While no one on the Consumerist staff has been in college in, uh, some time, we can imagine it must be tough to focus on education when you’ve got a smartphone in your pocket, just begging you to play KandyKaboozle or text your friend a few seats away. There are some out there who can resist, however, and for those strong-willed folks, Office Depot has a new rewards program that lets students earn points toward discounts. [More]
Whether they like it or not, travelers have become used to the fact that many airlines now reward frequent-flier miles based on how much your ticket costs: the more you spend, the more miles you get. But Spirit is flipping that idea on its head, and will instead offer bonus miles to customers who buy the cheapest fares — for a limited time. [More]
Chipotle Mexican Grill founder and co-CEO Steve Ells told investors, analytsts, and reporters in a conference call late yesterday that the company’s sales recovery “continued at a modest pace” over the last few months. Translation: as polls before this earnings release predicted, customers still aren’t coming back. Comparable store sales are still low, but the company is profitable again, and it has great hopes for its summer rewards program. [More]
There’s only so much room for a company as large as AT&T to grow its businesses. Pretty much everyone in the country has a cell phone already, so the only way to attract new customers there is to keep poaching customers from Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Meanwhile, over in TV-land, DirecTV is huge but cord-cutters are legion. So what’s a giant corporation to do? Give customers presents, of course.
Five years ago, a CVS representative explained that the reason why the pharmacy chain keeps printing such long receipts for customers is that customers like it. Maybe the public’s preferences have changed since 2011, since the chain officially announced today that it’s getting rid of the lengthy coupon-filled receipt streamers, and pre-loading coupons to customers’ rewards program cards instead. [More]
Despite the backlash from some customers over the recent changes in Starbucks’ My Rewards loyalty program, the company says the overhaul is going quite well, and that it hasn’t heard anything particularly worrisome. Well, not yet, at least. [More]
What happens when a retailer encourages customers to buybuybuy in order to rack up rewards points for a special event, and then that event turns out to be a massive disappointment? If you’re the super-loyal, big-spending Sephora customers who tried to take part in the beauty retailer’s recent Epic Rewards promotion, you pack up all of your recent purchases and bring them back to the store. [More]
The Epic Rewards event was supposed to be an opportunity for customers who had accumulated a large number of points in the Sephora’s loyalty program to cash them in for valuable items. The question is: was it a rewards redemption or a sweepstakes that only people who have spent thousands at Sephora could enter? The company has promised to make things right with their customers, but are asking customers to give them 10 business days to figure out how. [More]
Shop Your Way Rewards is not a difficult program to join. The process consists of giving your e-mail address to a cashier at Sears or Kmart, and…that’s pretty much it. It doesn’t cost anything. Yet the leadership of Sears Holdings Corporation remains fixed on the program and the idea of having “members” rather than customers, and we still can’t figure out why. [More]
I carry a lot of store loyalty cards around. I have a separate wallet for them. I have five different cards just for different pet stores. “Another loyalty card” is not something that America seems to need. Yet last month, American Express introduced a loyalty program called Plenti, which promises to let you accumulate points on purchases at different retailers and other businesses. The problem is that the rewards aren’t as flexible as the card’s ad campaigns imply. [More]
While many banks have nixed rewards programs for debit cards, credit card issuers still push these extras — things like cash-back, airline miles, and points that can be redeemed for purchases — as a way to attract new customers and retain existing cardholders. But when it comes time to earn or use those rewards, some cards are more friendly than others. [More]
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]
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]
I like to filter all of the coupons and sale announcements I get from retailers into a folder, which I peek through when I’m about to buy something to see whether any of them apply to that thing I’m about to buy. That’s what Andrew did when he was about to book his last trip’s lodging through Hotels.com, when it was finally time for him to earn his free hotel stay through that site. When his anticipated reward never came, he learned something terrible. Simply using that coupon in his mailbox had disqualified him from earning any rewards on that hotel stay. Then his rewards expired. It won’t surprise you when you learn that he’s not going back to Hotels.com to earn any more. [More]
Stuey made a big purchase at Sears and ended up with a huge stack of Sears/Kmart ShopYourWay rewards points to spend. Well, that he could theoretically spend. The problem was that he couldn’t find anything he wanted that was available, didn’t come bundled with things that he didn’t want, and was eligible for purchase with rewards points. What could he do? That’s not very rewarding at all. [More]
Amy thought that the AMC Stubs rewards program was pretty great, back when the discount passes that she bought at Costco counted toward earning rewards. The Stubs program isn’t free (it costs $12 a year) and she was exchanging money for movie tickets and perhaps buying some snacks, after all. Then AMC suddenly stopped counting Gold and Silver passes toward the program.
Laird feels deprived. Well, maybe that’s not quite true. But the Starbucks rewards program owes him at least seven free drink coupons over the years that he hasn’t received. The horror! The sadness! The caffeine deprivation! He blames the U.S. Postal Service for, perhaps, not forwarding on his coupons. Or for losing them. He wonders, are there any other Starbucks fans out there missing their coupons, too?