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View Full Version : "Gee thanks, Staples." A marketing FAIL.



Devil Ledbetter
02-14-2009, 08:51 PM
Staples sent me an epic marketing fail today. It was my Staples Rewards notification. They informed me that in 2008, I spent $2748 at Staples. My purchases eligible for Staples Rewards? $0. The amount I saved? $6.52.

Now, I don't actually shop at Staples for their Rewards program, and the reason I spent so much was we completely redid our home office this year and bought all of our new office furnishings there. But I think it was really dumb of them to go out of their way to remind me how much I'd spent and make a big deal of just how little they gave in return for my business.

Have you received any marketing fails lately?

Wayne K
02-14-2009, 09:19 PM
I like turtles.

Ken
02-14-2009, 09:27 PM
I got back a $20 slip to use in Staples. Not sure how much of this was from the Rewards. I returned some used ink cartridges to the store and was supposed to get $3 back on them. All in all I think I got jipped. Probably should've got back 30-$40, at least. Overall, it's an okay store. Good stock and prices.

Susie
02-15-2009, 01:23 AM
That's incredibly er ... cheap of them, but I bet you have a very nice office. :)

TheRightEyedDeer
02-15-2009, 02:33 AM
Devil, have you actually enrolled for their Rewards program? We get nice little coupons at work from them but only 'cause I make sure our charity was a Rewards member.

If you are already a member, maybe you've used up all your Rewards?

Devil Ledbetter
02-15-2009, 05:53 AM
Devil, have you actually enrolled for their Rewards program? We get nice little coupons at work from them but only 'cause I make sure our charity was a Rewards member.

If you are already a member, maybe you've used up all your Rewards?I do belong to th program. The little missive they sent me today was to inform me that for my loyalty I earned $0 in rewards. It's fine though. I wasn't hoping for rewards, I just thought it was idiotic of them to go out of their way to point out that I'd spent thousands with them and received nothing from their "rewards" program.

Susie, it is a nice office with all of Staples now discontinued Mission style natural cherry furnishings. We're very happy with it.

Clair Dickson
02-15-2009, 06:06 AM
I'm sure it's just a default program that prints a slip at the end of the month or whenever the required period is up.(or dollar amount spent or whatever.) I'm sure that no one even monitors the program as it prints of the sheet and is stuffed into an envelope.

They just need to put a lower limit on it... so that they don't make this sort of gaff.

It's like the coupons that print at the grocery store if you've purchased X items. They print because some situation triggered them to print-- there's no intelligence behind it.

Try writing the Staples corporate office and pointing out that they might want to put a lower limit on the Rewards so it's not a slap in the face that you got no rewards. (Not unlike how my electricity company wouldn't send me a bill when the amount was too low.)

Reminds me of the "sales" at grocery stories where I've seen savings of 1cent or even negative savings because of some funny business in the system. Great stuff, but just a computer program doing it's job without being monitored by more beings capable of intelligent thought.

Devil Ledbetter
02-15-2009, 06:17 AM
I'm sure it's just a default program that prints a slip at the end of the month or whenever the required period is up.(or dollar amount spent or whatever.) I'm sure that no one even monitors the program as it prints of the sheet and is stuffed into an envelope.

They just need to put a lower limit on it... so that they don't make this sort of gaff. Yes, they do. I know it wasn't personal. Just dumb and really defeating the whole purpose of the program.


Try writing the Staples corporate office and pointing out that they might want to put a lower limit on the Rewards so it's not a slap in the face that you got no rewards. Nah, I'm not going to bother. I usually get paid for my marketing expertise.

Phoebe H
02-15-2009, 06:36 AM
Well, it's not exactly Marketing, but yesterday my employer handed out summaries of everyone's Total Compensation package. You know, itemizing the costs of payroll taxes and insurance and vacation and sick time.

It's not a bad thing for people to see, but they were trying to package it as a way to boost morale, and let people see how much they were 'appreciated' but they didn't explain what they were doing, and so people were feeling much more confused than appreciated.

