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Old school retail

Old school retail

So I write. A lot. And I’m a goal planner type, so I make little tracking charts and use calendars to map out plans, all sorts of things. This means I buy stuff at office supply stores a lot. Usually Staples, since that one is closest to me. Staples asks me every time I go if I have their club card.

“Do you have a Staples Rewards Card?”

“You guys ask me that every time.”

“Do you have one?”

“Nope. I still don’t have one.”

“Would you like one?”

“Nope. I still don’t want one.”

“You can save 10%.”

“No, that’s fine, just screw me because I don’t feel like giving you all my personal information. Just let me have it because I don’t want to carry another goddamn card in my money clip, which is already jammed full of credit cards and ATM cards and health insurance cards and all the accoutrements of this so-called free world we live in. I want to pay full price.”

“All right, sir. That will be …” full price.

Modern retail

Modern retail

I swear, American retail is a joke. It’s become a cankerous, disfigured bloat of what it once was, and the goddamn club cards are the big white zit on the tip of its ugly nose. Why is it that I must give every F-ing store chain my name, address, email and phone number? What’s next, nude pictures of my wife? The weight of my last bowel movement in cubic milligrams? And for what, so they can send me more marketing?

Why do they need to send me more marketing? I AM RIGHT THERE IN THE GODDAMN STORE. I already AM a customer for crying out loud. I mean, they haven’t even finished selling me the crap I’m buying right now and they want to lock me in for future marketing already.

Am I the only one who see’s the problem here?

I stopped shopping at Safeway and Albertsons for that exact reason. I actually shop at Bel Air and pay more. I don’t care. I don’t think I should be penalized for not giving those other stores my address and email and that other stuff just because they want me to. I’m the frickin’ CUSTOMER for Pete's sake. Think about it. They say, “Hey, if you become a club card member, you save big. We’re doing you a favor.”

I say, “Hey, if you are charging some customers more than others, you are a douche company.”

Look, I get volume discounts, but that's not what this trend has become. And, as usual, there is no public outrage around this. American consumers continue to bend over and say, “Yeah, give it to me, man. I need mah stuff more than I need mah dignity, so have at it Safeway. Have at it Albertsons. Have at it Staples, Kohls, Borders, Ulta, Petsmart and all the rest. Just DO me.”

Typical American consumers lining up to buy stuff.

Typical American consumers lining up to buy stuff.

And they all do it. They all have club cards and rewards cards and club rewards and rewards clubs. All of them. How many of these F-ing cards am I supposed to walk around with? I shop at a lot of places. Or at least I used to. Now I just hate it so much I don't buy anything I don't need in some really desperate way.

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And you people do realize that fat, bald corporate guys with big cigars and tumblers of gin are standing around in posh high rise offices looking out floor to ceiling windows laughing at your performing-seal ass as you line up and pay, right?

And even as I write this, I know nobody is going to do anything about it. You’re going to keep all your cards, or at least keep giving them your phone number every time you shop so they can look you up and give you your discount, your little doggie treat, your mackerel (while they track your purchases and learn everything they can about you).

Did you know, if you are a chick, that the grocery store you shop at actually knows exactly when you have your period?

They do.

They know if you’re vegan, if you're young, old, gay, have crabs, have babies or wet yourself. You tell them everything every time you shop. Snoops used to have to go through your garbage to learn that kind of stuff about you. People used to be furious at the very thought. Now we volunteer that stuff, even proudly flash a card to them. “Heeeers mah card. Whacher wanna know?”

Maybe you don’t care. Maybe I shouldn’t. But you know what, I’m paying extra for not playing along, and if you do, you’re making it easy for them.

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Shingabiss on July 08, 2013:

I have HATED this so-called Rewards Card concept for years now and now feel a slight twinge of hope for the human race, having found like-minded folks

The tactic I now use is silence. I simply do not answer them. Oh of course it is awkward but it gets the message across. Another thing one can do is print and laminate a card saying "No, I am not a member of your rewards club or program and do not wish to join. I simply want to come to this store, make my purchase and leave.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on April 24, 2013:

Hah, yeah, Kat, I hear you. I don't get rude to the cashier unless they are rude to me. I worked in retail way back in my late teens and early twenties, so I get it. I can remember the lame mouth-full of stuff we had to say even just answering the phone.

However, you can do SOMETHING to change it if you simply let the manager know that customers are complaining or don't seem to enjoy the experience of being pushed all the time. Just report complaints is all. "Hey boss, I had three more people yell at me about the cards today. Just letting you know in case corporate is interested in customer feedback."

kat on March 25, 2013: someone that works as a cashier in retail, I am forced daily to ask hundreds of people if they are rewards members. If they respond with a "no," I am forced to ask them if they would like to join. If I don't do this, I will be written up, and eventually fired. It's not like I love slapping a giant fake smile on my face and repeating these questions hundreds of times.

