‘Congratulations’ but you’re not really at our most elite membership level…


imageAnother day, another big retailer disappointment.

Minutes after receiving an email yesterday from Best Buy customer service, apologizing about my most recent negative experience at the store chain, I received an email congratulating me for being selected to join the Best Buy Reward Zone program "at our most elite membership level - Premier Black."

Premier Black is a pilot in select areas that rewards our best customers for shopping at Best Buy stores.

OK, interesting.  Best Buy actually read my last mail and perhaps even learned of my poor Labour Day Best Buy Customer Experience...

Your Premier Black Concierge can make your shopping experience even better by finding answers to your product questions, locating out-of-stock products, giving you
special access to the store and more.

So I clicked on the big button to "locate your Premier Black Concierge" (a relation to Serious Black by any chance?), and I hit an error message.  It appeared that the marketing firm Best Buy selected had not implemented the correct links, and the security certificate was invalid.

Well, after attempting to access the site it turns out I wasn't the only one: The Consumerist web site reports that many other customers erroneously received congratulatory emails...

"Not that it's any big surprise, but Best Buy has now gotten around to taking back that "elite" status that they accidentally gave all of their Rewards Zone members yesterday. We knew that 45 day return policy was too good to be true..."

In addition to the same form email that everyone else received, I found this one sent 30 minutes earlier from Ayelen with Best Buy Customer Care. 

The Best Buy. Reward Zone. program is always innovating so that our program is even better for our members. Yesterday, you may have inadvertently and inaccurately received the below message during an initial email testing process. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or confusion. You continue to maintain your current membership status. If you are eligible for the Reward Zone program Premier Black test that will run in a limited number of select markets, we will notify you by a separate email. If you have any questions about this or the Reward Zone program, please visit www.MyRewardZone.com or contact our Customer Service Center at 1-888-237-8289.

I am very sorry for any inconvenience this may caused you. I hope you have a great day!

Not a worry.

Turns out the Premier Black level is reserved for customers who have spent $2,500 in the last year at Best Buy.  Listen, I don't have anything against Best Buy - they run clean, well-lighted, fully stocked stores, ones that have been the point of origin for many electronics and software that I've brought home (much to the dismay of my wife and glee of our two boys).  And I agree with Consumerist commenter DarrenO that Best Buy does get "a bad rap" over several things, but the Premier Black customer loyalty programme may not be a blemish.  The program could ultimately be a real benefit to customers, and I do appreciate Best Buy's 30 day price match guarantee and no hassle refunds.

But DarrenO does note...

"Now, if you need to go into the store and have an employee explain to you what product is best for you then it's a whole new game and very hit and miss."

Quite.  My point: don't promise better customer service to elite customers while many customers may still have problems "finding answers to your product questions..."

Unless, of course, Best Buy meant to generate all this coverage...

Tags: Apple, Microsoft, Vista, Windows, Best Buy, retail, whack, Customer Service.

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