eBay Bucks is a rewards and loyalty program meant to keep buyers shopping on eBay and using PayPal to pay for their purchases. Seems like a nice idea: lots of stores have loyalty programs. Shoppers and sellers alike are angry at eBay, though, after learning about some big changes to the program that begin in the first quarter of 2014. [More]
One might think that the more loyal a customer is, the more likely it’d be for a company to roll out the red carpet treatment. But that’s the exact opposite of how it works, claim two New Jersey residents in a lawsuit against the parent company of United Airlines. The plaintiffs allege that United actually sets a higher redemption rate for the more frequent fliers. [More]
To Walgreens, every customer is like a unique snowflake. Except that instead of a snowflake, we’re all filled with different kinds of special sauce, and the company is working hard to find out what yours is. It’s managed to boost its profits by rewarding customers to stay healthy, somewhat of a contradiction for a drug store that sells items to the exact opposite kind of shopper. [More]
The only reward you earned in the past for chowing down on McDonald’s food was perhaps the self-congratulations awarded for satisfying a craving, or accomplishing your personal french fry consumption quota. McDonald’s might change that soon, with a new loyalty program its testing that would reward customers using mobile devices at its restaurants. [More]
So you think you’re special, huh? Special enough to qualify for United Airlines’ elite frequent-flier status? You should be prepared to spend a minimum of $2,500 per year on tickets or shell out enough money for upgrades, because the airline announced its upping its threshold for the lowest Premier Silver elite status in 2015. [More]
Six million people have rewards accounts at Starbucks, but it might not be accurate to call them loyalty cards. Yes, Starbucks uses cards and apps to store gift card balances and keep track of what customers buy, but don’t look for them to start handing out more discounts as they collect more data on you. If someone is already coming in five days a week, the goal isn’t to charge them less: it’s to make sure they don’t stop coming. [More]
The perks of being loyal to a hotel chain can make someone feel like George Clooney in Up In the Air — rolling in and out of locations with the greatest of ease and the least amount of hassle. But what if you’re not the kind of person who can rack up 75 or 100 nights per year at a hotel to qualify? There are ways around that hurdle. [More]
Aggressive sales pitches are a delicate balance between selling customers on what you have to offer and pissing them off so much that they never return. When AMC theaters recently changed their loyalty program from free to paid, employees began to sell memberships too aggressively for AgentG2’s taste. He found the experience off-putting enough that he doesn’t plan to return to AMC. He wonders: did he overreact? [More]
When Rosalie and her husband reserved a room at a Hyatt Place hotel, they thought that by requesting two queen-size beds, they were reserving two queen-size beds. This is not so: they were requesting two queen-size beds, and the couple learned this the hard way. This wasn’t just a case of travel preferences and first world problems: Rosalie suffers from severe back problems, and needs a nice, immobile bed to herself in order to prevent Even More Pain. [More]
UPDATE: Coke gave Brian his points back. [More]
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling for a probe of frequent flyer programs to determine whether they deliver the value that they promise. In particular, he wants the Department of Transportation to look into the issue of evaporating miles, a relatively new phenomenon brought introduced via expiration dates in recent years.
Rikki is happy to report that her 162,000 Hilton points that disappeared without notice or warning are reinstated!
Royal Caribbean is gutting the Crown & Anchor society that lavishes loyal cruisers with perks like discounts, priority boarding, and a concierge lounge stocked with complimentary cocktails. The free booze will now be available only to cruisers who have sailed more than 25 times with Royal Caribbean. Many loyal passengers who don’t spend their lives on Royal Caribbean ships are understandably pissed.
The rumor was true—T-Mobile has started offering cheaper unlimited voice plans to existing customers. Matthew wrote to us, “The TMO loyalty plans are showing up on the site as of today…we just moved to the Unlimited Loyalty Family Plan at $89.99, which is $10 cheaper than the 2000 minute Family Plan we’d been on.”