Krogers / Ralphs / Rewards Program Rip Off
Sunday, March 15, 2009
1014 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
To Whom It May Concern,
I have been a customer of Ralphs for many many years and mostly shop at the Sunset Blvd. store in Hollywood, California.
I am writing to voice my strong complaint about the change in your Rewards card. My account was under my old phone #: xxx-xxx-xxxx.
A few months before the change, during checkout I asked the cashier if there was a way to update my account to my new phone number. She said yes and handed me a Ralphs Rewards card form but that I should NOT use it because I'd lose all my points so it was best that I stay with my old phone number. Yes, I was told this.
Several months later I purchased some wine and having never used any of my many points from years gone by and had no idea how to redeem them, I asked the cashier if my points could be used toward the purchase of the wine I was about to purchase.
That's when I learned that there was a new program and my past points had expired. I was shocked and found a manager who told me the same thing and that there was no recourse and my points were gone. He also told me that they had promoted the change by having a table with signup cards on one of the entrances for a month before the expiration.
Obviously there are a number of problems here. First is that having a table for just one month is a passive form of outreach and depends upon the customer finding or noticing the table.
There are 3 entrances to this store. A front right entrance, a front left entrance and the elevator from the roof parking lot. If you use the left or elevator entrances you couldn't possibly see or know the table on the other side existed. Even if you use the right entrance where the table allegedly was, how many customers are preoccupied with other things like finding a cart or finishing a cell call or looking at their shopping list or just people watching as your Hollywood store is full of unusual characters, etc. Or if you are a long time customer, with shopping on your mind, what if you just weren't paying attention. Do you realize how many tables of all kinds of things await us as we enter your store? Are we responsible to stop at each one to find see if there is a new store policy. This single table, it's location, short time and assumption it would be seen or paid attention to is absurd.
My address hasn't changed in years. Why wasn't a mailer sent advising us of the change?
Why didn't the cashier tell me about the expiration when she handed me the card several months earlier? Why? Because she obviously wasn't trained in the matter and gave me false information.
Why didn't your corporate offices make it mandatory that every cashier mention the expiration to every customer and make the information an active promotion rather than a single passive table in a store with 3 entrances and lots going on and for just one month?
Why? I would venture a guess that Kroger was all too happy to have people's accounts expire without cashing them in. How much money did you save by customers like myself miss out on cashing in? Lots I'm sure.
I can't prove this of course, but whoever is reading this knows what really happened and the motivation behind keeping the expiration a virtual secret except for a single table for just one month.
What if someone didn't shop at a Ralphs that month? What about those that were out of town? One month after decades of being a loyal customer is a MAJOR insult and a major rip off. Is this the REWARD I get for being a loyal customer? I see it as a form of theft and you owe me. I spent thousands of dollars on food and alcohol over the years.
I am demanding a substantial accommodation to cover the loss that I have experienced because of Kroger/Ralphs not properly and substantially promoting and advertising that the old program was expiring.
I am now Googling you on the internet and see that I am not alone.
Shame on you, Krogers!
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