Am I missing something?

I’ve been visiting the same bread shop for about a year now, every week. On Friday afternoon, Bronwen and I go to the mall for a beverage, a muffin and a catch up. I hear all about what’s going on in her life and we watch the world go by for an hour or so. Once we are finished with that, we go and see the ladies at Baker’s Delight. Usually we are served by Angela. She’s lovely. And sometimes, for whatever reason, we don’t make it to the bread shop on Friday afternoon and we get our bread on Saturday morning instead. Riveting stuff, huh? Well that’s not the story, so read on!

A few weeks ago, I was offered a loyalty card. I have tonnes of these things from all over the place, so of course I said yes. I love ’em! (see Loyalty for more about this). This card turned out to be more complicated than the others…

Baker’s Delight loyalty card

As a goodly loyal bread-consumer, I collected my stamps $6 at a time as required (two loaves of bread for $6.50, a bargain!). Once I got to the 5th stamp, the Saturday lady (not the lovely Angela, some harpy called Sue) explained to me that I needed to redeem my freebie right then and there. I had to buy my two loaves of bread, and then take my other loaf at the same time. Huh?! Here are the rules in the world according to Baker’s Delight:

  • I collect stamps until I get to the 5th stamp.
  • In order to get my free bread, I must collect the 5th AT THE SAME TIME as I redeem my freebie.
  • In order to do this, I have to spend $6.

So I always get two loaves for $6.50. That’s enough to get the 5th stamp and I can redeem my freebie … another loaf of bread. But I don’t want three loaves of bread. I want to be able to redeem my freebie NEXT time I’m visiting with Angela (or god-forbid, Sue).

Sue kindly pointed out that I could just pay for ONE loaf of bread (at $4.90) and then get something else to ‘make up’ to $6 in order to get a loaf of freebie bread. But why would I do this? I only ever buy two loaves of bread – that’s all I ever want. I’ve never even look at the other offerings in the cabinet. I argued with Sue about the logic of requiring customers to take their freebie at the same time as their purchase (i.e., you can have a free coffee, but you have to buy a coffee first…what if you only want ONE coffee?!). My arguments fell on deaf ears. It is the way things have always been done, explained Sue. Sigh.

This weekend, I decided to humour Sue. I dutifully selected my one loaf, and an additional scone because it was the cheapest non-bread item on the menu. I paid my money, got my stamp and received my free bread. I took my bread and scone, and off I went. Then we sat down and analysed the transaction (I know, but this is how things roll in our house, okay?).

  • I paid $4.90 for my one loaf.
  • I paid $2.20 for the scone.
  • I got a free loaf (hurrah, free stuff!).
  • I spent $6:30 in total.
  • I received a useless scone that I didn’t want.
  • In essence, my loyalty saved me a grand total of .20 cents.

Am I the only one that thinks this is strange? Sue thinks it makes perfect sense. It made me so mad I wanted to rip up the card. And that’s pretty mad for me, especially when, as you can see, I’m SO close to another free loaf.

So now what should I do? Should I continue with the stamps and collect inedible scones? Should I rip up the card? Should I, as Stephen suggested, refuse to go back there until my loyalty is rewarded in the manner to which I am accustomed? It is REALLY delicious bread. It forms the backbone of our weekends. I just don’t know.

15 thoughts on “Am I missing something?

  1. Pip December 7, 2010 / 3:57 PM

    Perhaps another option is sending this link to Bakers Delight and seeing what the reaction of the marketing dept is? Or you could call them. Or better still, me! Please, please let me call the head office about this 3:)

  2. Mama Bear December 7, 2010 / 4:39 PM

    Totally agree with Pip. I would be taking it to the top as that is NOT how a loyalty card show go. That is crazy!!! I would be really P…s..d!!!!!!! Loyalty cards are to promote customer service not turn customers away.

  3. Bebe December 7, 2010 / 4:45 PM

    Luckily Pip is better at these things than me, so she’s calling head office for me 🙂

  4. Neil December 7, 2010 / 5:13 PM

    Every time you buy your loaves request a loyalty card then write (in)appropriate comments on them and leave them around the mall.

    • Bebe December 7, 2010 / 10:39 PM

      Hehe I love this idea!

  5. NAJ December 7, 2010 / 9:01 PM

    1: Start baking your own bread
    2: Perfect your recipes
    3: Open a bread shop
    4: Become so popular that you put Bakers Delight out of business.
    5: Hire Angela as a store manager
    6: Hire Sue as your personal Iphone screen polisher
    7: After every five (5) screen polishes spit on Sue and thank her for being loyal
    8: Become a ruthless breadlord
    9: ???
    10: Profit

    • Bebe December 7, 2010 / 10:37 PM

      That, James, is a perfect plan!

  6. rebalehan December 8, 2010 / 1:32 AM

    i think NAJ has the right idea, except adjust the rules a bit so you get to spit on Sue more often

  7. Mike Taylor December 8, 2010 / 9:51 AM

    Free yourself from all of those bullshit ‘loyalty’ cards….
    They’re a simple way to try and lock you into one vendor, but it’s pointless.
    And, if they make it difficult to use, then they’re effectively trying to make you jump thru their own stupid, complicated hoops, to comply with THEIR loyalty programme, designed to lock YOU into one shop, all for a 20c saving!.

    Do what I do when they ask if I want a loyalty card. Just say no!
    P.S. emptied my wallet of all the B.S. loyalty cards this week. I can sit on my wallet now without listing, my back feels better, and I don’t have to worry about trying to dig thru my wallet at the checkout…

    • Bebe December 8, 2010 / 12:45 PM

      But Mike…free stuff! I got a free cup of coffee at the Globe yesterday nomnomnom. And your wife was flashing around a $15 Countdown voucher too I might add.
      I think Pip fished your cards out of the bin and is benefiting from your stamps AS WE SPEAK!

  8. Pip December 8, 2010 / 12:48 PM

    Yup

  9. Bebe December 8, 2010 / 1:53 PM

    It’s amazing what a phone call can do! And noone lost an eye 🙂

    Hi Pip,

    I am responding to your feedback regarding your recent experience at Bakers Delight The Palms.

    My colleague, Orry, has forwarded on details of the incident.

    I have been in contact with the bakery’s Area Manager to ensure all staff are aware of conditions of the loyalty card.

    For your reference, the conditions of the loyalty card stipulate that a customer must make 5 consecutive purchases above $6 to generate a reward.

    Once a reward is generated a customer can then choose to redeem the reward at their convenience. They do not need to make any additional purchases.

    We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    Kind regards,

    Maria Tepelis
    Customer Relations Coordinator
    Bakers Delight Holdings
    T: (03) 9861 9242
    F: (03) 9811 6100

  10. Alexandra January 16, 2012 / 1:39 PM

    I work at Bakers Delight and this is not how we do it at my store. You should be able to redeem your free loaf whenever you like, even saving all three freebies until the end and collecting them all at once. Ditch that store and come find us!

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