CASPIAN: Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering

[Coupon Image 3] What Savings?

CASPIAN Shoppers Discuss Kroger "Card Savings"

I do not like these "savings cards," mainly for one reason. I've noticed that the stores that use them raised their prices so that the "sale" price with the card is what the regular prices used to be before they started using the cards. So in reality, you are getting the regular price instead of a high price (i.e. some thing that used to cost $5.00 with out the card now cost as much with it and $7.00 with out). Where are the savings at? So what's the point of stores using these cards other than as an excuse to make more money by raising thier prices?
-Anonymous in Ohio 5/7/01
Thank you for bringing this out into the light! I thought I was the only one who noticed the immediate increase in Kroger's prices once they started the cards. I have since switched to a smaller independent grocery.
-Anonymous in Ohio 5/10/01
Here are two price comparisons for Kroger with before the card and after the card prices. I purchase these two items regularly:
Soft drinks, 20oz. bottles  Kroger milk, gallon  
 Before card: 3/$1.00  Before card: $2.79
 After card: 2/89cents  After card: 3.29
 With card: 3/$1.00  With card: 2.79

Where is the savings?
-Ronald in Ohio 5/8/01
I made a choice several months ago against acquiring a Kroger store card to avoid giving up personal information to yet another store and keeping track of yet another card.

Then much to my dismay as I went through the aisles just to get a few things I saw that a 2-Liter bottle of Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, etc was $1.99 without a card. But, on sale with a card for $1.19. . . now I'm not sure about anybody else but the highest I've ever seen a regular price on a 2-Liter bottle of any kind of soda was $1.59. But, here without a card I was expected to pay a whopping $1.99.

My household income can more than accommodate paying that price, but it's so revolting that I would have to pay that much just because I wanted to keep my information private which is very important to me! ! I will be changing my shopping habits for good at the expense of mileage on the car, time, and energy because it is a violation of my right to privacy. I hope others will join in choosing not to support these programs as I have and will continue to do. Good luck finding a store that doesn't require a card!
- Kristin in Ohio 5/8/01
I feal that these cards are a pain in the rear. The prices seem as if they were better before the cards. It seems to me that Kroger and Big Bear started this stuff to stay trendy with Giant Eagle. I do not like that to receive the sale price item I must remember the little card.
- Ohio shopper 5/7/01
I work at a Kroger store and yes most prices did rise before they went on sale, but you are still saving money. It's just there is a card to tell you how much you are saving on what is mostly "retail".
-Anonymous in Georgia 4/16/01
Great site! I applaud your efforts. My local Kroger store, where I spent approximately $6,000 per year, began their card program last month. The first thing they did was double the price on two liter Pepsi products (1.99) for those of us who didn't participate.
- Joe Howard in Marion, Ohio 4/10/01
Sales should be for all customers who enter the store. It's a very unfriendly practice that casual visitors to town would be charged more just because they don't have a card. I would take great offense to that. I noticed a number of Kroger's everyday prices went up quite a bit after the introduction of their Plus card
- EH in Ohio 3/29/01
When Kroger switched to cards about 2 weeks ago I thought the after "sales price" was equal to the "non-sale" price before the card went into effect. I then began to think that cards are a way of shifting the "sales" price (post card) to the same level as the "non-sales" (pre card). In essence it gives the store an easy way to raise the baseline price of their products. Then when customers are used to seeing the "savings" the store will cut back on the amount and frequency of the card discounts and give them the ability to raise the prices even further... I will be writing Kroger now that someone has confirmed what I thought was going on.
-Joe in Ohio 3/29/01
When our local Kroger instituted the cards, my wife and I walked in and in one day they had raised the price of milk over a dollar. It was $3.29 w/o card and $2.29 with card...funny, it was $2.29 before the card...some savings! Thanks for letting people know how nasty this trend is and that any store that forces customers to use these cards using subterfuge and skullduggery should be boycotted and haranged.
- Tate Antrim, Ohio 3/29/01
I have written e-mails to Kroger and local news station about the fictional savings: e.g., French bread was $1.49 now $1.99, two liter soda was $1.19 now $1.99. I also hear them telling customers that they will double coupons with the card. Well they always doubled coupons. I thought that there should be a joint effort to sign up for a new card every time you shop and using fictional names and addresses. IE. K. Roger or K.R. Oger. Glad I'm not the only one who sees the phony savings. This borders on fraud.
-Anonymous in Ohio 3/7/01
I hadn't thought much about club cards until our local Kroger store promoted them. I had never had to worry about using a card because I had many options for grocery shopping. Kroger caught my attention when prices immediately jumped upon the initial use of the cards. My contact with the Kroger company is still trying to convince me that the price I paid for milk for nearly two years "before cards" was actually an unadvertised sale price. Funny! It was the regular price [at other stores] all over town.
-Anonymous in Atlanta 3/25/01
Why is it that with these discount cards, they (Krogers) do not tell the customers in advance (by posting the info on the sale item) that they need one of their cards in order to get the sale price?... They have coca cola on sale, for instance, for $1.98 for a 12 pack, but if you do not have the discount card at the register you would have to pay the regular price for the same 12 pack of coke which is $4.98.

