those are fake/counterfeit. Why not make press releases that retailers who took these fake coupons will not be reimbursed and let's see what happens next?

It is revolting to know that manufacturers know this is happening and thieves are "glorified" on national television YET they have done nothing. Articles exposing theft using coupons are a dime a dozen, I'd like to see actual arrests and charges filed in court. Meanwhile, the couponer using a couple of coupons are treated like hardened criminals at the store.

Unlikely

It's all part of a fine balance. Plus all stores have bent their rules for the show, there must have been contracts signed and big-shot lawyers consulted. None of these charges would stand in court. The only thing we can do is simply stop watching the show, boycott TLC, all Discovery Communications businesses, and of course the products that are advertised. See what happened to Rush Limbaugh and, before him, Dr. Laura Schlessinger? It's the only way. However, I'm afraid that people continue to watch out of sheer voyeurism and in the hopes of learning tricks, even if these are not fraudulent tricks. So long as there is demand for the show, it will continue.

Don't bother with Jailme

It isn't worth talking to people who claim to be ethical yet tell you exactly how they misused coupons and then felt "poor me I was a scapegoat" because people exposed it. Some people's definition of ethics is very different than the rest of us!! Ethics to some of the extreme couponers is "how much can I get away with even if I have to use fake coupons"

http://blogs.smartmoney.com/paydirt/2011/05/11/extreme-couponing-star-i-...

is Jailme proof that crime pays big dividends?

The way Jailme has used her exposure on TV is sickening. Even if her name is now associated with coupon scamming/decoding, she has found ways to turn it around and make money. She must be laughing her way to the bank as she continues to enjoy cruises with her friends from money she has raked in. If interviews saying she has NOT changed her shopping style and still uses her coupons the same way, do stores in her area condone her illegal activities? Hopefully, someone from her area reads this to confirm or deny store policies in their area if it conforms to what Jailme has been saying.

Since no charges were filed against her, what lesson(s) are thieves learning from her?

Not so!

Why do some people just dwell on Kirlew when there is worse? Kirlew did precisely what others did, and believe me, she has most definitely changed the way she shops. To begin with, it's been ages since manufacturers changed the coupon codes, so it's impossible for her to code-match, end of story. Don't believe all the crap she says in her WSJ interview. Secondly, Kirlew is not making that much money out of her website, I've checked, and believe me, I know precisely how much all those bloggers make out of their blogs, down to the last cent. Kirlew doesn't even make one tenth of the median coupon blog earnings.

Last, but not least, Kirlew is not a thief. Please check the laws that define larceny. The whole thing was done with the consent of the store, just like most irregularities on the show were made with the consent of the stores. Besides, Kirlew did not steal newspapers, most of her inserts were brought to her by the show, this has been admitted, and she did not use counterfeit coupons. Now those are crimes, I mean counterfeiting and physically stealing newspapers.

If people do not wish for Kirlew to earn the extra peanuts she earns through her blog, simply, don't visit it, people! That way, she cannot make money. Every time you visit in order to recharge your rage in order to vent on other blogs, she will be making money. Not enough to laugh all the way to the bank like other bloggers, say, Coupon Mom, but some.

Disclaimer: I am NOT suggesting that making money out of a blog is bad, and I really like Coupon Mon who is, in my opinion, brilliant.

Actualy she probably still IS A THIEF

And here is why, just because you tell someone your going to do something illegal, DOES NOT MAKE IT LEGAL. Her intention was to incorrectly use coupons which constitutes fraud(and yes in the end it comes down to stealing), now what she did was just involve other people in her fraud scheme in an attempt to make it look more legit. Reality is if the store was aware and accepted anyways THEY JUST CONSIPIRED TO COMMIT FRAUD. ALL OF THEM. Think of it like this(bit extreme but I hope you get the point) lets say I wanted to kill my room mate, but I didn't want to be guilty of murder, so instead I pay someone to do it, and for this argument lets say they did it. Suddenly the FBI/Police show up at my home a few days/weeks later and arrest me. Suddenly I'm thinking, 'WTF I got arrested? How I didn't kill him? I didn't do anything!'. But reality is, I did, I CONSPIRED. And she has openly admited to how she was using them in the past, that means SHE KNEW what she was doing. I think the Feds should jump in and take any down they can. The only way I could see this not being a case of fraud would be if the store pulled every one of her coupons and didn't send them in. If they sent even ONE coupon off that was purposly used for the wrong item on her trip, the whole conspiricy to commit fraud happend. Which also means she is a thief because the end result was to steal product/money from the manufacturer.

Bad example

Sorry, but there is no parallel in what you say. Kirlew told the manager and the manager let her. There is evidence to suggest that the store put on a show for the sake of advertising themselves, in which case it is neither conspiracy, nor theft. Please, check the law on larceny, then compare it to what happened on the show. I can tell you one thing: if Kirlew decides to sue for defamation, she can probably get all the information from this and other sites, where she is accused of being a thief, she can ask for names, IP and other addresses, and drag you to court. If she can prove that the manager of Safeway knew about her intention to use her coupons incorrectly, and if she can prove that this is something that is going on habitually on the show with the consent of store managers as part of advertising, which she probably can, she can get people in trouble. In all likelihood, she won't bother, but be careful about what you say. I don't see her as a thief, but I see lots of defamation on this and other websites.

