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June 1, 2015

Get Rewards with Plenti (of Strings Attached)

Filed under: Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:48 am

  A new unified rewards program named Plenti was recently introduced by a number of retailers. The concept is simple, and actually kind of smart on the face of it: instead of separate loyalty programs, these stores use the same card to allow shoppers to earn points that get deposited into a single account. Then, the points can be redeemed at participating members’ stores for discounts.



But wait, there was some almost illegible fine print on the screen for a mere three seconds.

*MOUSE PRINT:

“You cannot use points with all participating partners or at all locations.”

Huh? Isn’t that the point of the program to earn points at member stores and then be able to redeem there?

For example, here is AT&T’s Plenti ad.

*MOUSE PRINT:

AT&T Plenti

In case you can’t read that, it says that you can’t currently use points at AT&T.

*MOUSE PRINT:

In fact, according to the Plenti site, you can only redeem Plenti points at Macy’s, Rite Aid and participating Exxon and Mobil stations.

So, if you like to collect points just for the sake of collecting them because you don’t shop at the above retailers, knock yourself out at AT&T, Nationwide Insurance, Direct Energy, Enterprise, National, Alamo, and Hulu.

And as with any discounts, there are “plenti” of other earning and redeeming exclusions.

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16 Comments

  1. That’s quite a motley crew of retailers. I wonder what brought them together.

    Based on the limits of this program, I’d rather just rely on individual retailer loyalty programs. Retailers are unlikely to want to share benefits on discounts, and because of that the program will suffer.

    Comment by Wayne R — June 1, 2015 @ 7:50 am
  2. I hate all of these rewards programs. Just offer fair prices on products. Now I’m stuck with carrying around 20 loyalty cards, always having to go on the internet, use my smart phone, watch out for all the tricks they play, etc…

    People hate on them but WalMart mostly offers very fair prices and you are in and out.

    Comment by max — June 1, 2015 @ 8:42 am
  3. I agree with “Max” – Just offer fair prices. Example: I was looking for a pillow, Sears offered me a higher price with 30% back in points, WalMarts price was $4 less than Sears for the same brand. I took the $4 savings in cash.

    Comment by tom gauvin — June 1, 2015 @ 12:12 pm
  4. All I see is a “plenti” big mess on what you can buy and can’t buy with this card. Not even enough stores listed…

    Only AT&T??? How about T-Mobile, and Sprint. And lets add in more gas stations, drug stores, etc…

    Comment by Richard — June 1, 2015 @ 2:28 pm
  5. My local Rite-Aid recently switched to this program. The first I knew of it was when the clerk kept my Rite-Aid discount card and handed me a folder with the new Plenti card. He made me stand there while he input a bunch of information for me-name, address, phone, email address. So then I thought I was “registered-wrong! I received an email telling me to go on-line to the Plenti site to “complete” my registration. This was a much longer and more intrusive form that wanted my birth date among other things. I don’t give any site my true date of birth, so I filled in a false one. The form rejected it. How did it know what my real date of birth was? Reading the “about” info on the Plenti program gave me a hint. It is owned by American Express. Well, American Express does know what my real birth date is, unfortunately, since I had to sign up for an Amex card over a decade ago for my job. I closed the Amex account almost two years ago, and requested that Amex remove all my date from their database (they had allowed someone to access my info, with the result that someone used that info to obtain a cell phone in a different state with my identity). Obviously my info is still in the AMEX database. Needless to say I canceled the Plenti card and just won’t shop at Rite-Aid anymore. And since I never purchase gas at Exxon/Mobile, and rarely shop at Macy’s, it is no loss to me.

    Comment by L. Weight — June 1, 2015 @ 4:13 pm
  6. Perhaps the idea behind Plenti is to make it easier for all these companies to track your purchases across multiple stores, to better correlate the marketing data they accumulate about you.

    Comment by A Mandel — June 1, 2015 @ 6:55 pm
  7. I concur with L. Weight’s comments above. I too was put off by having to enter my date of birth to validate my registration. That is a security question frequently used by all kinds of companies for identification. No way should that information be given to a store loyalty card. I called Rite Aid and they said they need to make sure you are of legal age for certain offers. I said fine, just have the application certify that you are over 18 or 21 or whatever. They insisted on actual DOB.

    I then started checking the fine print. There’s a lot to be concerned about with the sharing of your data by Plenti. Do you want your insurance company to know what over the counter medicines you bought at Rite Aid? Or that you bought cigarettes or beer? They can share that data with the existing Plenti “partners” and future ones. Digging deeper I came across a comment on the Plenti Facebook page that mentioned you can exclude Plenti from using your data to determine your creditworthiness. That means the default is that Plenti can use your data for creditworthiness. Now what that means I’m not entirely sure but how would you like to find out your credit score was lowered based on the types of things you bought when you used the Plenti card. Who’s to say a credit bureau won’t evaluate your purchases across various merchants including the Rite Aid drugstore and say you are a poorer credit risk?

    There’s a reason Plenti doesn’t let you sign up and use the card in the store right away and makes you validate the card online. It’s the fine print that probably very few look at that allows a massive invasion of your privacy.

