I’ve had an AT&T Universal Mastercard since 1992. One of the things I appreciate is its connection to the Citi Thank You Rewards program. A perennial frugal hack for me is using credit rewards programs to pay for birthday and Christmas shopping, as well as for restaurant gift cards to treat my hosts when I travel.
Since Christmas is closing in, I checked today to see if I had enough points for a specific gift for my daughter and son-in-law.
Turned out that I needed 14,000 points for the item. I had 12,585 with 1,226 more points waiting to be credited on Nov. 21. In other words, I was 189 points short and the next batch wouldn’t hit my account until Dec. 21 — a little late for ordering the present.
I said, “Oh, well, I’ll give an IOU for the gift and order it on Dec. 22, then. Thanks anyway.”
The customer service rep said, “Let me talk to my supervisor.”
Less than a minute later he came back and said, “Good news! We’ll credit those points early and just give you the rest. Would you like to order that item now?”
You bet I would!
Little things mean a lot
It was just a 189-point punt. Big deal, right?
However, that supervisor would have been within his rights to say, “Sorry – rules are rules.” The fact that I’ve been a customer for 23 years probably figured into the decision. Fact is, though, he didn’t have to credit the points early or spot me the additional ones so I could order right away.
As a result, the item will arrive in about three weeks, well before Christmas. I’ll be able to include it in a box of holiday cheer that I’m sending to Abby and Tim. (Think: homemade peanut brittle and sea-salt caramels, a few other presents and a couple of jars of Adams No-Stir Peanut Butter, a brand they can’t find in Phoenix.)
Sure, I could have put in a card saying, “Watch this space – a major gift will head your way some time in January.” But it’ll be a lot more fun to open that gift on Dec. 25.
With one small (but shrewd) gesture the Thank You program further cemented my good will. Thank you, Citi: You just made a difference in my holiday.
Readers: Had any customer service wins lately?