Last, but not least, the Becentsable people will also be in a big doodoo if Kirlew is ever in trouble: they were the ones who began the whole thing on code matching and even sold a DVD through their website. As soon as Kirlew blew the whistle on them, they immediately withdrew the DVD which is nowhere to be found nowadays. Of course, there are people who still have copies, among them Kirlew, and if one really really really wants to bother, there will be more than one person who will get in trouble.

We don't know what happened to the manufacturers in Kirlew's case because they may very well have refused to reimburse the store. Or the store may not have even bothered to send the coupons, especially if they decided to allow Kirlew to use them incorrectly for the sake of the show.

Again, please check the relevant laws. I will also agree with Kirlew that at this point she is becoming very much a scapegoat, since there is much more serious stuff going on on the show, but people will focus on her.

Disclaimer: if anyone thinks I defend her because I like her, I refer you to my numerous negative assessments of her character and offputting personality. She can be obnoxious, yes, however, she is not a thief.

Still disagree with you...

FYI having an opinion that someone who commited an act that by others would be considered theft/fraud and then voicing that opinion will NOT get you in trouble for defamation, the shown act is clearly one that if it was fully processed was illegal, we do have freedom of speech here.

Getting permission from a store to do an illegal act in said store does not suddenly make it legal. What if she called and asked for permission to kill someone in the store and the manager said, 'go ahead'. She would still be guilty no matter what.

She used them incorrectly with the stores permission and not in accordence with the rules written RIGHT ON THE COUPON. A coupon that was produced NOT BY THE STORE BUT BY THE MANUFACTUERER. It is thier rules that MUST be followed when using a coupon, stores have thier own policies and can/do get in trouble(usualy just denied payment though) when they do not follow the manufacturers instructions. A coupon is actualy a contract, not following this contract is what leads to fraud and most specificaly state what is considered fraud and/or will void the coupon(wording on many has been limited/changed to just state what voids it as customers do NOT like hearing the word 'fraud' when getting told they couldn't use a coupon by cashiers who actualy paid attention). BTW if the network allowed one store to send off counterfit coupons WHAT makes you think that they stopped any store from sending off coupons that were fraudulently used on incorrect items(they were still real coupons and would be valid if used correctly remember)? The evidence shows that in all likelyhood that they did send them off. That is why this whole thing NEEDS to be investigated, show some light on it. If they are portraying this as what really happend and it isn't then they need to publicly say it, the fact that they haven't makes them look just as sketchy.

And I agree there are bigger fish to fry, but I wouldn't spend one moment standing up for someone who blatently admits that what she does/has done has gone against the rules that are stated. And sometimes, if you wanna catch the big fish you gotta burn thru the little ones first.

There is a distinction

My opinion that Kirlew is obnoxious is an opinion and not defamation. However, your opinion that she is a thief could be defamation because you are accusing her of a crime. If you cannot PROVE that she committed a crime, she will have every right to find out who you are and sue you. She won't because it's too much of a hassle, not to mention expensive.

There is a further distinction about the terms in which we may discuss Kirlew, and I would invite you, and every other person who is enraged with her, to compare certain posts in this thread with Jill's. Jill is a businesswoman and a very intelligent one at that, as I have said many times. She is also very careful about endorsements and about how she expresses her opinions. As you see, at no point did Jill accuse Kirlew of theft. Rather, she brought up questions and asked for answers that were not given. Now THAT's expressing an opinion without running the risk of being sued for defamation.

I really wish people would give up this Kirlew tired topic. There are worse people than her, and you should rather be mad at TLC and some other cast members. Why don't people complain against Chris or Amanda? Or the other one who was stealing newspapers from driveways? Why Kirlew? Because of the Buddig deli meat-cuts?! WOW!

There is a difference, however.

Kirlew did not use counterfeit coupons. She used her coupons incorrectly, notified the manager of the store in advance of the show, something that the manager himself has admitted in the press, but he let her use the coupons anyway. It was only when Jill blew the whistle, so to speak, that the manager stupidly admitted that the conversation with Kirlew took place in advance and then lied by claiming that he told her he did not allow the practice of incorrect coupon use in his store. This is absolutely untrue because, had this happened, he would have surely persevered during checkout and made sure that the transaction was legit. That is, if legit was the way he wanted to go. What he did was precisely what aaaaaaaall the other grocery stores have done for the show: bent the rules, violated their own policy, and taken losses for the sake of advertising themselves on the show. The difference is that the other managers and corporate admit it openly, some even now believe that it was the wrong thing to do, and only that one at Safeway (?) denied any knowledge. Very bad move in my opinion, he could have just said he did it for the show, end of story.

