Friday, December 5, 2008

Redemption of a Sort

Remember S&H green stamps or Top Value stamps? I'm probably dating myself but there was a time in the U.S. when grocery stores and gas stations gave out these stamps when you made a purchase. When I was little, I thought it was a lot of fun to lick the stamps and paste them in their little booklets which could then be redeemed at a special store for all kinds of gear from toys to household items to camping equipment.

Well, it's been years since I last saw one of those stamps back home; I suppose they've been replaced by frequent flier miles or those loyalty cards that give you cents off at the supermarket. The concept, however, is alive and well here in France although the points are electronic. It seems like many of the big chain stores and even the SNCF, the French railroad, are dispensing "S'miles" and they're constantly haranguing customers to earn more. My bank and France Telecom have their own points systems. I keep racking up the "S'miles" although the thought of figuring out how to consolidate those I've earned from various stores in one account or even to redeem them seems overwhelming. Just wait...I'll probably figure out how to trade in my points to get some cool 220 volt espresso maker right when it's time for us to return stateside.


Starman said...

It appears to be a customer care campaign. They would do better to improve their clerical attitudes than giving out "S'miles".

Adam said...

I think the 'S'miles' thing is run by a private group and just used by these companies to attract customers. It's quite eeasy to use them, either directly from somewhere like Monoprix or via the S'miles website - not that anyone does of course!

Anonymous said...

I too have been faithfully using my S'Mile card for every purchase. I now have almost 5000 S'Miles and can't figure out how to redeem them. And the prizes are fairly shabby.

Anonymous said...

In our Géant Casino there's a sign saying you can trade in your S'miles for a bon d'achat at the checkout counter. 800 s'miles for 10€. You can also trade them in at their website.

This post made me check out the Géant web site, and good thing I did because under 'Carde Fidélité' there's a sign that says 'Pensez a transformer vos S'Miles avant de les perdre le 31 décembre 2008'. This is a nouveauté. We never had to worry about losing s'miles at the end of the year. Apparently Leclerc is doing that too this year, so I wouldn't be surprised if Carrefour and Auchan were playing the same game as well.

Anne said...

Thanks for the hot tip. I'll definitely see if I can't transform those points to cash before the end of the year.

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