It Never Hurts to Ask For Points…
FlyerTalk is a great and wonderful tool for miles and points junkies like myself. While I am still fairly new to it (JimBobDuggarIsABusyMan is my handle) I have found it to be a wonderful community, great for sharing information on all things travel, including eluse “targeted offers.”
A couple months back I remember hearing on FlyerTak about a deal for 5,000 American Express Membership Rewards points for simply using their web toolbar. I downloaded it immediately, but was disappointed when the points never posted. So, like any points junkie would do, I called them back a week or two later to inquire. It was a targeted offer to certain people who had an account for 6+ months (unlike me) and had recently expired.
However, by using The Points Guy’s”It Never Hurts to Ask” philosophy of leveragging your loytalty to obtain points, I blatantly asked if I could as a “loyal American Express card-holder extraordinaire” I could receive points as a courtesy. Not expecting a whole lot, I was surprised and delighted to be informed I was receiving 1,000 Membership Rewards Points as a one-time bonus!
This illustrates that while it is important to not to be pushy, it hardly ever hurts to ask, If you are giving a company business by spending your hard-earned money with them, it is fair game to ask for a little bit in return.
I am writing this write now because I had a similar situation with Delta SkyMiles. Some time back I heard that they had a couple of birthday promotions this past year--including this one for April, where as a “present” of sorts. As long as your birthday was registered in your profile, you simply had to fly one round-trip and would be credited between 1,000 and 2,000 SkyMiles.
Having the blessing curse of a December birthday, I waited eagerly for my chance at some more cheap and easy SkyMiles. Needless to say, my birthday came and went and I received nada from Delta. So I sent an email to Delta’s customer service a message, making sure to play the loyalty card:
It has been my pleasure to fly with you and my Gold Medallion status should reflect the loyalty I have gained to your company. Throughout the year I have been aware of the generous birthday bonuses of 1,000 SkyMiles that you have given out to members during the month of their birthday. I have eagerly awaited my own bonus since my birthday is this month, yet it has not posted yet. While I know that you are not contractually obligated to this, as a gesture of goodwill, would you please credit me with a SkyMiles birthday bonus? Thank you for your time,
Within a day or two they got back to me:
Dear Mr. Burchfield, Like many airlines, we offer targeted promotions to specific customers and potential customers. We regret you did not receive the Birthday promotion. Unfortunately we cannot process credit for this promotion manually… We would appreciate you providing additional information which will allow us to process your request for 1,000 bonus miles. Please provide us with the promotional code information for the 1,000 bonus birthday miles you mentioned. We are unable to locate a promotional that does not require enrollment and/or travel to receive promotional birthday miles. Our current Birthday promotion involves booking and traveling on a Delta Vacations package, is this the promotion others may have mentioned?
Now, I will admit this is where I should have done some homework. I went and looked up the promotions I had seen before, and I had not realized some level of booking with Delta was required. But have no fear, I replied back to them:
Unfortunately I cannot do anything to change the month I was born in, and as always I greatly appreciate the courtesies extended to me for being a loyal Delta customer. So will this offer me made available to me as a December birthday for bonus miles after my next flight the world’s leading airline–Delta? Thank you very much for your time, Bryce
Maybe being I was being a little pushy mentioning that I “appreciated the courtesies extended to me” and made reference to their own marketing as the “World’s Leading Airline,” but it worked. I finally received this response:
Dear Mr. Burchfield, Thank you again for contacting us. We do apologize for any confusion regarding the Birthday Bonus promotion. Currently we are not offering the promotion in question. I have however as a one time exception manually deposited 1,000 SkyMiles into your account effective today December 22, 2011. Please allow 24 hours for your account to reflect these miles. Thank you for your support as a Medallion member and for trusting your business to us. Be assured, we will make every attempt to serve you well; we are focused on the future and look forward to our continued business relationship. Sincerely, Shawna D Medallion Desk
Which brings me to one more point. This is not the first time I have been given some kind of “one-kind” exception. There was a one-day deal this past summer where certain purchases made through the SkyMall earned 10 miles/dollar spent. I needed some new headphones right away and so I jumped at the opportunity.
Needless to say, because of some confusion I only received 5 miles/dollar spent I grew unhappy and voiced (in a very nice and gracious manner:) my displeasure to Delta.
In return I received a similar e-mail, informing me of 1,000 bonus miles as “a one-time exception.”
So, the moral of the story is, if you have an issue and are willing to voice it, you can use it for your gain–provided you do so in a tactful manner.
Thank you again for contacting us.
We do apologize for any confusion regarding the Birthday Bonus promotion. Currently we are not offering the promotion in question. I have however as a one time exception manually deposited 1,000 SkyMiles into your account effective today December 22, 2011. Please allow 24 hours for your account to reflect these miles.
Thank you for your support as a Medallion member and for trusting your business to us. Be assured, we will make every attempt to serve you well; we are focused on the future and look forward to our continued business relationship.