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Store Cards

My husband and I decided we would shop at a new (to us) grocery store called Bi Lo. We had seen several Big-rig trucks with their logo on and wondered whether they were any cheaper than other grocery stores. We did find some bulk meat which we bought and thought this was a good bargain and with our other items in the cart went up to the check out.

I asked the cashier at the time of him scanning if they had a store card, he seemed to ignore me or not heard so I waited and when he finished I asked again and his packing assistant (young woman) said I was to go down the back and I could get one.

Strange to me as other grocery store had their applications under the counter and would scan the card right there and then. You did not even have to fill it out if you did not want to.

I followed the young woman to the desk and she pulled out the application and asked me my name. I gave her my first name, she wanted my surname, address, phone number and other information..??

What!!? Or no you don't. I asked was Bi Lo a membership store whereby I had to pay a membership fee? No it wasn't, it was free to get, but their store policy was to get all information on their application before they gave their customers a store card to receive the discounts.. How can they do that?

I informed her, that the reason applications were filled out, were not to get discounts but to sell our name, address, phone number information purely to sell to Marketers, email, phone lists etc so they could call us with their business ventures. How else do you think we get these Telemarketers etc calling us out of the blue - Our information was sold. - It is a 'sneaky' method to hoodwink unsuspecting people into giving their information, purely to be sold to others as a profit!! If that doesn't 'get your dander up just a little' nothing will!

My name is worth a lot to me and I do not appreciate it being sold to other people without my knowledge of what anyone is going to do with it, nor get the money they sell it for in the first place!!

All the grocery stores I have purchased from regularly across the USA who have had store cards have not expected me to fill our their applications, it has been purely voluntarily. I declined to fill this one out.

When one thinks about these store cards, it is purely incentive for their customers to buy more when they see discounted items on the price tags so they buy more than what was on their list.

Customers should be able to buy these same products whether they use a Store Card or not, it is all Hype that the general public has been 'programed' into accepting.

I did not give her my information and said I would not be shopping at Bi Lo again with their Card store policy - there are many other grocery stores I can pick and choose from.

I believe we have to guard our sensitive information and be prudent with whom we give to and for the right reasons they need it. So many people give this information without any real forethought who is getting the information and what it will be used for.

Amanda Martin-Shaver
11 August 2010

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Amanda Martin-Shaver