On May 25 we decided to use the 5,664 points we'd built up to make a purchase at Rite Aid. The cashier received a message saying "transaction can't be completed" when we put in our phone number and PIN.
So moments later we tried the purchase again and, Gee what do you know, the points weren't there. They'd been deducted from our account even though the sale hadn't gone through. We paid full price for the items we bought. The cashier and manager at Rite Aid were extremely apologetic because they had no way of refunding our points or making any headway with Plenti.
We called Plenti an hour later. The rep said our "dispute" would take five to seven days to resolve and we would see a refund after Plenti contacted the store directly to confirm our story.
We called a week later. And a week later. And a week later. And a week later. When I used the word "fraudulent" in a twitter post, they contacted me and gave me exactly the same excuse they'd started with. They demanded a receipt for the transaction that never went through. They had no answer as to why they never made any attempt to contact the store.
On July 5 they claimed that our "dispute" would be resolved on July 7 and we would receive a refund then. July 7 came and went, and they said on the phone we would receive a refund on July 9. I'm sure each of the reps on the phone actually believed what they were told from above.
On July 10, a few hours before the Plenti program would disappear forever, we received an email stating that our points had been refunded. The online marketplace had closed months before, Rite Aid was closed, and my wife's car was already full of gas.
In a last desperate effort to use some of our points, I took my car several miles to top off my tank at an open ExxonMobil station. Their pumps had already been re-branded with ExxonMobil's replacement program, and my points didn't work anyway.
So Plenti gets to claim that they honored their commitment and did what they promised (even though it was five weeks late), when in fact what they did was run out the clock to make it absolutely certain that we could not use the benefit of their fraudulent program before claiming to make us whole.
I'm certain we're not the only people American Express (Plenti's parent) did this to. I'd really like to see a class action certified, but the bottom line is that most losses to consumers would be for small dollar amounts like our $56.64 and it just wouldn't be worth the effort.
Fortunately, I teach about fraud and business ethics for a living. So now I have a new story to tell my audiences - and I will.
Review about: Plenti Rewards Program.
Reason of review: Return, Exchange or Cancellation Policy.
Monetary Loss: $57.
Preferred solution: Full refund.