Code Name: Miranda
I admit it, probably ten or more years ago I actually signed up for a supermarket affinity card. Of course, I promptly lost it during the great migration to the suburbs, and for a good while I would simply claim to have left it at home and the cashier would cheerfully use a “store card”, which gives me the discount and deprives the store of 99% of the value they try to obtain via that discount. It was perfect.
Well, they got wise to that, and now require a phone number, which the POS system uses to determine if you’re an affinity cardholder. Well, after trying about five home (and office) phone numbers, my wife figured out the one we used to get the card way back when. So, when I just have to have that dollar off a 6-pack of Sierra Nevada, all systems are go. Still, I felt a little conflicted — after all, these folks still have my personal info and buying history. I don’t want to add to their dossier, right?
Well, imagine my joy when, as I was making a cash purchase of some rather sensitive items (granola, yogurt, hummus — the healthy stuff which probably alerts Admiral Poindexter’s Bayesian classifier to my fifth-column status), and typed in the old phone number and got the discount, the cashier said “Have a nice day, Mr. Miranda”. Now, “Miranda” is not a weird midwestern mispronunciation of “Walsh”, so this got my attention. It seems like my old phone number is now the property of another cardholder, and now all my purchases are reflected as his. Nice.