Keywords: Grocery Store Cards, Preferred Member Cards, Junk in my Wallet
I’m turning over a new leaf this week.
Lately I’ve been concerned about reducing my weekly “discretionary footprint”; that is, the amount of money I spend every week at coffee shops, convenient stores, and fast food restaurants. So I went to the grocery store last night and picked up a few loaves of bread (some of which I can freeze), lunchmeat, soda pop, and some prepackaged treats. I went through the self-checkout line at my local supermarket, and while I was checking out I noticed that quite a few items rang up at higher prices than advertised on the store shelf. After checking out, I walked over to the attendant and brought it to her attention. She informed me that the difference was due to the fact that I didn’t scan my “Preferred Customer” card. As it turned out, I didn’t have it on me, so I will have to go back today with my card and argue for the difference.
I may have put up more of a fight last night, but to be honest, when the words “Preferred Customer card ” came out of her mouth, rage began building up inside me and I thought it best to quietly fold up my receipt and leave. Honestly. It used to be that stores would try to come at you with their best prices. Now, in order to get the best price you have to carry around a mountain of plastic. Dominick’s? You need a card. Jewel? You need a card. CVS? Borders Books? Barnes and Noble? You need a card.
To be completely fair, the store I was at last night has a policy to scan a “store card” at checkout if you don’t have your personal card with you. But guess what? Not at the self-checkout. It makes me sick to think that I’ve been paying higher prices than everyone else over the past few months using the self-checkout lanes. Last night the difference happened to be about $12 on a $60 purchase – not exactly small change.
So I’ve had it: Stop doing business with these companies. They prey on people who are in a hurry. They prey on people who are forgetful. They prey on people who notice the big “Preferred Customer” prices on the store shelves and don’t notice the restrictions. And they probably fund it by charging you higher prices on everything else.
Here’s a good link that discusses other aspects of customer loyalty cards: FAQ at NoCards.org One by one, I am going to eliminate my customer loyalty cards and find alternatives, starting with last night’s grocery store, after I (hopefully) get my money back.
Looks like I’ll be turning over a few new leaves this week.