Monday, April 26, 2010

It's a card knock life for me OR These rewards are not that rewarding

As you read this I am honeymooning in culturally rich and relatively inexpensive New Mexico, but don’t worry. I wrote this post a few days before my wedding and set it up so the Blogger robots would post it at the regular time, so don’t think I’m blogging on my honeymoon. I think that would annoy my wife. (Yikes! I have a wife!)

Anyway, what I want to say this week is that “rewards” cards are OUT OF CONTROL. Everyone has a stupid card! Music stores, bookstores, oil change places, auto parts stores, clothing stores, replacement hip stores, black market baby sellers. It must be The Next Big Thing in business.

They say, “All you have to do is carry this card around and let us spam your e-mail. After you buy 37 of these and 92 of these you get a coupon for a free keychain with purchase. After you spend $750 dollars you get $5 off your next purchase.”

I get especially frustrated when it's places I rarely go that are trying to get me on their program. When I bought my suit from the suit store the people there wanted me to get rewards card from them. Honestly, I don’t buy suits that often, guys. This is the last suit I’m going to buy in, well, forever. OK, maybe not forever, but in the foreseeable future I will not be purchasing a suit or suit accessories. The next time will be when someone dies and I need to go to the funeral, or when I die and need a suit to be buried in, but I imagine someone else will be buying that suit for me.

(this picture is terrifying, and it's credit cards, but you get the idea)

If I seriously signed up for every rewards program that was offered to me I would be carrying around about 20 pounds of plastic cards, but when I’ve declined to sign up some of the sales clerks have gotten very sad and others have gotten angry. What I really can’t stand, though, is sales clerk reward card skulduggery, where they try to trick me into signing up.

“What’s your e-mail address?” they’ll say nonchalanty in the process of ringing me up.

“It’s ‘Supercool82’ at… wait, why are you asking?” I say.

“I’m just signing you up for our rewards program.”

“Did you ask me if I wanted to sign up?”

“No. Everyone is doing it. Don’t you want to?”


“OK. So what’s your e-mail address?”

I feel like a 28-year-old crotchety old man. I just don’t want to carry around a million plastic cards and get spam e-mails, is that too much to ask? I give you some money, you give me some goods or services. That’s all I need from you. Let’s keep cards and sucky, useless “rewards” out of this.

Now if they had a Panda Express rewards card I’d be all over it. I'd be getting rewards left and right. I’m sure they’ll jump on the bandwagon eventually, but unfortunately they don’t have a rewards program at the moment.

Right now the only reward I get for eating there all the time is increased cholesterol.

Has anyone else had problems with rewards cards?