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AirMiles still deceivng us
May 10, 2017
11:49 am
Loonie
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I was not going to write about this, but the story is so ridiculous that I had to get it off my chest.

AirMiles is currently offering a “MegaMiles” deal, at least here in Ontario, and I think elsewhwere. You can find it on their website. It runs throughout May – sort of.

I first heard about it in a grocery flyer from Foodland, which is a Sobey’s brand here.

So, I went to the internet to see the details.

There, I found that if you fulfilled the requirements on 5 offers from 5 sponsors during May, you would get a bonus of 1250 AirMiles. Not small change as these things go. It looked achievable without buying a bunch of stuff you don’t need, so we decided to give it a try.

The website listed all the sponsors and the deals. It said you could print out the coupons, but this proved more or less impossible as they would only print out with another page showing through under them, and all was faint. It was also next to impossible to record the details as most of that was in pop-ups where you could only capture a snippet at a time.

However, we could see that there was an offer from Foodland, from Sobey’s, and from Sobey’s Urban Fresh - 3 Sobey’s brands. Would each count as a sponsor? Who knows? There were also two different offers from LCBO, the provincial liquor store. Would they count for two? Not likely, but two different producers involved, so who knows who is the sponsor exactly?

However, as it was Sunday, there was nobody to phone or Chat with. So, off we went to the LCBO and bought both items, to be on the safe side, as they are returnable within 30 days. Nobody in the two LCBO stores that we visited had heard of the MegMiles deal. One rep recalled that someone had been in the preivous day looking for the same wine that we were looking for. The offer for the LCBO products says “while quantities last”, so good luck on that one! By the time most people find out about it, they will be out of stock.

Then we went to Sobey’s store and went to the Customer Service desk. The website had mentioned a “booklet” so we figured CS would have the booklet. Well, no, actually. She had never seen it and knew nothing about Megamiles deal except that a customer had brought one in the previous day and she had seen a Metro logo on it (Metro is another Airmiles grocery partner here, not related to Sobey’s.) She tried very hard to be helpful, and phoned two Sobey’s Urban Fresh stores to see if they had any booklets or knew anything. They didn’t. My main question was whether Sobey’s, Sobey’s Urban Fresh, and Foodland would each count as a sponsor. Nobody knew. Also, there was no reference whatsoever to the MegaMiles deal in the Sobey’s flyer!

This might not have been a problem except that the offer for Sobey’s and Sobeys Urban Fresh do not run the entire month. They were only good for May 5-7, so Sunday was the last day – according to the website.
I do get Air Miles email all the time, and there was also no reference to MegMiles there – until today – AFTER the two Sobey’s offers had expired. When the email finally did arrive, the two Sobey’s offers had been deleted.

But I’m skipping ahead…

To be on the safe side, we made the deals at both Sobey’s and Sobey’s Urban Fresh on Sunday, hoping both would count. They weren’t onerous. You just had to redeem 95 AirMiles, and you would get 25 back, from each place for doing so - a good deal under any circumstance.

The CS woman at Sobey’s, who tried her best to be helpful, suggested we go to Metro to see if we could get a booklet there since she had seen the Metro logo on the booklet that the other customer had shown her.

So, our next stop was Metro. However, the answer there was “no”, they were not participating in MegaMiles.

There is a Shell gas station next to the Metro, and I knew Shell was listed as a sponsor online, so we stopped there. Sure enough, they had the booklets that were not available at Sobey’s less than a mile away.

The booklets included all the necessary coupons and offers, some of which do not require a coupon. They also include an enormous amount of fine print, for which I required a magnifying glass. There too it was obvious that the Sobeys deals were only valid until May 7. There were also many other complicated conditions for the other sponsors.

One page of the booklet was devoted to slogans about MegaMiles plus half the page was full of logos from various sponsors. Most of these, including Metro (obviously this was what the Sobey’s CSR had seen) did not have corresponding coupons or offers either in the booklet or online. What were we to make of that, we wondered?

On Monday morning, I initiated Chat with Airmiles and asked all kinds of questions.

