Thursday, October 7, 2010


My birthday is quickly approaching and having a number of “rewards” cards for local merchants I am receiving birthday wishes from some of them. Mostly, they mean nothing.

Some actually send a real gift. A free entrée, a $10 gift card and a free massage are keepers. Mainly, because they require no purchase and are useable. I like the “no purchase required” aspect, which means not only will I redeem these gifts but I am so much more likely to continue doing business with them.

On the other hand, are the “Are They Kidding?” gift givers. These guys just don’t get it.

Consider the restaurant that sends me birthday wishes and a coupon good for half-off the price of two desserts. Yes, I have to buy two desserts. But before I can to enjoy my half-off desserts I first have to buy two dinners, with beverages, but only between Monday and Thursday nights, except on holidays or other special events. So on a limited night, I would have to spend around $50 or more, and not only will I not get a complimentary dessert, if I want dessert I’ll have to pay half price and have to buy two in order to use the coupon. Are they kidding?!

Or how about the tools and supplies store that sent me a $5 gift card for my birthday? All I have to do to enjoy their magnanimous generosity is spend a minimum $50 before the end of the month. Of course, there are thirteen brands that I am excluded from purchasing with the $5 gift card, but hey, if I need fifty bucks worth of generic nails or light bulbs, they’re the go-to place. Are they kidding?!

And then there’s the truly thoughtful gift sent by an area hotel. A photocopied “Birthday Wishes Certificate” good for a free continental breakfast on Sunday morning, if I spend Friday and Saturday nights in one of their “luxury” suites. For those who don’t know, a “continental breakfast” is typically donuts/pastry and a beverage. The per night rack rate for accommodations? A mere $127.50. So for only $255 I can get a couple of free donuts and a cup of coffee. Happy birthday to me! Are they kidding?!?!

But what I really want to know is … how many suckers do they hook with that crap?

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