MyPoints.com (San Francisco, California, United States)

2011-08-22  

I have been a member of the MyPoints.com website for 13 years, as of September 2011. There is a section of the MyPoints website where you can get local deals, powered by Groupon, and earn points for each Groupon deal you partake in. There is also a daily email associated with this feature.

On Groupon's site, independent of MyPoints, I have entered the zip code where I would like my deals based and they remember that as part of my account. It's a very simple concept that most of the internet has figured out. However, on the MyPoints Local Deals site ("powered by Groupon") everything location-based is broken. The first thing I see is a map of an area that is rather close to where I live, but not within my actual zip code. There is a box to the left where you can enter a different zip code and a "Save this as my default location" button. Since I have previously tried to customise this site I see in the zip code box my preferred zip code: not where I live but also not what the map displays. No matter how many times I click the "Save location" button, the page will always revert to that other, strange location when reloaded. This really random location is literally neither here (where I live and the zip code registered with MyPoints) nor there (the zip code I have entered repeatedly in the zip code box). It's also not where my IP address indicates that I am, and it stays on this mystery location even when I've tried it from a friend's house.

I have considered that it might be a problem with my chosen browser and have tried every other major browser on the market; the page remains the same.

The second and related issue lies with the emails, sent daily, alerting me to deals in "my area". So far we have 3 locations in play; 1. my actual home zip code, 2. the zip code where I usually shop and would like deals in, and 3. this strange nearly-there area that comes up automatically on their site. The emails add a FOURTH location: Victoria, BC (Canada).
From my use of the term "zip code" I will hope you have gathered that I am based in the US. Not Canada. Don't get me wrong, Victoria is lovely, but I'm not going to travel to another country to take a yoga class. Also, Canadian post codes are nothing like US zip codes. Not even close. US zip codes are 5-digit numbers. Canadian post codes are 6-character alphanumeric codes. So this isn't a matter of a simple typo.

Now, the real problem: We've all made mistakes in the past, and sometimes websites can go a little haywire. That's all OK, but it needs to be fixed. So I emailed customer service. Thus began weeks of emailing back and forth with a bevy of random, untrained, unhelpful customer "service" agents who clearly did not read the emails I sent, only scanned them for keywords and sent back a generic reply. Typically the same thing listed in the FAQ on the main site.

I have 11 emails displaying the most insultingly unhelpful and incompetent customer service representatives I have ever encountered.
The first emails started off with the suggestion to change the zip code in the previously-mentioned "save my location" box. I can understand that they probably get a lot of emails where people haven't read the instructions and where this might be helpful, but (as I had already indicated to them) this had already been done. One of the subsequent emails apologised for a discrepancy in price from something called "Brad's Deals"; I replied that I had never heard of "Brad's Deals" nor had I mentioned them, or prices at all, in my query. The only issue I might have with any prices is that they are in Canadian dollars!

I restated my question in simpler terms.
They told me to delete my cookies.

How they might have though this would affect an email that they are sending me, I really cannot fathom. I tried it anyway, just to be sure (I have already stated that I tried to solve the website-only problem by using other browsers, which didn't help, so this is especially useless).

I'll leave it at that as the emails basically repeated this pattern for days and days. I eventually gave up and, in a fit of pique, called them morons...

which I wholeheartedly stand by.

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