Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The Hollow Sound of Bankers' Laughter

Have you ever tried to redeem points on a credit card loyalty scheme? I have a theory about this. I suspect there are 4 dusty reward items, nailed to the floor in some window display. They are photographed, occasionally updated and never leave the building. There are no other items waiting for redemption! There is no happy rack of sparkling cordless phones; no cupboards full of steak knives and plasma TVs, NO! the whole thing is an elaborate front to encourage you to keep using your credit card to pay for everything!!!!!!

I know this because in the last two years we have tried unsuccessfully to redeem points, on a relatively low point item I might add, via a website. In the first instance we couldn't even log into the blasted thing. Then, after Himself rang and shouted obscenities at the recorded prompts, he spoke to an operator who assured him the site was about to be updated and gave us a temporary password. We duly logged in and went to 'look' at the items available for redemption (as per the mailed out catalogue). We selected the one we wanted and clicked. Nothing. And again. Nothing.
Another phone call assured us that it was a glitch that was being sorted. We didn't bother for a while.

Tonight we tried again. The website is brand new and shiny! I had to create a totally new username etc but we got in and navigated to the 'redeem points' page. There were three overpriced items on the homepage, all with clickable links. That was all there was; no button directing you to the catalogue; no neatly arranged photos of the other items in question. But wait! On the side bar there is an animated marquee with alternating pics of all other redeemable items. There is a button exhorting you to 'redeem now'.

Firstly you wonder if you have to wait til your desired item flashes up before you click 'redeem now'. Wait, wait, wait....there it is! Click now! Go on, go on.......CLICK!!!!!!!!!!!
Drat. Missed it.
Then you figure it can't be that hard and just click on any picture. And click. And CLICK. The download bar lights up, the page reads 'done'. It is unchanged.

Someone, somewhere in their little programmers' hole is having a HUGE laugh!!!!!!!!!!!


headbang8 said...

Marketers who run "loyalty" schemes fail to understand that loyalty goes both ways.

Time to call Consumer Affairs.

Stacy said...

LOL...yes I hear you on that! Well, I actually have redeemed points on a few cards. Only one was it pretty easy. I got a new camera lens off of one of them, though. I couldn't do it, since I was primary on the card, so I had to have Brian redeem for me.

I wish you good luck on your next try!

A Free Man said...

"Loyalty schemes" are loyalty scams. I refuse to get involved with any of them.

Maggie said...

Ugh -- I know what you mean. SO ANNOYING!

Arizaphale said...

headbang: I sent them an abusive email...is that the same thing?

JoLyn said...

Yes it sounds like someone has a good gig going on!

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Ugh! That does sound frustrating. Is there any chance trying a different web browser might help?

Kevin C Jones said...

I buy from a supermarket that just takes my money and I get "groceries".
I was out of my normal zone the other day and went to a major chain where I was automatically asked if I wanted "fly-buy" points. The spectre of David Allen floated before me...

"No," I said in a low voice, "but don't ask the next 4 customers about 'fly-buys' and I'll give you $20." She kept flicking her eyes up until I noticed the CCTV camera.

So I stuffed the $20 in the Charity box, and left her chaste.

For those that never knew the late David Allen, he used to order large quantities of hambugers with the provision that the Teller didn't say "Have a Nice Day"...