It turns out that Sobey’s and Sobey’s Urban Fresh and Foodland are all separate sponsors, so you could fulfill 3 of the 5 requirements there – if only you happened to know about it, which you likely would not, at least in the case of the first two, because there is no publicity whatsoever unless you happen to go to the AirMiles site over those 3 days or happen to go into a store such as Shell (and not just pay at the pumps) where they have the booklets or happen to read the Foodland flyer. Rexall/PhamaPlus is also a participating sponsor, and they too make no mention of this deal in their weekly flyer. I didn’t bother checking the others.

However, it is also true that only one of the two LCBO offers counts, so we made a return trip there to get rid of the unwanted vodka.

After I’d gotten all my questions answered, and felt reasonably confident, I hit the “Print” button on the Chat. It printed only part of the first page! Fortunately I had not deleted it, and was able to copy it in its entirety.
My final comments on Chat were to complain about all of the above. I was assured that this would be passed on to management and discussed in their team meetins etc. Right.

But, the question is, do I believe that this strategy of non-communication, virtually unreadable and conflicting fine print, and confusing communication was intentional? Well, yes, I do. Nobody has even attempted to excuse it.

And, when the email about the Megamiles finally arrived today, both the Sobey’s and Sobey’s Urban Fresh offers were missing, although they are still in the booklet. Clearly they knew these two offers had expired before they sent out the publicity. How could this not be deliberate?

So, there will be people out ther with the booklets who are unable to read the very fine print on the back or who don’t do so. The front of the Sobey’s coupons says May1-May 31, so why would you think there would be different dates on the back? They will redeem their Miles, thinking they are getting a bonus 25 miles back and that they are fulfilling the requirements for Megamiles, but they wont get a thing.

Yesterday we went to Rexall, it being Seniors day. We got the Seniors discounts, remembered to produce our coupons, and fulfilled the Megamiles requirements. We almost failed though as the cashier asked if we wanted to redeem AirMiles for the purchase! I'm quite sure that if we'd said "yes", the coupon and the Megamiles would have been voided as we were not technically spending the money.

This whole thing is a comedy of intentional errors, designed to make people think they can qualify for something which they cannot. If that is not true, then they are all grossly incompetent and should be fired.

What I don’t understand is why it is useful to AirMiles to make so many people angry with them – again. They haven’t recovered their reputation after the fiasco about expiry dates yet.

For over $130 equivalent, I was willing to wade through this, spurred on by incredulity as each new fiasco was revealed. I think we’ve met all the requirements, and I expect to get the 1250 AirMiles. But it will be my last effort. They still owe me from a Shell deal last summer which they have not made good on after a very nice person on the phone told me she would call me back the same day. That was quite a few weeks ago now.

The friendly clerk at LCBO volunteered that she would never participate in AirMiles again after they stole her Miles back a few years ago. That’s the message from someone who works for one of their sponsors!

One thing I am confident of is that AirMiles won't have to give out a lot of 1250 mile deals. Some people will forget about it, lose track of their receipts, and will assume they never actually qualified, but there will be enough publicity to make them think they will qualify. Others will believe they did qualify and will, if they pursue it long enough, find out they missed several aspects of fine print etc. They may complain, but will it matter? I doubt it.

I'm going to be sure to redeem theses soon, as the next thing will likely be a devaluation in Cash Rewards - unannounced, of course.

At best, someone may learn something from my research and not get caught up in a fruitless chase. Perhaps you will at least be amused.

It’s a distraction from the woes of HCG at least!

May 10, 2017
7:11 pm
2of3aintbad
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Wow! Not to say that this promotion is crystal clear, but some of your arguments don't really make sense. 'Use offers at 5 partners to get 1250 bonus miles' is pretty straight forward. Buying 2 LCBO products obviously counts as 1, not 2, of the 5 partners. The dates for the Sobeys / Urban Fresh printed coupons are May 5 - 7, front and back, so I don't see a problem there.

Yes, it is not clear if Sobeys / Urban Fresh / Foodland are 3 separate partners, but the Foodland offer is until May 31, so you have lots of time to confirm this.

If you do the math, you don't need to spend too much (presumably on stuff that you would buy anyway) to get $130 worth of Air Miles.

May 10, 2017
7:49 pm
Loonie
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When dealing with a company that has been deceitful in the past, nothing is so clear that you can rely on it unless carved in stone.