And then, of course, all of my health care expenditures for the last two years have been excluded from payment, so it's really galling to see how much they paid in premiums for me, for insurance that won't cover my actual expenses. Hell, the premiums they've paid the last two years are almost exactly my debt from unreimbursed medical expenses for the last two years -- I'd have rather had the cash. (I'd have rather had *half* the cash.)

Silver King
02-15-2009, 07:22 AM
Reward programs, no matter how they're bundled and sold to consumers, almost always reward retailers the most by tracking what people spend on which products, an invaluable source of information that's then repackaged as if customers have something to gain by exposing their spending habits.

It's like they're saying, "I'll give you a penny for every hundred dollars worth of info you give me."

Chumplet
02-15-2009, 07:57 AM
Every month I receive an email from Blockbuster telling me I only have to spend "another $42.25" (or thereabouts) of the required $50 in order to earn my five dollar gift certificate.

Carole
02-15-2009, 08:04 AM
We get Best Buy rewards, and they're actually pretty darn good. We buy all of our electronics from there, and for our trouble, they keep me in printing paper, ink cartridges and movies. I rarely have to buy those things--we just use the rewards. A few months ago I got a printer for about half the listed price because of the rewards we have. I figure if we're going to buy electronics anyway, we should get them at Best Buy so we can get a little something else out of it. Also, this Christmas Mr. Vagabond did something with his rewards and ended up getting two $50 gift cards for the boys.

The only crappy reward type thing I got this year was my year end statement of interest earned on my checking account. Ha. That was freaking laughable.

Serenity
02-15-2009, 05:02 PM
I know you said it wasn't the point about what you did, or didn't, get back, but the fact that they sent it at all. Those statements are automatically produced at the end of each cycle-- and yes, they are stupid and people are smart enough to figure in a program that could stop those. :D I have a Staples teacher's reward thing and get back $10 for every $100 spent. BUT those rewards aren't good on discontinued items- which is probably why you didn't get credit for them. (I believe you said the office items you bought were discontinued, right?)

I work in a retail store setting up and changing ads on the items in the store. I love it (cue: sarcasm) when we change from 60% off! to $10.99!, when the 60% off came to $11.00 in the freaking first place. Not exactly a marketing fail since 'percentages' appeal to some while 'price reductions' appeal to others.

DaddyCat
02-15-2009, 06:06 PM
Mail-in rebates are the ultimate in marketing Fail. OK, they get to advertise one price, but I have to pay a higher price up front. Then I have to cut the bar code from the box/package, fill out a form and send it in with the original receipt. Three months later, they get to decide if I've fulfilled all of their conditions well enough to warrant the return of my interest-free loan to them!

I started shopping OfficeMax exclusively for their Instant Rebate policy.

Yeshanu
02-15-2009, 11:28 PM
I've noticed that Staples has recently started doing more instant rebates than mail-in ones. I belong to very few rewards programs. I have a Scene card (for Cineplex) which gets me 10% of concession purchases all the time, even on my half price staff "meals." It would also get me points if I purchased tickets, which I don't because I already get them free... I have a Petro-Points card for PetroCanada (gasoline) which is probably the best of the lot, and I've gotten quite a few rewards from them, mainly because we travel a lot due to work. I have a HBC rewards card, which was a lot better when it was Club Z, and I have an AirMiles card, and every so often I cash in the points to get... Free movies!

Anyhow, they really aren't all that great--they're a way for stores to ensure brand loyalty without providing a heck of a lot in the way of savings.

Chumplet
02-16-2009, 12:40 AM
I have Club Z and I haven't looked at my points total for a while. I used to trade them in for discounts on new release DVDs and movie passes, but now I get free movie tickets from work.

The Airmiles have been adding up lately for the same reason. I don't think I'll ever have enough for a flight, but my sister and brother-in-law cashed in their points and got flights for four to Spain. His mom lives there so they had a place to stay. Sweet.

Maybe I'll use my points for a hotel stay in Jersey if I EVER get to see New York City.