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‘Tis the season when many of us find ourselves shopping which, for most of us, means taking advantage of store discount cards and membership clubs.

So, as a public service announcement, I wanted to pass on a tip I read about a while back on Lifehacker. It’s a tip I got to put into action for myself, so I know it works.

A while back, my wife and I were in NJ, attending a marching band competition. We had to stop into a grocery store and pick up some party supplies.  As we were out of state, I didn’t have a rewards card for this particular store, so I asked the checkout clerk to just swipe the store card – which they typically do in places like groceries stores, CVS, etc.

The clerk did not have a card, so I decided to try the “Call Jenny” trick.

I asked him what area code we were in, which he gave me. I then asked him to use 201-867-5309 as the rewards number. And it worked, earning me a discount on snacks, sodas, paper plates, and Solo cups.

Which you may recognize as coming from 867-5309/Jenny, a song that was popular in the early 1980’s.

As it turns out, using the correct area code with the Jenny number will get you a discount in many stores that offer rewards programs, as many programmers use this number as a test or default number.

Programmers aren’t alone. I read on Wikipedia – so it must be right, right? – that 8675309 is the fourth most commonly used 7-digit password. (If you’re wondering the “no surpise” most popular 7-digit password is 1234567.)

So, here’s Critical Link’s Public Service Announcement:

If you want to see if you can get a discount in a store where you’re not a rewards member, try calling Jenny. But if you want to set a default password, please don’t use 8675309. It’s not quite as bad as 1234567, but it’s right up there.



Anyone who wants to take a stroll down memory lane, there’s a video of “867-5309” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axLRUszuu9I