Grocery discount cards : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

Our local grocery store chain has begun a "Loyalty Card" program. You must provide them with your name, address, phone number, drivers' license number and bank account number in order to pay the old prices. You must then sign the application beneath a line that reads something to the effect of , well, we'll try to keep your information private. They tell you they are giving you a discount, when really all they are doing is letting you pay the same thing you did before you were "loyal". Without the card, the prices are anywhere from 25% to 100% higher. You also get check cashing priviledges. I know this will not come as a surprise to any who have read much of what I post, but I didn't become "loyal", even though I've shopped with the chain (Brookshire's) for 20 years. I now shop at the store my youngest son works for, even though some of the items are not my first choice. He said that since Brookshire's demanded "loyalty", their business has really picked up. I guess I'm not the only one in town who isn't "loyal".

Now comes the question: I know this has been the trend all over the country. Is is just me, or does any one else see something fishy about this? Does any one else suspect some other motive behind these discount cards? If so, please tell me. I hate to feel paranoid all alone. LOL

-- Green (, April 24, 2001


Perhaps conditioning for things yet to come: ID chips in back of the right hand or forehead. It's easier for "them" to keep track of what and how much you buy this way, wouldn't want you to hoard, now.

I suppose they even use the information to serve the public better- see who's buying what in what area. (That was almost funny)

-- Cindy (SE In) (, April 24, 2001.

To directly answer your questions, Yes and Yes. :big grin:

This is the first time I've heard of one of these programs requiring a bank acct. #. That's not comforting. It's really simple, They are allowing you to pay the regular inflated prices, rather than obscenely inflated prices, for the opportunity to:

1)track how much you spend.(rough socio-economic level and income) 2) Where you purchase.(Shows possible economic level depending on where you regularly shop, where and when you regularly take a vacation or spend your holidays)3)What you are purchasing(shows rough number of people in family and their appx. age range. Let alone any pets/animals you may have)4)How effective their advertising is for each person mentioned(by again what you purchase) 5)Race (tend toward traditionally ethnic foods especially at holidays?) 6)Marital status (lots of 'soup for one' and kiddie food every other weekend? Hmm, must be a single parent with joint custody overy other weekend.) 7) Sex of purchaser(need I mention feminine hygiene?)8)What advertising is most effective toward the same sheeple in your category (were we able to convince him to buy the other brand of mustard rather than the one he usually buys?) In short, all the things you as a rational adult you would NEVER tell them is easily deciphered by that little card. I could continue and get more specific, but I think I've made my point. :grin: I ain't EVEN gonna touch the info they can get with permission to access your bank account. Paranoid? If them trying to wrest personal information out of me I wouldn't otherwise give them is being paranoid; then anyone against information or identity theft is paranoid.

-- StevenB (, April 24, 2001.

These are very common back in IL... Jewel and Dominicks have been doing them for years, and Piggly Wiggly, Safeway and Eagle have all started as well. Yes... they are a rip off. But, what's worse is the rip-off to those who DON'T have them. The higher prices are charged to everyone... not just marked so that it looks like a discount for the card.

If you want to see fishy.... NO privacy statement on the web - even on secure servers - will offer anything more than that card. Neither will any credit card.

Our state has a number you can call and get off of all the mailing lists. That's great... providing the only lists you are on are the ones our state sent your name and info to.

Every time a person uses a credit card, they are tracked, categorized and sold. I used to accept them at my business. Once that number is called into the company that processes it (an independant warehouse, NOT Visa, MC, etc) all of the information pertaining to that card is available.

One last, really frightening example: I have an article somewhere about a school in PA that is using student's fingerprints as their 'card' to purchase lunch in the school cafeteria. If you opt out, you'd better be sending a lunch. They don't even take cash... You are billed monthly for what your child purchases. Since the kids seem to like the convenience, they say it will be in more schools in PA by next year, and expand throughout the country. I thought it was a rumor until I asked a friend that lives in Harrisburg... And we thought scanners were bad.......

-- Sue Diederich (, April 24, 2001.

It's definitely to get people more conditioned to give all their info over, as gee, we all want to save! and to get people used to using a card for everything....less and less cash is being used for purchases. They know when you are sleeping, they know when you're awake, they know if you've been good or bad, so be good for groceries sake!

The Brookshire's here hasn't started this program yet. Your town must be a bit more progressive;).

Sue, they are also doing the fingerprint accounting in NY. I have a friend in Albany who told me they are using it for school lunches and library books. It's just so convenient! That way little Johnny doesn't have to chance getting his lunch money taken by some bully, and struggle while trying to write his name legibly for the library checkout card. I think it's a grand idea!(Marge Simpson groan here.)

-- Doreen (, April 24, 2001.

AWE can't you all just shut up and be "GOOD GERMANS" ? check my CS post on this subject to see how I really feel about this.

-- greg (, April 24, 2001.

Well, I'm glad to know I'm not the only paranoid person around. It's comforting somehow. I also find comfort in the knowledge that not all my hometown folks here are so happy to go into lockstep and give over the information, and are now shopping elsewhere. I have been paying cash for most purchases for several years now because I didn't want some sorry SOB looking at my banking records and knowing how often I buy feed or groceries, etc. Also, I've become paranoid about buying ammo with a check at Wally Weird because I KNOW those folks are into tracking you. They even enter your check number on the top of the receipt. Thanks ya'll.

Oh, and in Texas they don't do fingerprints for school lunches. They do picture ID cards. Without one, you cannot eat a school lunch. It is state mandated. My kids just skipped lunch because it wasn't cool to eat a sack lunch. Then the teachers began to harrass them about how many times/day they ate, and they were eventually placed on the "endangered" list. I'm not exactly sure what the full implications were, but since they were 18, 16, and 14 it seemed a bit extreme to me.

-- Green (, April 27, 2001.

There is an organization, albeit currently a small one, dedicated to fighting supermarket club cards. It is called C.A.S.P.I.A.N. (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) the website is located at and Katherine Albrecht, the organizations founder, can be emailed at She has coordinated demonstrations in both TX and WA when stores implemented card programs there

-- (, October 05, 2002.

I've never cared much for Safeway, who is, as far as I know, the only market in town with this junque. So now I don't go there at all.

I've also made it a point of periodically dropping a note in my favorite store's (PC Market of Choice, formerly Price Chopper) suggestion box THANKING them for not doing what Safeway calls a "club card".

They tell me they are getting lots of comments about this, and won't be doing a club card. I hope they don't change their minds.

-- joj (jump@off.c), October 07, 2002.

I live in Montana. We have 5 grocery store chains in our town, and 4 of them require a card to get the "discounted" prices. So, I shop at the one that doesn't. I think it is absolutely crazy. I refuse to have my name added to another mailing list if I can help it.

-- Misty Rodriguez (, October 26, 2002.

ok i really don't have the answer..but i am really interested in the subject and i'm doing a pursuasive speech in my oral communications class i take at capital university about why these cards are bad..i need good information to back me up..if anyone can email me any good websites to help me out or post them on this web site i would greatly appreciate it..thanks a means a lot to me ~Danielle, Ohio

-- Danielle (, November 21, 2002.

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