Posts Tagged With: SkyMiles

Losing Favor Over a Promotional Sweepstakes

When I am asked what I write about in my blog, I have usually listed politics, religion, social issues, travel, and whatever is on my mind. Now I have had over 50,000 Let's Let Al Unser, Sr. Answer Thatpeople view my posts here, I see the posts that are about businesses or services that I have written about are just as popular. So now I add consumer advocacy to my list of topics. This post describes how a product/business that I liked A LOT has lost favor with me over a sweepstakes. There was a time that entering my sweepstakes was an easy and pleasant way to pass my time whether I am down because of my Multiple Sclerosis or just passing some time with the hopes I could win something. Winning “The Fastest Seat In Sports” sweepstakes from http://www.shophonda.com last year was a highlight that has kept me motivated to keep entering sweeps. But now I know that little thought is put into how some sweepstakes are set up and designed. It makes me wonder, have sweepstakes designers ever consulted with a “sweeper” (a name I call people like me that enter lots of sweepstakes) about the sweeps they are designing?

An example of a poorly designed sweeps and prize, I highlight the “Take Off With Biscoff” sweepstakes (http://takeoff.votigo.com/takeoff). This is a sweeps that checks off Biscoff Sweepsmany of my bad sweeps pet peeves. Peeve 1 – Making it seem simple, but it is not! It says, “You can WIN A TRIP by Biscoff Photo Rulesuploading a photo. Tell us how Biscoff Cookies – The Airline Cookie – elevates your day! Upload a photo showing how you enjoy Biscoff Cookies, for a chance to win a Trip for two to Europe and more prizes“. This seems simple enough… but check out the photo of the entry requirements for the photo – WAY too many to mention! All of this just to enter. Yes it is best to “study” ALL of the rules so you can enjoy their promotion!  lol

Peeve 2 – “Public  voting”. After someone jumps the hoop to get entered… then you only think Biscoff Determinationyou are at the mercy of the public to vote if your entry even makes the gallery. Then it is only a competition for people who have skills that make their entry more interesting than the others, not something most will, can, or have time to do for ONLY A CHANCE to win a prize. But guess what… even if your entry gets the most “votes” does not mean you win. The public “vote is only 40% of how a winner is determined. The other 60% is from a “Sponsor-selected panel of judges”. I include a photo of how the winner is determined and see if you understand it with a simple reading or do you have to reread and calculate in your head what they are saying!  Study a little more! lol

Peeve 3 – The prize! Yes, I even have issue with the prize. Why would I have issue with the prize? A 3 day/2 night trip to Europe. What do you actually get with this trip? JetlagFirst let’s pretend you are healthy (I have MS and eliminate myself from this scenario), you spend day 1 basically flying to the sponsor determined destination in Europe… that’s right, the sweeps does not even tell you where you are going!  lol Now to me, destination unknown would be fun. But after spending pretty much a day getting there and spending night 1 in bed exhausted and jet-lagged after flying over several time zones, you have day 2 to drag though. So on day 2 of a 3 day trip, you do as much as you can before having to get back to the hotel so you can spend night 2  to get ready for day 3… flying home!  lol Sweepstakes in the US with US destinations that have a 3 day/2 night trips is really silly… so why did anyone think a 3 day/2 night international trip would be a good idea? Sounds penny-pincher to me and we know penny-pincher trips are so much fun!!! So, the only real option for most would be to take the alternate $4,000 gift card – which is what I would HAVE to do.

Now with all the sweeps in enter, why has this one set me off and inspired me to write a post about it? See the vague e-Biscoff Rejectionmail I got after trying to jump their hopes to enter this sweeps! I had posted this photo of clouds out my window flying. DSC00016Even after being rejected and studying the rules again… I do not see any violations of the rules.  I told a sap story of asking for extra Biscoff Cookies from flight attendants so I could share them with my Mom after my flights, Cookies with my Mom elevates my day. There is a very small chance the hashtag  #takeoffwithbiscoff may not have pasted when I copied and pasted it into my comment. But still, and e-mail that does not say what I did wrong does not inspire me to take (waste) the time to try again for a minuscule CHANCE to win a trip that would be challenging at the least for someone with MS. So I chose to take (waste) my time writing this post.

The alternate $4,000 gift card would be life changing for someone in my situation, just as would winning the First Prize of 50,000 Delta SkyMiles would be GREAT. But now, even winning the Second Prize, a years worth of Biscoff Cookies, would only leave a bad taste in my mouth! I see in the gallery of the sweepstakes that many others must have studied the rules better than me and entered successfully and I wish them luck! So if I accomplish anything in a sense of advocacy with this post… it would be that ANY company using sweepstakes consider that you want your sweeps to be simple and FUN and Biscoff Cookies (Lotus Bakeries North America) missed the mark with me on this promotion and caught me in the right mood that rejecting my entry just pissed me off! I think you can also guess that The Biscoff Coffee Corner is off my itinerary during my August trip to San Francisco.

