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#1
Old 02-10-2015, 04:36 PM
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Does anyone actually win anything from recipt surveys?

Almost every receipt has a URL at the bottom and says something like "Take our survey and be entered to win a $1000 gift card!". I have never heard of anyone actually winning. Is the prize draw a lie?
#2
Old 02-10-2015, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by boffking View Post
Almost every receipt has a URL at the bottom and says something like "Take our survey and be entered to win a $1000 gift card!". I have never heard of anyone actually winning. Is the prize draw a lie?
I know my former company did pay out on these. But keep in mind that we issued over a billion receipts per year, and pay out a few hundred (maybe couple thousand) gift cards. The lottery is a better bet if your time is worth even minimum wage to you.
#3
Old 02-10-2015, 05:13 PM
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You do realize that the "survey" is a roundabout way to extract more shopper/consumer tracking info from you, and has almost no other purpose?
#4
Old 02-10-2015, 07:10 PM
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Save-a-Lot grocery stores used to have a decent deal. Some register receipts had a number to call to answer a survey. After the survey was finished, you got a number to write down on the receipt which entitled you to a free loaf of bread or maybe a free box of mac and cheese. I used to get those receipts a couple times a month.
#5
Old 02-10-2015, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
You do realize that the "survey" is a roundabout way to extract more shopper/consumer tracking info from you, and has almost no other purpose?
What more could Dillons (Kroger) possibly learn about me that they don't know from my customer loyalty card? They might send me even more coupons for stuff I routinely buy?
#6
Old 02-10-2015, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
You do realize that the "survey" is a roundabout way to extract more shopper/consumer tracking info from you, and has almost no other purpose?
It does have another purpose, if they find that 75% of the people from store #2011 give negative response to the questions "Was the staff courteous?" and "Were you able to find some to help you when you couldn't find what you needed?" they know they need to fix those problems and it helps explain why the numbers for that store are slipping while the numbers for store #2033, in the next city are stable (they had mostly positive reviews). Corporate also now knows which store to send the secret shoppers to, what they need to work on, which store(s) need retraining etc. Giving out a few hundred or thousand dollars in prizes saves them money when the alternative is to shotgun problems. Stores spend an insane amount of money to make sure you shop there, so trimming off some of that spending saves you money in the long run. You don't have to fill it out, but plenty of people like doing it.

Also, if they just have the survey going all the time, most people probably don't bother...unless they had a problem, so when they start getting a lot of surveys showing up from one location they can start keeping a closer eye on it.

Yes, if it asks for person information and what you bought, that's one thing, but if it asks about your experience, they're just trying to make their store better.

The funny thing is how freaked out people get about it. A few years back my (little mom and pop) store was trying to figure out how far away people came from so we asked everyone for their zip code for a few days. Most people gave it to us, a few declined, but some would yell at the cashiers about 'tracking' them or sending them junkmail. Even my 15 year old cashiers knew that we couldn't do anything to a customer with just a zip code (no address, no phone number, no name, just a check mark in a box).

