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A trolley bad idea

December 7, 2012

Now as you know I’m a very temperate soul (stop laughing at the back there) and hardly ever lose my rag, or should I say, my hand-embroidered chiffon square. But yesterday, dear readers, I did see red.

I’d had one of those clubcard updates in the post from Tesco. Tesco is one of the few places where I ever manage to proffer my loyalty card. I have an entire wallet full of these silly things, from coffee shops, garden centres, chemists and bookshops. Do I ever manage to get them out at the right time in the right place? Of course not. Except at Tesco, and only then because I have a loyalty shard-of-plastic on my keyring, and you have to drive to the Tesco, so I HAVE to have my keys on me …. you see, they’re pretty cunning.

The result of this triumph of organisation (of sorts) on my part is that, every now and then, I get a so-called ‘reward’ – a mailing from Tesco with a bunch of coupons which I obediently put into my handbag, where they fester in a pot pourri of similar bits and bobs until they expire. Once they’ve expired, I’ll remember their existence and attempt to use them in a shop, and get publicly embarrassed. Thanks, Tesco. That bit is not actually your fault but, as you say, Every Little Helps.

But this time, Tesco had far surpassed the minor annoyance of coupons. They also included some other vouchers, identical to the coupons in appearance, but saying on them, ‘swipe this if you do not want to receive further offers.’

Hmm, I thought. What’s this in aid of? When I read the blurb, I found out. ‘We respect your previous decision to opt out of other, associated mailings. To continue with this preference, just swipe the enclosed coupons at a store,’ was roughly what it said.

What it actually meant was: ‘we DO NOT respect your decision to opt out of being bombarded with junk from us and ‘carefully selected’ companies, or basically everyone we know. So, if you want to continue being left in peace, you’re going to have to go out of your way to swipe a stupid coupon when we know full well you never manage to use any of our coupons, even for chocolate. And, even if you do manage to break the habits of a lifetime and actually get to a shop with the coupon, then there’s no telling when we’ll decide that that was a previous decision and you have to jump through another hoop to ensure you are not pestered. We haven’t decided what that hoop might be, but we could well ask you to paint your own coupon, or possibly sing in the middle of Tesco that you wish to opt out of our mailing list. We reserve the right to make you dress up in a stupid costume, too, if the whim takes us. Thank you and don’t forget, Every Little Helps.’

Of course, I can’t be utterly sure that this is the exact wording Tesco used. That’s because I was so angry that I threw the whole letter in the bin and the rubbish was taken away this morning. But that’s pretty much the gist of it. Grrrr. I used to like Tesco, even though everyone else hated them. They do have some lovely people working for them. But Sainsbury’s here I come.

Tesco: all at sea

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