I received an email today with this quote:
Once you register a purchase online with Citi Price Rewind, we will search our database of online merchants for a lower price for 30 days after the purchase date. If we find a price that is at least $25 less than what you paid, you can be eligible for a refund of the difference, up to $250 per item.
This is an email from someone who deeply “doesn’t get it”. Allow me to elaborate.
“Once you register a purchase…” Citi already knows all of my Citi purchases. All of them. They bill me for them, so they have to know them. But they still make me register a purchase. This is a waste of time. It’s silly.
“… search our database of online merchants …” If I buy a $300 mixer at Target, they know. If a million other people buy the same mixer, they know. But they don’t consider these purchases. They only look at online purchases. This is intentionally incomplete.
“… a price that is at least $25 less than what you paid …” They’ll keep it to themselves if I could have gotten the same item for $23 cheaper somewhere else? This is petty and mean. If I could have saved a nickel somewhere else, then they should tell me.
“… you can be eligible for a refund …” Sweet! I’ll get a refund! Oh wait… I’ll be eligible for a refund. What?
I use my Citi card for purchases. Citicard looks out for me; if they find the item cheaper then they refund me the difference.
I use my Citi card for purchases. If I think to manually go to “Price Rewind” then…
- Read 1500 words explaining the fine print of what’s covered.
- Then provide the details about it:
How much did it cost?
When did you buy it?
Where did you buy it?
This should surely be a skit on SNL. They want me to tell them the cost of something I just bought using their card? I should tell them the date and location of the transaction that they already know? This is cynical and stupid.
- Having selected an item and consulted a lawyer … I then …
wait 30 days.
Then I receive my refund.
- Oops, no. I don’t receive a refund. I receive an email indicating that I’m eligible for a refund. I’m then invited to upload a scanned copy of my receipt. I assume you all file all of your receipts for all purchases by date for future reference and uploading to cynical credit card offers. I do. I photocopy all of them and cross file them by date, merchant, product line, color, and average specific gravity of the products. Who doesn’t?
I appreciate the warm regards from Jud Linville. But his email inspires me to use other credit cards instead of my Citi card.
If they want to inspire me to use their credit card, then they should do something for me. It should require no effort from me. They should call within an hour of my purchase to say, “Item ABC is available for $X cheaper at store XYZ which is within 5 miles of your purchase.” They wouldn’t have to refund me a cent. But they would let me know that I could return my item and buy it cheaper somewhere else. That would be putting big data to a practical use which helps me instead of giving me useless, legalistic, nearly-impossible-to-use delayed benefits.