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I have observed that customers can no longer apply a specific promocode to their orders although the uses registered per coupon are lower than the value set in the rule. The only way I have to solve the issue is to increase the value for uses per coupon (uses per customer is set to 1 always).

At reviewing the DB, I see that coupon is used in the sales_flat_quote as well in sales_flat_orders. Don't know if this is the expected behaviour (summing up quotes + orders for uses calculations) or if there's a bug I should report / correct.

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In order to see how Magento checks if a coupon can be applied you need to look into Mage_SalesRule_Model_Validator in the _canProcessRule($rule, $address) method.

    if ($rule->getCouponType() != Mage_SalesRule_Model_Rule::COUPON_TYPE_NO_COUPON) {
        $couponCode = $address->getQuote()->getCouponCode();
        if (strlen($couponCode)) {
            $coupon = Mage::getModel('salesrule/coupon');
            $coupon->load($couponCode, 'code');
            if ($coupon->getId()) {
                // check entire usage limit
                if ($coupon->getUsageLimit() && $coupon->getTimesUsed() >= $coupon->getUsageLimit()) {
                    $rule->setIsValidForAddress($address, false);
                    return false;
                }
                // check per customer usage limit
                $customerId = $address->getQuote()->getCustomerId();
                if ($customerId && $coupon->getUsagePerCustomer()) {
                    $couponUsage = new Varien_Object();
                    Mage::getResourceModel('salesrule/coupon_usage')->loadByCustomerCoupon(
                        $couponUsage, $customerId, $coupon->getId());
                    if ($couponUsage->getCouponId() &&
                        $couponUsage->getTimesUsed() >= $coupon->getUsagePerCustomer()
                    ) {
                        $rule->setIsValidForAddress($address, false);
                        return false;
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }

Magento will check the usage limit and the times used of the coupon from the salesrule_coupon table. It will also check the usage per customer from the salesrule_coupon_usage table.

The times_used column of both tables is updated by Mage_SalesRule_Model_Observer observer on the sales_order_place_after event. So the coupons that are used in quotes are not considered.

If you've set the uses per customer value to 1, then a customer will only be able to use that coupon for one order (even if the order gets cancelled).

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