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Old 09-06-2014, 06:34 PM
 
874 posts, read 1,096,078 times
Reputation: 1599

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Quote:
Originally Posted by amylewis View Post
What I've heard about those store cards is that they generate lots of data about your purchasing history, which is sold to those with an interest in what you buy, like your healthcare insurance company, and other corporations that want to sell you stuff and target market you for it. Supposedly, if you buy what your healthcare provider considers unhealthy food, your premiums can go up. I've not been able to verify this, but they are indeed collecting data on your purchases, and what gets done with that data? Who gets it and what do they use it for?

I have no store cards or rewards cards, nor do I want any. Recently Winn Dixie bought out the Sweetbay chain here, and when I went in to the store I used to shop at all the prices had gone up, unless you had their store card. I never went back there again. I don't like being herded like that.
This.

It's not exactly sold to health insurance companies, but there is a boatload of companies out there (some would surprise you) who buy and mine this data in incredible ways.

To enjoy the best of both worlds, get a shopper card but don't provide any personal information -- i.e. get the supermarket card, but don't give them the little postcard with your exact name, address, etc. Or...if you want to have some fun and/or don't feel like explaining why you aren't giving them your birthday and blood type, you can fill in fake info. No one has to know.
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Denver 'burbs
22,026 posts, read 23,553,010 times
Reputation: 37577
Quote:
Originally Posted by wideworld View Post
This.

It's not exactly sold to health insurance companies, but there is a boatload of companies out there (some would surprise you) who buy and mine this data in incredible ways.

To enjoy the best of both worlds, get a shopper card but don't provide any personal information -- i.e. get the supermarket card, but don't give them the little postcard with your exact name, address, etc. Or...if you want to have some fun and/or don't feel like explaining why you aren't giving them your birthday and blood type, you can fill in fake info. No one has to know.
Again, if this is your big concern, I hope you pay cash for everything. Putting fake identifying info isn't helpful if you are using your debit/credit card to pay for it all.
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:50 PM
 
6,061 posts, read 6,945,487 times
Reputation: 15738
Anyone who thinks your every move isn't being documented, filmed, or otherwise tracked is simply naïve.

When was the last time "anything" happened, and there wasn't a video recording of it within minutes for example?

Your car is tracked to the store, your debit or credit card purchases are all tracked (including exactly what you purchased), your cell phone gives away exactly where you are (lingering in front of the chocolate chip cookies, I see), and your courtesy card is used to track everything you puirchase.....as well as target promotions meant to appeal to your buying habits.

I am old fashioned and actually buy ingredients when I go to the store. I buy very few 'prepared items. I know exactly what is on my "list" to purchase, and when I am 'rewarded" with an extra fifty cents savings on the bag of flour which I am going to purchase anyhow, I hardly feel it is an intrusion.

And by the way, my Kroger card (where I am stuck buying most of my groceries for lack of a better option) accumulates points" which have routinely "saved" me fifty cents a gallon on gasoline each month for a year. That means I am buying gasoline for 2.50 to 2.60 a gallon, for the thirty or so gallons that I am buying. Do the math, but in addition to whatever I am saving inside the store, that little card saves me $15.00 on my fuel fill up.


Love 'em, or hate 'em, these cards are a fact of life, and like anything, there is a cost associated with using it, but if you are smart, there are also nice rewards. Now, if you are a sucker and opt for that "savings" on the expensive ice cream which you would not have otherwise purchased, they just got you. Big time!
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:49 AM
eok
 
6,684 posts, read 3,256,597 times
Reputation: 8470
Do drugstores keep track of what OTC drugs you buy? If they could use that data to sell lists of people with certain diseases and conditions, they could make a lot of extra money. Drug companies spend huge amounts of money on advertising, and would love to be able to target consumers based on what diseases and conditions they have. Other companies would buy such lists too. Insurance companies might not use such data now, but you can bet they're working on ways to be able to use it in the future. Private investigators and security clearance investigation companies are likely to have a lot of uses for lists of people with certain diseases and conditions. A witness to a crime might notice that one of the perps has a specific medical condition. A PI could go online to request a list of everyone with that condition, to narrow down their list of suspects to investigate.
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:17 AM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
11,121 posts, read 14,796,603 times
Reputation: 25380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby Snacks View Post
However, if it is used to track customers' shopping habits, I assume the reason is to put items on sale that don't sell very well, thus it actually serves a purpose, at least on the store's end.
Good lord, No!
More for making sure that the customer who buys 10 cans of cat food every week gets a discount coupon for his favorite brand or to entice him to try a new brand with a freebie coupon.

