Earlier this week I wrote about the new craze of "extreme" couponing, and how I was impressed with how they could save 90% or more on their grocery bill. Too good to be true? Perhaps in some of the episodes it is.
Last night, I watched an episode I had recorded of Extreme Couponing featuring J'aime Kirlew. I gathered from reading some couponing blogs, that this woman was under fire for coupon fraud. My curiosity was piqued as to what she did that would be constituted as fraud, so I Googled her name, and I found interesting blog posts by a well respected couponer, Jill Cataldo.
In the first post I read, Jill wrote about the controversy surrounding the new show. I could not believe what I was reading (well, I could, but you know what I mean)! This J'aime lady had apparently posted You Tube videos on how she couponed at Target. The problem was, she was using coupons issued for one product on a different product made by the same manufacturer. AKA - coupon fraud.
I go on to read another post that speculates the same fraud happened on the TLC show. The evidence gathered by other couponers seems to weigh heavily on the guilty side. I realize that "reality" TV isn't reality at all, but it really aggravates me that The Learning Channel would feature someone committing a crime, rather than finding legitimate, ethical couponers...and I know they are out there, because I have learned so much from them in just a short amount of time.
Also, the fact that some of the stores being featured on the show are waiving their usual coupon policies just because they're on TV really irks me, too. It gives unrealistic expectations to those wanting to have the same results. Again, why can't TLC feature the correct way to coupon?
Oh, and J'aime believes she did nothing wrong. Really? I just grabbed a coupon I have next to me and read the small print directed to the consumer: "One coupon valid for item indicated. Any other use constitutes fraud."
I enjoyed watching the show, but from now on if I'm watching, it will be with skepticism and a close eye.