or “How to Lose My Business Permanently”
There are two bead supply stores in this area, Ornamentea, located in Raleigh, and The Original Ornament, located in Chapel Hill. In the past, I’ve shopped at whichever one was more convenient (given that neither of them are terribly convenient to start), based on other activites like going to Raleigh for dinner.
Both stores have a “Frequent Flyer” card… buy $X of beads and get $Y’s worth free. My first problem with The Original Ornament happened about a year ago when they changed their policies about the FF card midstream. When I signed up, it was buy $200 (or maybe $150?) get $20 free, I think. Well, one day I walked in and they had changed the program to Buy $250 and get $20 free. Though they were willing to apply my punches from my old card to the new one, this still really bothered me since (IMHO) they should have honored the program I’d signed up for — and upon which my previous purchases had been based. IOW, part of the reason I’d spent the money with them was due to the rewards program and to change it midsteam was, in effect, breaking a contract with me.
What they should’ve done is honored existing cards at the terms under which they were started, but created any new cards under the new system. This would have been fair to the customers, while respecting their needs to change their business model over time. (As an aside, I know that legally they can do anything they want, as I’m sure the fine print said something about program details changing at any time, etc. etc. However, this does not make it the right thing to do, nor a good one from a customer satisfaction POV.)
The next problem (and, as it turns out, final one, as I won’t be shopping with them again) came yesterday when I attempted to buy more beads (always, but always room for more beads!). I had my purchases picked out when I realized that I didn’t have the actual card with me. I didn’t figure this would be a problem as most places with FF programs will just start you a new card then combine them when you find the old one (just like airlinees will merge multiple FF accounts). I asked the fellow at the desk if that would be OK and he said that No, they wouldn’t do that.
At this point I figured I’d run into “Policy” and I didn’t blame him for giving whatever answer was in the employee handbook. So I asked the manager the same question, having explained the situation, and she said “No” too.
Ok, you obviously don’t need my business. And I put back all the beads and clasps and wire and left.
I’m considering sending them their card (which I’ve now located) in the mail along with a nice note. Would that be too mean?