Have you ever gotten super excited to use a promo code, only to have it not work at checkout? 😫 There are few things more frustrating when shopping online.
The good news is that with a few simple tricks, in many instances, you can troubleshoot online promo code issues in minutes. This guide will teach you how to quickly diagnose and fix any problems so you can enjoy the savings you deserve. 💸
- Check the fine print for promo code exclusions or restrictions
- Try a different web browser or device
- Disable browser extensions temporarily
- Clear your cookies and site data
- Try incognito or private browsing mode
- Contact customer service for help
- Search for a new working promo code
Table of contents
Check the Fine Print First
Before doing anything else, read the fine print! Promo codes often have exclusions, expiration dates, or other limitations.🧐
- Exclusions: Some codes exclude certain brands, products, or product categories. Make sure your item isn’t excluded.
- Expiration: Codes expire, so double check the expiration date or time frame.
- Usage Limits: Some codes can only be used once per customer or have usage limits. See if you already used the code.
- Item Specific: Certain codes only apply to specific products or require you to buy 2+ items. Ensure your cart qualifies.
If the fine print checks out, it’s time to troubleshoot further.
Try Switching Your Browser or Device
One simple fix is to try a different web browser or device. Online promo codes can be finicky and may not work in certain browsers.
Switch between Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge and see if the code works in another browser. Also try on a mobile device vs desktop if possible.
Sometimes, clearing your cookies, cache, and browsing data in your browser is enough to get promo codes working again.
Temporarily Disable Browser Extensions
Browser extensions like Honey, Capital One Shopping, or Rakuten can interfere with promo codes and cause issues.
Try disabling all extensions temporarily and retrying the code without any extensions enabled. Don’t forget to re-enable extensions after purchasing!
Clear Your Cookies, Cache & Site Data
Over time, cookies, cached files, and site data can build up and cause online promo code problems.
Clearing this data gives your browser a fresh slate. Here’s how to clear it in popular browsers:
Chrome Desktop: Settings > Privacy & Security > Clear Browsing Data
Chrome Mobile: Settings > Privacy > Clear Browsing Data
Safari: Develop menu > Empty Caches
Firefox: Settings > Privacy & Security > Clear Data
Edge: Settings > Privacy, Search and Services > Clear Browsing Data
This forces your browser to redownload a fresh version of the site. Now, try entering the promo code again.
Try Incognito or Private Browsing Mode
Incognito or Private Browsing modes load a site without any cookies, cache or browsing history.
It’s like viewing the site for the first time. If the code doesn’t work normally, try it in Incognito mode:
Chrome: Ctrl + Shift + N
Safari: File > New Private Window
Firefox: Ctrl + Shift + P
Edge: … menu > New InPrivate Window
If the code works in Private mode, then other browser data was likely the issue.
Contact Customer Service
If you still can’t get a promo code to work after trying the above, reach out to the company’s customer service team.
Explain the situation and they may be able to manually apply the discount for you. Some other help they can provide:
- Confirm if the code is still valid or not expired
- Check usage limits and if it’s already been applied to your account
- Troubleshoot code issues on their end
- Offer an alternate promo code that works
Having customer service apply the promo code manually usually resolves any issues.
Search For a New Working Promo Code
If all else fails, your original code may be expired or no longer valid. Start searching for a new promo code instead.
You can also find promo codes for most stores directly on Google by searching:
“[Store Name] promo code” or “[Store Name] coupon code”
Keep trying new codes until you find one that works to save money!
Using these troubleshooting tips, you’ll be able to quickly fix any invalid or non-working online promo codes. With a little bit of effort, you can enjoy big savings on your next online purchase. 💰
Frequently Asked Questions About Fixing Promo Codes
If a code you’ve used before is now invalid, it likely expired, reached usage limits, or the retailer discontinued it. Try finding and using a new active promo code instead.
Some codes are exclusive to desktop or mobile. Try both. If desktop-only, request mobile; if mobile-only, use desktop. Or clear your browser data.
If you already completed checkout, contact customer service. They may refund the difference or ask you to re-purchase with the promo code applied.
Usually not – most retailers allow just one promo code per order. Stacking multiple codes rarely works. Use the code with the best discount.
Double check for typos. Also try copy/pasting the code instead of typing it. If it still doesn’t work, the code itself may be expired or invalid.