By now you probably know that after today, Vanilla Reloads and other prepaid re-loadable cards will be hard-coded into CVS registers as being Cash Only.
Amol of Hack My Trip first broke out the news in the blogosphere and everyone who manufacture spends went nuts.
There is a huge frenzy going on right now with people stocking up on Vanilla Reloads before it “supposedly” dies tomorrow on March 31, 2014. There was huge speculation that this could have been an April Fools joke, but Flyertalkers chimed into the CVS thread and gave their two cents. I would say probably 30% of Flyertalkers reported that their CVS received the memo that it would be cash only. The other 70% say that the shift leaders, managers, and store managers never got the email memo.
One Flyertalker who become buddies with the store manager even went to the back office to check his e-mail and nothing came up. There was huge speculation that this could be a regional thing with many reports coming from the Florida state saying that it would be cash only.
I know that certain stores have adopted a ‘cash only’ policy way before this memo. A lot of my local CVS’s in Los Angeles do not know about it. Certain CVS stores love it when customers buy Vanilla Reloads and other prepaid cards because it adds to their store’s sales volume goal.
In order for a CVS register to become hard coded with “Cash Only”, it needs a POS (Point of Sale) update. This is basically like an app update on your iPhone or software patch on your anti-virus program.
The million dollar question is “When will registers get updated with the new POS patch?”
I highly doubt that all the CVS stores are in sync like they should be. CVS sounds like a poorly run corporation with bad communication and manufacture spenders can take advantage of it.
I believe not all stores will be able to roll the POS update first thing tomorrow morning. If you do encounter a register that is hard coded with “cash only”, have the CVS cashier show you on the screen for proof. Otherwise, they’re just pulling your leg.
My best tip is probably to seek younger cashiers, as they might not know any better. If you do run into an encounter where the register is not hard-coded and the cashier tells you that it’s cash only, tell them that you’ll pay with a debit card, which is basically like cash. Instead, you swipe your points earning credit card at the terminal and hopefully it goes through.
The hard coded register thing won’t happen instantly overnight, so we need to take advantage of the trickle-down effect. I believe we still have at least another week or two before all the stores are in compliance with the memo.
How are you dealing with the death of Vanilla Reloads?