This morning I had a few hours to kill with the kids while the missus was getting her hair done so I headed down to Boucher thinking I could check out a few car showrooms, but the lure of the new-ish development with Matalan and TKMax proved more enticing.
I’ve never been into either of these stores (these ones in particular, or any others of the same name) so I thought it was worth checking out.
TKmax was fine, reminded me of Poundstretcher and nothing much to write home about so we went to Matalan which was a bit more of the same. Except for some Spider Man underpants my son took a liking to, so off we trot to the checkout.
Assistant: Do you have a Matalan card?
Me: No, it’s ok (thinking pretty much every store these days offers you a store card)
Assistant: You can’t buy anything without one.
Now, paint me pink and call me princess, what the fuck? This has to be a joke. Now I’m concerned about privacy as much as the next Joe, I am aware of the data mining capability and that they’ll be able to tell when I’m likely to buy, and quantity of, and sizes, of every school uniform for the next 14+ years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a nut who refuses all these cards, I’ve got my tesco and boots cards, the boots card comes in very handy in buying my sandwich when I have no spare change saving me a trip to the ATM. But when someone *requires* me to have one I draw the line… so
Me: Excuse me?
Assistant repeats: You can’t buy anything without one. (and proceeds to tear one off a paper card handing it to me to fill in)
Transaction complete, he hands me my receipt and the shiney new Matalan card which I promptly hand him back with a "Please bin that". I’m even surprised that he looked shocked at my behaviour.
So, my one and only expercience in Matalan is likely to remain my one and only experience. However, should the occassion arise again I think I’ll do the same thing, perhaps someday they’ll rethink stupid policies such as this.