Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Have You Scanned Your Nectar Card?

This question offends me.  Every time I hear it.  It's insulting and insidious, and here is why.

It comes from the self-checkout machines at Sainsbury's supermarket, if you try to pay without scanning your Nectar card.

The machines at Tesco have a different strategy.  They entreat, "Please scan or swipe your Clubcard."  There is the same intent, the same insistence, the same assumption that I wish to be a part of their covert market research campaign and have simply forgotten.  And this, I don't mind.  Because I am part of the system, I do carry both cards, I will willingly surrender my shopping history in exchange for a minuscule (to the point of being imaginary) discount.

But there is a subtle difference between the two.  Both of these only ask for my identification in the event that I have not already tendered it.  And yet J Sainsbury's have decided to phrase their request in the form of a question.  Not "Do you have a Nectar card?" or "Would you like to scan your Nectar card?" but "Have you scanned your Nectar card?"

Have I scanned my Nectar card?  You know perfectly well that I have not.  If I had, you would not be asking.

I'd much rather use a machine that assumes I am in its club, than a machine that assumes I am not intelligent enough to realise that it is aware of what information I have put into it.

In other news: you kids get off my lawn in my day why I oughtta

5 comments:

  1. You're becoming Middle Aged. Haha

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    Replies
    1. I am three weeks away from being thirty-five. I think I am entitled.

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  2. Seriously customers, if the voice offends and annoys you that much there is a volume/mute button right in the middle of the screen for this exact reason. :)

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    Replies
    1. The voice is fine, it's just this one question ... it's not worth turning down just to pay.

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  3. It is rather assumptive and curt... politeness would cost nothing.

    Well, ok, in this case it would probably cost whatever it costs to hire someone to reprogram all the machines... but in terms of goodwill potentially gained that has to be a benefit.

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