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Supermarket Savings Cards Being Used to Spy on YOU!!!

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posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 07:45 PM
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Ok, I am as much of a tin foil wearer as the rest of you and I try to take precautions with maintaining my privacy but sitting in my Economics class yesterday, the professor brought up those nifty savings cards at super markets. Here on the west coast, you have Safeway cards that you swipe after the cashier rings up your order and then since you have a card, the discounts add up at the end and they usually tell you how much you saved.

In the south, Krogers Grocery has the same thing. I am sure that there are many more corporations that practice this as well.

In order to get the card, you fill it out with your personal information and it gets sent to the corporate office and sometimes they mail you coupons. When you swipe your card, they say, "Mr. or Mrs. So and so, you saved X amount." So yes, your personal info is actually on that card.

So here is the scary part. Every thing that you buy and what price you bought it at is monitored and stored. Technically, they can create charts and graphs based on your consumption, even when you get paid since most people go grocery shopping right after-wards.

So, almost all of your household goods are tracked if you use these cards at these stores.
Of course it could all be harmless marketing research but why take the chance? Who is to say that they can't/won't sell this information or be compelled to do so via the government? I have been a shopper at Safeway and its lower echelon stores for quite some time but I think that it is time for me to find a different place to buy my food.




posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 07:51 PM
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I think you are way too paranoid. There is nothing I buy at the grocery that I care about anyone seeing I bought. It simply allows them to cater to you in a better way. Kind of like the old Mom and Pop grocer who use to know every customer personally and paid attention to what they bought so that he could always have what his customers wanted. I think they help save me money. I could care less if some jackass at corporate knows that I prefer Ribeyes over NY Strips or Stouffers over Hungry Jack..



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 07:53 PM
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reply to post by SuperSecretSquirrel
 


I agree to a point with your thread here.

HOWEVER.....
There are thousands of more effective ways to track people. The data that is collected by these stores, is good data for marketing/stocking.

Now take a look at the bigger picture for a chain like Safeway (unlike your local small grocer)... They have MASSIVE distribution centers, massive stores, just plain massive. Think of the logistics of supplying just a region, lets say the state of Washington for example.. Would it not be easier to know better what a certain demographic is buying, and at which locations?

There is a ton more reasons.....why grocers like Safeway(BIG) use membership cards.

*EDIT---- Forgot to add.. At least in my experience with these cards, you can put in a fake name , fake address, fake phone number, and the card works..... So for you tinfoil types, just fake the info !!!!

Now as for the government....... I don't even need to start into how they...................SPY on us...


Cheers

[edit on 17-10-2008 by LaoTzu]



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 07:56 PM
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posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 07:57 PM
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reply to post by SuperSecretSquirrel
 


Think of it as selling the data to the store. If you use the card you get discounts that other don't. If you don't use the card there is no way to track your data but then you don't get the discounts.

Your choice.



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 08:01 PM
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I got many supermarket savings cards. Here's the deal. You DO NOT have to give any personal information to obtain one. They give you a form to fill out, BUT it is OPTIONAL. Otherwise, scan away and have no worries. It's just a way for stores to electronically know when to order more of a product.

If you are customer X and you visit Y # of times per month and purchase Z# of a certain product each month. Then the store knows that they need a certain amount of that product just for you; however, if you quit visiting that store and your card is no longer scanned, then the computer recognizes that the same amount of product is not needed in stock, thus they are not overstocked on items.



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 08:06 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


I do not think of it as "selling" data to the store....

Simply it makes it cheaper logistically for the grocer to have the data; whether you use real info, or faked info, it helps them reduce waste/time/money to have the info--- EVEN if everyones name was JOHN DOE or to be PC, Jane Doe.....

Whats more important in my opinion to the big grocers is just a few things;
a) Location of the store you frequent.
b) Male or female?
c) Why does velveeta sell better in Yakima, WA, versus Seattle, WA?

ETC

Not to give the info to the gov..



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by LaoTzu
reply to post by SuperSecretSquirrel
 

....
*EDIT---- Forgot to add.. At least in my experience with these cards, you can put in a fake name , fake address, fake phone number, and the card works..... So for you tinfoil types, just fake the info !!!!
...
Cheers

[edit on 17-10-2008 by LaoTzu]


Yep, that's what I do. I have a po box just for that reason. I do use my real name though in order to pay by credit card so I can get the miles.



