Nesters gives long-distance feeling
If you're like many loyal Nesters Market shoppers, you use your Value Card religiously without any real idea how you can use all those points you've racked up.
Now the local grocer has the answer.
Not just for discounts at area restaurants, etc., the Nesters Value Card can now be used to buy long-distance telephone time.
You can buy phone cards outright or simply tell the teller you want to buy some long-distance time from your hoard of Value Card points.
You'll need to get a new Value Card so it will have a calling card number, an access number to call and a "pin" or personal code number.
Nesters quietly launched the novel cards during Spirit Day.
If anything, the card offers those without a phone an opportunity to pre-pay for long-distance calls.
The calls aren't cheap, with a charge per minute of about 55 cents, compared to the 15 or fewer cents a minute charged for long-distance from the home phone. But if it's free in the first place, who cares, eh?
Phone cards from grocery stores aren't new. They've been in Canada for about three years, mainly in Ontario, but have become a $1 billion industry in the U.S.
The phone cards offer some creative cross-selling opportunities.
An Ontario corner store giant was selling a five-minute phone card for 99 cents if the buyer picked up a 12-pack of Cokes, too.
Special designs have made them collector items, getting up to $45 a set in one case.
Nesters Market phone card will feature a promotional message that cranks up whenever the card is used, which may not thrill people already itchy over junk snail mail.
"We don't want to inundate people with advertising," says Nesters marketing co-ordinator Maxine Druker in an industry trade magazine article.