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September 24, 2014

Four Reasons Your Catalina Didn't Print -- And What To Do About It

It's happened at least once to almost every couponer who shops at HEB.

You head to the register, all excited about your hot catalina deal you've planned out.

You've double-checked everything.  The items you bought are for a qualifying brand.  The sizes are right.  Your coupons are right.

And just at your moment of triumph...your catalina doesn't print.  

And you're left looking for answers to a cashier who didn't even know what you were expecting to receive.

It's frustrating!  Luckily, there's help.  Here are reasons your catalina may not have printed, and what you can do before you leave the store to resolve your issue.


Four Reasons Your Catalina May Not Have Printed

  • The catalina machine isn't turned on, or is out of printer or ink.  This happens more frequently than you'd think.  Cashiers are super-busy at work, and may not notice that the ads for oil change and other coupons have stopped printing at the end of each transaction.  Or they may be waiting on a manager to bring them register tape or a new ink cartridge.  
  • The store didn't update their promotions in the registers the night before a new catalina offer was supposed to start.  Or they ran the program update, but there was a coding issue.  I saw this frequently at my Kitty Hawk HEB last year.
  • Your cashier is hiding catalinas.  I can't say this happens often, but it does happen -- cashiers know the value of those catalina coupons, and there have been internal theft issues before at HEB, where cashiers were using catalinas to steal money from their register, or else saving the catalinas to use for themselves or to give to family or friends.  If you ever see catalina coupons print, and your cashier doesn't offer them to you, get a manager involved right away.  Trust me, they want to know that sort of thing!
  • The catalina promotion only includes select brands, not all brands a company produces.  We are beginning to see this happen more frequently.  For example, Unilever catalina offers often don't include Magnum Ice Cream Bars, even though Magnum is a Unilever brand.  To be on the safe side, shop the brands featured in that week's ad.
So what should you do when your catalina doesn't print?  There's one solution for all four of these potential issues.

Ask to see a manager!

Managers have fail-safe codes that allow them to re-print catalinas for you, then and there   -- assuming, of course, that you bought the right number of items and all of that.  This can definitely add some time to your register check-out, but leaving the store a little late is far less frustrating than leaving empty-handed!

When a catalina doesn't print for me, I go to Business Services and ask for a manager there.  I like doing that for two reasons: a) it doesn't hold up your cashier's line and b) I can grab a copy of the weekly HEB ad on the way over, to show the manager the details of the catalina promotion.

Be ready to show the manager the following things: a) your receipt, b) the items you bought to trigger the catalina and c) the page of the ad that shows the catalina promotion (it's usually in the middle of the ad for some reason.)  And be prepared to wait five or ten minutes to see someone who can help you.

Each time, my manager has re-printed the catalina for me without issue!  If you ever run into a manager who refuses to reprint, or doesn't know how, I recommend contacting HEB Corporate to ask for their help at that point.

If for whatever reason you can't stay then and there -- your kids are flipping out, or you're running late for an appointment -- you can always leave with your purchases, then call the store back later that day or the next day.  

But my personal opinion is that it's easier for you to explain to the manager what happened when s/he can see the items and receipt, as opposed to talking about it over the phone.

(UPDATE: You can also contact Catalina Customer Support to have your catalina reprinted and mailed to you.  This will obviously take longer to receive than if you get your catalina reprinted from the manager then and there in the store.  

On the other hand, it's a great way to pass along information to the manufacturers if your store consistently doesn't print or pass out the coupons that they are supposed to give their customers.)

I hope this information has been useful for you!  If you have other tips on how to work with your HEB cashiers and/or managers when a catalina doesn't print, please share them in the comments section below.

6 comments:

  1. Do catalinas print out at the self check out registers?

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  2. They should as long as she stated above that the printers aren't out of paper or ink. I used to work at an HEB back in the day and they had them as well.

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  3. Working at HEB they don't print because of the price you have to spend $15 or more! For example if you buy 5 bottles and each is 2.98 thats only $14.90 it has to be over $15.

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  4. I noticed that catalinas change depending on how I pay. I almost always shop the same brands however if I pay cash or with my bank visa I seldom if ever get them. If I pay with my HEB netspend card, I nearly always get them. I once received 9 at checkout on only a 45.00 purchase. Anyone else noticed this pattern?

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  5. Its almost impossible to not notice you are out of paper or ink. It beeps super annoyingly!! And they do that so we as cashiers are constantly getting reminded to fix the issue lol

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