I have not seen the show, but I've heard of it, and I don't see it ending well. I'm a cashier at Walgreens, and we've been very accepting of coupons until now.
Since the show aired, we're pulling in 3 times our normal coupon intake for the day, and we're coming up short by more and more amounts. On a normal Saturday night, for example, we can expect to pull in about $60 in coupons. The end of the day printout said we had collected $172. The kicker is that we only had $160 in redeemable coupons, meaning something happened to a mysterious $12 in coupons.
For reference, to be off (over or short) my any more than $1 is considered a bad night.
Just the other day a woman who had seen the show ("Oh, I'm going to save so much money!") failed to understand how Walgreens Register Rewards worked, and demanded to be able to use her $3 RR as credit toward the returned item she had gotten the RR for. (In simpler terms, she bought something for which there was a RR, wanted to return it, then re-buy it using the Register Reward.) This led to a line of customers, frustrated, and an irate couponer who was trying to cheat my cashier. Bad eggs ruin it for everyone.
More stores are taking notice, and I hope it dies down. I'm a coupon-friendly cashier, and I know you coupon queens know exactly what you're doing. Stacking coupons is completely acceptable according to Walgreens' Coupon policy, but this influx of new people trying to game the system improperly won't end well for anyone.
Did I hear a report that Food Lion was changing their policy to limit stacking? I hope it doesn't happen at Walgreens. If stores continue to see an influx of coupons (with past expiration dates, for larger amounts, stacking to pay $2 OOP with $15 in RR), they're going to start refusing coupons. It's at the discretion of the store or assistant manager to accept or refuse a coupon, so if your store starts seeing lots of the type of customer I mentioned above, it may be the end.
Complaining to corporate will do no good -- they'll tell you the manager was acting in the interest to protect the store from losses.
All we can hope for is for the show to get cancelled and the fad to fade.