In the online version, which is all I had to go on before I got to Shell, there were two different coupons for alcohol which could have referred to two producer-sponsors or to one vendor-sponsor, since you can't buy the stuff anywhere else anyway and I have learned in the past that not all AirMiles partners are even listed on their website. (There is another coupon, for Foodsaver, which is producer-sponsor.) When there is also uncertainty about the 3 Sobey's vendors as well, then one wonders about the LCBO. We shouldn't need to all be contacting AirMiles to find out if Sobey's is 3 vendors or one, whether or not we have a month in which to do so.

It's true the Sobey's and Sobey's Fresh coupons have the dates on the front, which I had not noticed, but on the back there are two different sets of dates. The one in bold face gives the entire month, and that is the one I saw first, so I felt deceived when I found the second one which is not in bold face and much harder to read, especially as my vision is poor at best. All indicators in advertising about this Megamiles deal give the entire month. It's only when you read the faint or fine print that you find out otherwise. Clearly they are not eager to let us know of these distinctions.

Anyway, good luck to all, and I hope that what I learned is helpful to some.

May 10, 2017
8:11 pm
Cranston
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Wow.....Loonie. Airmiles isn't worth the aggravation it is giving you. Is it?? I have unsubscribed from all their emails and I understand my account will be closed after two years of no use. I no longer have any AirMiles credit cards or bank accounts as well. The idea of getting freebies from your earned AirMiles just isn't there any more. They have been exposed!! They depend on collectors adding cash to buy miles or offer deals for cash and miles to the unwary. They are RIP OFF artists... oh er ...I meant marketers. I would personally like them see go under and hope others follow by finding alternate freebies like "cash back" credit cards or??

Ps. Are you flogging a dead horse?. 🙂

May 11, 2017
12:15 am
Loonie
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I don't want the old horse to die before I get my "money's worth" out of it. lol

Problem is that, during the debacle of last Fall, when I actually thought they might go under due to all the bad publicity, I cashed in my "Dream" miles for something less than a "dream", but something I could use. These points were not in danger of expiring but I wanted to move on.

Months passed - six months actually - and the thing never arrived.

Eventually I contacted AirMiles, and they agreed to put the "Dream miles" back into my account - in other words, they gave me a refund. Apparently they weren't going to do that unless I asked - another stunning display of "Customer Service".

And so, now I'm stuck again with 958 "Dream miles" that I can't find any use for. I just looked on their site again today and there is absolutely nothing I could find a use for. I refuse to send good money after bad so I won't add to this "dream" account. As soon as you "save up" for a product which requires more AirMiles, you find that it's discontinued.

So, I do still play the "cash miles" game. I want to keep them in business at least until I can cash in what I have, but will only collect "cash miles" from here on in. I also use them up soon after I accumulate them , hopefully before they can devalue them or go out of business!

Sometimes it's very easy to do this, and sometimes I do get involved with some promotion or other. It is still worth my while in terms of 'something for nothing', but probably not worth some of the time-consuming efforts like this one!sf-yell
I've managed to redeem $120 in the last year without spending any money that I wouldn't have otherwise spent, not getting one of their credit cards, and almost never going out of my way. And then this came along... I got hooked into it, I guess. It's a good deal if you can ever figure it out, if you succeed and don't run afoul of the fine print - and then you redeem asap.

I do get "cash back" on credit cards too. Pays a lot more, and a lot less aggravation!sf-smile

May 11, 2017
10:35 am
Cranston
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I hope you don't have Areoplan too.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/busines.....-1.4109868

May 11, 2017
10:55 am
Loonie
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Aeroplan stole all my points a few years ago, so I am relieved of ever dealing with them or their corresponding credit cards again!
Spouse still has them though.

May 11, 2017
6:44 pm
Loonie
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So, if were to hand you a MegaMiles booklet and ask you which sponsor deal only applies to people over the age 50, you would not be able to answer the question.
That would be because not all the offers are in the booklet!
The one for ListenUp! Canada, a hearing aid vendor, is ONLY listed online and ONLY applies to people over the age of 50. Further, it doesn't appear on the website as "ListenUp! Canada"; rather, it appears as "The Campaign for Better Hearing", so that you don't really know who you're dealings with, and the Chat line can't tell you either - or at least couldn't tell me.
And this is not the only offer which does not appear in the booklet.

