Best Buy Doesn't Seem To Understand This Rewards Program Thing

I noticed something interesting recently when signing up for a RewardZone account at Best Buy. Either it was a glitch or this is an ongoing issue, but I couldn’t tie together my RewardZone number and my account to purchase things on the site.

The above error message showed. Had I spelled my street name wrong, or put in the wrong zip code? No, everything looked fine. I really wasn’t in the mood to deal with a customer service line to get a few reward points, so I shrugged, reconsidered my purchase, and bought a similar item from another online merchant. Then I went about the rest of my day.

Almost four hours after I had registered for the RewardZone number, I received an e-mail confirming my account. I took my account number, went back to BestBuy.com, and sure enough the site accepted my RewardZone account and let me register.

Now, obviously this didn’t affect my life very much, but Best Buy did lose a sale. I picked them because of price, in-store pickup, and they still had the camera I wanted in stock. If users of the site are encouraged to sign up for RewardZone during checkout, which they are, shouldn’t they also be able to use their reward cards immediately?

If this happened when cashiers sign customers up for new cards, it would be unacceptable. Imagine walking up to the cash register to make a new purchase and signing up for a new card, only to hear the cashier say, “Oh, if you want points on this purchase, you’ll have to wait four hours. Here, go wander around the mall until then.” You’d probably wander into a competing store.