Most providers make it dead easy to join their online stores and communities, and then usually don’t care about you. But try withdrawal! Suddenly, they feel like talking. If you find the ‘delete my account’ button at all. Today I tried leaving one shop – a nice one, actually, where you can sell your old books, games, etc., but I have just bought new bookshelves 🙂 – and one loyalty programme.
Loyalty programme? Oh, that is a marketing tool supposed to encourage you to buy in preferred stores. E.g., they provide you with a card to collect ‘points’ when you shop in affiliated stores, promising completely useless gifts in return for your points – often enough simply a discount when you buy stuff you don’t need just so you don’t lose your heavily earned points. Of course you never earn enough points to get to the interesting – but still useless – rewards. In return you allow the provider to evaluate your buying behaviour so that they can enhance your shopping exprience.
Meaning: encouraging you to come back and spend more money. Now, there’s nothing wrong with doing marketing and trying to make more money; but when it comes to loyalty programmes you must be aware that what you do is: you work for the store (by providing your data willingly) and in return are allowed to buy more of their stuff. Part of my evaluation ceremony for my online accounts therefore is: Do I make someone elses job here? And am I getting out as much as I put in? Loyalty programmes are a Yes for question 1, and a No for question 2; so I get rid of them.
You wish. I’m still waiting for their helpline to get back to me, because it is impossible to find out how to close my account apart from the universally accepted written notice via mail. But I can’t help myself but thinking that if joining didn’t cost a dime, I should not have to pay the postman for withdrawing either.
Awaiting further information. Have agreat day! Nae73