Read Your Receipts

It could be that I’m the slowest and stupidest person on this particular bandwagon, but…

…do you read any of the fine print, or even the not-so-fine print at the bottom of your grocery store receipts?

I usually don’t. Unless there’s something that I want to check (“Did I get that 3 for the price of 4 special on Lucky Charms?”) I usually don’t look at it at all other than possibly to record the total.

But today…

So it’s not-so-small print. “Recall Notice – You may have purchased the product listed below.”

Let’s get real. Their computer gets our customer loyalty card account number every week so that we can get that special when we buy five boxes of Cheerios and pile up those fuel points to use to get gas. Their computer knows EXACTLY what I bought. Their computer knows what I bought, what minute I bought it, and what product was out on the floor at that time. Their computer is giving me this warning because it’s 99.999% sure that I bought that recalled onion.

Three thoughts:

First, on one level it’s creepy as hell that they can do this while on another level (from someone who has designed databases and written programs in my sordid past) this is trivially easy so OF COURSE they can do this! When you buy Brand A detergent and you get a coupon for Brand B, do you think that’s an accident?

Secondly, given that ability, it’s pretty great that they’re giving us this warning rather than just having it buried out there in a two-second news segment at midnight on a channel I don’t watch or buried off in an online news article from a source I don’t pay any attention to. That’s very helpful and I guess I should be reading the receipt more often, right?

Finally – WHY THE HELL DIDN’T THEY TELL US SOONER? If we’re going to take it as a given that they have all of this data, I’ll guarantee that they have my phone number, my email address, my home address, my mailing address, and probably my shoe size, inseam, and current blood pressure readings. We’ve already eaten the possibly contaminated onions, probably ate them two or three weeks ago. If they found out about this sometime weeks ago, instead of waiting until now to have something stuck on the bottom of a three-foot long receipt, why couldn’t I have gotten a text or email or phone call weeks ago?

If I’m going to sacrifice any semblance of privacy and sell my digital soul to the big corporate grocer in the sky, can I at least ask to get some efficiency and timeliness in the one small benefit that I might get out of it?

1 Comment

Filed under Deep Thoughts, Paul

One response to “Read Your Receipts

  1. berich56

    You expect a benefit from all that data we collect on you…that does not compute! :-}

    Liked by 1 person

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