WHAT YOU'LL FIND ON THIS BLOG

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Evidence that my loyalties are wearing thin

I am very suspicious of vouchers, offers and free gifts from stores, given out in an attempt to create customer loyalty. Here are my thoughts.

1. Whenever we do an online grocery shop, I'm about to press 'Pay' when my husband scuttles in with a sheaf of tiny vouchers he's just found in a drawer, like a bird who's collected bits of torn paper for its nest. 'Can we use these?' he says. He's always been more save-the-pennies than I have, I think it's safe to say.  Cue fifteen minutes of squinting at minuscule numbers on vouchers for bleach, and shortening the lifespan of my eyesight by ten years, tapping them all in. Then the store tells me, 'You have saved £3.02 on your £110 order by using your vouchers. Well done!' Hallelujah, I'm thinking. I'd rather have had the eyesight. It's hard, plucking middle-age upper lip hairs with blurred vision.

2. I went to a department store last week and spent £60 on two tops for work. I don't often buy good-quality clothes. But having started a new job, I was trying to impress by wearing outfits NOT so obviously from the Save the Children charity shop and onto their fifteenth owner. With my receipt, the assistant gave me a voucher. 'If you spend £60 in the store before 1st August,' she said with an aren't-we-good-to-you smile, 'you can get £10 off.'  I wanted to say, 'I'll pop in again tomorrow! I've money to BURN.' But I didn't. She seemed a nice girl. Only thirteen-and-a-half, I'd say, and too young to be out after 4pm, but a nice girl.

3. At the beginning of the summer, in a store I won't name, but its initials are M and S, I was humming and hawing over whether to add another item to my basket. A man approached wearing a badge. He was called Emotional Blackmail, or it might have been Dave.  He told me that if I spent £60 in the store that day, I would get a free box of really fabulous toiletries worth a million pounds. Possibly he didn't say a million, but he made it sound that way. In the basket went my 'maybe' item, and at the till I was given my toiletries box as a reward for emptying my purse. At home, I opened my free gift. What was in it? Hardly anything I would use. Mainly self-tanning items. Self-tanning ointment. Self-tanning cream. Self-tanning spray. And a bottle of nail varnish the size of a toenail itself. I'd like to go back to the store, find Emotional Blackmail, and say, 'Next time you offer me a free box of toiletries, can you make it wrinkle cream, Immac, and a pumice for the hard skin on my feet? Otherwise, pick your target more accurately.'

Speaking of tanning .......





4. Everywhere I shop now, I'm offered a loyalty card. 'Do you have one of our loyalty cards?' I was asked this morning in a well-known British department store I won't name but it rhymes with Mouse of Blazer. 'No, I don't,' I said, trying to add a hint of 'And don't ask me if I'd like to get one today.' 'Would you like to get one today?' said the assistant. I declined. There are so many redundant, forgotten loyalty cards in my purse that loyalty has become for me an abstract, distant concept, so much so that I fear I would even dob my dear husband in and tell the world about the fact that he can't peel a potato without making me laugh at his efforts.  Oops.


15 comments:

  1. Hahahahaha :D!! So funny and so true. When I went into White Stuff once, they actually asked me if I wanted to "join the family". I looked round, bewildered, at the 3 twelve year olds in impossibly short skirts, one with bright red hair and a nose ring, and wandered how an earth that phrase could have come about as a way of enticing women my age into the shop. (Most of the customers were my age). I said very politely, "No thank you". But I have since weakened as they send you almost permanent 10 and 20 per cent money-off-your-next-sale vouchers. And I love their clothes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, they got you! I know what you mean about their clothes, though. They are what I'd wear if I could stop eating chips in woods.

      Delete
    2. Don't ever make the mistake of buying something full price in White Stuff as you will receive a voucher the next day ! Love their clothes too x

      Delete
  2. Goodness, I'm impressed by anyone who knows what White Stuff clothes are like. Indeed, I didn't even know they did clothes. I shall never be smart. If it's not in M and S, then I decide I don't really need it.

    I chuckled, by the way, at your blog post - and it's very true also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do have a scarf from White Stuff. It was the only thing I could find that would fit. Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  3. Whenever I'm asked by a sales assistant if I have a loyalty card I always say "No" loudly as if I'm suppressing a contemptuous snigger. I then never ever get asked if I'd like one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I can see that might work!

      Delete
  4. One day we will live without money, because it'll all be about collecting points and transferring them round and round, like a vast roundabout of commercialism. Points and gift cards.

    And then what will we wrap up at Christmas time? Nothing. It'll just be a card or a voucher, and we'll all be sad.

    I have a purse full of coffee loyalty cards. I get such a thrill when I've drunk 9 coffees and get my 10th one free. It's pathetic. But obviously a pathetic thing that lots and lots of people share, because otherwise it wouldn't be worth the cafes' while doing it. I wish I could ditch the lot, but I can't. I'm trapped.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always forget about the coffee cards! They just stay in my purse and I only remember them when I'm walking out of the shop.

      Delete
  5. I don't get offered loyalty cards anymore .
    I don't take it personally ... there's only one department store in town and most of the staff know me as The Woman Who Doesn't Want One . Living somewhere bijou does have some advantages .
    But I must confess to a weakness for Special Offers ... which is probably why we now have eleven tubes of toothpaste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha! My husband's the same with special offers. But at least with toothpaste (unlike boxes of chocolates or biscuits) you're not going to use it any quicker just because you have more. I am guessing ...

      Delete
  6. Now he's retired and does the weekly supermarket shop with me, my husband has become a bit obsessive about his Nectar card. He carefully checks the till receipt after each visit, not to make sure he hasn't been overcharged but to see if he's been credited with the right number of Nectar points. He's got 1,000s now, but when I suggested he could use some in part payment of the next bill he seemed totally shocked and said he's 'saving them up'. I really can't be bothered to ask why ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like mine, checking the till receipt as we walk out of the supermarket, just to make sure! Mind you, he does sometimes find an error, and back we go to claim our 83p!

      Delete
  7. Love that suntanning image, I've saved it for future use (if you don't mind), I'll link it back here when I do.
    I always decline loyalty cards, so I'm still able to lift my wallet without a forklift. I just tell them I don't shop enough to make the card worthwhile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha - the forklift thing made me smile!

      Delete