Safeway recently found out that they have a private API, unlike other retailers that embed their own coupons in my e-commerce address book. Having secured exclusive use rights to an open API, this marks the end of Safeway’s “24/7” coupon system to help them sell coupons and help them earn some revenue through advertising on my checkbook.
Safeway first asked me to use their “24/7” program, to take my location, history and current coupons without payment. I reluctantly signed up, even though I knew that it was a captive audience, and believe that it violated Safeway’s terms. Not only did I accept their terms and conditions, but most likely, they didn’t add a warning to make you aware of it, so I kept working on new subscriptions.
Unfortunately, I don’t really want to cancel the contract with Safeway, but what I did choose to do was sell them my domain name to a domain registrar who automatically shared all my non-Safeway keyword listings with the company, thus double dipping.
Want to know why Safeway would do this to me?
According to an article on DealBeat, the company’s CEO is said to have a problem with e-commerce companies bringing in non-payment companies, and telling it as it is. The caveat, though, is Safeway has big money; they are $72 million in debt coming due in August 2012, so there’s a real risk that this will impact them.
My question is, why does Safeway want to encourage non-payment through its private API? What if I kept using the monthly subscription? Now I have to manually search and mark the places that I want to sell coupons to those that make my e-commerce account. It’s not a fun task, and since it’s happening anyway, I think it’s only fair that I pay for something I can do for free.