I understand it is annoying for many customers, but please, for the love of god, don't be rude to the clerks about it. We don't make these rules. We have no power to change it, and you are just making our crappy jobs even worse with your misdirected animosity.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on January 22, 2013:

LOL, SmartAndFun. I hear you. At least now days they are backing off of the card itself and just going by phone number. It's still a meaningless exercise and an unwarranted intrusion into privacy, but, the email spam laws are getting better and you can unsubscribe from most lists and they actually shut off.

For your Best Buy points, you can just give them your phone number or email when you go to the store and cash them in. So, not hard. If you need anything, go use them. Even if just a new DVD movie or something.

SmartAndFun from Texas on January 21, 2013:

Oh man I thought I was the only one who feels this way. I hate those *%#@ cards!!!! They suck! The price of goods should be the same to every person who walks into a store. I hate carrying all that crap in my purse. I hate giving out my info. I hate getting spam emails and tons of paper crap in the mail. I hate fishing around for the right card out of the thousands in my possession. The ones with points are even worse.

Best Buy keeps emailing me that I have to use my points. I don't even know how I got those points or what I use them for, or how many I have or how to find out this information. Nor do I care.

I HATE those cards! Did I mention that I hate those stupid cards? I do. I hate them.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on November 08, 2012:

They try to wear you down. Over time, you start adding up in your head how much money they stole from you because you were unwilling to give up personal information. I F-ing HATE it.

solerider on November 06, 2012:

I walked out of a hardware store this morning intent on making a pin that states "No I don't have a goddamn rewards card and no I don't want one!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on February 26, 2012:

I hear you man. It's B.S. The sad part is it shows how far retail has come from GETTING it. They call them "loyalty" cards. But people aren't loyal. Want to know why? Because stores don't bother trying to do things that make people never want to go anywhere else. It's a perversion of the very ideal. And you're right, the 2 and 0 should be all the numbers they need. If they did their service right, you would ask them if they had a newsletter or specials they mail out and volunteer your email or whatever.

funnebone from Philadelphia Pa on February 25, 2012:

I have rallied against this practice for years. It first started at Krogers when I left a full cart of groceries in the checkout lane when I was refused use of the store card. I have thrown tantrums in many stores since then but was almost pushed to physical violence in rite aid last month when I tried to purchase water and was charges nearly %40 percent more when I didn't have a card.

I don't even carry a wallet let alone an Uno size deck of reward cards. Yeah, I know, you can just put in your phone number..I think the 2 and the 0 on my twenty dollar bill is all the numbers they need to know!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on January 17, 2012:

Steve, I applaud your civility. I am trying to find that kind of restraint myself. Wish me luck.

Steve on January 17, 2012:

If I was going to get 5% or 10% off every purchase, then I might get one of these rewards cards. But some pathetic worthless points are simply more of a nuisance. I just politely say upfront, "these are my items, I do not have a rewards card and I am not interested in one."

Shadesbreath (author) from California on December 09, 2011:

Hi, Disappearinghead. What a society we are, eh? Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. :)

Disappearinghead from Wales, UK on December 09, 2011:

Funny and true. Loved the artwork.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on September 12, 2011:

Ugh. They always do that, make it so you have to go to You Tube to watch. Their gonna shoot themselves in the foot and open the door for competitors with crap like that.

TinaAtHome from California on September 11, 2011:

The video didn't work. I was looking forward to watching it too.

flannery from Elmhurst, PA on August 31, 2011:

I think you're a curmudgeon, and I like curmudgeons. Keep fighting the good fight.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 27, 2011:

Yeah, it gets hard not to get sucked into the schemes. Oh the tangled webs we weave and stuff. (And LOL @ that double up the payment... it is pretty amazing how gullible people are. Nobody has any confidence in their ability to reason, so they'll jump any time someone acts like they are an authority.)

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on August 27, 2011:

Amuses the crap out of me, too, that despite the billions companies spend to target potential customers, none of them have yet figured out that li'l ol' moi will NEVER EVER buy their pills (or whatever) to enhance my non-existent Johnson. And obviously none have read my "Rent, Not Own" hub, or they'd stop trying to sell me the secrets of paying off my non-existent mortgage quickly. (That one, btw, is a no-brainer to an ex-accountant - double up on the payments, Stupid.)

I should admit, tho, that I WILL be getting a store discount card for the tribal full-service grocery store I now prefer to Wally World. But only because a) I wasn't born a tribe member and therefore am not entitled to automatic birthright discounts, and b) the tribe distributes its profits locally in the form of community services cashed-strapped traditional government agencies can no longer provide, not siphoned off to buy the Walton kids' next mega-million mansion, plane or yacht. Or worse, plowed into factories in China instead of job-creating factories here in the U.S.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 27, 2011:

Hah, that's funny JamaGenee. And you ARE messing up someone's demographic research. The marketing company I work for uses demographics to shape ad pieces that go out, aiming to get as close to what the recipient will likely respond to as possible. It's people like you that screw it up (which, frankly, amuses the crap out of me). So, rock on. And screw those giant mega companies.

