Grocery Loyalty Cards

I just went to Vons (one of our local supermarkets) and bought a few incidentals. The bill came to a little over $24. The checker asked me for my Vons card. Since I don’t like to carry all these bulky cards around with me when I only use them very occasionally, I keep them in the ashtray – yes, the ashtray – of my car. What else is an ashtray good for? But I always forget to bring the card into the store.

I told her I had forgotten it in my car. She asked me to type in my phone number instead. I told her that I didn’t remember what phone number I had long ago when I got that card. So she wrote on my receipt the amount of the refund, four dollars, signed it, and asked me to bring it back the next time I came to shop.

Two things occurred to me:

1. If I can’t remember to bring the darn card into the store, how am I going to remember that I have a receipt with a $4 bonus on it?

2. I paid $4 too much for my stuff.

I resolved I should go to stores that don’t play this silly game, and let me have a fair price in the first place. All that happened in that store is that I got shafted for an extra $4 because I can’t stand carrying around with me a fat wad of loyalty cards for every business I sometimes patronize.

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