Sometimes the cards can be used to verify a purchase if you want a refund but have lost your sales slip.

You get asked for the card every time because the stores want you in the habit of using it. We still get customers who forget to use them and then complain when they have to go to customer service to get the sales items adjusted. Big PITA, so much easier to use the card EVERY time.

The cards do save you money, if you use them wisely. They are pretty much the modern electronic version of store coupons (not mfg coupons, that's different) Some of them also let you load mfg coupns on them, saving the store more paper they don't have to handle, that's a good thing from their POV.

Some stores don't allow a 'customer' card for reluctant shoppers. We fired a cashier not too long ago for using an employees card to give a customer a discount.

I don't know if this will make some feel better or worse but when we input one piece of your info (other than your name) into the computer to enroll a new card customer the rest of the info usually auto populates. Mostly taken from a database somewhere that already keeps track of your info. When we ask for the rest of your info it's just to verify that what we already have is accurate. You've already been sold out long before you decided to take the plunge and get a new shoppers card.

As far as I'm aware stores cannot SELL personal info, not something that relates to your personal habits. What they sell is aggregate info, 'hey people in this area really like their Bud Lite and there sure are a lot of women who like to use Miss Clairol hair dye Ultra Blond'. Not 'hey Jerry Jones likes Coors and his wife isn't a natural blond"
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Old 09-07-2014, 03:19 AM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,961,779 times
Reputation: 12847
Quote:
Originally Posted by eok View Post
Do drugstores keep track of what OTC drugs you buy? If they could use that data to sell lists of people with certain diseases and conditions, they could make a lot of extra money. Drug companies spend huge amounts of money on advertising, and would love to be able to target consumers based on what diseases and conditions they have. Other companies would buy such lists too. Insurance companies might not use such data now, but you can bet they're working on ways to be able to use it in the future. Private investigators and security clearance investigation companies are likely to have a lot of uses for lists of people with certain diseases and conditions. A witness to a crime might notice that one of the perps has a specific medical condition. A PI could go online to request a list of everyone with that condition, to narrow down their list of suspects to investigate.
They do not do this and they cannot do this.
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Old 09-07-2014, 03:20 AM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,961,779 times
Reputation: 12847
Quote:
Originally Posted by wideworld View Post
This.

It's not exactly sold to health insurance companies, but there is a boatload of companies out there (some would surprise you) who buy and mine this data in incredible ways.

To enjoy the best of both worlds, get a shopper card but don't provide any personal information -- i.e. get the supermarket card, but don't give them the little postcard with your exact name, address, etc. Or...if you want to have some fun and/or don't feel like explaining why you aren't giving them your birthday and blood type, you can fill in fake info. No one has to know.
They don't sell personally identifiable information.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:03 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 38,426,572 times
Reputation: 39085
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Bear View Post
Anyone who thinks your every move isn't being documented, filmed, or otherwise tracked is simply naïve.
And many people are doing themselves... with all their selfies!
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:17 AM
 
32,767 posts, read 33,730,068 times
Reputation: 15294
CVS is really the only one I use. It is nice to get extrabucks quarterly that I can use to help purchase any items in the store. If one doesn't have their card, one can use the phone number that one gave when the card was issued.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Riverdale, NY
300 posts, read 313,724 times
Reputation: 163
Profit margins are slim in supermarkets, and their goal is to sell what is on the shelves, so it is important for them to keep track of what customers are buying to see what they prefer. I prefer natural and organic foods, and make a point to search for those types of snacks in my local supermarket. I have been noticing that they have been stocking more of the natural and organic snacks and less of the processed snacks, which means I'll shop there more often, even if the prices are a little higher than other places since I do like the convenience.
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