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on August 25, 2011:

If a store is willing to give up, say, 10% of profit for customers who fall for the store card sham, then they're making it back somewhere else with the information they get from the card apps. Selling the info to other companies, for one.

ShaneMorris mentioned Dillon's. I avoided that grocery chain like the plague until my son, mainly to establish himself as an "adult", got one of their store cards and gave me the miniature that goes on a key chain. I have no idea what address or ph # he put on the app, only that neither were mine. That was 10 years ago and as of 6 months ago it still worked. (I moved out of the area.) Every time I used it, I couldn't help laughing that they had NO idea who *I* was and that I was screwing up their marketing demographics. A neighbor chuckled too every time she used her dog's card with a dead relative's address and ph#. ;D

Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 24, 2011:

I hear you, Perpetrator, and I admit to being an idealist, but I'm also in marketing, and one of the truest things I've ever heard was the statement, "Advertising is the price you pay for having an unremarkable product." I say that so are gimmicks and tricks meant to trap people into buying. If a company wants us to buy from them, give service and products at a price that make us want to buy. That's where the middle ground needs to be tread. Find the balance between those three things. I think the club cards started out as an attempt to do that, but it was 15 years ago, and now its a strategy that fails. That said, I don't begrudge retailers doing their job. I worked retail for several years when I was young, and they made us do some pretty lame things in their desperate attempt to stand out in the commodities war.

Perpetrator on August 24, 2011:

One major thing to note is that we have 'Mystery Shoppers' hired by corporate. Because it costs five or so times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one, we are expected to always ask that dreaded question. In this internet age giving the info for a reward card is less like giving blood and more like giving a thumbprint, but consideration should be given to the fact it's much harder to grab someone's thumbprint from a personal info selling database. We need jobs and to keep them we need positive feedback from both customers and 'Mystery Shoppers' so it's a difficult middle ground to tread.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on August 23, 2011:

Well, Shane, the gyms all got theirs at least. The membership mafia got beat down on that one when the economy crapped. Turns out, you have to offer more than just exercise equipment when REAL market forces get to work. People vote with their feet (and their fat asses). A flurry of results-oriented programs came out, and month-to-month billing returned. The phone companies are next. Greedy bastards with their two year contracts and penalties for the last ten years. They think they have it figured out now that everyone is drooling for touch screen phones, but that's gonna be "new" for another year or so, and then, hah, people will be voting with their feet (or walking fingers). So, it all works out. If you have to whore yourself out for something you want real bad (I do at BevMO lolol... hypocritically don't really feel bad about it, because I DO deserve the volume discount there :D), don't sweat it. Its trite to say, but, "It is what it is." But for stupid stuff like a stationery store... bleh, really?

ShaneMorris from Springfield, MO on August 23, 2011:

oh Shades how accurate you are! Haha, and the video was a nice touch. I appreciate and wholly grasp your opinion on this. One time I even went as far to give Dillon's my roommates phone number (he is a member - damn conformist) just because they asked me yet again if I was a member.

Yet I've been deemed as a person with an ongoing "cynical" outlook on the everyday things of our 'evolving' and changing society - such as capitalistic memberships...Don't even get me started how I sadly managed to stumble into a twenty-five month gym membership under a shady and sadistic corporation once...After reading some of your hubs I've understood my limits on hubs and I should start utilizing it! I've been cautious, as not to upset the boys upstairs...or, whomever regulates the activity.

I will end with a dramatic statement - We must all strive to be our independent selves and not conform to be unions! At least with myself, I am much too stubborn. Great hub Shadesbreath, voted up.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on July 21, 2011:

That is pretty funny, JTR. Frankly, I hope a few people will NOT click just on the principle of, um, principles.

That said, I gotta say, I think the best was when there were candy bar ads on my "Excrement Inc" hubs a few years back. That was just plain awesome.

JiveTalkinRobot from California on July 21, 2011:

Anyone else find it ironic how Google has placed reward card ads in a Hub that is bashing rewards programs?

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 23, 2011:

Hi Kentuckyslone. Thanks for reading and commenting. And yeah, I am not surprised you've said these things before. I think every thinking American has in some form or another. How can we not? It's outrageous. And we know it. We just want our stuff more than we want our dignity or privacy I guess. LOL. Humor is the only way to endure it for me. Otherwise I'm drooling in a corner going thwub thwub thwub with my fingers on my bottom lip.

kentuckyslone on June 23, 2011:

Right on! I just read quite a few things that are very similar to what I have said myself. I hate those stupid cards and have even avoided those stores that use them when there were other choices.

Really enjoyed your writing style. Humor is always good, even when dealing with idiotic topics like a gyall danged club card!!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 14, 2011:

Hi Spirit Whisperer, I like to feign humility in times like this, so, thank you, that's so kind of you, but, these silly things I write, are just, you know, silly.

:D (Thanks, and appreciate the kind words).

