Am I the only person who finds loyalty cards more trouble than they are worth? I stopped into Barnes and Noble yesterday to purchase a few travel books. At the checkout, I mentioned that my husband happened to be a member of their loyalty club. Since I didn’t have their card on me, I was asked for our phone number. There was no record of the first number I gave, nor the second or the third for that matter so we moved onto e-mail addresses. I just about exhausted all of those when they finally came across a record they could use to apply the discount. Too bad this record was for a card that was expired.
As I looked at my watch, I asked the clerk how much money I was going to save on this transaction, as it was taking an awfully long time to process my transaction. I was just about ready to give up when they found my husband’s number. Six dollars later (and it felt like six hours later) I departed with my books in hand. Here’s the ironic thing. I could have purchased these books on Amazon, without a loyalty card, and I would have saved a heck of a lot more time and money.
I had a similar experience today at CVS. I use my loyalty card at CVS and always seem to get the coupons that I might need, right after I’ve made my purchase. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t need to purchase another 64 ounces of laundry detergent within a one week period after I’ve just stocked up. Today I thought I would take a different approach. I had the clerk ring up one item separately, thinking I would receive coupons I could apply to the rest of my purchase. No such luck, as all the coupons were of no use to me. I’m thinking next time I will go to Walgreens where I have no loyalty, as having a card that does nothing is worth nothing to me.
Besides gathering personal information about our spending habits, I see no value to the consumer to carry around a boatload of cards with the hope that one will hold the magic key to 10 percent off your current purchase (as opposed to your next purchase in 2014.)
It’s time for businesses to ask themselves what is in the best interest of the customer. The clerk at Barnes and Noble certainly could have applied a discount without my number, if she had the authority to do so. Hmmm…here lies the problem. Businesses don’t give the people who serve their customers the authority to delight customers. Instead, they’d rather give out loyalty cards with the hopes that you’ll ignore the lousy service and continue to be loyal.
Let’s start a revolution. Cut up your loyalty card and do business with those companies that provide good service.