Now, if I handed you the same booklet and asked you if Metro was a sponsor, you would, if you were a careful reader, say "yes" because you would have read the page that says "Use any 5 offers at the Partners below to get 1250 Bonus Miles", and you would have carefully observed that Metro was indeed listed below, and you would have taken them at their word. You might then have opened your email and received your weekly bonus offers from Metro and used them, confident that they would qualify. But you would be very very wrong because there is no purchase on earth that you could make at Metro that would ever qualify for this MegaMiles deal. No, no, no!

And I, alas, am not making this up.

There are days when I think the people they hire to design these deals must all be fresh releases from Her Majesty's penal institutions. It takes a deviant mind to dream up so many ways of misleading people.

May 11, 2017
9:54 pm
Norman1
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Their MEGA MILES promotion may evolve as the month progresses.

Just had another visit to the MEGA MILES site. Under Ontario region, there is now an offer from Sobeys and Urban Fresh that I didn't see before. Those are future dated May 19 - 21.

Maybe an offer from Metro will show up later this month?

Interestingly, when I switch to Québec region, there is an additional offer for 600 bonus miles:

2. Use offers at 3 different Partners to get an additional 600 AIR MILES Bonus Miles, or use offers at 5 Partners to get an additional 1,250 Bonus Miles.*

May 12, 2017
12:27 am
Loonie
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Norman1 said
Their MEGA MILES promotion may evolve as the month progresses.

Just had another visit to the MEGA MILES site. Under Ontario region, there is now an offer from Sobeys and Urban Fresh that I didn't see before. Those are future dated May 19 - 21.

Maybe an offer from Metro will show up later this month?

Interestingly, when I switch to Québec region, there is an additional offer for 600 bonus miles:

2. Use offers at 3 different Partners to get an additional 600 AIR MILES Bonus Miles, or use offers at 5 Partners to get an additional 1,250 Bonus Miles.*

  

Even more bizarre if it's a moving target!

If Sobey's has a new offer, that makes the printed booklets even more misleading as they only have a coupon for the first weekend in the month and do not suggest there would be any more.
I suppose it's possible they had to run the Sobey's offer again due to not having rolled it out properly last week. It does sound a bit like a last-minute fix as they could easily have printed it in the booklet in the first place.

For what it's worth, I was told explicitly by Chat person that Metro was not participating in this Megamiles promo, but I wouldn't necessarily want to take that comment to the bank!
Specifically, I asked if I was missing anything since I couldn't find any offers from Metro or HBC even though they are mentioned in the booklet. The answer was "You are not missing anything (my name). Yes this is true, they are not part of the promotion." Further, she said, "Metro is our sponsor for you to earn miles but they are not part of this promotion. They did not participate in being part of this promotion this year. They might be in it next time around."

May 12, 2017
6:28 pm
Norman1
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Definitely possible that Sobeys was unhappy when it found out that the e-mail went out after their offer ended. sf-frown

On the other hand, they could be so happy with the spike in sales from their offer in the booklet that they offered to pay extra to AIR MILES to place another offer online! sf-smile

If one were interested in HBC, the online store of Hudson's Bay does count if one goes through the airmilesshops.ca MEGA MILES offer (50 Bonus Miles for spending $150+ this month through their online stores).

May 12, 2017
8:25 pm
Loonie
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Sobey's may or may not benefit from this offer as it's a redemption offer. They want you to redeem miles and will give you a bonus for doing so. I suppose some people will then spend more than necessary at an overpriced store!

But why didn't Sobey's put it in their flyer, over which they have complete control, if they wanted the offer to be popular?

Yes, HBC could be accessed through airmilesshops. However, in the booklet, they appear separately, giving the impression HBC might count separately in-store.

May 13, 2017
12:40 pm
Norman1
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That is a good question: Why didn't Sobeys put their offer in their flyer?

Perhaps they didn't feel they needed to. I suspect AIR MILES was to send the sponsors those MEGA MILES booklets which you found at a Shell nearby. Sobeys would have displayed the booklets beside the stack of their flyers in their stores.