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 08:09 PM
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reply to post by Aggie Man
 


Your right that you don't have to give out your information and that you can just lie but most people don't know any better. They comply.

I worked for supermarkets in my younger years and they don't use those cards to keep track of inventory. They have an automated system in the register that reorders when X number of an item is sold.

The vast majority will just fill out their real information and not think anything about it. I am afraid am currently in this group but not for much longer.



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 08:14 PM
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I'd have to agree, you are being way too paranoid on this one! Why the hell would the government care how much toilet paper and ground beef you buy? There are far more important things to track, like your cell phone, your internet usage, etc. But everytime I read 'tin foil hat' it makes me post this:




posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 08:17 PM
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you know whats funny about those cards, is that one day, I wondered if the database was central for market research or if its particular to each store, so I used my petsmart® card at albertsons®, and guess what, it worked.
Now ive done this with a few other combinations, most of them are interchangeable, but there are a few that wont work like that. This was years ago, otherwise I would post more detailed info on the experiment, im sure it can be followed back to corporations, and their subsidiaries. It is nice though, it seems the grocery stores are at least all interchangeable from my experience.



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 08:26 PM
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If a corporation (profit-based) gives you anything for free, then you are being tracked/watched by it. This includes malware on your computer. It's beyond my reckoning why more people don't understand this.



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 08:29 PM
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Originally posted by SuperSecretSquirrel
In order to get the card, you fill it out with your personal information and it gets sent to the corporate office and sometimes they mail you coupons. When you swipe your card, they say, "Mr. or Mrs. So and so, you saved X amount." So yes, your personal info is actually on that card.


I never had to go through that much when I got my Safeway club card. But, I can only speak for some years ago when I got mine. When I would buy something they would ask me if I was interested in one and how much I could save. I agreed to get one, they handed me a paper to fill out information about myself, they never asked for any kind of photo identification. I filled it out, they handed me a club card and I was off. I moved a few years ago, never filled out information about my current location, and I have never had any problems. Hell, I've even used my mothers card and had no problems.

Besides, I knew plenty of people has had fake names under their cards, they never ran into problems. But, that's the risk you take when you give your information over to any corporation, there is always that slight chance your name and information can be used or sold for unwanted purposes on your behalf.



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 08:37 PM
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I agree that this is a bit paranoid. I am not saying that this information is currently being sent to the government but it is just another tool in the vast arsenal of TPTB to collect even more information on us. When is enough, actually enough? I am sick of CC cameras, pings from random computers, and random checks on my credit. And don't even get me started on the Patriot Act!

Is nothing private anymore???



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 09:03 PM
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I don't think it is paranoid at all. Here is a good theory on what they could do with your shopping info:

Say you use a CVS pharmacy card (or even a grocery store card), you buy medicine for a certain medical condition and then you think nothing of it. A few months go buy and you have to see doctor for that very problem you bought medicine at store/pharmacy for. Suddenly your insurance company denies coverage stating it is pre-existing condition.

I don't think people are paranoid enough about grocery/pharmacy store tracking. With the patriot act, our government took the genie out of the bottle and monkey see monkey do.



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 09:08 PM
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like stated before, they dont ask for ID, so I dont think its about getting your personal information on what you personally are consuming, its just a general consensus for market research, when I fill those out I just put in a bunch of random stuff, mostly because I always forget the dang things and seem to be forming a collection of them.
If youre paranoid, stop going to the supermarket stoned...
sry, im totally just kidding



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 10:20 PM
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lol, I just give them a random phone number for the savings. I'm a white guy, and the number I give them is some guy who is asian. They always look funny when they read the name off to me.



posted on Oct, 22 2008 @ 12:31 PM
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How many of you pay with check/credit/debit. It can be linked to your store card



posted on Oct, 22 2008 @ 12:48 PM
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I think its pretty obvious that when you sign up for any club card or reward card, your purchases are being tracked.

I work for one of the largest electronics retailers in the world, and our rewards card lets you save money while we can track purchasing trends and offer you specific deals according to your buying patterns.

For example, if you buy a big screen TV, we may send you a coupon for $50 off a blu-ray player.

It's not sinister in any way. It's to keep you coming back. Customers without the rewards card shop two times a year. Customers with the rewards card shop four times a year. All stores want customer loyalty.



posted on Oct, 22 2008 @ 12:51 PM
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They use this to manipulate things to make more profits.
Put things up to higher prices at certain times lower prices at certain times.
Its all about manipulation.Not honest market research.



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