Morgan F: Good for you. I actually just had a friend of mine go through the most outrageous airline experience that I may have to write a follow up to this on... so I'm glad you are standing strong. We can't let ourselves be treated like this, but, well, we do. Need more of us to suck it up and let our buying power work like it's supposed to.

Morgan F from USA on June 14, 2011:

My mother and I stand by you Shadesbreath! We have long since sliced our cards in rebellion against the system! :D The Bon Qui Qui was a nice touch by the way.

Xavier Nathan from Isle of Man on June 14, 2011:

Cardisa wrote a post in forums naming you as one the funniest writers in HubPages so I just had to check your hubs out. This is my first and she is very definitely right. I love your sense of humour and I will most certainly be reading a lot more of your work. You have a very special talent and I am just very happy to have found you. Thank you.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 12, 2011:

Yeah, they should call them DISloyalty cards in the case of you and me at least, eh CWanamaker?

Christopher Wanamaker from Arizona on June 12, 2011:

These silly cards are a marketing gimmick. I hate them too. It makes me want to avoid shopping at these stores. The business owners insist that it helps retain customers by giving them a sense of belonging. I totally disagree with that. To me, these "loyalty cards" are more of a hassle and annoyance than anything else.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 12, 2011:

Yes, Rorshak, those poor retail clerks do walk into it sometimes when they catch consumers like you and I in the wrong mood. I know they are just doing their job, so I try not to be mean, but I imagine sometimes something sarcastic might leak out by accident. I know it's hard to imagine someone like me being sarcastic, but, well, it happens. Constantly.

rorshak sobchak on June 12, 2011:

Great write up. yeah it does get annoying when you keep getting asked that. I personally love when I am having the worst day of my life and they ask if I have my bonus card. NO. Lol.

rorshak sobchak

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 11, 2011:

Jalus, that's the worst. Get behind someone writing a check who forgot their club card and uses coupons. OMG. You just want to kill yourself. I wish these retailers could see the words being used about them, that they knew people said things like "hate" about them.

You know, in marketing everyone knows that you can't learn anything from your happy customers. I read a great example of that once about Yahoo. The folks at Yahoo corporate were sitting there doing perfectly fine, making money, enjoying the fruits of having so many happy customers. The folks at Google were listening to what the people who didn't like Yahoo said. When their product came out, the happy Yahoo customers saw it and said, "Oh, that's even better." And then they were gone too.

Jalus on June 11, 2011:

I have a shopping center less than 3 blocks from my house but I refuse to go to the CVS drugstore there, even though it is open 24 hours. Not only do they have those ridiculous cards, but it takes an extra 10-15 minutes in line waiting for everyone who forgot their card to give the cashier their phone number. I HATE THEM. Great sketches!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 10, 2011:

Beats the alternative. :) Thanks.

MicheleBracken from Northern, USA on June 10, 2011:

Wow! Love it.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 10, 2011:

lol. Well, I hope you enjoy your new stuff. Even more, I hope you bought me some stuff.

Winsome from Southern California by way of Texas on June 10, 2011:

I can't say Shades, my mind's a total blank but the truck is arriving with more purchases--I wonder what I bought? =:)

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 09, 2011:

No, no, I'm sure it's fine. But, uh... just out of curiosity, was she wearing sunglasses when she took your picture?

Winsome from Southern California by way of Texas on June 09, 2011:

Hey Shades, I got my picture taken for my last store card and now my soul feels really light. I'm starting to forget some of my information too but the last clerk said that's normal and that all that stuff is in their computer. They even said I could stay home if I want and they'll keep up my normal purchases and send them over. They said that's how it will be for everyone soon. Then she laughed--Ahh haaaa hhhha. Should I be worried? =:)

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 08, 2011:

Damn, MAN! Someone needs to donkey punch the MAN.

Bruce from Chicago, Illinois on June 08, 2011:

Right on Brother - it's always the MAN - stick'in to us little guys.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 07, 2011:

Hey Cags. Yeah, I know the warranties are crap. At best they are insurance with pro-rated B.S. making them suck, at worst they are cost-equivalent rip-offs. It's such a sham, and everyone knows ONE person who got to use their insurance and felt good about it, so they buy that crap "just in case."

Stan, glad to know you are pissed. You need to be pissed, it's good for you. And I totally think that burning some a-hole retail outlet to the ground is exactly what you should do, although I would request you get someone to cell-phone vid your meltdown so we can all see it on Youtube later. :) And, as for what else you can get pissed of about, you do know that people sell you tomatoes as vegetables, but they are actually a fruit, right?

As for the rest of you guys talking about the credit cards... that's a whole different rant. Frankly, I raised my kids to understand credit is evil. And, for once--a rare occasion--I'm not kidding. My kids were brought up to understand that credit cards are actually evil. They are a tool, and something you can use in our society to get things done, but they are a tool that invites nothing good at all. If you cant' pay it off at the end of the month, you open the door to very, very bad habits and people who don't care whether they destroy you or not. Least that's my take on it. And the cards you guys are talking about, with the 25% interest, they aren't even trying to pretend they aren't evil. They are like, "Hey, you are jonesing for a hit of electronics. I got what you need. Sign here," because they know the consumer-addict won't even blanch at the red embers coming off the ink pen as they sign.