Ultimately, if it's anonymous, who cares. I don't get why it bothers people so much when stores do all this work just so they can put things on their shelves that you might want to buy. Yes, if they're selling the data, that's one thing. But if they're just doing it to get a better feel for what to stock or which receipts should print out when you scan your loyalty card...oh noes.
#7
Old 02-10-2015, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Kansas Beekeeper View Post
What more could Dillons (Kroger) possibly learn about me that they don't know from my customer loyalty card?
They could learn, for example, that you also shop at Home Depot and Old Navy. Seriously. I remember reading that when your name is entered with other to get that gift card, it's not just one store running the contest. Lots of stores get together for those surveys, and that causes several things: If makes your odds of winning even weaker, and it gives them more ways of looking at the data.
#8
Old 02-10-2015, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Keeve View Post
They could learn, for example, that you also shop at Home Depot and Old Navy. Seriously. I remember reading that when your name is entered with other to get that gift card, it's not just one store running the contest. Lots of stores get together for those surveys, and that causes several things: If makes your odds of winning even weaker, and it gives them more ways of looking at the data.
I'd cheerfully tell Dillons I shop at Home Depot, but not at Old Navy.
#9
Old 02-10-2015, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
Corporate also now knows which store to send the secret shoppers to, what they need to work on, which store(s) need retraining etc. Giving out a few hundred or thousand dollars in prizes saves them money when the alternative is to shotgun problems. Stores spend an insane amount of money to make sure you shop there, so trimming off some of that spending saves you money in the long run. You don't have to fill it out, but plenty of people like doing it.
I really and truly wish that, occasionally, someone would actually watch me in the store, and come over and ASK ME why I chose this or that, or if I have complaints or comments, etc. So much stuff in the store is absolutely idiotic, and I'd love to tell them, but it is SO difficult to explain these things on a survey - and that's presuming I remember the details when I get home. It would be SO much easier to actually SHOW them. But if I try to approach the Customer Service people about it, 99% of the time they are uninterested, a/k/a just doing their job.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
The funny thing is how freaked out people get about it. A few years back my (little mom and pop) store was trying to figure out how far away people came from so we asked everyone for their zip code for a few days.
Did you consider phrasing it in terms of "We're trying to figure out where our customers come from; mind if I ask what town you live in?"
#10
Old 02-11-2015, 05:39 PM
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My mother-in-law doesn't work and they eat out a lot so she has a lot of time to do those surveys. They did win a $300 GC from Applebees.
#11
Old 02-11-2015, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
The funny thing is how freaked out people get about it. A few years back my (little mom and pop) store was trying to figure out how far away people came from so we asked everyone for their zip code for a few days. Most people gave it to us, a few declined, but some would yell at the cashiers about 'tracking' them or sending them junkmail. Even my 15 year old cashiers knew that we couldn't do anything to a customer with just a zip code (no address, no phone number, no name, just a check mark in a box).
As long as you pay cash for the transaction, you remain anonymous. But if you pay be a card (credit or debit) they can tie one with the other and yes, track you.
#12
Old 02-11-2015, 07:08 PM
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I've never won money but I've gotten lots of free food just by saving fast food receipts and doing the survey

Last edited by PSXer; 02-11-2015 at 07:08 PM.
#13
Old 02-11-2015, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Kansas Beekeeper View Post
What more could Dillons (Kroger) possibly learn about me that they don't know from my customer loyalty card? They might send me even more coupons for stuff I routinely buy?
All data is good data, and by replying you're giving them more information - including info you would never provide as a customer and were not likely to put on your loyalty card application. Key indexing and search info like email address - which is also the real reason so many stores are helpfully offering emailed receipts.
#14
Old 02-11-2015, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
As long as you pay cash for the transaction, you remain anonymous. But if you pay be a card (credit or debit) they can tie one with the other and yes, track you.
Not true. There are regulations at several levels (federal and state) that prevent customer tracking by payment card. That's the whole reason loyalty card/discount card/club cards came into being - to provide a customer id that they do control and can use as they wish, while making it seem completely innocuous, nonthreatening and even beneficial.
#15
Old 02-12-2015, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
Not true. There are regulations at several levels (federal and state) that prevent customer tracking by payment card. That's the whole reason loyalty card/discount card/club cards came into being - to provide a customer id that they do control and can use as they wish, while making it seem completely innocuous, nonthreatening and even beneficial.
There was the New York Times story about Target figuring out such things as when women are pregnant as early as possible. It contained the claim, straight from a Target employee, that they did track customers based upon what credit card was used for payment:

Quote:
If you use a credit card or a coupon, or fill out a survey, or mail in a refund, or call the customer help line, or open an e-mail weve sent you or visit our Web site, well record it and link it to your Guest ID, Pole said. We want to know everything we can.
#16
Old 02-12-2015, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
All data is good data, and by replying you're giving them more information - including info you would never provide as a customer and were not likely to put on your loyalty card application. Key indexing and search info like email address - which is also the real reason so many stores are helpfully offering emailed receipts.
My online Dillons account is tied to my loyalty card. Of course they have my email address, I gave it to them.
#17
Old 02-12-2015, 04:12 PM
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Here in the Keystone State, we have a chain of convenience stores called Wawa. Every receipt has a mention of taking a survey for a chance to win a gift card. At a recent party, I had a chat with a woman who was a Wawa manager. She told me that the head office was always pushing them to get more people to take the survey. She also told me that one month, nobody took the survey. Had just one person taken k.the survey, they automatically would have won.

