Pepsi & Amazon Won't Fix PepsiStuff Error, Keep Ignoring Customer

Jon saved up a bunch of PepsiStuff points and decided to redeem them for an item PepsiStuff is promoting on its website. That’s how these point redemption programs usually work, you see. PepsiStuff.com apparently thinks otherwise—they’ll let you redeem the points for a COBY player (ha ha ha ha), but the Sony alarm clock is just redemption bait. You’re not supposed to actually pick that.

We’ve bolded the dumb “go look on PepsiStuff.com” responses from Amazon:

After amassing a lot of PepsiStuff.com points, I decided to try and redeem them to get a Sony Alarm clock as a gift for my parents. Upon visiting PepsiStuff.com, you can easily login with your Amazon ID, and then click on the category for the prize that you wish to redeem. I clicked on “Electronics” and then on the “Sony ICF-CD815 AM/FM Stereo CD Clock Radio” link to try and redeem my points for the clock radio. However, there is no link anywhere on that page for redeeming my Pepsi Stuff points for the item. In fact, Amazon.com doesn’t even sell the item itself, and its being sold entirely through third party resellers.

Note that if I click on the Coby CD player instead, I do get a nice “Redeem with 125 Pepsi Stuff points” section:

con_pepsistuffscreenshots.jpg

So, I e-mailed Amazon and the first response came in at 1:46 AM almost copying the Pepsi Stuff FAQs verbatim. That wasn’t the answer I wanted. I e-mailed them back asking them again how to order it, and I received a reply at 11:34 and was asked for the ASIN. (Never mind that I already gave him the verbatim link to the product, as well as how to get to the product from the PepsiStuff.com home page.) I replied back and received another e-mail at 12:43 PM (wow – quick response), however the answer was this:

  Thank you for contacting us at Amazon.com.

First, please allow me to express my sincere apologies for any frustration that has been caused.

The item “Sony ICF-CD815 AM/FM Stereo CD Clock Radio with Dual Alarm” you’re inquiring about is offered by one of our Amazon Merchants. Right now, all of the information we have on this item is on the product description page. Our information is limited to what the Merchants supply to us; this information appears on our Web site.

If you’d like to know more about this particular item, we encourage you to contact the Merchant’s customer service team with your inquiry. Merchant customer service contact information is available through a link at the bottom of each item’s product detail page.

1. Click the “(Seller name) Returns & Exchanges” link.
2. Click the “At A Glance” tab and look for contact information in the bottom right corner of the page.

Thanks for asking about the possibility of using your Points from the Pepsi Stuff promotion in order to get “Sony ICF-CD815 AM/FM Stereo CD Clock Radio with Dual Alarm”. I’m sorry to say that item isn’t eligible for the promotion, but thousands of other items are. You also can find links to eligible products on PepsiStuff.com.

Only designated items from our MP3 Music Downloads, Unbox Video, Apparel, and Electronics stores are available with Pepsi Stuff Points. To read more about the eligibility and promotion rules, please visit the Pepsi Stuff Promotion Rules on PepsiStuff.com.Thank you for contacting us at Amazon.com.

I hope that this will help you find the information you need.

Thank you for shopping at Amazon.com.

Well, that wasn’t the answer I was looking for. I e-mailed Amazon.com again and tried to be as clear as possible, stating that the item was on the PepsiStuff.com website, and linked directly to that page, so how wasn’t this an orderable item? I received another e-mail at 5:28 PM today, and nothing has changed.

  Greetings from Amazon.com,

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this issue has caused you.

As mentioned by our previous colleague the item “Sony ICF-CD815 AM/FM Stereo CD Clock Radio with Dual Alarm” you’re inquiring about is offered by one of our Amazon Merchants. Please note that this item cannot be bought using Pepsi Stuff Points. Your understanding is highly appreciable in this regard.

But thousands of other items are. You also can find links to eligible products on PepsiStuff.com.

Only designated items from our MP3 Music Downloads, Unbox Video, Apparel, and Electronics stores are available with Pepsi Stuff Points. To read more about the eligibility and promotion rules, please visit the Pepsi Stuff Promotion Rules on PepsiStuff.com.

Please do understand if there was any possibility we would have done it for you when you have contacted us earlier.

Thank you for contacting us at Amazon.com.

I seem to be caught in an infinite “we can’t help you” customer service loop. I asked in my fourth e-mail to get a supervisor’s help, because the representatives (all with Indian names) cannot seem to understand that 1) This is a Pepsi Promotion that they are servicing and 2) The product is listed as an eligible product, so 3) Find out why I cannot order it and please fix it so that I can. Note that he completely ignored my request to escalate the matter.

I have been extremely polite and clear/to the point the entire time, but after four e-mails like this, I’m wondering if Amazon even knows what “Customer Service” is. Is there anything that you suggest that I do that I’m not doing?

Thanks,
Jon

We suggested he contact Pepsi directly to ask them to resolve the issue. At the very least, they could ensure that the products they promote at PepsiStuff is actually available. Jon did, and here’s what he got back:

This is what I got back when I wrote Pepsi. I’m still not getting anywhere. You would expect someone to help or volunteer to find a resolution, but nothing seems to be happening.

  A Message from Consumer Relations XXXXXXXXXX

Dear Jon,

Thank you for your thoughtful response to our e-mail. We appreciate you taking the time to follow up with us.

Please be assured that we will share your sentiments here at headquarters.

We value your feedback and the constructive manner in which it was shared.

All the best,

XXXXXXXXXXXX
Consumer Relations

Good to know: we can add Pepsi to the list of companies who’ve engineered their customer service departments to be insatiable maws, in which every complaint and question is devoured without resolution.
 
Seriously, is this such a difficult task? If you’re from Pepsi or Amazon and you’re reading this, take a look at these two hypothetical responses, which I managed to type up in less than 30 seconds:

Amazon: “Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We will investigate and remove the merchandise from the PepsiStuff site if it is no longer being offered for redemption.”

Pepsi: “Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We will contact Amazon about removing this item from our redemption list.”

Good luck with those PepsiPoints, Jon. We hope your parents enjoy COBY. (The alarm clock probably had a rootkit in it anyway.)