Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dear Shopwise...

I have been a customer since you opened your first store in Alabang. Those were the days when I worked less than an exit away (read: east service road office) and my ex lived a stone's throw away from Festival Supermall.

I have been a Wise Card member since 2002 - the fateful year I got married and started shopping with my hard-earned money. Needless to say, your rebates have been something I looked forward to, even when my mother-in-law compared you to the Rempson's of her youth (I wanted to tell her you were Rustan's-owned, but I didn't want to get her ire by making her think I knew more than she did).

I faithfully shopped every First Wednesday, as well as each time you announced double points, and sometimes x10! I thanked the heavens when you launched x10 Wednesdays and hardly ever missed shopping on that day (just once this year because I was in HK). I rejoiced when you introduced your reusable bags and offered Double Points with its use. I rejoiced even more when you offered the new Bags of Life, as you definitely encouraged your shoppers to use reusable bags...

...and that is why I was surprised when yesterday, the cashier asked me to voice out my feelings on a comment card, when she told me you (as well as your sister Rustan's) were taking away the Double Points Incentive on the use of your reusable bags. Do you know how many of your bags I own? Four of the old canvass bag, two of the "bayong" ones for wet groceries (one I lost to a helper with sticky fingers), two of the Rustans shopper bags and two of the new Bags of Life ones. Yes, even the cashiers and bag boys at your store are amazed that I've amassed so much - ok, not exactly a fortune in bags, but a lot, nonetheless - definitely more than my fair share. But I didn't mind, I was getting double points with each use.

Face it, you're more expensive than most stores. Your rebates come as an incentive to most - a lure to the non-loyal customer. Of course you were educating the public on saving the environment, and I understand it was an incentive we've probably enjoyed too long. But it IS one of the main reasons why I am loyal to your store. It probably IS one of the reasons why anyone bothers to bring their bags to Shopwise. Maybe not the main reason, but a perk anyway.

It's funny because, just recently, you limited your special promotions (pick-a-prize, spin-the-wheel, pick-an-apple, etc) to the weekends - a shopping incentive we enjoyed on any given day in the past. And now, you decide to take away the incentive of double points with the reusable bag WITHOUT announcing it on either Facebook or Twitter! (Ok, maybe a few members have questioned it, but we don't see member comments on our news feed...) And that small card you placed near your cashiers to announce the change effective March 1, 2012? Couldn't you have made it any bigger? Tsk. I was told that those cards were delivered first week of February. What happened to at least a few months' notice before effecting a change? Thanks for surprising your loyal customers!

Don't be fooled. The actual card is even smaller than this photo. Thanks for the head's up...NOT!
And there I was, just telling the folks at the office coop how I earn more with rebates at Shopwise. I suppose I should do more shopping at the coop now (and finally earn from dividends) and limit my Shopwise shopping to x10 Wednesdays (first of the month) and special sales (sunrise, Fresh Fridays, Anniversary specials, etc).

As for the bags? Well, I still love them and will keep them handy. Meanwhile, I shall see you, Shopwise, once a month!


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