Re Zipcodes

I shop at the local Goodwill at least once a week. They occasionally ask for zip codes. "What city do you live in?" would mostly get answers of "Philadelphia". That's not a very helpful answer. A zip code is much more precise.
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#18
Old 02-12-2015, 04:29 PM
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The bottom line is that no data collected is for your benefit. A few coupons does not offset the other costs to your wallet, privacy and consumer choice.

Dressing it up with terms like 'discount card' or 'loyalty card' or 'rewards' is just misdirection.


As for tracking by credit card, there are ways around the exact regulations, such as generating a key index from the card number. It's unreliable in that most people use at least two payment cards along with cash, gift cards, etc., so the tracking by payment gets erratic. They are also allowed to track customers using a store credit card, or even a store-brand major card (a Costco Amex, a Target Visa, etc.) But in the absence of all else, getting customers to sign into, agree to and use a tracking identity is of priceless value to retailers. Not to the shoppers, no matter how many survey prizes you win.

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 02-12-2015 at 04:33 PM.
#19
Old 02-12-2015, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by PSXer View Post
I've never won money but I've gotten lots of free food just by saving fast food receipts and doing the survey
This. You can get $1 off or a free burrito at Del Taco, for example, just for taking 3 minutes to fill out their on-line survey.
#20
Old 02-12-2015, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Keeve View Post
I really and truly wish that, occasionally, someone would actually watch me in the store, and come over and ASK ME why I chose this or that, or if I have complaints or comments, etc. So much stuff in the store is absolutely idiotic, and I'd love to tell them, but it is SO difficult to explain these things on a survey - and that's presuming I remember the details when I get home.
I certainly agree with this.
Many times it seems to me that these surveys are designed to elicit the answers they want, or from a small range of answers, without leaving an option for the customer to actually give their option.

An example: a recent survey from my Wells Fargo bank had asked if I was greeted upon entering the bank, and upon departing. But there was no way for me to tell them that I would be much happier if they would take that useless greeter and put them in a teller window, so customers didn't have to wait in line so long.

Of course, that would take someone actually reading the survey responses, or a more sophisticated computer program, instead of just counting up the responses like they do now.
#21
Old 02-12-2015, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
The bottom line is that no data collected is for your benefit. A few coupons does not offset the other costs to your wallet, privacy and consumer choice.

Dressing it up with terms like 'discount card' or 'loyalty card' or 'rewards' is just misdirection.

. . .

.
What costs to my wallet? What costs to my choice? What costs to my privacy? I willingly give them information about myself and what I buy and want to buy, and so far as I can tell, in return they stock stuff I want to buy and make it easier and cheaper for me to shop, including significant discounts on fuel for my car.

You make accusations against them with no factual support. You don't want them to know about you, fine, don't shop there or only pay cash and then shred your receipt and burn the pieces or eat them. I'm enjoying my coupons and fuel discounts.
#22
Old 02-13-2015, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
The bottom line is that no data collected is for your benefit. A few coupons does not offset the other costs to your wallet, privacy and consumer choice.
I dunno, getting management to do something about the surly employees in the store closest to my house is certainly to my benefit.
#23
Old 02-13-2015, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by PSXer View Post
I've never won money but I've gotten lots of free food just by saving fast food receipts and doing the survey
I do the fast food surveys all the time. The McD's BOGO Quarter-Pounder/Egg McMuffin is a pretty good one, as is Popeye's free 2-piece dinner if you buy a 3-piece dinner.
#24
Old 02-13-2015, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Kansas Beekeeper View Post
What costs to my wallet? What costs to my choice? What costs to my privacy? I willingly give them information about myself and what I buy and want to buy, and so far as I can tell, in return they stock stuff I want to buy and make it easier and cheaper for me to shop, including significant discounts on fuel for my car.

