So, you probably remember recent lucrative IHG promo called Priceless Surprises. If you are new to this hobby, don’t worry about it, it’s over now. All you had to do was mail in some entries and voila, a ton of super duper cheap points would be coming your way. That is if everything would work the way it was supposed to.
But we are dealing with IHG here, so all bets are off. The biggest mistake I made was waiting till February to mail in last batch of entries for my account. As of March 10th, I still haven’t received 23 email confirmations. We had to leave that day for vacation with my parents, so I figured I would deal with it when I came back. Unfortunately, I forgot one minor detail. We would be home on March 18th, and the promo was set to end on March 15th. That is you would have to actually open emails and play the game by the end of that day.
And as it turns out, I did get all 23 emails on March 14th. Hmm, coincidence? Personally, I believe in conspiracy theory and think they did it so there would be a chance people wouldn’t open their emails till it was too late. And that’s exactly what happened to me. Since I was on vacation, I tried to avoid getting on my iPad often, so didn’t check email till March 16th. Oops! When I tried to open the entires, it said the promotion was over. That’s 11,500 IHG points down the drain.
But it gets worse, much worse. You were supposed to mail in entries by February 15th. You see, in the eleventh hour of promotion I decided to fill out 94 cards for my husband. It really did seem like too good of a deal to pass up. So, I bought the supplies and spent probably close to 3 hours filling out those darn cards. But hey, it would be all worth it once I got almost 50,000 IHG points. Except, I never got any entries for his account. So, I went ahead and emailed my inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org, address provided by Doctorofcredit blog, to see what’s up.
And here is the response:
Yes, I got all the supplies, filled out the cards, spent a ton of my precious time on this rigamarole, but I didn’t take one minute to register his account. I simply forgot. There are no words to describe how dumb I felt at that moment.
Of course, I did contact IHG and begged them to credit the points as gesture of goodwill. The rep was sympathetic but said she had to forward the request to the fulfillment company. Right. I’m pretty sure they don’t give a rat’s behind, and their email has already indicated this. I was told that I would hear back in a day or so, and it’s already been a week. I’m certain that ship has sailed.
So, what now? Well, I do plan to follow up one more time on my account issues and try to get that 11,500 points. I think it’s unacceptable to take over a month to process the entires and then give someone one day to redeem them. It’s not a huge amount, but it’s a matter of principle at this point. I doubt anything will come of it, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
Incidentally, my cousin-in-law just emailed me and said that none of her husband’s entries came through even though she did register his account before mailing them in. I told her to email the fulfillment company, state his IHG number and ask for 47,000 points they promised. I don’t know what will come of it, but many readers have been successful. It is disappointing that even people who followed the rules are not getting what was promised to them.
What you can learn from this
Well, first of all, don’t be like me! Don’t wait till the last minute, check and make sure you are registered for the promotion before spending your valuable time and money on it. I’ve said many times that I’m super disorganized. I’m working on it but clearly, I have a long way to go.
Something else I wanted to do is encourage you to think twice before jumping through 10 hoops in order to collect miles and points. I see some new trends in this hobby and frankly, they worry me. Since manufactured spending has been hit hard lately, many are looking into reselling. Some are encouraging folks to go for it and talking about it as if it’s a walk in the park. I’m sure it is for some, just don’t be lured in by easy points.
If you don’t know what you are doing, you could be stuck with unwanted inventory that you aren’t able to sell for months. Can you afford to wait or worse yet, take a loss? Do you have room to store all the junk? Reselling is a business that requires knowledge, skills and organization. More importantly, it requires time. It’s not the same thing as going to Walmart once a week on your way to work and buying a money order with a Visa gift card.
Keep it simple.
Last but not least, I choose not to dwell on this major Fail. You win some, you lose some. And so far I’ve won much more than I’ve lost. I got around 35,000 IHG points for a total cost of $120 (well, plus hours of my time), which isn’t too bad. I will learn from this disaster and try to do better next time.
Readers, share your Fails with me so I don’t feel like an idiot!
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.