WANTED: Would like to buy milk without providing my entire life story

I miss the days…not of getting your milk delivered by the milk man (although I guess I might miss that too), but I miss running into the store on my way home and getting milk (or any product for that matter) without being asked if I have their rewards card. I’m sick of having to have a “rewards” card for each.and.every.flipping.thing.I.want.to.buy. If you wish to make a store purchase and aren’t asked this question, please let me know, stores without this mandate are a dying breed.

If I respond, “No, I don’t have (or want) your rewards card”, the clerk quickly replies “Well, it’s so easy to sign-up…”. Then if you oblige, they proceed to ask you your birthdate, address, phone number, etc.-all details that are none of the store’s business…and post identity theft victim makes my skin crawl.

I just want to buy a product. The store of course just wants to know your buying habits. Since when is it anyone’s business to know what products you buy. Well, the stores know it’s not theirs, so they circumvent it by providing you a discount on goods. And I use the term “discount” lightly. One store comes to mind where I was told I had earned enough points to go to aisle four and pick-up a pack of pretzels. Well la-di-flippin'-da. If this wasn't the highlight of my day, week, month, year! Wait 'til we share the good fortune with our friends and family. Apparently a handful of pretzels is what the going rate is to have my buying habits monitored and to be solicited-and this is all “stuff” I welcomed-hell, I even signed-up for it!

Pre-Identity Theft Victim Experience From Hell (the official name) I would sometimes find myself submitting this personal information, and would in-turn get another small laminated card that I would advertise for the store on my key chain. And, in exchange for all of my personal information and their ability to monitor my buying habits, I would in turn get their definition of a discount.

In looking at the “discounts” I’ve been given over the years-I’d say we, the consumer, are definitely on the losing side. There are hardly any discounts that don’t require me to buy something within a certain time frame (or lose my rewards), or encourage me to buy something I might not otherwise purchase, or come in the form of pretzels.

It is truly amazing how many of us, myself at one time included, who bought into this racket. I no longer sign-up for these reward cards-which comes with the caveat of having to explain in an extemporaneous monologue on why you don't want one of these razzle dazzle cards. With the reactions I get in return, you would think I was turning down a free Buick. They just don’t get why I wouldn’t want their card. And, I don’t get how they don’t understand that I don’t want them monitoring my personal life.

And guess what-I’ve managed to survive and don’t notice any additional spending as a result of not participating. It feels good to have that many less stores, entities and the like not monitoring me. It’s just not worth it-especially to the consumer.

As good as you may feel “saving a buck”, it is much more valuable to me that these companies NOT get the green light to monitor me. How the stores benefit far outweighs any benefit you will ever enjoy-even salty pretzels.

Sidenote. This goes for asking for and subsequently entering my zip code, phone number, address and the like into your computer at checkout-no you can’t have that either.