You make accusations against them with no factual support. You don't want them to know about you, fine, don't shop there or only pay cash and then shred your receipt and burn the pieces or eat them. I'm enjoying my coupons and fuel discounts.
Of course you are. You're supposed to, and it distracts you from both the real outcome and the rather invasive nature of the process.

I could easily write a monstrous wall o'text reply here without pausing for breath, but let me keep it compact.

If the store bluntly said, "Here's your customer serial number. Give it to the checker each time you buy anything here, so that we can track all of your activities" - are you likely to comply? Say no? Say some variation of "Fork yew"? The last was what most people did when Radio Shack tried to obnoxiously demand phone numbers for every purchase, for precisely that reason. Few people want the store tracking and monitoring their purchases and other activity.

So we dress it up as a "discount" or "loyalty" or "savings" card and tie it to customer benefits - use the card and get discounted prices, reward tokens (my local grocery gives 'coins'), even cash-back rebates once a year or whatever. Now it's not for tracking or monitoring, oh, no - it's for your benefit and reward. (Right.)

Rewards cards have limits in that they can only ask so much information on the sign-up form and it's often unreliable (as you clever, clever ones give them false info; also, has anyone every gone in and updated their information?) - which in no way limits the card's function for tracking and coordinating purchases for "Shopper X24308-2." To get deeper connections to customer identity and data, they have to tie it to other sources... and things like email addresses, phone numbers, and so forth are invaluable indexes.

Either signing up for email receipts or "participating in our on-line survey" forces you to provide current, legit contact indexes, and can be used by any store, even those that cannot or will not use any kind of "member card." (Home Depot, for example.) Most ask for other information, sometimes indirectly. In any case, the primary function is to connect your generic "shopper ID" to the bigger you out there in the data world. The surveys are all but disposable; the prizes are trivial compared to the value of the data that will be mine-able from your close cooperation and self-identification.

Okay, so what, big deal... you got your discount or reward or cash back or free bag of fries of whatever, so win-win, right? Wrong - unless you consider 'carnival slum' adequate payment for privacy invasion and reduction of your choices as a consumer.

Most such programs to track shopping and mine data from consumers are not run by the individual store, or even the chain. They are run by data aggregators and marketing firms whose names you probably wouldn't recognize if I listed them (ever heard of Acxiom, for example? They're almost well-known but there are hundreds of others). The data is not used by your fren'ly local grocer to make sure they have your brand of cookies on the shelf. Some data is used within larger chains - but probably not the data you think, nor to the ends you believe - but most of it is passed up the chain to the product manufacturers and wholesalers, as coin of the realm. It buys grocers premium product placement, discounts, marketing co-op dollars, and the like.

Yes... the grocery stores themselves are signing up for "rewards cards" to get prizes and discounts... and paying for it with your data.

At the level the data is actually used, amid marketing analysis firms and megacorps like FritoLay, General Foods, CocaCola, Kraft, it is used in almost incomprehensibly deep and complex ways to analyze the marketplace, to fine granularity and with sophisticated inferences, to... no, not make sure the stores stock your favorite cookies. It's used in a subtle inversion of that: to find out what you can be made to buy. Try that again: they aren't doing it to better find out where to ship that next truckload of Oreos. They are trying to find out where they can control a product presentation and choice for maximized profits and maximum suppression of the competition.

One more pass: the result is not that you end up with mo' bettah choices on the shelf because your data says you like mint Oreos or Cap'n Crunch PurpleBerries or whatever. You end up with fewer choices, because the result is a reduction of products to those that aren't just best-selling, not even those that are most profitable, but those that show the most promise for making people buy them. (Those aren't all quite the same thing, and the ultimate goal is maximum control of the maximum number of shopper's actions, to feed profits and outmaneuver competition.)

