Fanatics logo.gifMan, I am not so fanatical about Exclusive Books’ Fanatics at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I use it every time I buy something from Exclusive Books and I think it is great that I have it. It incentivises me to buy stuff almost exclusively (excuse the pun) from Exclusive Books.

What bugs me is that I have to call the call centre to retrieve my PIN which I use to print my vouchers which I receive depending on how much I spend in the stores (you basically earn loyalty points for every specified amount you spend – can’t remember if it is R5 or R7.50 or some other amount – and those points translate into vouchers). I don’t go to the site very often because vouchers are only issued quarterly and that is the only use for the site so I tend to forget my PIN. For some reason no-one has expressed to me, there is no way to request a PIN online like you can do with countless other websites, you have to phone the call centre which is only open certain hours a day and an operator will give you your PIN over the phone (imagine a bank worked like this?).

I called the call centre to get my PIN this morning (I had 2 vouchers waiting) and was given my PIN over the phone. I suggested to the operator that it makes a lot of sense to have a self-service option so I can get my PIN by email whenever I want. Her response was firstly that she doesn’t think that is possible and second that if I don’t want to lose my PIN I should perhaps write it down.

Photo credit: to put it in words, to write it down by Zak di Zakcomics licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivs 2.0 license

Sure that makes a lot of sense if I am firmly rooted in a paper system, but I am not. The thought of writing my PIN down is just plain nuts for reasons ranging from me having to maintain a paper based system which I have to use to find the PIN (and presumably all my other PINs) to a security risk because I have my PIN written down somewhere and a voucher thief could use that together with my card number to presumably steal my vouchers. To add to this, what kind of answer is that?! I mean, sheesh, is this company aware of the Web beyond an online voucher printing interface?

Allan Kent speaks about how mobile phones can be used for vouchers and all sorts of things we do on paper the old analogue way. What about an mms with a voucher code we can just have scanned at Exclusive Books or even an option to have a pdf voucher emailed (the print interface wreaks havoc with Safari). Heck, an option to retrieve my PIN myself via email would be dandy too.

Mostly I’d like to see Exclusive Books get with the digital age and perhaps spend a little money on a decent web front for its customers who don’t want to be told to go write the PIN down or for Fanatics’ office hours to even have that experience.

“… write it down … ” !!

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