Stan Fletcher from Nashville, TN on June 07, 2011:

Thanks for getting me super pissed about something that I hadn't really ever thought of before. Since I've read it, I have treated all my cashiers like s*** when they asked for my card. I even punched one of them in the face. Next one to ask is getting their building burned to the ground. Again, thank you. You have anything else that I need to get all bent out of shape over?

Raymond D Choiniere from USA on June 07, 2011:

Hey Shadesbreath, you definitely hit on one pathetic aspect of America's Economy. LOL! It's unbelievable how the average consumer does not see the trickery of the marketing tactics and the abuse of the advertising world. Someone mentioned the "extended warranty", and after spending 15+ years in retail, I can honestly let your readers know something I learned about it- I was specifically told by one boss(regional manager) of one store I operated- he said that the extended warranty was a gimmick, which was full profit now and based on nothing, but service in the future. If the company brings a good product to market, then the extended warranty will never be used to begin with. It was always used as a closing the sale method. I personally didn't like the tactic itself, but when companies pay extra bonuses for selling the warranty, it is constantly used. Thumbs up! Awesome hub! As usual, you hit the spot dead center. :)

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 07, 2011:

Mo - everything gets old after a while. Jobs suck:)

BBG - I actually have said things like, "if I tried to apply the alarms would start going off in the store because I have terrible credit!". Or mention welfare check....I bet the telemarketers mark you off the list then!

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on June 07, 2011:

I always like when the retailers offer me a card and I get a discount... I aks them politely do I still get the discount if I don't get approved. They look at me dumbly and say no... I say then no to your card because I am 99 percent sure you won't take a risk on me - I never pay my bills... ha ha ... then they leave me alone!

suejanet on June 07, 2011:

These retailers like to hook you in with their own credit cards, then once they get you, here come the charges. Never open a store account.

Motown2Chitown on June 07, 2011:

I'm with you on the coupon clipping. I'm just getting sort of burned on the CS, Kel, is all. I'll be over it soon, I guess.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 07, 2011:

I like customer service Mo - it's fun and if you can help someone - it's easy to make them happy. I handle the customer service aspect for our business. I'm better at it then Dave;) but think about it - clipping coupons day after day? How long before you would need the drool cup?

Motown2Chitown on June 07, 2011:

I can't imagine clipping coupons "for a living" being fun. I'm not thrilled with customer service, but at least I feel that it's semi-productive.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 07, 2011:

Well one article said that some people spend 8 hours a day, clipping with friends etc., but if you save a couple hundred a week even? How much is that per hour you would be "making"? Then subtract out the cost of your papers and whatever. It doesn't seem like much to me for the time investment. If it was fun - that would make up for some things but clipping dish washing liquid coupons - well I'd have to be totally on something to enjoy it:) haha!

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on June 07, 2011:

Yeah - I could never do it... however... I thought about finding one and saying... you know - you buy in bulk because you can get it all for free with your coupons but do you know how long that stuff will be good for... seriously - who wants to eat a can of spaghetios that is 3 years old! I don't! Ha ha - so extreme couponing backfires!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 07, 2011:

Yeah some people learn how to make the coupons work for them. There are tricks to it like using a store coupon along with a manufacturers coupon or a "Catalina" coupon - which can be combines. However - those people spend hours a day wrapped up in this - I'd rather just have a real job and I can make more $ per hour working, you know?

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 07, 2011:

Wow, remind me not to make you guys mad. Y'all even start organizing (L.T. lol @ u whipping up the recruitment for pissed of sites. I am too lazy to be an activist.)

BBG, I saw a show a long time ago that featured this woman who saved like 20 grand a year using coupons. She was insanely meticulous, but it was impressive.

Gypsy Willow that sucks. That's yet another reason not to play the game.

Motown, I don't care if someone hacks my name or phone number... that stuff is already out there. It's the credit card info and the consumer data. Consumer data is gold. When someone steals that, or sells it, they are giving away "button pushing" info on you that fills your mailbox and email spam can. It's irritating. So, bad info is a good idea :)

Motown2Chitown on June 07, 2011:

Gypsy, that's happened a number of times with TJ Maxx. Shoot, someone just hacked into the Sony network recently, and millions of users their Play Station 3 system had their personal information compromised. I'm all about the give out fake info. If someone winds up stealing it, you're not screwed in the end.

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on June 07, 2011:

Excellent hub Shades. The time I gave my details to TJ Max they were hacked. Never again! Keep em coming!

ltfawkes from NE Ohio on June 07, 2011:

I just "liked" Pissed Consumer and started a discussion, Don't Get Mad, Get Even, asking for action ideas . . .

ltfawkes from NE Ohio on June 07, 2011:

Guess what - there's a Facebook page called Pissed Consumer

And they've already got like five thousand "likes" - let's storm the place with our ideas of revenge . . .

