Those cards they have you slide.
Now, I get the idea about the cards. You get discounts (where discounts is defined as "the original price that we marked up, then down again, so you'd feel you were getting a discount"), they get detailed personal information on your buying habits. Everyone wins, except you. I understand these.
What I don't get is the fact that they don't seem to care about the cards. See, I've been going there for months, and when I go to check out, this conversation invariably ensues:
"Do you have your Stop'n'Shop card?"
"No, I don't have one. I'd be willing to get one."
At which point they either grunt incoherently (or say nothing at all) and swipe one they have sitting next to the cash register, which nicely eliminates them getting that detailed personal information they want. Why do they do this? I don't know. I guess the detailed personal information is worth building the infrastructure, building the databases, and producing thousands upon thousands of plastic cards, but not worth, you know, actually collecting.
It puzzles me.
There's a sign right above the credit-card device. It says "For added protection, please present your credit card to the cashier for signature verification."
In theory, this is a good idea. But look at this again. They're not saying "We will want signature verification." They're saying "If you want added protection, you can opt in to signature verification." Which makes about as much sense as having the teller ask you "Oh, by the way, are you using a stolen credit card?"
"Yes, I am!"
^-- THIS NEVER HAPPENS.
It's akin to the airport security guard questions. "Are you carrying any sharp objects, bombs, or contagious wild animals?" "Yes. I mean, FUCK. No. No, I'm not." No, it's worse than that, because at least they're asking you the question directly. It would be akin to having a discreet sign posted, reading "If you plan to blow up this flight, please inform the nearest airport personell at your earliest convenience."
Yep, that's right. Fight terrorism with volunteer security checks.
It's the American way.