SAQ Inspire: the worst promotion ever made

In case you’ve never heard of the SAQ, it’s just yet another scam we Quebecers have to deal with. Called in french “Société des alcools du Québec,” it roughly translates to “You’ll pay double of what you’d pay in the US and the cashiers will snob you.” In case you still cannot make a link between the words “alcools” and “alcohol,” it’s basically the only place to buy alcohol in the entire province of Quebec. Sure, you can grab some beer or some weird wine I wouldn’t even use in cooking recipes at your local grocery store, but overall, if you want anything but the most very basic products or some undrinkable “pre-made cocktail” that is sold with a roughly 200% markup,you have to go to the SAQ.

Entering a SAQ outlet makes you realize that we might not have won the Cold War after all. After all, how it it possible in this day and age that a single chain, one owned by the government, nothing less, can manage pretty much 100% of strong alcohol sales and pretty much 95% of wine sales? Has the country accidentally became communist or something? What happened to the free market and competition?

In any event, I could spend the next 20 paragraphs explaining why SAQ is absolutely terrible (I would say almost a quarter as bad as Hydro-Quebec, another governmental scam), but I want to focus today’s article on their new promotion which is so bad it’s (almost) good. Here it is:


Wow, what an incredible bargain! Thanks God I was sitting when I saw such an amazing offer or I might have swooned!

Honestly, when I saw this “program”, advertised with big letters on their home page, I had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn’t April 1st. Let me get this straight: if I spent $200 at your store, I can get $1 off from a future purchase


It comes at roughly - no, not roughly, it comes at exactly a 0.5% rebate. A fucking 0.5% rebate, really? If you actually have to withdraw money at an ATM before making your purchase, you’ll pay more in ATM fees that you will save with that “program.”

What were they thinking?

Seriously, I want to meet the guy who thought about something so utterly dumb. Nobody, save perhaps the biggest alcoholic in Montreal or that one guy who desperately wants to save $0.50 off his next purchase just to feel he still “has it” is going to use this program for more than week. Think about it this way: how much do you spend on alcohol every year? Now, remove any alcohol you drink at a bar or a restaurant and remove all beer. How much do you spend now? Chances are it’s not that much. In fact, it will be extremely difficult for you to spend more than $1,000 a year on alcohol. My own total was around $360 last year and it includes two bottles meant as a gift to someone. Honestly, if you spend more than $1,000 a year on hard liquor and wine, it might be time to join another program, a program that contains two words and begins with “alcoholic.”

But let’s say you are a hardcore drinker. You drink 40 oz of vodka + two bottles of wine per week , for a around $60 per week. That’s $3,000 per year, which grants you a grant total of… of…


That’s right: even if you went there every week and basically binged on alcohol non stop for a full year, you’d end up with the grand total sum of $15 in savings. You’d basically have to develop a cirrhosis for this program to be worth it. This is so unfunny it’s actually starting to make sense. I would pick whomever joined that program and give them their own reality show because you would have to be beyond retarded to even consider joining it.

And why does the SAQ wants for the priviledge of joining this program? Well, everything:


Want my SSN while you’re at it, SAQ?

Yes, for the “maybe” rebate of $15 - usable on a future purchase, nothing less - you have to pretty much give them every single piece of information on you that they could ever need. They’ll be able to track every single of your purchase, down to the minute you bought it. They even have a section asking how much wine you drink a wine, offering you a bonus 300-points ($0.30) if you do.

Is your privacy really worth that little to you?

It pisses me off when people accept to be treated like pawns. Why? Because I know that I have to share my daily life with them. Just to know that 90%+ of people around me don’t give a damn about freedom pisses me off to no avail. Even worse, I know I will be eventually be forced into the rank. When 99% of people accept a situation without saying a word, then ineluctably, the remaining 1% gets forced into the mold as well.

But FS, just don’t join the program!

That’s the thing: SAQ “Inspire” wouldn’t piss me off so bad if they hadn’t raised the prices of their items to compensate. What used to be a $30 bottle of vodka is now at $30.45 bottle - but you now get $0.15 back through the SAQ Inspire program! Oh wow! You know, it’s one thing to have high prices when you have competitors (see: Target), but when you have a monopoly, it kind of forces your hand.

Even SAQ’s promotions started to suck. What used to be a $5 discount on a bottle is a now a $2.50 discount coupled with a a bonus of 2,500 points. It’s the same thing, no? Well, no: it forces you into the program and it forces you to come back to use your points. And all this time, you are being tracked by your overlords, just like a hamster in a rolling ball.

Enjoy being treated like a pawn, citizen #1412512!

I’ve stopped driving because gas is still at $1.10 despite the oil barrel being at $36. Ten years ago, back when oil was at $36, gas was at $0.70 per liter -if that.. When oil will kick back to $147, you can bet the gas price will rise again. I’ve stopped driving and I might have to stop drinking.

Fuck the people who invented SAQ Inspire.

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