 

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Up in the Air and a Few Miles Short! (Seeing My Life In Movies)

Recently I watched the movie “Up in the Air”…. ok actually, I just watched it!  Clooney’s character is striving for the recognition of American Airlines by achieving 10,000,000 air miles.  I understand his quest like few can.  I am a former Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite member.  I know the thrill I had opening the letter from Marriott and seeing that card.  I was always looking at the Sony LCD flat screen tv that could be purchased using the points – but I was always a few points short.  Forget the fact I worked for Sony!  I wanted the miles to buy me something because I felt so alone and had no one to buy me things I wanted.  Actually, there are few people who even knew what I wanted.

In the movie Ryan Bingham (George Clooney’s character) flies around the U.S. firing people.  Ryan is a likeable guy, but he does not seem missed when he is gone and the few that do miss him begin to accept their place in his life – at a distance.  His ambition to meet what most see as a shallow goal is what brings him comfort in the absence of real connections with people.  It is easier for him live “up in the air” and away from actual connections with people who may get close.  The acknowledgement of American Airlines is more important than appreciation of other people.  I so relate!  Except I always connected with Delta.

Most people booked their air travel with Orbiz, Epedia, or even travelzoo.com to get a deal on flights.  I actually went directly to delta.com and searched and searched to find the flight that would meet Sony’s travel & expense guidelines so I could get my SkyMiles.  Many co-workers booked through the company travel group and just took whatever flight they gave them – but I worked at finding a Delta flight.  I then asked the travel group to purchase the ticket for me.  I had flight numbers and times ready along with information showing Delta had a lower price than the Sony “prefered” airlines.  Such dedication for loyalty.  As I looked at the Sony tv in the SkyMiles catalog …. I found I was always a few miles short.

Mr. Bingham had a crap job, but he liked it.  There are few that would have enjoyed my job like I did.  Do you remember Del Griffith, John Candy’s character in the movie “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”?  The guy sold shower curtain rings and traveled constantly… but he LOVED his job and his customers loved him.  His job was a thankless job like mine.  No matter how good a job a did…. no one noticed other than my customers.  I had a a bitch of a boss that did not like me and NO ONE liked her but she has now even been promoted.  Why can’t a company as great as Sony see what useless crap she is!  I helped the company, my customers loved me, but I was held back because she was simply a bitch.  But despite all the reasons for me NOT to like my job I loved it and was good at it.  But when it came to the big money…. I was a few dollars short.

As I mentioned, with Marriott I had achieved the highest honor for Marriott Reward members – Platinum status.  It took staying 75 nights to reach this level of achievement.  I will say that I was staying at the Courtyard by Marriott… not actual J.W. Marriott or Marriott hotels.  Courtyard was great and designed for the business traveler – which I was.  I stayed most often at the downtown Courtyard in Salt Lake City.  The guys and girls at the front counter got to know me quick.  As a Platinum member I would get upgraded to a suite if one was available and often one was available.  A big suite for a lonely traveler filled the void that was missing because of no personal connections.  I received welcome gifts of cookies and bottled water; and yes that little shit meant a lot to me – for some reason!  As I would look in the Marriott Rewards catalog …. I also found I was a few points short.

My Multiple Sclerosis has grounded me from earning my SkyMiles and I stay few nights at a Marriott brand hotel.  But no one has noticed.  I go from being a 5 year Platinum Elite Marriott Rewards member to nothing and no card, letter of gift bag asking where did our loyal customer go?  I book my flights now on travel.com because I know my one or two trips a year will not add up to my seeing status with Delta again.  I still sometimes look longingly at the upgrade board to see if my name may be there – now it never makes the list.   But as with MANY things in my life….I have come up a little short, but I still like my shallow, self-indulgent and even sometimes lonely life.  I am an island…a small crappy one… but the views are great!  To be the big island everyone wants to visit…. my beach comes up a little bit short!

I actually felt I missed my friends when I was traveling and looked forward to seeing them when I returned home.  Now my trip is more permanent, I see I am “out of sight and out of mind”.  I hate that my Multiple Sclerosis robbed me of the life that made me comfortable.  Having lost my status makes me feel lost sometimes!  I still look for and desire that status I once had that no one noticed or cared about but me.  I now also belong to Jet Blue TrueBlue as well as remaining a SkyMiles and Marriott Reward member… but have no status with any of them.  Life for me is like working for Sony but wanting that Sony tv in the catalog …. I am always a few miles short!!  I look sometimes in the mirror and still see my inner Ryan Bingham, but I see I have no status anymore… I NEED to be UP IN THE AIR!!!

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