Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fool Me Once

"Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."
-Henry David Thoreau

Somebody I know well who works in a supermarket told me this recently: the store has invented a peculiar policy to entice customers. By way of a 'points' system they can see who has been shopping with them recently, and which patrons have dropped away and, supposedly, are finding their goods elsewhere.
The loyal and supportive customers, the ones who come back week after week- it seems there is no use in fishing for them: they are well and truly secure followers.
Ah, but for the ones who do not visit for months or weeks- a bountiful reward. From time to time they receive, in the post, a voucher offering a discount for the next time they should pass by.
Now, were I one of those lucky customers, I would gladly use my voucher, then avoid the place for another few months until I am entitled to the next one, and continue to do this for as long as the store feels it can afford to support me and my fickle-minded absence.
Naturally the old-timers are furious: where are their discounts, their reward for never straying from their favourite supermarket? They get nothing for their dedication and they, like myself, are left flabbergasted at this pitifully pound-foolish means of drawing back shoppers.
Somebody, somewhere must have concocted this laughable plan and deemed it to be worthy. One can only wonder.

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