Saturday, August 06, 2005

Dick's Ripoff Reward

When Dick's Sporting Goods came to Chicago, I was glad because I never liked SportMart much--their stores were often dirty and disorganized. I know Dick's replaced Galyan's, but I never shopped there because, well, the name didn't sound right. Petty, I know.

Anyway, I went to Dick's this spring to buy a stand for the heavy bag (for boxing) that we've had in the family for years (mostly sitting unused in my parents' garage and later in my basement) and some other things. The store offered a program called "Dick's ScoreCard," and just the Beavis-and-Butthead double entendre of the name was enough for me (almost as good as when Dick's Supermarkets in southwestern Wisconsin offered a card program called the "Dick's Insider Savings Club," which they since renamed to the simpler and less embarrassing "Dick's Savings Club"). Besides, the ScoreCard earned a reward certificate immediately based on the size of my purchase. A no-lose situation, right? In May, my "Reward Certificate" came in the mail. It was good for $10 off my next purchase at Dick's. But wait, look at the thick paragraph of fine print on the certificate, particularly:

Excludes all Callaway, Odyssey, Titleist, Cobra, and select release TaylorMade Products, Levi's, Under Armour, Nike Dri-FIT, Therma-FIT, Sphere and Pro Compression, Merrell footwear, Nike Free, Shox, Impax, Air Zoom Generation, Jordan and LE shoes, Oakley, Maui Jim, Smith, Ray-Ban, Suunto, Arcteryx, The North Face and Columbia merchandise.
Sheesh, it would have been easier to list the qualifying merchandise! To top it off, the certificate was only good for two months. For someone with rare sporting goods needs (except cycling gear, but I try to buy that from local bike shops), the time limit alone irritated me. But after reading the list of exclusions and looking through a recent advertising flyer in the Sunday newspaper, I knew I'd never use the darn thing anyway.

What a bunch of Dick's (apostrophe optional).

P.S. I dug up a photo of a billboard promoting the aforementioned Insider card (probably on US 18 east of Prairie du Chien). The scan is dated October 1997, but the photo was taken a few months earlier:

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