Part 1 of the Blog of Which Part 2 Mostly Wrote
Old Blog, New Point
A couple of years ago I
perpetrated a blogitem
about just how bad the "Rewards" web site of American Express is from
the point of view of someone actually trying to use it. They've
had two years to respond to my suggestion that they disclose the model
number of the devices they are offering. Guess what:
|I emailed an inquiry as to the model number of a particular
camera they offered as a "reward."
Singh) 06/02/2010 02:26 AM Hello Richard,
Thank you for taking your valuable time to email us. Your long
association with American Express is highly appreciated.
I understand your concern regarding the model number of Nikon
Digital Camera and I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience
I would like to inform you that the model number for Nikon
COOLPIX 10.3 Megapixel Digital Camera with Reward code RY7032 is
I hope you find the information provided useful. If there is any
other way we may be of assistance, please contact us.
Sincerely, Jaspreet Singh Email Servicing Team American Express
|One obsequious but inaccurate reply later, I pointed out
that I couldn't find that model anywhere.
Singh) 06/02/2010 11:05 AM Dear Richard Factor,
I am sorry that you could not find the model number P1000.
I've rechecked the "Reward Code" RY7032 once again and confirmed
that the model number is P1000.
Please do not hesitate to write back to me if you need any
Sincerely, Laishram Singh Email Servicing Team American Express
|I remind them that the model number quoted doesn't actually
exist and could they, just possibly, look at the product or the
product box instead of their inaccurate blurb and maybe get it right?
Singh) 06/02/2010 02:56 PM Dear Richard Factor,
I am sorry that you have to write to us multiples time for the
Regarding your concern, I've rechecked this Nikon COOLPIX 10.3
Megapixel Digital Camera with Reward code RY7032 and confirmed
the model number as P1000.
I am sorry that we do not have a separate department to find
out the model number at the actual product.
You may also contact our concerned department at
1-800-297-3276), 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m. ET (Monday - Friday) and
10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. ET (Saturday and Sunday) for the
confirmation of the model.
We look forward to speaking with you.
A Day and Six Emails Later
A day of calendar time and a half hour of my/their real time wasted just trying to find out the model number of a product they
were trying to provide, which model could have been listed (correctly) in literally
seconds on their web site. At this point I still don't know the
and the Singhs and I are getting pretty tired of each other by now.
Worse, I am reduced to using the telephone.
is John. Can I help you?"
John, his real name unless AmEx told him to lie, spent
some time reassuring me that my business was important to them. I
bet they tell that to all the guys. But then, happily and
coincidentally, he turned out to be an amateur photographer, and
approached the identity of the camera with a bit more intuition than my
correspondents. After scrutinizing their own "reward"
the Nikon web site, he agreed that I was probably correct about the
identity of the camera. But, he said, "I'm only 90% sure." Still
wanting to be cautious with my 71K AmEx points, I asked for his
suggestions. He admitted that he could probably unearth the truth
by making some telephone calls, but he had a much better idea for me.
Did I know that:
Sears sells this 71K AmEx-point camera for $379?
That I can get $400 worth of Land's End gift cards for
That Sears, (for whatever mysterious reason,) accepts
Land's End gift cards?
No I did not! But I do now, THANK YOU JOHN!
Seeing a new camera almost in my paws, I thanked John
profusely, reminded him that his existence had been very important to me,
and adjured him to remonstrate with the evil schnurgs who prepare the
Rewards web site about their erroneous entry. (Where's Vomax when I
Tomorrow I Actually Buy the Camera At Sears
It will not have been as easy as you think.
"Wasn't Born to Follow"
A restaurant in Hawaii, to which I (of course)
have never been. I wonder if they realized when they were
founded in 1882 how prophetic the name of their establishment