I have been a member of the "read emails and shop online to get rewards" website MYPOINTS.COM for more than 5 years now. I have cashed in well over $2000 worth of rewards for gift cards over the years. Usually, each year around late October or early November, I cash in my points to get gift cards to do my Christmas shopping or to gift the cards as Christmas presents.
This year, I decided to cash in my points for smaller denomination gift cards to give to my teenage daughter because of a promotion that entailed receiving a "$15 FTD gift card" with every point redemption. I purposely used my points at a significant loss versus combining them to receive multiple "$15 FTD gift cards". No where on the MYPOINTS website is this promotion explained other than just this graphic on each page:
At each redemption confirmation page - you get a confirmation that you are going to receive your free "$15 FTD gift card" along with other cards redeemed.
I'll repeat, I purposely made my redemptions for lower amounts. I wanted to get enough cards to hopefully send my wife a nice bouquet of flowers to her work on her last day before her holiday break. Instead of redeeming for (2) $100 cards, I got (5) cards valued at $120 total ... a loss of $80 - but I figured I'd get $75 worth of FTD flower love.
I got the gift cards in during the first week of December - it was just a piece of black cardboard with "$15" and FTD on it. On the reverse is a website address:
So, essentially ... a website anyone can go to.
Well, here's the rub, I now had (5) of these cards with no way to combine them - the gift card - which is really just a direction to a promotional page - just has "flowers on sale". The page appears to have flowers that are normally priced at $29.99 - for $14.99 for example.
If one goes to FTD.COM - those same flowers are $19.99 - HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS OF coupon sites offer $5 to $10 discounts at FTD.COM. This means, if I just google a bit, I can find a better deal.
I emailed customer service on December 17th, 2008 as follows:
I recently made a few orders for gift cards - excited about the advertised "BONUS" of an "FTD Gift card".
I purposely made smaller gift card purchases to get multiple cards.
I received a few of my gift cards the other day in the mail.
The "BONUS" is NOT a gift card - it is a website direction - where essentially ANYONE - even if they do not have a mypoints account can go. If I do try to use the "Gift Card promo" - it actually only amounts to $5 off as the prices have been jacked up with no promotional discounts applied ... a discount that is available essentially year round from multiple sources.
Example - instead of getting the $19.99 bouquet for $4.99 - one gets it for $14.99.
The $19.99 bouquet is on sale - but not on the www.ftd.com/ftdgift page.
So, not only is the promo not a value to the customer ... but the words "gift card" is misleading and makes
one think that the cards could:
A) Be combinable
B) Be a full $15 to the customer
C) Be of ANY value to a Mypoints customer.
I thought I would pass this along and just say that I am totally unsatisfied with this particular promotion and FTD AND
MYPOINTS should be ashamed.
No response. (Other than an automated "We got your email and will answer shortly" email)
I emailed again on December 29th, 2008.
No response. ((Other than an automated "We got your email and will answer shortly" email)
Finally, on January 7th I get this response from MYPOINTS customer service:
Thank you for contacting MyPoints Member Services.
We are sorry to hear that you are not happy with this free FTD gift. However, please keep in mind that this was given to you free of charge. It is MyPoints way of thanking you for being a loyal MyPoints member.
Since there is no code attached to the free $15 FTD Gift Card, you may use the same card multiple times. Therefore, you may go to the website listed on the free $15 FTD Gift Card as many times as you like to get a $15 discount on your FTD order. We apologize for any confusion!
Thank you for your participation in the MyPoints program! Please let us know if you have any more questions.
I emailed again:
This reply did not answer my question at all.
There was no value in the card whatsoever ... it is a common discount ... that if one researches ... can get a better discount.
It is NOT a gift card as advertised ... a gift card means I receive the full value on the card and if I have multiple cards I can
combine them. This is not the case. Please address this issue properly and now address why it took 3 weeks to respond.
I received this response this morning:
Thank you for contacting Member Services.
We apologize if this promotion caused you any confusion. However, this was a free gift and we can not offer anything else. Thank you for your understanding.
MyPoints Member Services
I feel so yucky!
I also emailed this complaint to The Consumerist and my attorney general.