Sears and Kmart run a rewards program called Shop Your Way Rewards, giving you points for purchases. They are now expanding it to other retailers. In a joint marketing promotion with Visa, they are promising to give you $7 in rewards credit, if you register your Visa card. MrConsumer was tempted by the free $7.
On the registration page, they ask for your cellphone number. That should always be a warning flag that you may be getting calls or texts on your mobile phone. The little question mark near the mobile phone field, however, doesn’t say that.
Whewwww. That’s a relief.
Well, not so fast. Toward the bottom of the enrollment form, there is a bunch of fine print.
I agree that the SYW Link Program may send me SMS messages to my registered mobile phone number confirming each time the program identifies a potentially qualifying SYW Link purchase, as well as additional SMS messages (approximately 8 per month, which may vary) with SYW offers or updates. Msg&Data Rates May Apply.
Your Visa cardâ€™s historic (up to past 13 months) and future transaction history (including air travel itinerary information and location of the merchant where you used your card) may be used to deliver you with offers and messages from the SYW Link Program based on your purchase behavior. [color emphasis added]
In plain English, you are authorizing Sears and Visa to send you eight text message ads a month, in addition to texts each time you make a qualifying purchase. Further, you are allowing the companies to review over a year’s worth of your purchases so they can better profile you.
MrConsumer decided that a lousy $7 payment was not a fair trade for getting a bunch of unwanted text message ads about who knows what, and allowing them to see his purchasing habits. While one can later opt-out of the text messages, the invasion of privacy was too high a price to pay.