Readers React

Questionable 'rewards' programs don't buy customer loyalty

To the editor: Regarding David Lazarus' article about rewards at CVS, I think rewards programs are generally confusing and tedious and miss the whole point of honestly gaining customer loyalty through more meaningful criteria. ("Why doesn't CVS clearly define its ExtraCare rewards for customers?," Column, Nov. 17)

The best reward is a fair price and welcoming, professional customer service. Nordstrom does this very well, as do others.

Retailers need to "earn" loyalty by delivering on core values rather than attempting to "buy" loyalty with often complex and unrewarding presumed discounts. I would like to see companies once again compete on price, value and service — and delete the rewards programs.

Miller McMillan, Santa Monica

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To the editor: I was pleased to read Lazarus' article on CVS and its scheming ways. I too have had my experiences with the company's 25% and 30% discount coupons.

Another thing that I have experienced is that even when you find the "regular item" and receive your discount, you are still charged tax on the regular price. How can CVS do this? One can only charge sales tax on the price for which something has been sold.

Cellphone companies have been getting away with this scam for years. You get the phone at a big discount and are then charged a sales tax on the full price. This is a sizable amount when you're receiving a discount of a few hundred dollars.

Jan Tighe, Rancho Palos Verdes

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