Thursday, August 25, 2005

A sad state of affairs

This morning, while visiting my LCB (local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf), I was sad to discover that the company is stopping their fun little pink card program for frequent customers, due to a widespread problem with counterfeit cards. (The pink cards- you get a hole punched in a square each time you purchase a cup of your favorite drink of choice and when all the squares are punched, you get a free drink. Fun, right?

Well yes, it WAS. Now all the LCBs have signs up, informing their customers that they are doing away with the program, due to this counterfeiting epidemic (but are developing alternative programs for their customers). Upon reading this, I say, in shock, "Wow- people actually counterfeit the pink cards? That sucks!" And mind you, I think it sucks, not only because I actually remember to use the pink cards (unlike all the other store cards that are tucked in my wallet and I forget exist and, therefore, am never able to reap the "rewards," and not because I enjoy redeeming my pink cards for a free vanilla latte every once in a while, but because of the bigger sociological implications. I mean, how sad is that?

What started out as such a simple little gesture from a company to its customers, became an bona fide business for the Shady McShadersons of the world. According to my friendly neighborhood barrista, this had become a huge problem, where violators could buy and sell the cards - and the hold punches - on eBay! What?? Who does that? And for what? For freaking coffee? Come on! The company estimates millions of dollars in product loss because of this counterfeit operation. Is this what it's come to? Is this really what we're doing now? Forging coffee cards for free drinks? That's just sad...


Nasus said...

Wow, this truly is bad news. I had redeemed my last card a few months ago, and I did wonder how LCBs dealt with possible counterfeits (apparently, I think like a criminal, I just don't act upon it!) But I can't believe people bought cards off eBay! Perhaps with the money the company will be saving from this point forward, we'll find a LCB across the street from every store belonging to their "green competitor."

Disentangled said...

Once again - boo, people.

Especially since I have a fully punched and ready to turn in pink card. I just hope they still will take it once I get back - cross your fingers.