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on June 06, 2011:

Coupons are for one thing, and one thing only: to insure "brand loyalty." You notice there are never coupons for store-branded items. No matter the "savings," the house brand is usually still cheaper....and just as good for most things.

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on June 06, 2011:

Wow - that is crazy... MO - you should definitely do a hub on the comment victim... Real - you are definitely the pippi Longstocking with braids and drool... don't forget to draw on the freckles.

Although - the only thing I have to add to the coupons is "Have you ever seen extreme couponing? NOw those people know how to outsmart the stores. I don't typically use coupons because they are hardly able to be found so much anymore without looking like mad... and then usually the coupon item cost more than a different item anyway... so, I end up tossing it! And did you know Costco doesn't use coupons... tried to use on diapers and they wouldn't take it... what a crock!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 06, 2011:

I did research on coupons too guys - did you know those little fliers that contain store coupons specific to that store are designed to make you spend more money at their store? Yes. They are. They predict what items and seasonings you would need to go along with their "sale" item. So they choose based on what you need in addition to that. It's all about the psychology of people thinking you're giving them a deal.

Motown2Chitown on June 06, 2011:

Wow, you guys are a cynical bunch. Are all writers this way? ;-) Ack!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 06, 2011:

I think you're all right to be cynical and expect B.S. deals. They are all marked up. The Safeway nears us sells this wine my wife likes, and they show it as "club card priced" for $6.99 on the shelf tag. But they ring it up for $16 bucks a bottle and then when you give them your card, they suddenly hack the price and proclaim how much they have saved you. Well, on a little experiment, I didn't give them my wife's phone number (for her card), and said, "No," when they asked me if i wanted to get a card. So the chcker goes, "Oh, uh, well... no worries. I keep one here just in case," and pulled out a card and swiped it. I think she'd have gotten in trouble if she hosed me that bad. Just a theory.

I'm going to try it again one of these days (if I think of it). I never go there though, so hard to confirm that.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 06, 2011:

DzyMsLizzy - ain't that the truth! I really don't want to be impolite but obviously they don't care about my comfort. I especially HATE it when they say stuff like, "well you won't save that additional 20%!" like I'm a moron. Come on - we all know those cards are designed to make us shop there and spend more there. They can keep the fractional shares of the penny:). Either way the card carrier really loses in the end. You might get one good sale and then all the other stuff is marked up anyway - the scam is to get you into the store to spend.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on June 06, 2011:

Hahahahahaha @ RealHousewife!!

You know what I do when "forced" to give out info I think is none of their business, and they don't legitimately need? I put down "914 Main Street.." ... (it's the address of the nearest Mickey D's.) HA!! Gotcha, suckers!!! I, too, give out my dedicated fax number to those morons. I have the fax set so it doesn't ring if it's a fax coming in; if it rings, I know it's a junk voice caller, and I just lift the receiver and drop it right back down.

E-mail? I have a separate e-mail addy I use for such purposes, and I rarely check it--usually when I do, there are like 150 spam pieces, only a few of which are in the 'spam' folder. Where the rest comes from? Who knows. I quickly scan the 'from' and 'subject' in the inbox, then delete all, unopened!

They force us into these little fibs, I tell ya!

Motown2Chitown on June 06, 2011:

Everybody's gotta be the comment victim sometime or another, Real! Shall I hub it? :P

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 06, 2011:

Somehow this story is going to end with me in unkempt pig tails locked in a rubber room, clutching a CVS card while I adjust the drool cup:)!

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on June 06, 2011:

And you can't forget about the braiding of the pigtails... lol... that is the only way you can be taken seriously with that kind of name.

As for my husband - I don't believe he has gotten any kind of those things in the mail yet... but I just got one from the scooter store asking me to assess my limitations in getting around... lol... I am not that old!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 06, 2011:

LOL, Barbergirl28. But hey, if your husband starts getting advertising from gender-change surgery centers, you'll know why now, and won't have to freak out when you see them and ask, "Honey, is there something I should know."

RealHousewife, you'd have to commit to the pigtails from then on.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 06, 2011:

Haha! Funny BBG - I would like - with a straight face to say some crazy name like Pippi Longstocking;)

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on June 06, 2011:

Well, I guess I am fortunate... they dont' know when I am on my woman thing... I send my husband for those... ha ha ha - so isn't that store confused now! LOL

Great article! Maybe I will just try fake names and what not! They will never know!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 06, 2011:

Hi Schoolgirlforreal, thanks. I have fun coming up with those drawings, so it's nice to know people are getting a kick out of them. And, yeah, in some cases, paying extra for the sake of principles is unrealistic. Gotta do what you gotta do.

