Posts tagged “disloyalty”

Telling customers buh-bye!

A follow-up to a previous entry (in which planned to remove my inventory from their system if I didn’t make a purchase, etc.), now Hilton is going to drop me from their loyalty program if I don’t stay there soon

As a member of Hilton HHonors, you are very important to us. That’s why we want to give you an opportunity to reactivate your HHonors account before it is closed and the HHonors points you’ve already earned are forfeited.

[pitch to sell me a credit card]

You may also keep your HHonors account open beyond September 01, 2006, by taking advantage of one of the following options:

[stay with them, buy something etc.]

If you do not take one of the actions above by September 01, 2006, your HHonors account will be closed and all accumulated points will be forfeited. Prior to your account closing, you may redeem your HHonors points for any eligible reward. After the points are redeemed, your account will be closed by the date above and all remaining points will be forfeited.

Forfeited? I think I stayed at a Hilton in December, and previously in October (I could be wrong, frankly I don’t differentiate between hotel brands too clearly, there’s other things to take up space in my brain), but now I’m to be forfeited? I wonder what trend in loyalty (as a business construct) is leading to this shedding of non-profitable customers, or even this threatening-with-expulsion mentality. I’m not sure what I’m costing Hilton. If I’m not an active customer, don’t target any promotions to me. But why dump me? Or, why threaten to dump me as a way to motivate me to become a better customer? There’s no carrot, only a stick.

At least, as I wrote in the previous entry, they are warning me. Starwood just dumped me without notice and caused all sorts of usability hassles when I tried to make a reservation using what I thought was an active membership number.

Your Inventory Will Soon Expire

We are sending you this email to confirm that you currently have inventory listed on Our records show you have not been to the site for approximately 75 days
In order to ensure your continued success as a seller, we encourage you to make sure your prices, conditions, and descriptions are up to date and correct. We have found that sellers who re-price and refresh their inventory on a regular basis experience higher sales volumes than those who do not. Additionally, it is important for us at to ensure that our buyers are purchasing from active and attentive sellers.
If you do not visit your account by 04-16-2006, your inventory will be suspended. Please take some time to review the items you have for sale and make any modifications you think might be necessary

This is funny timing; I was “interviewing myself” during a recent dog walk (like showering and falling asleep, good times for an interior monologue) about why I had been loyal to for so long and now almost exclusively buy and sell on Amazon. At one point I was given a number of Amazon gift certificates as thanks for some speaking I had done, so I was regularly going back to Amazon to spend them. I also found Half didn’t have the inventory compared to Amazon. also went through a protracted integration with eBay and put us (as sellers) through all sorts of various bullshit, with warnings of changes coming, planning to do away with the service entirely, then changing their minds. It didn’t seem stable, it didn’t seem comfortable. There was at least one more point at which they were eliminating some categories and sent me a notice that some of my inventory would not longer be offered (if I recall, they had initially let you create your own categories for things that they didn’t have ISBN or part numbers etc. for, but did away with that during some revision of their system) past a certain date.

In other words, they were not easy to do business with.

As a customer of Amazon, I’ve had no shortage of hassles with them, but as a seller, it’s been pretty darn painless. I don’t move a lot of stuff, I just have thrown some old books up there and sometimes one of them will sell. Rarely. I guess they make me renew all my listings every sixty days, but that’s a bunch of clicking and not a lot of thinking. Half has always hassled me, and I’ve slowly abandoned them.

But this takes the cake. As I’ve written here before I don’t feel great about being threatened with removal (at least Half is warning me, unlike Starwood in the previous link). Not to mention that their email is incredibly inept since 4/16 was nearly 2 months ago.

Half doesn’t want me? I don’t need them. A customer has been lost.


About Steve