A local man learned this week that he's been a VIP since at least 2012—without even realizing it.
Dwayne Johnson, 33, made the happy discovery Tuesday as he scrutinized his most recent credit card statement. Among the two dozen or so charges, Johnson said, was one from "RRS*SPORTSVIP" in the amount of $44.99. Curious, he did some Googling.
"Come to find out," he said, "it was an annual charge for Road Runner Sports' VIP program."
Road Runner Sports, with a large website and more than three dozen bricks-and-mortar locations, bills itself as "the world's largest running and walking store." Members of its VIP program enjoy such benefits as discounts and free shipping.
Further digging revealed that Road Runner Sports had been charging him $27.99 annually since 2012, without his knowledge.
"When I saw that," he said, "I screamed."
"I couldn't believe it," he continued. "Me—a bona fide VIP! All this time! And I didn't even know! How cool is that?"
Johnson said he last patronized Road Runner Sports in August 2012, when he bought a pair of shoes via its website. While he vaguely remembers opting to enroll in the VIP program during checkout—for $1.99—he said he never intended to renew it.
"I guess Road Runner did it for me," he said. "They know a VIP when they see one!"
In fact, Road Runner Sports uses an "auto renew" system for all members of its VIP program, quietly charging them $27.99 annually after luring them in with an introductory rate of $1.99 for the first year.
Some who discover, as Johnson did, that they've accrued hundreds of dollars of charges unknowingly react in anger or dismay. Not so with Johnson, who said his only regret is that he didn't realize sooner that he was a VIP.
"Think of all the bragging rights I've missed out on over the past five years!" he said. "Me, a VIP. Who'd have thought it?"