Executive Summary: They are using the trivial bits of information you give them to do widespread data-mining on you as an individual to apply big-data analysis to limit your store experience to a structured process that will extract the maximum amount of money from you.

Punchline: And making you feel good because you won a free burrito.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowjacketcoder View Post
I dunno, getting management to do something about the surly employees in the store closest to my house is certainly to my benefit.
It is very unlikely that the actual content of such surveys ever ends up in any useful place. At most, the numbers might be tallied and summarized and pass some senior executive's desk... for a glance and filing. They aren't the real point of these efforts.

The use of surveys to rate cashiers is another issue - it's turning the cashiers into employees who essentially have to beg each customer to help them keep their job. Coercing customers to fill out the survey and give them a high rating is right up there with using little crippled children to beg for money - if they don't get enough of their customers to comply, and don't get a high enough rating (typically, anything but a tick under the maximum 5 stars or 10-of-10), they're likely to get fired, get hours reduced, not get raises or just take extra shit. They might be a great checker - fast, polite, accurate, helpful, good at helping you keep your kids happy - but if they aren't good at coercing you to rate them (which, see above, has little to do in the long run with that rating), they're reamed.

Even to what extent such ratings are legitimate and used - it's a case of the store getting you to do management's job for them. A store manager should know if an employee is crappy. If he or she doesn't, they don't belong in the job. Turning it over to a soulless, misdirecting "customer survey and rating" is the mark of an employer that has no real regard for its employees except as cogs to be replaced the minute they aren't meeting maximum demand.

Really short summary: It's all a shuck, people, and it's not what you're led to believe it's about, and it's not - not not not - for your benefit in any way. Free turkeys, burritos and discount coupons included.
#25
Old 02-13-2015, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Kansas Beekeeper View Post
What costs to my wallet? What costs to my choice? What costs to my privacy? I willingly give them information about myself and what I buy and want to buy, and so far as I can tell, in return they stock stuff I want to buy and make it easier and cheaper for me to shop, including significant discounts on fuel for my car.

You make accusations against them with no factual support. You don't want them to know about you, fine, don't shop there or only pay cash and then shred your receipt and burn the pieces or eat them. I'm enjoying my coupons and fuel discounts.
Basically, unless you are a paranoid tin foil hatter who thinks the government is out to get him, loyalty cards are fine and all you'll get in return are discounts.
#26
Old 02-13-2015, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Eyebrows 0f Doom View Post
Basically, unless you are a paranoid tin foil hatter who thinks the government is out to get him, loyalty cards are fine and all you'll get in return are discounts.
Enjoy the burritos.

Other tinfoil aficionados might want to read Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss, which doesn't deal too directly with things like loyalty cards, but paints an absolutely terrifying picture of how the food conglomerates work in this respect... and does so through the baldly honest interview words of many high-placed figures still in the industry. The people who run CocaCola, Kraft, GF etc. and manage their marketing/product arms are happy to talk candidly about what a massive consumer-crushing machine their companies are, because they know it won't make any difference. Giving people free prizes keeps them completely squee and thrilled with the process.

You could call it the "Opie ate" of the masses.

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 02-13-2015 at 11:54 AM.
#27
Old 02-13-2015, 12:06 PM
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The paragraph after the one I quoted from the New York Times article begins:

Quote:
Also linked to your Guest ID is demographic information like your age, whether you are married and have kids, which part of town you live in, how long it takes you to drive to the store, your estimated salary, whether you’ve moved recently, what credit cards you carry in your wallet and what Web sites you visit. Target can buy data about your ethnicity, job history, the magazines you read, if you’ve ever declared bankruptcy or got divorced, the year you bought (or lost) your house, where you went to college, what kinds of topics you talk about online, whether you prefer certain brands of coffee, paper towels, cereal or applesauce, your political leanings, reading habits, charitable giving and the number of cars you own.
There are few issues where I have a hard time understanding where the other side is coming from. But being okay with this massive, unavoidable loss of privacy is one of them. I certainly understand where the company is coming from. They get to run their business better and make more money. I can't see how this is worth a tiny discount for me, though, and don't get why a consumer would defend such practices. Is there really no type of data collection that would be crossing the line?
#28
Old 02-13-2015, 12:10 PM
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AB, stores giving me gas discount credit is not the same as tattooing a serial number on my arm.