What's the worst that could happen, RealHousewife? That person gets an extra coupon in the mail? The store clerk calls you on it? "Hay, lady, you aren't really Fiona Bigbird. WTF? LIAR!" I'd just laugh and say, "You're right, you're right. You got me. My real name is Snarky Darkpoop, and my real phone number is blah blah..." etc. :D

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 06, 2011:

I've thought about giving them someone's info that has annoyed me:). Lol! I'm pretty sure I'd get busted though - so maybe not!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 06, 2011:

Yeah, the fake address is the only way to go, if you must play the game, which, in some cases we must. Principles are all fine and dandy, but there's only so far you can go for a battle nobody else cares to win without just giving yourself a headache.

schoolgirlforreal on June 06, 2011:

Great drawings,

I agree, and good points.

I have shaws and stop and shop...I used to say no to cvs..I just couldn't believe they too wanted my info/or wanted to bug the sh*t out of me by asking, holy crap, cvs doesn't even have the same discounts anyways.

I would do the same if I could, but yeah great hub!

Motown2Chitown on June 06, 2011:

I have to admit. Hubby and I do have a CVS Extra Care card. They actually DO give you money for shopping there and some of the sales you can get with that thing are to die for. I turn EVERYONE else down, but that one is awesome. At the end of every quarter, you get cash back based on how much you spent during that season.

C.J. Wright on June 06, 2011:

No cards for me. Some stores still ask for zip code and or phone number. I either tell them NO! Sometimes I just make one up!LOL My grocery card is the exception to the No Cards rule, of course they send mailers to me.....who knows where!LOL

Motown2Chitown on June 06, 2011:

Can I gol (groan out loud)? hehe

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 06, 2011:

Yeah, well I take the stick joke any farther, and, well, that's the end of that lol.

Motown2Chitown on June 06, 2011:

Depends what the stick is made of, I guess, Shades. And, I joked above when I told you that you've made discretion an art form, but truly you have. :-D Well done.

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 06, 2011:

Carrot is more fun that the stick :P

And RealHousewife, there have been nine gazillion "A Day in the Life of ..." stories. I'm pretty confident that you are in no jeopardy writing a story like that, titled in that way.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 06, 2011:

You know - you have a lighbulb idea there. You know how Jane Bovary did A day in the life of a 1950's housewife? Well I should do one on a day in the life of the 2010 housewife! What do you think? Is that allowed or copying?

Motown2Chitown on June 06, 2011:

Shades, she could probably get a good hub out of anything. Don't dangle that carrot!! ;-) Kel, you know I love you. :-D

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 06, 2011:

Motown, I did not know that. That's pretty damn interesting, actually. I know there's always a big furor here when they want to build a new one, but it always gets done. Sacramento is all suburbs, there is no "city" really (which is why they can't get the stadium done for our basketball team, but don't get me started), so while everyone hates the principle, everyone wants the anchor store so they can get the nail salon and a pizza joint close enough to deliver and still have the pizza hot. We deserve what we get, and will keep getting it until Idiocracy comes true or we shape up and demand better treatment.

LOL @ RealHousewife. Are you serious? Greeting card card? hahahahahahahahaha. Wow. Who buys more than, like, five or ten cards a year? That may be the lamest thing I've heard of yet. Frankly, you could probably get a really good hub out of that. lol.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 06, 2011:

I totally agree - and I, for one, do not want to give out my personal info to any damn stranger. How do I know Jack the Rippers kid isn't checking the lane? The other thing that gripes my a@@ is that I won't be held hostage to get a plastic card. It IS a gimmick and if people stop getting them they will stop pushing them. Now EVERY store almost has them even the greeting card store! Now that's rip off onto of a rip off! How many greeting cards do I need a year? I now go through Zazzle and mail post cards instead.

Motown2Chitown on June 06, 2011:

You know, it's kinda funny reading through your last comment, Shades. Did you know that there is only ONE Wal-Mart in the city of Chicago? The entire city of 3 million people has only ONE Wal-Mart? And you know why? Because Richard Dailey refused to F over his small business owners who are the life's blood of the city. I may hate 10.25% taxes and paying over $9 for cigarettes, but I can get behind that kind of protection for his city's business owners, yanno?

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 06, 2011:

LOL, RealHousewife. Goddamn kids and their honesty. We have to raise them better than that if they are going to succeed in America. :D

And yes, I am totally with you. These stupid stores don't get it. They don't recognize they already have us as customers. They think they can keep us coming back with a stupid card instead of with good service and good prices. They've totally lost track of the most fundamental element of retail, which is the experience.

Everything is a commodity. There is NOTHING a store can sell that I can't get somewhere else. Nothing. Not in this modern world. The clubcard idea was a nice little gimmick ten years ago. But it's done. Over. If every store has a special card price, none do.

