Atlantic Canada — Last week, Loblaw Ltd. companies Shoppers Drug Mart and Atlantic Superstore merged their loyalty points programs from Shoppers Optimum and PC Plus to one card usable in both locations: PC Optimum.
This morning the companies raised the stakes by announcing that, instead of bothering to keep track of customer buying habits and tailoring points accordingly, they’re just going to straight-up ask for sensitive personal information and dole out the biggest points to the most open books.
“We were like, ‘Why beat around the bush?’ — you crave those points, and we want to get our mitts on that hyper-sensitive information for our own financial gain,” said independent marketing consultant Sarah McKinley, who helped merged the programs.
“So if you want to tell us your SIN and your passport number at checkout, that’s worth 4,000 PC Optimum points, or $4 at Superstore or Shoppers. And once we have all your personally identifiable info, we’ll add 10,000 bonus points to your card — that’s $10 to use whenever you want!”
While some Canadians initially expressed mild hesitation, most are on board simply because they so badly want those sweet, sweet PC Optimum points.
“This is actually a lot simpler for me,” said Gail Jennings of Halifax, N.S. “You don’t even need to have your card on you or load offers or anything. Like this morning — I couldn’t find my card, but when I was buying my groceries the cashier asked me for my email address, city and date of birth, and my Twitter handle and added a whole 1,000 points to my account!”
Dartmouth man Dale Pemberton said he was asked some rather strange questions today while purchasing cold medicine at Shoppers.
“I presented my card, but before I could redeem any points the girl asked for the name of my first pet, the last name of my favourite elementary school teacher, my licence plate number, the year I graduated high school, the name of my first girlfriend, the make of my first car, the first name of my oldest niece, and my favourite author,” he recalled before sneezing into his coat sleeve. “Seemed excessive but then again who am I to complain — I got this Vicks Vaporub for free!”
McKinley told our reporter that the companies are merely aiming to be the most direct with customers.
“Every mega-corporation wants to use your information,” she said with a shrug. “We’re just admitting it. No one’s making you do anything. That said…if you don’t mind letting us get your fingerprints, a scan of your face, a signature and your Facebook password, we’ll throw in 20,000 points redeemable at any Superstore or Shoppers.
“By the way, I feel like we barely know each other. What’s your mother’s maiden name?”