If some people are paranoid about others has their personal info, fine. But it's not as sinister as you are making it out to be. Of course they need to know about my shopping habits if they are to stock what I want.

I'm strong enough to buy what I want and not what I don't.
#29
Old 02-13-2015, 12:19 PM
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I fill out the surveys. I love that they track my buying habits. It means they'll stock the stuff I want.

Everybody already has all your personal info anyways, especially the gubbamint, so I don't see what's the harm in them knowing that I buy chedder cheese, coco puffs and chili lime beef jerky.
#30
Old 02-13-2015, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithras View Post
The paragraph after the one I quoted from the New York Times article begins:



There are few issues where I have a hard time understanding where the other side is coming from. But being okay with this massive, unavoidable loss of privacy is one of them. I certainly understand where the company is coming from. They get to run their business better and make more money. I can't see how this is worth a tiny discount for me, though, and don't get why a consumer would defend such practices. Is there really no type of data collection that would be crossing the line?
How do you propose that customers remove themselves from this data collection? We live in an electronic society, every electronic interaction is potential for datamining. Can you demonstrate what I have lost from this knowledge? Have I lost anything that would make up for the convenience of online services and shared health data throughout the hospital system and the literally thousands of dollars I have saved via the use of loyalty cards?

First, answer the question. Then suggest a realistic alternative. You can't; nobody can. I will take all the benefits, thank you. Anybody who wouldn't in this modern world is, well, a barbarian.
#31
Old 02-13-2015, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by PlainJain View Post
AB, stores giving me gas discount credit is not the same as tattooing a serial number on my arm.
Indicating that you really don't understand the scope of the issues. I'm not being paranoid or hysterical; you are saying the equivalent of "But Daddy, I'll only play between the lanes on the freeway."

Quote:
Of course they need to know about my shopping habits if they are to stock what I want.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunky Smurf View Post
I fill out the surveys. I love that they track my buying habits. It means they'll stock the stuff I want.
The surveys - from the receipt ones to the top-level marketing ones - have absolutely nothing to do with "stocking what you want to buy." Nothing. That you believe so is further indication that you don't really know what's going on here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlainJain View Post
I'm strong enough to buy what I want and not what I don't.
"...and I'll stay away from the fast lanes, promise. Cross my heart."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
How do you propose that customers remove themselves from this data collection? We live in an electronic society, every electronic interaction is potential for datamining. Can you demonstrate what I have lost from this knowledge? Have I lost anything that would make up for the convenience of online services and shared health data throughout the hospital system and the literally thousands of dollars I have saved via the use of loyalty cards?

First, answer the question. Then suggest a realistic alternative. You can't; nobody can.
I believe otherwise. And I believe that to do so is an imperative on the level of coping with global climate change, corralling radical Islam and getting partisan roadblocking out of government.

Quote:
I will take all the benefits, thank you. Anybody who wouldn't in this modern world is, well, a barbarian.
Enjoy the burritos and the gas discounts. Just don't think about the cost... and prepare to maintain your cheerfulness when the bill finally reaches you.

(BTW, Xap, you have all contact channels blocked. I was going to PM you something of outside interest but I can't.)

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 02-13-2015 at 12:42 PM. Reason: mucked up the quotes
#32
Old 02-13-2015, 12:51 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 640
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
How do you propose that customers remove themselves from this data collection? We live in an electronic society, every electronic interaction is potential for datamining. Can you demonstrate what I have lost from this knowledge? Have I lost anything that would make up for the convenience of online services and shared health data throughout the hospital system and the literally thousands of dollars I have saved via the use of loyalty cards?

