Friday, September 25, 2009

Big Brother Shops at Ralph's

Grocery shoppers in San Diego are getting ripped off.

I've just come from doing our krogering for the week at a Ralph's Market near this condo, and am of course aghast at the prices charged here. Everyplace I've ever been, prices on groceries seem at least a little higher than we pay in San Antonio (with certain local exceptions, of course); but the prices here are royally exorbitant.

I won't go into details, as that would be tedious, and even my best friends don't want to know exactly how much more a can of coffee is here than there. But what really gripes me is the "card savings prices." If you get a Ralph's Rewards card (and I did: it was free, and let them collect all the data on my shopping habits that they want) you get big big savings on many many items.

Now, I don't believe for a minute that Ralph's is taking a loss on those prices; even with the Rewards card, the prices are higher than we pay at home. So what that tells me is how valuable the store considers the detailed spending patterns it can glean from their computer banks. It also tells me that Ralph's is really soaking anybody who doesn't have a Rewards card, figuring that they don't shop there regularly anyway, and so won't provide a reliable source of sales.

So I'm leaving the little key-fob card on the condo key rings, in the hopes that future tenants of this place will earn me big big rewards with their purchases of coffee and breakfast cereal.