Maybe something happened and Sobeys didn't get their supply of MEGA MILES booklets before that May 5 weekend passed.

Another possibility is they got the booklets and discovered they were not the Ontario booklets with their offer! sf-surprised

May 13, 2017
1:13 pm
Loonie
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However this may have happened, it sounds like a big screw-up to me. I can't buy that they didn't "need" to produce the booklet. Just leads to irate customers who feel deceived when they find out, especially since Shell has them nearby.

It will be interesting to see if Sobey's has anything in the flyer that covers the second offer later in the month. Even if you caught the first one and made use of it, you should be able to at least redeem 95 and get the 25 bonus again for doing so on the next round - if you know about it.

The curious thing is that Foodland DID have something in their flyer, and they too are a Sobey's company. So, the opportunity was clearly available.

May 14, 2017
11:31 am
Norman1
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For sure, there was some kind of screw-up.

I picked up the MEGA MILES booklet from another sponsor. It is an eight-page fold out. It is small and could easily be inserted into another full-size flyer like Sobeys'. That was probably what the plan was: No need to mention MEGA MILES in their regular Sobeys flyer pages and slip the MEGA MILES fold out into the flyer for that week.

The upcoming Sobeys offer is up on the MEGA MILES site. Looks like the previous offer was copied and the fine print wasn't updated!

Get 25 AIR MILES® Bonus Miles
when you use 95 or more Cash Miles on a single
purchase*

Valid from May 19 - 21, 2017

How to use this offer:

No coupon required

* Bonus offer applies to each qualifying in-store use of 95 AIR MILES® Cash Miles or more made in a single transaction at participating Sobeys locations in Ontario between May 5 and May 7, 2017. Limit of one Bonus reward offer of 25 miles per Collector …

May 14, 2017
12:56 pm
Loonie
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sf-confusedsf-laughsf-confusedsf-laugh
It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry!
I wonder if they will correct this now that you have drawn it to their attention, as it were.

I doubt though that the intention was to put the booklet in the flyer. They've never done that before, for one. If there's extra info, it's usually in the form of a folding-out flap. Also, it's shiny paper and likely would slither out. And it's just not their style to not mention something in the flyer. Fiinally, it's way less expensive to just not tell anyone, right?sf-wink
None of this makes any sense, really. as marketing.

And, while they're fixing this, I'd like an update in the wine offer please. Would prefer a white! sf-smile

Your turn to engage Chat and ask them about the dates for this new offer! sf-laughsf-laugh I look forward to hearing how you make out!sf-wink

May 16, 2017
3:15 am
Loonie
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They must have heard you, Norman. The Sobeys coupons have been updated once again and are now internally consistent.
I just hope they don't now decide that the earlier one isn't valid!

May 17, 2017
5:36 pm
Norman1
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Unfortunately, I can't take credit for the updated Sobeys and Sobeys Urban Fresh coupons. They were updated before my chat with AIR MILES.

I did ask an AIR MILES agent about the Québec offer of 600 miles for three partners. The 600 miles offer is only available to collectors with a Québec address on their AIR MILES account before May 1. A collector residing in another province can't just travel to Québec and shop at three partners while there to get 600 miles.

Just checked the MEGA MILES site again tonight. For Ontario region, there are new LCBO offers for a brandy and another red wine. No sign of an offer on white wine yet.

May 17, 2017
8:58 pm
Loonie
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Alas, the "new" red wine is about $5 more than the other one.sf-frown
The brandy costs about the same as the vodka.

The LCBO offers are "while supplies last".

The Quebec deal is what I would have expected. However, if you happen to be in QC as a visitor and shop at one of their regular sponsors, e.g. Jean Coutu, you will get the regular Airmiles - based on my experience.

July 17, 2017
3:22 am
Loonie
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Has anyone received their MegaMiles yet?
I realize they give themselves 4 months in which to post this (which is ridiculous - you'd think they were combing through them all by hand!), but it's now a month and half and perhaps there has been some action.

As far as I know, I met all the criteria. I read every solitary word several times over, like I was a lawyer! Nothing received yet.

Please post when and if you receive your MegaMiles.

Thx

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