First, answer the question. Then suggest a realistic alternative. You can't; nobody can. I will take all the benefits, thank you. Anybody who wouldn't in this modern world is, well, a barbarian.
I put a value on the privacy I've lost, so where I end up is that while it's potentially inevitable and definitely impossible for me to stop them, I won't actively help the aggregaters. So, for example, I don't do surveys and my loyalty card usage is minimal and possibly confounding.

Your mention of hospital systems is interesting, though. They have to follow regulations that at least attempt to keep your information private. I think it would be great if similar steps were taken in other industries as well.
#33
Old 02-13-2015, 01:07 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,127
Do what I do--get several people to share one loyalty card, or a whole group sharing two or three and switching amongst. Bonus points if they live in different neighborhoods, shop in different branches, and/or have wildly divergent lifestyles. Screw with their data collection.

The pet shop isn't sure whether "I" own 17 cats or a whole flock of parakeets; the gas station thinks it knows that sometimes "I" buy diesel in Kansas and sometimes "I" buy gasoline in Missouri. The names and phone numbers and emails associated with these accounts seem to change rather a lot, too.

(Of course, it does get confusing when the grocery store sends a recall notice: "did you buy sour cream last month? No, maybe Becky did.")
#34
Old 02-13-2015, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
Enjoy the burritos and the gas discounts. Just don't think about the cost... and prepare to maintain your cheerfulness when the bill finally reaches you.
What do you believe the "bill" actually is? You've made claims about the ways these businesses collect data and use it, but you've not actually shown how it will harm consumers (apart from perhaps an assumption that some loss of privacy is harmful in itself).

Getting what I want to buy more easily or more cheaply is a good thing - and even if what I want is being manipulated by businesses, that's not inherently harmful, depending on what they are promoting.

You seem to be implying that there will be some serious harm done in the future - your reference to the bill reaching us - but you haven't specified what that harm is.
#35
Old 02-13-2015, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
The surveys - from the receipt ones to the top-level marketing ones - have absolutely nothing to do with "stocking what you want to buy." Nothing. That you believe so is further indication that you don't really know what's going on here.
Someone doesn't. Perhaps the person who, a little earlier in the thread, said
Quote:
Try that again: they aren't doing it to better find out where to ship that next truckload of Oreos. They are trying to find out where they can control a product presentation and choice for maximized profits and maximum suppression of the competition.

One more pass: the result is not that you end up with mo' bettah choices on the shelf because your data says you like mint Oreos or Cap'n Crunch PurpleBerries or whatever. You end up with fewer choices, because the result is a reduction of products to those that aren't just best-selling, not even those that are most profitable, but those that show the most promise for making people buy them. (Those aren't all quite the same thing, and the ultimate goal is maximum control of the maximum number of shopper's actions, to feed profits and outmaneuver competition.)
In other words "The more you let them know about your data, the more you'll influence what gets in your store. If 10 people fill out surveys, 9 buy potato chips and 1 buys Fritos, they'll "limit your choices" and eliminate the Fritos and thus, they're more likely to stock what you want. But if that one Fritos guy got 5 or 6 friends to also fill out the survey, they'd leave the fritos alone.

So...you know, if one person, just one person, does it, they may think he's really sick and they won't cater to him him.

And if two people fill in the survey, in harmony, they may think they're both "faggots" and even though the GUPie* demographic is hot, they still won't pay attention to either of them.

And if three people do it! Can you imagine three people walkin' in, filling in the survey and walkin' out? They may think it's an Organization!

And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said FIFTY people a day . . .Walkin' in, filling in a survey and walkin' out? Friends, they may think it's a MOVEMENT, and that's what it is: THE ALICE'S SUPERMARKET PRO-SURVEE-GET WHATEVER WE WANT AND TOTALLY CONTROL THE MARKET-MOVEMENT! . . . and all you gotta do to join is to sign it the next time it comes around on the cash register!

</ Arlo Guthrie, super-genius >



*Gay Urban Professional

Last edited by Fenris; 02-13-2015 at 01:40 PM.
#36
Old 02-13-2015, 02:01 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2014
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I was in Florida on vacation in December. Stopped at a Winn-Dixie for beer, and noticed that there was a discount of several dollars for using their loyalty card. Since I don't live there, I don't have the card.