You want me to be loyal, EARN it. Have enough bagboys/girls. Have enough checkers. Have hot bagboys/girls and checkers. Give me free frozen pizza when I buy beer. Wash my car. Have a day care center. Enter me in a drawing for a giveaway every 100 bucks I spend. There's all kinds of stuff they could do to earn my business. To make me want to come there even if they didn't have the cheapest price on every possible item known to man. But they don't get it. Too greedy, to busy fighting for the scraps. All of them. And they'll keep on until the service finally gets so bad, the experience becomes so degrading for shoppers (like it is at Walmart now, ugh)... that the giant store model fails for all but a few. Heck, downtowns might even make a comeback afterwards.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 06, 2011:

Shadesbreath - omg! You fell my pain. I have gotten so angry dealing with this. The pet stores are a major pain - I have 14 animals too so I can't just boycott. I had all my items on the counter once and they asked, of course if I had The CARD - no I don't and don't want want I told her (there were people behind me waiting), so then she says well you can't get the discount if you don't have OUR card so I said have fun putting everything back then. I won't be forced to have a card and why advertise sales if you can only have them if you've gat the card? I'm not a customer?

So I left and went to Pet Stupid. My daughter - I think George Washington is related to her - she rarely lies because I don't know - she's just nuts I guess:) so when the checker started with me I decided to forgo the argument and instead of giving her my home number - I gave the number to the dedicated fax! Great idea I thought as I rattled off the digits - then Sydney (my kid) says real loud THATS NOT OUR PHONE NUMBER! Everyone including the checker was laughing their butts off!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 05, 2011:

Rochelle, to really screw with them, after we do that, we have to buy stuff that really screws with them. We'll buy babyfood, birth control, viagra, and a subscription to "How to Make Money Selling Babies Magazine." How fun would that be?

Pam, don't get me started on the "extended warranty" crap either. I'm with you. Rather than keep customers loyal by putting out great products, they keep us "loyal" with stupid cards and gimmicks. Clearly cheaper that way. And hey, I don't look one blink of bad energy at you for doing what you got to do to feed yourself. You didn't ask to live in this jungle, and if you got to play snake to live, all I can say is, Hiss, baby, hisss. Ain't no shame in surviving. It will get better if you can ride it out long enough.

Jtyler, you're lucky you don't shop much. It sucks. Americans just keep taking it though, so, I guess we like backing into our retail experiences. We deserve what we get, I guess.

Hiya MPG. That's right, free yourself of the training tools they've foisted on you! Show them they can't lord over your behavior. Then watch how much higher your grocery bills go. (sigh). lol

Dallas W Thompson from Bakersfield, CA on June 05, 2011:

Wow! It must have been something you had said to prompt a huge amount of comments! You have valid points! Flag up!

Maria Giunta from Sydney, Australia on June 05, 2011:

Ok, time to clear out my wallet of all the store cards. It's funny people think I have a fat wallet because of the money I carry around, I wish! Great rant shades, enjoyable as always.

jtyler on June 05, 2011:

Nice hub. I don't really go shopping myself that much, so I haven't noticed this much, but now that I think about it, you're right. I think I'm going to link back to this on my America hub.

pgrundy on June 05, 2011:

Amen, tell it brother!


I would add to your gripe the stupid 'insurance' that comes extra if you buy a cell phone under contract. The first time this happened, I said, "You mean you're admitting up front that this phone is a piece of crap and if I don't buy the insurance it's my problem?" Uh no, that's not it at all. "Then why don't you stand behind your products?"

Products? We don't need no stinkin' products! Just give us your money and stop being difficult about it. Show me a vein so we can just tap that sucker right now because if you think you're getting PRODUCTS out of this you're WAY stupider than even WE thought, so gimmee, gimmee, gimmmee...What's your routing and account #? Where do you keep your valuables? (Your 'unwanted gold and silver'!lol!)

The chain I work for cares about pushing bad credit and rewards cards on minorities and old people and that's ALL 'corporate' cares about. It's a financial products firm disguised as a retail establishment. They sell crap at crap prices and get you on the 27% interest--forever. Before you tell me what a sellout I am to do this, um, 'work', do consider I live in MI where they are laying off teachers and NURSES so this horrible retail gig, it's a big 'honor', it's a big 'accomplishment. I haven't had a real job in so long I barely remember what a real job is. But we like eating and living indoors, so there I am.

We are all doomed. Seriously.

Great stuff, as usual Shades. You rock.

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on June 05, 2011:

I think we should all go out and sign up for these cards, giving a false name, address and persona with contradictory information . . . like "over 70 with 10 children under the age of five and an income of under $6,000."

John Harper from Malaga, Spain on June 05, 2011:

Lets do it, our small part in fusing the system!

Shadesbreath (author) from California on June 05, 2011:

LOL Agua, I totally can see it. I work in marketing. You are so right. The computers would be freaking out. The stat guys who live for analysis would be scratching their heads and planning the excuses out. "Well, Mr. Spacely, the projections aren't lining up properly with demographic data, and uh... " :D

Hiya De Greek. I'm happy to have been a source of amusement. :) (How's the book coming?)

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