Save Mart Part 2

Yesterday I told you about SaveMart’s new gift card policy and how angry it made me. Well I am not one to just get angry and stew; I am very proactive and since Beth Terry armed me with a positive solution to the problem of trashing gift cards, I wrote the company again. Here is what I wrote:

Hello from a loyal pharmacy customer. It has come to my attention that a recent change has taken place concerning pharmacy gift cards. The new policy is to issue disposable $10.00 gift cards replacing re-loadable gift cards. This seems to be a waste of natural resources and more non-degradable plastic cluttering up our landfills. When asked about the policy change the store manager had this to say; “we are number crunchers and this will save us money”. I am not sure how this will save you money; could you please explain it to me?
I am also including a link to an article about recycling gift cards; apparently there is a company out there who will take gift cards to be recycled. Does your company participate in this program already? If so please let me know so I can pass the information to the readers of my blog as well as other blogger who are very interested in your answer.
Respectfuly,
Sari Nichols

And here was the reply:
Dear Sari Nichols:
Thank you for taking the time to write your comments to us. We appreciate the opportunity to communicate with our customers.
Your comments have been forwarded to store and corporate management, and supervisory personnel. Please be assured the issues you raised will be addressed and your comments will be given every consideration as store issues are examined and changes are planned for the future. Customer satisfaction is very important to us and we appreciate your input.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patronage. We value our customers! If we can ever be of any additional assistance to you, please write or call our toll-free number, 1-800-692-5710.
Thank you,
Consumer Relations
Case ID: 70560

I will call the number above if I do not hear from them by Wednesday. Meanwhile I encourage everyone who feels the way I do, to not only write Save Mart about this but to other companies as well. My next letter will be to Starbucks. Turns out they do not recycle their gift cards, they just throw them away. I thought Starbucks was a green company??

Save Mart and Gift Cards

Save Mart http://www.savemart.com/company.php a West Coast grocery chain has really made me angry! In the era of waste less, save more, they have decided to spend money and waste natural resources, including oil!

Save Mart pharmacy has a nice punch card program for loyal customers. For each five punches the customer receives $10.00 toward groceries. Each time a customer earns the $10.00 it is added to their existing gift card. Well not anymore! Save Mart for unexplained reasons, has decided to hand out disposable $10.00 gift cards! Apparently after they are used, in the landfill they go..girrrrr! Here is a mass example of waste!

I asked the store manager for an explanation for this change, he looked right at me and said “we crunched the numbers and it saves us money in the long run”. What??? How?? Who came up with this? I wrote the company headquarters for a better explanation but so far have not heard back from them, I will contact them again.

I also wrote a fellow blogger who has never met or heard of me, but I have heard of her. Beth Terry is an awesome woman who is trying to live plastic free. If you don’t know about the blog FakePlasticFish you owe it to yourself to check it out www.fakeplasticfish.com. Beth is very active in the environmental movement (if you recycle your Brita Water filters you owe her a thanks for pushing for the program). Beth was kind enough to write me back with some advice and help.
Beth sent me a link to an article on recycling gift cards I want to pass on; I have to admit I never really thought about what happens to all those plastic gift cards http://www.plentymag.com/ask/2008/07/recycling_plastic_gift_cards.php.
The article opened my eyes to yet another big source of waste and use of our natural resources. The next time I pick up a gift card, I am going to think about where it will ultimately end up. I am going to ask companies who sell these cards if they participate in a recycling program. If not I may just start handing out cash in place of these waste generators. How about you?