Went up to the cashier, asked if I could get the discount anyway, and the purchase was rung up at the lower price.

Now what was really surprising, when I got back to the hotel room, the bag contained a brand spanking new loyalty card (actually 3, the credit card sized one, and two smaller keychain sized).

What information do they have about me, personally? Zero. No application, no phone number, no zip code, nothing.
#37
Old 02-13-2015, 02:02 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
Enjoy the burritos and the gas discounts. Just don't think about the cost... and prepare to maintain your cheerfulness when the bill finally reaches you.

(BTW, Xap, you have all contact channels blocked. I was going to PM you something of outside interest but I can't.)
Still haven't figured out what the cost will be.

And check your email.
#38
Old 02-13-2015, 03:21 PM
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 50,641
The cost will be they'll find out he once bought nutella?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
I'm not being paranoid or hysterical;
Yes. Yes you are.
#39
Old 02-13-2015, 03:27 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
I was in Florida on vacation in December. Stopped at a Winn-Dixie for beer, and noticed that there was a discount of several dollars for using their loyalty card. Since I don't live there, I don't have the card.

Went up to the cashier, asked if I could get the discount anyway, and the purchase was rung up at the lower price.

Now what was really surprising, when I got back to the hotel room, the bag contained a brand spanking new loyalty card (actually 3, the credit card sized one, and two smaller keychain sized).

What information do they have about me, personally? Zero. No application, no phone number, no zip code, nothing.
I had a very similar experience with Kroger; a cashier simply gave me a loyalty card, along with a paper form to be filled in with my name, address, etc. The cashier said I could return the filled-in form on my next visit. Well, I never got around to returning that, and my loyalty card still works.

Since I generally pay with a credit card, Kroger could probably figure out who I am by correlating the loyalty card usage with my credit card data. Conceivably I could have gotten around that by paying cash, though.
#40
Old 02-13-2015, 03:32 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steophan View Post
You seem to be implying that there will be some serious harm done in the future - your reference to the bill reaching us - but you haven't specified what that harm is.
I vaguely recall an episode of Forensic Files where a serial killer was caught after he used his store loyalty card to get a discount on his serial killer supplies (rope, duct tape, etc.). Undoubtedly that guy would heartily concur with Amateur Barbarian.
#41
Old 02-13-2015, 05:45 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erysichthon View Post
I had a very similar experience with Kroger; a cashier simply gave me a loyalty card, along with a paper form to be filled in with my name, address, etc. The cashier said I could return the filled-in form on my next visit. ....
Kroger actually sends out coupons including a few 100% free items as an enticement to get you into the store if you fill out your correct address on those.
#42
Old 02-13-2015, 07:42 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 3,086
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobsta811 View Post
Kroger actually sends out coupons including a few 100% free items as an enticement to get you into the store if you fill out your correct address on those.
They do, and actually they tend to send me coupons on stuff I buy anyway, so it's giant plus for me.

I see AB still hasn't answered what scary thing is awaiting us for taking surveys.
#43
Old 02-13-2015, 09:46 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
Of course you are. You're supposed to, and it distracts you from both the real outcome and the rather invasive nature of the process.

. . .
Check your P.M. I sent you some scanned Dillons' coupons for foil and for a Dillons' hat.

Last edited by Kansas Beekeeper; 02-13-2015 at 09:47 PM.
#44
Old 02-13-2015, 11:41 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
Indicating that you really don't understand the scope of the issues. I'm not being paranoid or hysterical; you are saying the equivalent of "But Daddy, I'll only play between the lanes on the freeway."
Yes you are. Comparing getting 50 cents a gallon off gas (by shopping at a store I would patronize whether I got coupons for or not) to playing in the lanes of a freeway is paranoid.

Please explain how I have a bill coming in the future. Be specific.
Please explain the scope of the problem, again be specific.
Reply

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