Mr. Trump: Our two teams, Super Couponers and Extreme Couponers, were asked to show the American public how coupons save money. Super Couponers, your project manager this week was Jill. Jill, how did you decide to approach this challenge?
Jill: Well, Mr. Trump, I decided to teach the American public through radio, television, and smartly written articles.
Mr. Trump: By the way, Jill, you look great. Can I say that? Because you really do.
Jill: Thank you, Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump: So Jill, how do you think your team contributed to your challenge?
Jill: They were awesome! Niles Line took charge of the television segment and I was able to demonstrate how you could fill a grocery cart with real food for about $50. And Sasha was instrumental in researching some of the store deals and coupons for me. All in all, a great team.
Mr. Trump: Jill, do you think you won this challenge?
Jill: I do.
Mr. Trump: I like that confidence! So J’aime, you were project manager for the Extreme Couponers team. You heard how well Jill did. Are you nervous?
J’aime: No, not really, Mr. Trump. I think Jill has been around for awhile now and is just trying to stay relevant.
Mr. Trump: Wow, that’s a little critical, don’t you think J’aime? Jill is well respected in her field.
J’aime: Well, my team, the Extreme Couponers, wanted to do something fresh.
Mr. Trump: Fresh….what do you mean “fresh,” J’aime? Explain “fresh.”
J’aime: Basically, instead of showing “how” with coupons, we decided to show “wow” with coupons. I also wanted to show that you should look good while you coupon.
Mr. Trump: Interesting. I must admit, I like that. And can I say, J’aime…you look great. You really do. Great.
J’aime: I’m flattered Mr. Trump!
Mr. Trump: So Theo Lenning Channel, what did you think of your project manager?
Theo: Mr. Trump, J’aime was perfect. I’ve been in this industry for 20 years now and I can say, J’aime has the “it” factor. Millions of people tuned into her episode on TV. Folks loved seeing her cute self walk up and down the aisle and save on items like mustard and deli meat. She also saved like over $1000 on her trip. I think Jill only saved about $60. So right there, I’m confident in our team.
Jill: Mr. Trump, I just really need to interject….
Mr. Trump: Certainly.
Jill: I have reason to believe that J’aime cheated on this challenge.
Mr. Trump: How is that, Jill?
Jill: Well, I had Sasha Deals here do a little research on J’aime’s couponing tactics. I have strong reason to believe that J’aime decoded coupons for her shopping trip.
Mr. Trump: What’s that….decoding coupons?
Ivanka: I can answer that. It’s a process where someone interprets the language embedded in a coupon’s barcode so they can determine what other products the coupon may be used for. Those products may or may not be what’s stated on the coupon, and this is considered a form of coupon fraud.
Mr. Trump: Jill, if what Ivanka is saying is true, that is a pretty serious allegation.
Jill: Yes, I know it is, and I’ve not risked my reputation lightly. Truth is, Sasha noticed it when she watched J’aime’s segment. Others did too. I compiled their screen shots and concerns and I am pretty confident something isn’t right.
Mr. Trump: J’aime, what do you have to say about all this?
J’aime: I think Jill needs to stop judging.
Mr. Trump: But you agreed to go on a national TV show, didn’t you? And it seems to me that if you’re positioning yourself as somewhat of an “expert” on this topic, the American Public will look to you as a leader. Theo, you are looking faint, are you alright?
Theo: Ah, yeah, sure. I’m OK Mr Trump. Just slumping at the table a bit, but I’ll be alright.
Mr. Trump: Sofia Way, you accepted all these coupons. Did you see any of the issues Jill is talking about?
Sofia: Honestly, Mr. Trump, she just had so many. It would’ve taken too long to make sure they were all correct.
Mr. Trump: But don’t you think you needed to protect your company from a loss?
Sofia: Yeah, maybe so.
Mr. Trump: J’aime, you’ve still not addressed Jill’s concerns.
J’aime: Honestly, Mr. Trump, it’s not my fault. I’m only doing what I was taught over at BeCentsable.
Mr. Trump: Who’s that?
Don: BeCentsable is a coupon site that links to various bargain blogs across the country. Additionally, they list coupon teachers by state.
J’aime: Yes, I’m on that list.
