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Wednesday, July 05, 2006 

Proud to Be a Disloyal Shopper

Swiping Away Your Privacy with Loyalty Cards

Shopping is easy here.

Stores, product selection and (thankfully) parking spaces are plentiful. I can always find what I want, when I want, and usually all in one place at the hypermarkets. But my fun ends at the checkout counters.

Every time I walk into just about any store, I'm hounded by the cashiers asking me if I want one of their loyalty cards.

I try to brush off their requests by telling them that I'm the most disloyal customer anyway and a loyalty card wouldn't make me any more loyal. Every single cashier has, so far, ignored this response and they continue to hound me to fill out a form so I can get one by extolling the supposed benefits they offer. Again, I will tell them that I don't want to give out my personal information to strangers just so I can get Air Miles or a $20 rebate on every $500 I spend there let alone have my mailbox filled up with junk mail when they sell my personal details to other companies.

But on and on they go until I become angry and demand they tell me how much I owe so I can please go home.

It's so aggravating.

Whatever happened to coupons and just plain good old-fashioned in-store sale prices? I would become a loyal consumer at any store which consistently offered me good quality products at reasonable prices without having to divulge details that I wouldn't even give to Revenue Canada.

On second thought, maybe I will actually apply for these cards and use the personal details of the store's marketing personnel who adopted this useless ploy to get consumers to cough up their personal information. Let them shovel their way out of an endless barrage of junk mail and telemarketing phone calls on Sunday nights. I'm sure if I asked them to give me their Social Insurance and home phone numbers, they wouldn't be so forthcoming as they expect their consumers to be.

Seawitch: If they are like the ones in the states, they have to be careful now about selling your info since so many class-action lawsuits have made this dangerous for supermarkets etc. However, there is a benefit of getting those loyalty cards since the benefits they reap are decent. They just want to know which products you use.

The soloution? Give a fake name and address and you will still continue to rack up the points and save money off your shopping, unless they require verification of your ID from a drivers license.

You have to feel sorry for the staff. If they are completely ignoring you and continuing to fill out the application form then it means they must get a lot of pressure from those above to get you people signed up.

The one that gives you air miles might not be a bad idea, if you're a smart shopper, you might have enough for a one-way Olympic Airways ticket to Greece before the harsh reality of the Canadian winter sets in.


Capitalism. Neoliberalism. Free market. It comes with the terrirory. How much spam e-mail do you get anyway?

Still you have to cut some slack to the staff. They get plenty of pressure from above and there's the fear of sacking. I did the same job once and I know what it's like.

Ha ha ha ha! So glad to see you haven't lost your critical edge! And, much as I miss your commentary on life in Greece, I think your blog will come to serve a whole new purpose in my life: it will remind me why I am here, as opposed to there, for those days when it all gets too much and I feel like following your footsteps back to the snowy shores. Thanks! (And if you ever get to missing Greece too much, just let me know and I'll come up with a really juicy Greek horror story. Like how they won't give me my money back for the cancelled rolling stones concert until August 5th, never mind that I won't be here at that time. And that rumour has it they'll subtract 10% from what we paid for THEIR advertising costs. There. Don't you feel better already)

Ah yes. I always gave out completely false information. I liked doing that for the privacy AND to totally screw up their demographic numbers.

I sign up for the cards as they are useful for discounts later.They are NOT allowed to use any of my personal information for telemarketing or to send me endless junkmail.A law has been passed in Canada that stores MUST protect their customers personal information.Sign up for them,, I do and I always get my discounts.Over the past few years I have never recieved mail or phone calls and I get some really good discounts.Try it,, you may be happily surprised !!!

Ok, Mr or Ms Anonymous:

Which Super Brand or company do you work for.

Seawitch: This smells like a trap. Don't sign up!! It's an American plot to take over the world!

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