It was the supermarkets who largely started the modern rewards program. Let us track what you are buying and we will kick you a nice discount. Supermarkets deliver on their promise every time you shop, and they show it on your receipt. I save anywhere from 10%-14% at Safeway for example. It’s easy and simple, I shop and I save, every time, everyday.
Toys R Us rewards program is not so simple, however, and it has never actually paid off for me. When you shop at Toys R Us you build up rewards points and eventually you get some kind of discount, usually a $5 off coupon to spend. But here’s the trick, the coupon is only good for a certain period of time after which is expires. This period of time has never been when I am shopping coincidentally. Funny how they work that out. Once, I did hit the coupon period and excitedly I went to buy diapers and formula. At the checkout the checker tried to run the discount but it didn’t work. After some checking she informed me the coupon was not valid for diapers or formula. I stared at her completely dumbfounded. What are the two most shopped for things at Toys/Babys R Us? Fracking diapers and formula! Look, I did my part, I shopped at your store and bought a bunch of things. Now I earned a measly $5 and you’re not going to let me use it! What kind of a reward is that!
There are other stores that also make getting your reward less than easy. I am so sick of companies jerking me around for $5. Can’t you just let me have the reward? Let me feel some sense of satisfaction from shopping with you? Give me a morsel of happiness? I have traded my shopping habits, hugely valuable for the company, willingly and in good faith and you make it nearly impossible to exchange your part of the bargin.
I no longer shop with Toys R Us or Babys R Us, as much as I can keep my wife away. There is plenty of business that will go to someone else, probably Target. You know why? Target gives me a 5% discount when I use my Target card, every day, every time! No screwing around.