OT: CompUSA Collecting personal information / Is this a trend?

Michael Halcrow mike at halcrow.us
Tue Feb 1 13:20:40 MST 2005


On Mon, Jan 31, 2005 at 02:54:29PM -0700, Grant Robinson wrote:
> On Jan 31, 2005, at 2:23 PM, Grant Shipley wrote:
> >>That's the entire purpose behind those 'Fresh Values'
> >>like cards at Smith's, Albertsons, etc.
> >
> >Which is why I don't shop at Albertsons or Smiths.  Wal-mart has
> >decent prices and does not require a "membership card".
> >
> >I belive the following markets do not require a card:
> >Wal-Mart
> >Maceys
> >Harmons
> 
> Albertsons
> Smiths
> 
> You get a discount if you get the card, but you can shop there
> without one.

There is good reason to not use these sorts of cards:

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/01/29/030223

<rant>

I was in L.A. over Christmas to visit some friends.  We stopped in at
a grocery market to buy some ice cream.  The man in front of us did
not have one of those discount cards, so the cashier asked my friends
if they had a card number that this man could use to get his discount.
Now I tend to be a little too blunt at times in public, so I started
asking, ``Well, what's the point of all this?  If you're going to
start asking other people for their card numbers, why not just give
everyone the discount in the first place??''  Everyone around me
thought I was protesting the lending of the account number for some
reason (I wasn't; I was protesting the fact that they were even using
these discount cards in the first place).

After I vocalized my concern, the man in front thanked us for letting
him use our account number, thinking I was offended at him because we
had to lend our precious discount card number.  That wasn't the issue;
it doesn't cost us anything, but it costs *everyone* time and hassle
to juggle these idiotic discount cards if they're just going to be
leant between customers at the checkout line.  I was annoyed at the
*store* for their silly discount policy, which turns out to be
meaningless when everyone lends their numbers with each other at the
checkout line.  The cashier was offended because she thought I was
criticizing her for trying to be nice in helping the man get a
discount.  No one seemed to appreciate the point I was trying to make:
the *system* did not work, because people were inclined to circumvent
it!  Nobody in that line was doing anything wrong; in fact, the
cashier was acting charitably in taking the time and effort to try to
help the customer save money.  It was the store policy itself that was
the problem.  But everyone had an attitude like, ``This is just the
way the system works, buddy.  Just role with the punches and move
along.''

Maybe if more people complain and walk out of stores when asked to
submit to silly systems that compromise their privacy, the retailers
will start to get the message.

</rant>

Mike
.___________________________________________________________________.
"Hope is a waking dream."                                            
 - Aristotle 
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