Friday, June 15, 2007

Playing the game...

I've realized over the past few weeks that, as it relates to offers and incentives, I enjoy 'playing the game' and/or characterized as "sticking it to the man."

Mind you, I don't do anything unethical, I stick to the rules and just make sure that "I win."

Winning, I believe, comes down to 2 things.

Remembering and Acting.

What system you use doesn't matter at all. It's just that you do it.

A few examples.

When I bought my ticket using Kayak the other night, there were 2 offers presented to me at the end of transaction.

One from Shoppers Advantage and one from Great Fun.

Great Fun offered me $50 back on the purchase of my flight, in exchange for a 2 month free trial ($10.99/month after that).

The key here is:

  1. you need to follow all of the rules for getting your $50
  2. you need to remember to cancel w/in your 2 month free trial (if you don't want it, which I don't)

Shoppers Advantage offered $40 in free gas.

Now, they didn't actually send me the coupon until I followed up w/them 2 days later (by which they said they would send the coupon), when of course they did. The game plan here. Get my $20 (not really $40, since its $10/quarter) and cancel before the 2 months is up.

Same for the tickets and shopping spree (so far, I've invested $90 in these, so we'll see if it works out), but I'm on top of a hawk.

The game here, at least for Great Fun and Shoppers Advantage is that they are betting (correctly) that more people will forget than remember.

More people will forget to activate their benefits and more people will forget to cancel their membership during the free trial and more people will forget to cancel their membership even after the monthly $10.99 bill is charged (since most people don't notice those $ amount charges, right?)

As a business, it makes sense, they make a lot of money, but there's a bad taste in my mouth because it is based on people not remembering something.

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