    Comment by M. Smith — June 1, 2015 @ 7:05 pm
  8. I too went to Rite Aid yesterday and the clerk took my Rite-Aid discount card and handed me a folder with the new Plenti card and made me enter information I didn’t want to enter. I went to the Plenti site this morning to complete the sign-up and stopped when I realized they were asking me way too much information. I googled and got to this page which just confirms what I had already figured out. I just dropped the application in the recycle bin and the card in the trash without completing the sign-up. I wish I hadn’t started this process.

    Comment by Carol F. — June 3, 2015 @ 8:51 am
  9. I, too, will throw out the Plenti card Rite-Aid insisted I take yesterday and for which I did NOT finish signing up online. However, I am also going to TELL them so, and why. If enough of us do that, perhaps they will eliminate this program – or at least the intrusiveness of it. I don’t need points that badly! Thanks for the info.

    Comment by Lisa in Sunland — June 3, 2015 @ 10:49 am
  10. Carol, if they gave you a Plenti card you are now “pre-registered”. Your account is still on their file. I had to call Plenti and tell them to cancel the card even though I didn’t validate it.

    Comment by M. Smith — June 3, 2015 @ 1:16 pm
  11. has anyone read the terms/conditions from ATT’s Plenti? These companies are going to have tons of data about you that is worth billions of dollars in marketing dollars! Do you think you will EVER really benefit for what you are giving them? NO WAY! Do not sign up for these loyalty programs because they will not be useful unless you are a penny pincher and watch every program to a T! THey are selling your data to 3rd party companies that have nothing to do with the partners you signed up for!!! Your data is going to go all over the world if it has not already.

    Copied direct from ATT’s Plenti Website as of June 3, 2015:

    Authorization for Plenti to Use and Share Your Information. You authorize us to use and share your Enrollment Information and Account Activity in accordance with the Plenti Consumer Privacy Notice (plenti.com/consumerprivacynotice) and the Plenti Online Privacy Statement (plenti.com/onlineprivacystatement), each as amended from time to time at our sole discretion. These authorizations include, but are not limited to:

    • Sharing your Enrollment Information with our Sponsors (though you can revoke your consent to our sharing your Enrollment Information at any time by going to plenti.com/choices).

    • Using your Account Activity to evaluate, develop, offer and promote our affiliates’ and our Sponsors’ products and services to you.

    • Combining your Account Activity information with that of other Members in order to create aggregated reports that we may share with our affiliates, Sponsors or other nonaffiliated third parties.

    You can obtain copies of the Plenti Consumer Privacy Notice and/or the Plenti Online Privacy Statement by clicking on the hyperlinks above or calling 1-855-PLENTI1 (1-855-753-6841).

    Comment by Lexy — June 3, 2015 @ 1:32 pm
  12. I boycotted Exxon since the Exxon Valdez disaster, and was ripped-off by ATT years ago, and avoided them ever since. I will hesitate before buying anything from businesses who are partners with them on any way, including Plenti partners. I was given the Plenti card but have not activated it.

    Comment by KRKelly — June 11, 2015 @ 1:23 pm
  13. Sounds like the old greenstamps program

    Comment by me — June 12, 2015 @ 10:34 am
  14. [Heavily edited]
    No matter what anyone says the customer is to blame for all this.

    Why? Simple…everyone thinks they deserve a discount for everything. The companies count on stupid people to signup, and shop. If they get a million to signup and only 10,000 get rewards, they win.

    Just something to think about next time you think you deserve a discount.

    Comment by Rick w — June 12, 2015 @ 8:27 pm
  15. luckily i do not get involved with loyalty programs anymore. i used to have “sky-pesos” with delta but it seems every time you sign up for something the restrictions prevent you from getting the rewards you have earned. ie a 25,000 mile seat is not avail on the flight you want but you can get it for 75,000 miles. sadly like the above gentleman says they count on you to signup use their store or product and then put such rubbish in the fine print when you try to redeem something it’s virtually impossible.

    cvs has their loyalty card but only way to redeem you rewards is get and keep the register receipt and the end of the quarter and remember to bring it next time you go in. they could easily just give you the discount at the register but that way everyone would get the discount that they earned. by giving you a piece of paper most will lose it and cvs will not have to honor the discount.

    Comment by harry g — June 13, 2015 @ 5:23 pm
  16. I just finished signing for my Plenti card. I linked up to Stop & Shop and A&P. I then went to Stop & Shop and handed them my Plenti card. They didn’t know what it was but a manager recognized it as she had one. She dïdnt know Stop & Shop were one of the Partners. She then said she would talk to a higher up and tell them Stop & Shop were now Partners! Very odd!! A smell a problem with the Plenti rewards program. This COULD work if they got with the program and got more partners to join in! ALSO, every company should be on te same page with giving and redeeming points.

    Edgar replies: Supermarkets are NOT part of the Plenti program. However, Plenti allows you to link participating supermarkets with your Plenti card. At the store, you use your REGULAR supermarket card and NOT the Plenti card. You can only earn points for dozen or two “household” offers listed on the Plenti site (which you must pre-activate).

    Comment by Sheila Perrone — June 14, 2015 @ 12:30 pm

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