Best Buy Has To Take Back Special Reward Offer

If the slip of a lip can sink a ship, perhaps a retailer's flick of the click can kill a prestigious campaign mighty quick. The best way for a retail chain to make a customer happy is to offer him/her a program that few others can get. And the best way to undermine that—as Best Buy discovered on Wed. (Sept. 3)—is to then accidentally make that offer to every single reward customer you have.

The chain sent out invites to its exclusive Premier Black members—supposedly limited to the biggest spenders in the chain—on Wednesday, but inadvertently E-mailed it to the full CRM database. Oops!

Best Buy quickly owned up to the error, but how would you like to tell millions of customers, "Sorry. When I said you were special, I didn't mean you. I need to take the gift back now."

It's sort of like having to say your daughter, "I'm sorry, honey. That 'You're my favorite!' card I left on your pillow was supposed to be for your brother. Can you please give it to him while you're taking out the trash?"