Jun 29, 2008

New rewards program at Ralphs

Ralphs is all about change right now. Along with cutting their coupon policy, they've instituted a new rewards program called Ralphs rewards. You can visit the official web site and FAQ (and see for yourself that "rewards" is written rewards every time, even at the beginning of a sentence).

The new program incorporates Ralphs Club (which used to get you the sale price) and also has an earnings component. You earn one point per dollar spent. (Exclusions apply - scroll to the bottom of the page to see them. Does anyone know why milk is excluded?) You can also earn points by bringing your own shopping bags. Once per quarter, you'll receive a $5 "rewards certificate" for every 500 points earned. Points roll over from quarter to quarter, but reset to 0 every January 1.

Supposedly, they will also send coupons and "offer emails," but I'm a little skeptical that they'll do it often or that the coupons and offers will amount to more than a token savings.

At least converting the card was fairly easy. They put a very personable young man at the table near the main entrance, trained him to call every woman "Miss" no matter how old she was, and put out a plate of cookies that immediately attracted Tyler's attention. (I loved hearing the young man say "Miss" to the 80-year-old woman who wanted to know the effect of the new program on her Senior card. The answer: there are extra perks for seniors anymore.) All I had to do was hand over my Club card, wait for him to transcribe the old number onto the new card application, then fill in my name, address, phone number and email address. Normally, I wouldn't provide all that info but I haven't heard or experienced anything bad about spam or junk mail sent to Ralphs Club card holders, and I had to provide my address to receive those rewards certificates. And maybe they actually will email good coupons, especially with programs like Shortcuts now in place.

If you do get a new card, don't forget to register it with UPromise, if you're already a member there.


Jonathan said...

The rewards certificates come in 5.00 dollar denominations, but if one were to use that on a milk purchase, it would mean effectively that Ralphs is selling milk at less than the store's cost to purchase the milk.
"Coupons may be issued by manufacturers and retailers on fluid milk and all other dairy products, but if its use results in a below cost sale of the dairy product, at either the manufacturer level or the retail level, it is a violation of Section 61384 of the FAC" --From the California Dairy Marketing Provisions PDF

I think that Ralphs sells their milk at the lowest price they can legally sell it (hence price changes on milk that occur on non-price change days) so any discount or rebate on milk (even if it is pennies on the dollar) would cause it to be a violation of 61384.

Chief Family Officer said...

Thanks so much, Jonathan! That's very interesting. I never would have guessed this.

Anonymous said...

When I completed shopping at my local Ralph’s in El Segundo Ca, I noticed that my Ralph’s Rewards Card points were not on my receipt (11/14/2008 @ 17:19). My Ralph’s Rewards card appeared to have been scanned correctly because my Rewards account number was on my receipt. I called Ralph’s Rewards Customer Service (800-660-9003) and explained the issue to Allison. Allison said my Rewards card did not scan! I said it appears on my receipt. I asked to bring this issue to her manager’s attention. She said she had neither manager nor supervisor at her site. I asked for a Trouble Ticket Tracking Number which was provided.

I called the store and spoke to the Store Manager Danny (11/14/2008 @ 18:10). Danny said he was aware of other registers having similar problems. Danny took my name and phone and promised to get back to me.