Kirlew is worried, and knows very well, that where she might get into trouble is not because of her TLC shopping trip, but rather for her Target videos. Even then, as a consumer, she can feign ignorance and say, as she has, that she didn't know. The one who can get in trouble is the cashier who should have called her manager in order to deal with Kirlew's checkout once those coupons started beeping.

In general, Kirlew is just a not so intelligent, very agressive, antagonistic, and "in your face" woman of little education, bad-mannered, tasteless, even vulgar. For these reasons, she can be very unpleasant, and other women tend to dislike, even hate her, especially those with primordial-survival-instinct-gone-nuts issues. However, if anything, Kirlew brought attention to the coupon code overlook, and manufacturers have now taken care of the problem. She cannot be sued or otherwise prosecuted about anything that transpired, and what she did was not the newspaper stealing or coupon-counterfeiting that we watched on the show. I am more concerned about those issues, rather than how many awful, horrible quality deli meat-cuts she got for free. Speaking of which, I am boycotting Buddig since I bought a bunch at Walmart the other day, and when I opened them there was mold! That fact, combined with all the facts surrounding the horrid quality of processed food that we buy (sodium nitrate, anyone?), warrants getting them closed down and prosecuted. Believe me, Kirlew is a small fish compared to the big companies and businesses like TLC.

Actualy...

I would like to direct you to my reply to SaraW946 on Sun, 03/18/2012 - 7:25pm, Conspiring to commit fraud is still a crime, and depending on the circumstances she could and should be prosicuted with the rest of them if things go down. Simply calling and getting the OK from someone to do something your not supposed to or getting them to do it for you does not make it suddenly legal.

Wrong

The "someone" was not anyone, but the manager of the store himself. You assume there was a conspiracy. I disagree because a) the manager probably received his marching orders from corporate, and b) it is very possible that Kirlew's coupons were never redeemed by being sent to the manufacturers. I would be surprised if many of the coupons used on the show really were, especially since they are habitually used incorrectly for advertising purposes, as the corporate people of many stores have already admitted.

In order to have a conspiracy to defraud, you need to have a victim that got defrauded. What I see is that stores have spent money on a different type of advertising, i.e. taking part in the show. Their payment was the loss they took from one shopping trip. There may be exceptions, as is the case of the use of counterfeit coupons or smaller businesses, like the Las Vegas grocery in All Stars, but most of the big ones have regularly bent their rules.

What the heck TLC?

TLC can't be bothered to comment on more counterfeits on their show, but they have plenty of time to send out casting calls for the new season of Extreme Couponing on March 8, one day after Jill's story about more counterfeits comes out?? Calling it a "wonderful opportunity" for shoppers??

http://northfield.patch.com/blog_posts/blog-are-you-a-coupon-master-tlc-...

Found some more

They are already shooting another season. Here a Piggly Wiggly stupidly allowed the show to film this month in Alabama:

http://blog.al.com/bargain-mom/2012/03/mccalla_piggly_wiggly_allows_t.html

Can't wait for Extreme Counterfeiting season 3!

When is the fraud a felony?

I just wonder when the amount of counterfeit coupons used becomes a felony & the DOJ will get involved. TLC is knowingly allowing show participants to commit fraud. When does the dollar amount hit the limit that a governmental agency will shut them down. I don't care if the whole network was put out of business. They obviously have no ethics and are not promoting anything beneficial to the American public.

Joel counterfeit coupon footage in new show again

I watched this week's EC episode on the DVR and you know they shopped with Joel, the first counterfeiter again. Can you believe they intro'd Joel with footage of him using the fake Quilted Northern coupons that everyone knows is fake? Like they couldn't re edit that episode in the month since that news came out? Nope, it's good TV! Show it again!

fact checking?

I don't know how to take this. Yes this guy used 200 coupons of Tide with a store logo on them at a different store. But it doesn't mean that they are counterfeit. Probably what happened is that he bought them online from people in the state where they originated. IT is not illegal to buy these coupons online. Usually stores like this (and Lowes, and Home depot etc) leave these coupon booklets in stacks around the area where appliances/appropriate products are sold. So some not so considerate person took the whole stack and decided to sell them online.

I would say that the liable party here is the store that produced these coupons to really be store specific but used manufacture coupon coding so they are scanning at other stores. Target coupons for example will not scan anywhere else. The accepting store should also not have accepted 200 coupons that probably state "redeemable at specific store". The processing center will of course say these coupons are counterfeit because they are not designed to be reimbursed by Tide manufacturer. The store produced these coupons not to get re-imbursed but to eat up the cost as a discount on a new washing machine.

If the guy who used them knew they were store specific then he is guilty of coupon misuse. But even so, in many cases stores accept competitor coupons so even that he can argue himself out of it.

I really hate shows like extreme couponing that encourage people to clear shelves and hog all these products that will probably expire. They claim they "donate" the stuff but what about the working poor who is not depending on donations but just wants to shop the sales like they were intended to? If you coupon normally and follow sales there is no reason to stockpile like crazy because sales repeat. Stores should also enforce sale limits so everyone can share in the savings.