Sunday, July 05, 2015

RBC Rewards + Best Buy = NO REAL VALUE

Objective: 
Redeem VISA Rewards Points through RBC Rewards

Process: 
Login, find item, see point value, favourite for future purchase, log out.

Three days later, login again… 

THIS IS WHERE THE STORY GETS INTERESTING.

Situation: 
Apple iPad Air 2 64GB Wi-Fi (no cellular) has a retail value of $649.99. 
Three days earlier it had a point value of 64,999. $1 for every 100 points.

Today, the Apple iPad Air 2 64GB Wi-Fi (no cellular) is still showing a retail value of $649.99, but now requires 99,999 points to get.

I want to know why Best Buy Canada had raised the point value of this item by 35,000 points?

IF… $649.99 equals 64,999 points that it stands to reason that 99,999 points would equal $999.99. 



I wonder how Apple feels about Best Buy flogging their iPad Air 2 for that amount?

YES, let me be rightly clear here - there is a value to rewards points, and I strongly feel consumers have a right to know what that value is.

So… 

My follow through:
  1. I called RBC Rewards and was told Best Buy sets the point value, not RBC.
  2. I contacted Best Buy and was told it’s an RBC Rewards problem… and… "sorry for the inconvenience".
  3. Then, I tweeted the daylights out of it.
As a little insight to how I work the phone, I record all my conversations for 'customer dissatisfaction' - just like "they" record them for "training and customer satisfaction".

After my phone call to RBC Rewards - which was fruitless, seriously fruitless–useless is a word that works too–I took to email.

Here is the email I sent to Best Buy:

Subject: RBC Rewards, value and redemption 

To whom it may concern at Best Buy,

I was directed here after contacting Customer Service by phone. Seems they can't handle my query, which is...

Why does Best Buy feels they can arbitrarily increase point values on items beyond the actual retail value of said item?

Example: The Apple iPad Air 2 64GB, an item I was interested in getting, and had favourited on the RBC Rewards site a few days ago, was $649.99 (the actual retail value) or 64,999 points. Today, when I went to order it I was stunned to see the point value had rocketed to 99,999 points. 

I would really like you to explain this jump. 

See, RBC gives me 1 point for every dollar I spend. In turn, I can expect to redeem my points at a value of 100 points for every dollar. Where do you get off deciding the RBC Reward point value of that iPad should equal $999.99? I would like to know... seriously, because, this is outright gouging.

I look forward to hearing your explanation. 


And their reply…

Dear Jenny Pearson,

Thank you for contacting Best Buy Canada in regard to your inquiry.

We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you.

Please call 1-800-769-2512 about your point inquiries. ****

Thank you for choosing Bestbuy.ca.

Sincerely,

***Note - the phone number is to the RBC Visa Call Centre. (Clever, eh!)

Okay… so I wrote this back…

Since the folks at RBC (1-800-769-2512) DO NOT set the point value I am once again directing my concerns to Best Buy.

Please read my first email carefully - you will see my query is about how Best Buy, not RBC, sets the point value of merchandise in the Best Buy online catalogue.

My query, as stated in my first email, is how does Best Buy determine the point value of a product? Again, please refer to my first email, as shown below. I don't think I need to regurgitate it all again.

RBC Rewards has advised that this issue is one I need to address with Best Buy - so... please address it, and answer my question.

If it is out of your expertise, Princess, please forward it to the department that CAN answer my query.

Many thanks,


You would think that would get me some answers, well, think again.
Here is Best Buy's reply...

Dear Jenny Pearson,

Thank you for contacting Best Buy Canada regarding RBC Rewards, value and redemption.

We kindly ask you to contact 1-866-237-8289 for more information about your inquiry.

We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.

Thank you for choosing Best Buy Canada. We look forward to serving you in the future.

Sincerely,


The number provided was to Best Buy Canada's customer service line. Here's what gets me, why not just answer the email? Why make me jump through more and more hoops? Really? Talk about a great experience - NOT!


SO WHY AM I DOING THIS?

Simple. It’s time big box stores, and their big bank buddies, realize they are dealing with humans. Not machines. Humans - the very people that have grown their businesses into the empires they are.  

WE THE PEOPLE, need to speak up, and be heard.

It’s time Big Business STOPPED running after the almighty dollar and realize who is actually PAYING that dollar. 

That’s right folks. 

You and I are the holders of the key. The key Big Business needs to unlock the cash box.


I HAVE A SPECIAL REQUEST.


Help me get the tweets moving. If you head over to @PearsonReport and check out my tweets I would love it if you could retweet any, and all, tweets that deal with @RBC_Canada and @BestBuyCanada.

Help me make a difference, because this affect you too.

I am looking for answers to the follow questions:

Why does Best Buy Canada have the exclusive right to determine the value of RBC Reward points?

Why does Best Buy Canada state, in their online Lowest Price Guarantee, that they will beat all prices? Yet, they don't do the same for RBC Rewards point customers. 

Shouldn't the person redeeming their well-earned points get the best possible value for those points? 

Should Best Buy be accountable for a sudden jump in point values that exceed 5,000 points? 

Also, I want to know why RBC Rewards has no say in their program. If Best Buy is their chosen merchandiser than surely RBC must have some agreement that gives the best possible value to their customers, and still allows Best Buy to make money.

THERE IT IS… MY PROJECT, IN AMONGST SO MANY OTHERS.

I will not let go of this until I get a clear explanation from Best Buy as to why that Apple iPad Air2 64GB Wi-Fi was quoted at 64,999 points one day, and 99,999 a few days later, and the base price in both instances was $649.99.


HAS ANYTHING LIKE THIS HAPPENED TO YOU?

If so, please share in the comments below, or TWEET me! 


Cheers, Jenny