31 thoughts on “June 13, 2017

    • Or “I never thought about that and now that you’ve brought it up I’m worried it might be true”

      That’s how I interpreted it, anyways.

    • Well it might not be a shadowy data corporation. It might be just a regular data corporation, or they might just sit on it and hire a corporation to go through it for them, in a waste of money only a Head Office Exec could come up with and think it was good.

  1. I’ll admit I am glad that my store now makes it so that if the person want to sign up they do it through the credit card reader and I don’t have to ask anymore. Sure it makes my boss yell at me more when we don’t get more sign ups for rewards, but I just show her the employee handbook that states we aren’t aloud to ask anymore and it is up to the customer to sign up now. Usually makes her grumble and walk off.

  2. Uh, Crystal, you only now realized the name of the store?

    Somehow I have a feeling that Norm has just planted a future story arc and this will come up again. Either from a customer rant or Stuart will brag about a new partnership.

    • She knows the name of the store, why would you think she didn’t? She’s asking if Grumble’s sells information because Marla mentioned card signups… which has people information on it… nothing in her question indicates she did not previously know what the store is called.

      • Oops. I read the punctuation in Crystal wrong. I read it as “Wait … Grumble’s. Isn’t that one of those….”

  3. It looks like Marla wonders if Crystal (being a psychic or whatever) will be able to see through her “no” answer. She didn’t need to be psychic to read that facial expression. She’s probably wondering if Crystal would refuse to ask people to sign up for the rewards card if she knows that the answer is yes. Tough position to be in. I would hate that too, to ask people to give out their information knowing it won’t be kept private.

    • I noticed a long time ago that “art” seem to be part of some character names. Like Stuart and Arthur.

      I’m wondering if we should be reading anything into “Cry”stal?

  4. Heh. This is why I liked it when I could get those cards by “taking the application to fill out later”, which I never did.

    I don’t mind if they gather information on my buying habits if it’s anonymous. I just don’t want my mailbox stuffed full of junk mail.

    It’s bad enough now when I look at something on the internet and find every web page I visit after that flooded with advertisements for the same or similar thing.

  5. This is going to be a case where a really solid employee ends up leaving the corporation because of ethical concerns, isn’t it? Man.

  6. As a worker for one of those data companies, we’re not all that shady (at least, mine isn’t). We want your transaction history so that we can better target ads. In a real way, we work to reduce spam. If you never buy a certain type of product, we don’t want to tell our clients to spend money trying to sell to you. Meanwhile, things you do buy a lot, well, wouldn’t you like to know about them or other similar items? Without data companies like us, they might as well grab names from a phone book and send ads to everyone.

    • “Meanwhile, things you do buy a lot, well, wouldn’t you like to know about them or other similar items?”

      No, no I would not. I do understand that much of my entertainment is supported by ad revenue but whenever offered I use premium (paid) services to avoid ads. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to click this ad for an item I’ve already purchased. I’m also hoping to be their millionth customer again.

      • So, I’ll point out that we’re only just recently getting into the digital ad space, and we’re primarily on direct mail ads. And as to the “item I’ve already purchased,” yeah that’s silly for a lot of things, though an interesting fact is that apparently if you’ve put an item in your cart but not finished, it takes an average of 16/17 views to get you to complete the transaction.

    • I run Ghostery and UBlock. I don’t care if an ad is for a product I didn’t know existed and I absolutely need it in my life, I don’t want to see that damn ad anywhere on my screen.

    • This happens when I only looked at the item! I didn’t buy it! I just glanced at it once. Maybe on amazon dot com or another site, but only one glance, no buy! Then every site I visit after that shows that item again and again. I think of it as a reminder to buy it, I can ignore it if I want but geeze, why does it have to follow me until the next item I happen to glance at for all of 5 seconds??

      • Yeah, what gets me is if I follow a link to check on some advice I’ve giving – and now that ad is following me around. Like I click on a link to see some hilariousness reviews and now the ad system seems to think I want to buy it.

      • Well, in the marketing world, the fact that you looked at something gives you a higher likelihood that you’re interested in buying it. Online ads are all auction wars. If you’ve never looked at my product, perhaps I’ll bid 3 cents for your view. Someone else thinks they can get you to get their item, so they bid 4 cents or more, so they win the bid and get to deliver their ad.

        But if you’ve looked at an item, that’s a much better indication that you’ll buy (I’m not on the analyst side so I don’t know the percentage, but I’m sure it’s substantial (and in our business, a 2% response rate is absolutely fantastic, so you see what we’re dealing with)). So, if it’s a particularly big ticket item, perhaps I’ll go 10 cents. If a company (like mine) has identified you as a person who will pretty much buy something if we put it in front of you, heck, we’ll pay a dollar or two.

        That’s why when you look at an item, it’ll follow you. Certain items it’s definitely silly, but designing algorithms to determine what we should and shouldn’t repeat promoting is rather difficult when you’re dealing with thousands of clients with millions of products.

  7. “One of the things we’re focusing on right now is the rewards card.”
    Translation:
    “The only thing we focus on all the time is rewards card.”

    • I asked my regional manager once and they said they sell depersonalised data. Like in this districts we sold so many of this product and the customer of this store travelled this far on average to get here by postcodes. But we don’t give out personal addresses or phone numbers or individual purchase history.

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