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New Problem: AirMiles redemption
October 28, 2018
9:56 pm
Loonie
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I was at Sobey's today and intended to redeem $10 in AirMiles since there was a deal on this weekend whereby they would give me 25 AirMiles for so doing.
No can do, said the clerk. He claimed that my AirMiles account showed zero miles.
I was astonished as I knew my account had over 1000 Cash Miles available. He refused to doublecheck, saying there was no possibility of a different result. The cashier at the next register suggested maybe my Miles were Dream miles, which they're not.
Bewildered, I came home and checked my account online. All AirMiles were present and accounted for and I had well over 1000 available Cash Miles to spend.
I've had an AirMiles account for perhaps 20 years and have never had a problem redeeming them online or in a store. Can anyone explain this situation? I dread the thought of trying to get a straight answer from AirMiles, no doubt after waiting on hold for a half hour or so, but, at the same time, I don't want to run into this problem again.
The last time I redeemed AirMiles was a week ago at Metro, for a similar deal. I had not checked my account online in the interim or used my card anywhere or processed any refunds.
Any ideas?

October 29, 2018
3:55 am
Saver-Mom
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Had same issue at a Shell station in St Sauveur who claimed there was a glitch in the system that was not allowing them to redeem miles. It was the same deal a few weeks later. No longer go to that gas bar...

October 29, 2018
6:11 am
savemoresaveoften
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maybe check with Airmiles to see if Sobeys made an attempt to redeem that day (not sure Airmiles has the info but worth asking).
I have also come across gas station that always use the excuse of unable to redeem on a regular basis. Maybe something to do with station makes "less" on a redeem ?
Dont think thats the case for Sobeys as the "cashier" prob wouldnt care one way or the other...

October 29, 2018
12:02 pm
Loonie
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Thanks for the feedback. Interesting to know that others are having issues at Shell.
Maybe it is particular terminals that are faulty or in need of repair or reprogramming? You know the old standard computer advice - disconnect and plug it in again. Maybe that's what they need to do? (I know zero about computers.)

October 29, 2018
1:58 pm
Loonie
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So, I called AirMiles.
This took almost a half hour of my time, and was useless.
The answer was that there is nothing wrong with my account and never has been. They don't know why this happened. They take no responsibility for investigating or fixing the problem. She refused to let me speak to a supervisor - after going away for several minutes, presumably to speak to one herself.

When pressed, she thought that somebody might possibly raise the question with Sobeys since the calls are recorded. (I'm sure nobody sits there listening to all the calls waiting for something to act upon.) At no point did she ask me which particular Sobey's store was involved, even though I pointed out to her several times that she had not asked, so how could they investigate? At the end, she thought she might put a note on my record saying that this incident had occurred, but she only thought of that when I would not accept her previous responses as adequate, and it was clear nothing would be done about it. I could get no further.

Their records do not show failed attempts to redeem.

I really don't know what the problem is, nor do I know how to ensure it won't happen again. Spouse had redeemed Miles on own card moments before I did, at same cashier, with no problem.I have redeemed Miles at this particular store with success previously.

October 29, 2018
2:40 pm
Loonie
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I spoke to a manager at the Sobey's store by phone. He too has no idea why this happened and says all the technology behind it belongs to AirMiles. This seems reasonable since other people are having problems with Shell.
I feel the Sobey's manager has done all he can do. He said he would reimburse the AirMiles bonus, and would ensure that the cashier is better trained in how to respond when such situations occur. He was very nice about it, and friendly, unlike at AirMiles, where there was really no concern expressed about the problem. Also, I did not get put on hold at Sobey's and they answered the phone immediately.

October 29, 2018
7:40 pm
2of3aintbad
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Did the cashier scan your AM card, or enter the number manually? I have had some experiences that suggest that manual entry is OK only to accumulate, but not redeem, cash miles. It appears that this restriction is not conveyed to the cashier.

October 29, 2018
8:54 pm
Loonie
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My card was scanned.

October 29, 2018
9:01 pm
Norman1
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Check to see if the cash miles in your AIR MILES account are locked.

After logging in, navigate "Your Profile" -> "Lock Cash Account".

If you see "Your account is locked" and an Unlock button, then your cash miles are locked and protected from being redeemed.

If you see just a "Lock my account" button to lock your cash miles, then your cash miles are not locked and are ready to be redeemed. sf-smile

October 29, 2018
9:23 pm
Loonie
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Thanks for the suggestion, but my account is not locked. And it has never been locked.

I used the card for a redemption with no problem a week ago, returned the card to my wallet, and did not use it again during the week. Neither did I log in online until this most recent incident, so there was no opportunity for me to lock it anyway. I have not used it since.
If this had been the issue, I would have expected the Air Miles CSR to have identified it during the long conversation I had with her to try to solve the problem, but perhaps even that would have been too optimistic as she showed no interest at all in solving it.sf-frown

October 30, 2018
4:25 am
Norman1
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It may have been a temporary AIR MILES glitch. I had one this past summer.

Couldn't redeem some of my cash miles at a Shell gas pump. Receipt also showed some kind of error connecting to AIR MILES. The following week, no problem.

October 30, 2018
6:11 am
Loonie
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That makes 3 of you who have had problems with Shell, some repeatedly.
It's annoying that AirMiles is so clueless.

October 30, 2018
7:09 am
2of3aintbad
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Loonie said
That makes 3 of you who have had problems with Shell, some repeatedly.
It's annoying that AirMiles is so clueless.  

At least with many Shell stations, you can redeem at the pump. So if you insert your AM card, enter the amount you want to redeem (after you insert your credit card), you can cancel before you pump your gas - if you are not given the 'Use AM Cash' option. Of course, you don't want to do that with an empty tank and no other options ...

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