Tuesday, February 06, 2007

How not to reward loyal customers

Yesterday I received an email from Cold Stone Creamery inviting me, a valued customer and member of their mailing list, to take a customer survey. In return for my time, Cold Stone promised me a free Like It (small) ice cream treat. I took the survey, which was a quite a bit longer than I expected, and a few hours later an email arrived titled "Survey Reward for Cold Stone Survey." I clicked on the link to get my certificate, and a web page opened with my confirmation code pre-populated into the appropriate space. Only when I pressed enter, I was told that my code had already been used. No ice cream for me.

So now I've given Cold Stone Creamery 15 minutes of my time and oodles of thoughts on what I think various sizes of ice cream and cake creations should cost. I've done everything asked of me, but their reward system is basically accusing me of certificate theft. I've responded to the survey email address letting them know about the problem. We'll see if I'll get my cake batter (or do I want coffee?) ice cream with Health bar crunchy bits.

UPDATE 2/8/07: Apparently I wasn't the only customer locked out of a reward. CSC sent me a generic apology ("We're sorry if you had difficulty accessing...") and a fresh link to the free ice cream coupon.

UPDATE 2/12/07: Now here's the customer service I was hoping for! A fairly personal letter from CSC arrived in the mail today. In it, they thank me for bringing their website problem to their attention and they attach a certificate for a free Love It (large) ice cream creation.