Don: Well, apparently not any more. BeCentsable doesn’t seem to condone barcode decoding.
Mr. Trump: Well let’s find out who won this challenge. Ivanka, what did the American public think of our two teams?
Ivanka: The American public responded well to both teams, but in different ways. Jill, the public loved your sensible approach to couponing, the depth of your knowledge when it comes to couponing, and the fact that you bought produce and meat in your tv spot. J’aime, your tv spot got ratings. Hundreds of coupon sites saw a surge of traffic following your show, coupon redemption spiked, and you demonstrated that coupons can save a substantial amount of money….
Jill: Yeah especially when you redeem your coupons on the WRONG ITEMS!
J’aime: Oh put a sock in it, already, honey! You’re just jealous!
Jill: Jealous? Of what!
J’aime: C’mon, Jill. You know you have sour grapes because Theo wanted me on his show and not you.
Jill: Mr. Trump, last year, Theo asked me if I’d be interested in a show called America’s Coupon Masters, a show that would teach folks how to use coupons. If that show would’ve aired? I would’ve done it. But Theo changed the game halfway through…
Theo: Mr. Trump…I am not feeling too well. Is this almost over?
Mr. Trump: Yes, Theo. I agree. I am not feeling so good either. I think it’s time to announce the winner. While you both brought different things to the table for this challenge, the American public has decided that they want to learn how to do this in a common sense way. Therefore the winner is….Super Couponers. Jill, congratulations. Your team wins a million coupon inserts for the charity of your choice.
Jill: Such an honor, Mr. Trump. Thank you!
Mr. Trump: Theo, J’aime, Sofia. One of you will be fired. J’aime, who should I fire?
J’aime: I’m just in shock that we lost….really. I don’t know….but not me. Don’t fire me. Maybe Sofia. She was really lackadasical about checking the coupons I gave her.
Sofia: Way to throw me under the bus, J’aime!
Mr. Trump: Theo, you were so proud of your team earlier tonight. So who would you fire?
Theo: Uh, honestly…at this point. I need to do some research. I just feel really thrown by the…um…allegations. I am at a loss. So…er….I don’t feel good Mr. Trump…
Mr. Trump: Theo, who would you fire?
Theo: Well, if you I have to say….it’d be J’aime at this point. Honestly, none of us really know about coupons and she did, and I feel duped.
J’aime: WHAT?! Are you seriously going to throw me under the bus, Theo? Just like that?
Sofia: Karma, honey.
Mr. Trump: Well this isn’t easy because I kind of want to fire all of you. Sofia, you should have checked those coupons better. Theo, where is the due diligence here? But J’aime, you seem to have known what you were doing, and coupon fraud is a serious thing to be accused of….and this challenge was about showing people how coupons save money. But since there is serious doubt shed on how ethically you were doing that, I don’t think you succeeded this challenge.
And J’aime…you’re fired.
J’aime: Can I just say one more thing?
Mr. Trump: No,you can’t. You’ve been fired. And Theo looks like he’s going to hurl on my board room table, so I think I better…. (ring, ring)
Mr. Trump: Hello, there, this is Donald Trump…..what’s that?….interesting….she is here in fact. J’aime, I have a Mr. Miller from the CIC on the line for you….
Hi, I’m Bret Michaels, past winner of Celebrity Apprentice. I wanted to share a few final words about this interesting boardroom scene you’ve just witnessed. A couple weeks ago now, Jill Cataldo shared some serious concerns about one of the TLC Extreme Couponing show participants. According to this earlier post by Jill, there were YouTube videos posted by J’aime (which were deleted and then later unearthed) that depict fraudulent usage of coupons. Also you should know that it wasn’t just Jill who brought these concerns forward. Several sites including A Full Cup and Slick Deals have raised concerns and presented evidence that coupon fraud had likely been depicted on this particular episode. TLC responded a bit later with this update:
They have not commented about this (or at least on Facebook) since April 11th. The Coupon Information Corporation, an organization that shuts down coupon fraud, has been notified and is apparently investigating as well.
Finally, I want to remind you that you don’t have to defraud stores and manufacturers to save a bundle at the store. Heck, I use coupons all the time – and the right ones too. It’s fun, really. But you know what’s not fun? Coupon fraud. Not cool. Just…so not cool.