Detailed Thoughts On/Experience With Balance Rewards
First, the disclosure. I am not short, I am not long, I do not own CVS, I do not blah blah blah. I don't even really have a view on the sector. These are just my thoughts.
Signed up for balance rewards on a smartphone. Thought it was neat not to have to have a physical card.
Walk in today. There is signage promoting Balance Rewards, but there is not really any shelf signage. So, if someone wants to figure out what earns points, they apparently have to walk around with the flyer in hand.
From a corporate perspective, the CVS card would appear to benefit CVS more - the 1% on everything means someone always wants to have their card no matter what they are getting. With the WAG card, there could certainly be instances where it wouldn't matter if you showed the card.
Try to check out and show phone card. Cashier has no idea and looks as if I'm speaking Greek. Keeps going "no, no, no" and tries to rush me (not even a line, really) through signing up for another card. I tried telling him to scan the phone and "no no no" (I'm thinking, then what is this card I signed up for on the phone for?) At some point I just thought #$%$ and gave up trying to protest the new card, paid and walked out with another card.
So, now I'm one upset customer with two balance rewards cards.
I'm sure I may get some upset responses, but just wanted to vent. Pretty lousy experience on the customer service side, but from the corporate side, I just see some real flaws with the program. They may be able to get it going after a while, but I think there's going to be a lot of initial confusion (and they apparently arent training people because the response I got regarding the phone card made it seem as if the whole phone card thing had never been mentioned by anyone in store - just had no idea whatsoever) and people not getting what earns points and what doesn't (as it's not indicated on the shelves.)
There's balance rewards promotion signage, but not really anything that explains it in detail - I mean, I wasn't sure if everything earns some kind of point and certain things earn bonus points each week or what (and found apparently only the indicated items earn points each week.)
You're also going to have upset with high traffic stores (city, whereever) where people have to be signing up in line because they want or had no idea getting a sale now requires having a card.
Having people sign up on their phones would speed the process of getting people signed up, but it's no help if store staff look at customers presenting the card on their phone like they have no idea what the customer is talking about.