February 9, 2009
Posted by on
A strange development in supermarkets: checkout staff at Sainsburys and the Co-op now seem to be under orders to give back loyalty cards into customers' hands. Unfortunately, customers are usually packing and in no position to stop chucking tins and loaves of bread into bags. So the cashier stands there staring at you like a sheep, holding out the card. If I take it, I only drop it near my purse where I later deal with it at the same time putting back change or cards. Or, I've taken to saying "can you just put it down?" while gesturing to my busyness. I have one pair of hands. I don't need to add an extra purse-faffing moment.
At Sainsburys they used to give you the Nectar card back at the same time as everything else, and in the Co-op they used their common sense – if you were clearly occupied, they put the card down with your shopping. This 'handing it back' thing is suddenly so consistently prevalent I can only assume it's part of a management directive to 'enhance the customer experience'.
Another blow to the individual's assessment of context.