Monday, July 24, 2006

Club cards and a lemon

I used to shop at Albertsons grocery store. My bank has a branch with ATM in there and life was good. I could get some cash and then buy what I wanted. And the prices weren't bad. Safeway grocery store moved in across the street. higher prices but nicer store and harder to get to in traffic.

Then Albertsons decided that all customers must have a club card. No big deal, right? But I didn't want to give them a bunch of personal information. The form to fill out was extensive. I decided to go to Safeway despite having to have a card there. I gave false information to Safeway. I'm known as dan at Safeway. I was so mad at Albertsons that they would do this. It used to be that you could go in there get a good deal and know what the price was without any question. Plus Albertsons always had long checkout lines. Safeway did not.

But it was really the way they post the prices at Albertsons that made me leave. $10 when you buy 3 with card. Non-club members pay $5. each. So if you don't buy 3 then how much do you pay? I don't need three. I just want one. Am I going to get screwed if I don't buy 3? And people have said to me you still get the 3 for $10 price, but I do think it borderlines on false advertising. It is deceptive at the very least and hard to know how much you will pay in the end.

Plus I don't want them tracking everything I buy. (We see that don bought beer again! We can sell this information to his health insurance company!) Why do you think they collect this information? They sell it and someone wants it to make even more money off of you. And don't kid yourself into thinking that this isn't a real concern. They know what items are selling. They don't need your information.

So tonight I'm at the bank in Albertsons and decide I need a lemon to make a chicken marinade. I have everything else, but I don't want to drive across the street in all of that heat and traffic for one lemon.

The marinade it is killer by the way. Olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, Italian parsley, sea salt and cayenne pepper flakes. Just put the skinless chicken in that for a while in the refrigerator for over an hour or so. Use it to wipe on corn on the cob. Also shrimp before grilling. Saw it on Everyday Italian. HERE

Anway I go to the produce section and all of the lemons are really pathetic. And they all have a multi-color decal on them. Wouldn't it save money if they didn't take the time to make a decal and place it on each lemon? I don't want a sticker on my lemons. I will have to remove it and the wash off the glue. I'm not going to read the sticker. I know it's a lemon! The sign says Lemons 2 for $1. card members. Non members pay 79 cents each. Almost 30 cents more. The bastards! Shouldn't there be just one price for lemons? The reason I stopped shopping there is that I want to know how much each item is and not have a question about it in the checkout line.

Anway I took my one lemon to the check out stands. There were all of these self scan isles. I look on my lemon and there is no bar code just the sticker that says it's a lemon. If they are going to bother with a sticker then make it a bar code! You scan your own item and then stick money in the machine and then do it all yourself. Albertsons is to darn cheap to hire a person to do this for you. But they have people watching all of the self check out people to make sure they don't cheat. Plus they have surveillance. But no bar code on my lemon.

So I'm forced to go to the regular checkout lines that are all backed up. I've already prepaired my statement about not having a card. The cute young checker takes my lemon, types in a bunch of numbers and says 50 cents. The checkers have the option to over-ride the club card swipe if they type in a generic number. (very lengthy number and that is why most checkers won't do it) And I know she did this. So she saved me 29 cents. She had asked the guy before me for his card and he didn't have one and I saw her type in the same number sequence.

But I have had jerks who just stiff you when you don't have a card. They ask you for your card and I say, "I don't have a card, so you will just have to over charge me." That usually works but not every time.

But to her great credit this cute young woman sold me this lemon for 50 cents and another cute young girl (bagger) handed it to me in a little plastic sack and they gave me this big long receipt for it. It was about 12 inches long. I start to think about how I can make other use of the receipt. I could collect all of my receipts and use them for fire starter in the winter or something. (always need to be thinking outside of the bubble)

Well Albertsons just got bought out. I quit going there because of this card nonsense and they way they post the prices. And I also know how they treated their employees. Keeping them on part time to save on wages health care and such, and installing all of these self checkout machines. So screw Albersons. They used to be my favorite store.


Diane said...

I too, am not a big fan of the club card. It's one more piece of plastic to lose.

When my wallet got stolen last year, it was a huge pain in the butt to get the cards replaced. The driver's license and credit cards were no big deal, but the club cards were nightmarish!
I'll have to try giving false information the next time I have to sign up for one of those. In the meantime, is there a Fred Meyer's nearby? They're pricey, but their club card doesn't require them to have two different prices. One price for everyone, but if you have a club card I guess you earn "points" for however much you spend, which then translates into being able to take advantage of sales or something. I shop at WinCo now. Lots of pretty, fresh produce for cheaper than I've seen in a long, long while.

That Italian marinade sounds great. I love cooking, and the Italians are some of the best people in the world to cook up good food.

I bet the cute checker saved you 29 cents because she thought you were cute and wanted to help you out. Or, less likely, she saw that the lemons were pathetic and knew that you needed a break. I'll have to try your line "I'm not part of the club, so you'll just have to overcharge me" the next time I go to one of those stores.

don said...

There is a Fred Meyer's and it is pretty close but in a high traffic area. I do like their meat and produce departments. It is one of my favorite stores also. They were having a tough go a while back from what I understand.

I should have bought two lemons. The pealing was so thick that there was only a little lemon inside.

When I went to Park City there was an Albertsons there and they had a card at each checkout to swipe for people who didn't have one.