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When Is a Reward NOT a Reward?

Marketers offer many rewards to customers to encourage sales and build loyalty.

Unfortunately, many of them are no incentive at all to someone like me. Here are some examples:

Cosmetics – For decades department-store brand cosmetics have offered a collection of their most popular products in a cute little cosmetics bag. That’s great…once or twice. I have several I’m happy with and can’t use more, so I never even look at the specials anymore.
Fast Food – Usually fast food restaurants offer a free soft drink as part of a special. I seldom go to these restaurants, and when I do, I don’t drink soda (or pop, as my husband insists on calling it.) I don’t “want fries with that” either.
Fine Dining – They’ll often offer a free appetizer I don’t want. Or special wines, which I rarely drink.
American Express – My husband has had his card since at least the ’70s. Every invoice includes offers we just ignore.

A long time ago I started cutting out and saving the premium blocks on cereal and other packaged goods. Then I discovered most of the rewards offered were cooking utensils and cookbooks. Well, if I cared about cooking, I wouldn’t have been buying those packaged goods in the first place.

It’s also annoying to have to carry around coupons, and try to remember to use them before they expire. I’m always finding CVS coupons I forgot to bring with me and that have now expired.

As Kansas City Star editor Don Munday wrote in his May 21, 2012, poem:
    To sum up the coupon dilemma you’ve wrought:
    Wherever you are, there the coupon is not.

Surely I’m not the only one who is bored with and annoyed by the same old tired offers.

About Susan

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