How is this being fair to all customers? I feel it is just another way to lie to the public, or you could call it another way of bait and switch prices.
-Anonymous 3/24/01
I've shopped at the Kroger Flagship in our neighborhood since it opened several years ago and, while I don't keep a mental note of what items cost to the penny, I do have a good general idea of what I usually pay for items I purchase every week. The Kroger Plus "sale" signs were what first caught my eye, especially since I have to use glasses to read the fine print at the bottom of them. These are the signs displayed on items throughout the store - at the top is what one would think is the price of a particular item, for example, Cantaloupe - .99 ea, but if one reads the very small numbers at the bottom of the sign one finds that the price for those not using the Kroger Plus Card is $1.99.

At this time of year in our part of the country it would be a cold day in Pecos before anyone with a lick of sense would pay $1.99 for a cantaloupe.

I buy several rib-eye steaks each week for which I NEVER paid over $5.98 per pound. Now the price for these steaks is $4.98 per pound with the Kroger Plus Card and $7.98 per pound without the Kroger Plus Card. Sounds like a big savings until one considers what the everyday price used to be.

I am absolutely furious at Kroger for this scam and highly insulted - they seem to feel that their customers all just fell off a turnip truck and will therefore fall for anything. I can hardly wait until the new Albertson's opens in my neighborhood - I am most definitely no longer a Kroger shopper. Thanks for letting me vent my aggravation and for all the great information on your web page! I've bookmarked it.

-Laura in Texas 6/19/00
I would love to see a survey of what Kroger requires you to buy on the card. They have "forced" me to get a card (under a bogus name) to buy the staples of life. It seems that every staple requires the card or they actually raise the price. The "card" price is actually what I was always paying before the card came to town. Sugar, salt, milk, eggs, flour ­ all require a card to get the prices I used to get without it!

- Anonymous in Tennessee 6/23/2000
I totally agree with the misrepresentation of "savings." I remember a Kroger in Nashville, TN where Kroger brand apple juice was 99 cents regular price. Yet, after the cards, the "regular price" all of a sudden rose to 1.59 and with the card you could get the "sale price" of 99 cents. They must think consumers are really stupid not to realize this is happening.
-Anonymous 6/28/00
All significant grocery stores in my area have gone to the cards. Now I buy most of the things that I used to buy from Krogers from more reputable vendors. Many items that I used to buy at the grocery store can be found at better prices at discount stores, drug stores, and suprisingly some local convience stores have substantially better prices on their high volume merchandise. Do not buy your drugs, pet food, soft drinks, ... from the "card" stores. Look for local merchants ( your neighbors ) to avoid the cards. The druggest at Krogers will pass the message on when told that you are moving your account because you no longer have respect for the marketing practices ( cards ) at that store.

-Don Kelley, Tennessee 8/10/00

Hello, Thanks for taking the time to read this. I too do not care for card programs at my local stores. I noticed that my favorite Kroger's bread cost more with the card than before the cards were used for example.

- Charles K. Clarkson, Dallas, TX 9/24/00

Thank you! You've saved me the work of creating this site myself! The essay on the Kroger "discounts" was no surprise to me. I buy certain items (particularly soda) by price. In that instance I will not pay more than $3.00 per 12 pack/12 oz cans of name brand soda. (Often to the chagrin of roommates) This was never a problem in Los Angeles where soda never was higher than that at the major supermarkets. In Nashville however, $2.99-3.99 is the norm. The rare $1.99 price occurs much less frequently here as well.

Having my solid benchmark. I shook my head in disbelief seeing the advertisments for Coke products $3.99 with card. (without card, a 12-pack was $5.49!) Overcharge the card users and downright gouge those who'd refuse to use it at all.

Kroger wasn't my favorite place to shop beforehand. Adding in the bogus card savings soured their image to me even more. Thanks again for a wonderful site and letting me vent!

- Anonymous in Tennessee, 5/15/00

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