For the longest time, I collected Airmiles because every once in a while, I could get a free CD from it. Longtime Readers of the KMA will remember all of this.
Today I went to their site to order a couple of CDs. They weren’t there.
So, I chatted online with an Airmiles representative, and when asked what happened to the CDs, the reply was They have been discontinued (as of September), and are available as the iTunes vouchers via AirMiles Cash.
I really don’t give two shits about iTunes vouchers. I want CDs. When I asked if they’d even bothered to ask their members for reaction to this proposed change, I was told This was done to better align the Rewards we offer with the Sponsors that participate in our Program. I regret any inconvenience this Program change has caused you.
So, in other words, no. They had not, in fact, bothered to consult their members.
It was then offered that my feedback be forwarded to the designated department, which I said was pointless, since the change was already made for us, without notifying anyone. Besides, the “designated department” is probably the round file. One feedback was not going to bring back the program they’d already axed.
I was very pissed off. This free CD thing worked well for me for a long time, and I did not want it to end. My hackles really got up, though, when these patronizing corporations unilaterally decided for us that this would no longer be an option, even after so long of the system working perfectly fine. It’s one more step towards the homogenization of how we consume entertainment. It’s also one more step towards Digital rather than Physical (as you’ll recall my ruminative recent post on the subject). I’ll admit it, I am a dinosaur who still wants the physical product. Especially for free. But I can still not like their decision.
I was mad enough to be sure I’d just stop carrying the card. Why bother, now?
But on a little further reflection, perhaps I can find something positive out of this? Yes, I think I can. It’s not my ideal (that would be CDs), but I suppose it can’t hurt… So, now I think I’ll save points towards a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens for my Canon DSLR. It’s 1250 points (I have 328 points, currently). In perspective, a CD through them was generally 120 points, so at 10x the points this is definitely a bigger ticket item.
How long will it take me to save up for it? Months. Maybe even a year or more, at my current rate of collection (there just aren’t that many places in town that offer AirMiles that we actually shop). Or, if Airmiles has anything to do with it, probably just long enough for them to unilaterally decide to stop offering that lens.