Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Department of Unhelpful Advice

Here's the fine print on a recent piece of e-mail from MyPoints (which I like pretty well, except when they do things like send me a link to a survey, which, when I follow it, then informs me that I have already taken the survey. Which would be a pretty neat trick since it arrive in my mailbox literally minute before):

In other words, Mac user, don't be a Mac user. If you want to do business with us, you should switch to an inferior operating system that you probably don't care much for (seeing how you're a Mac user and all), because that's way easier for us than to have to program our stuff to be cross-platform.

Thanks, MyPoints, but no thanks. After 25 years on the Macintosh, it's far more likely that I will drop you than the Mac.

Indeed, one of the little silver linings in my having been recently downsized out of my job of the past nine years (first hired, first fired, I guess) is that I no longer have to work in Windows on a daily basis. It's been a constant nuisance to have to dive through various hoops to accomplish that which could be done on a Mac in a fraction of the time. (How often did I bring things home to do on the Mac in an hour rather than spend an afternoon trying to accomplish the same things in Windows?)

On the subject of MyPoints: The gist of the service is that they send you e-mail; usually you get a few points, which you collect and spend on stuff later on, for clicking the link to the sponsor's website and reading their material, taking their survey, whatever. You get additional points for following up on their offer or completing the survey or what have you. (You also can log into MyPoints and shop their vendors via their website, amassing points in that fashion, too.) The system works well, and some of the offers have been useful. But it seems to me lately that a greater-than-usual number of offers don't include the points-for-reading feature. If you buy you get points, but you get no points for merely following up on the offer. A sign of tough economic times?

And despite the disclaimer reproduced above, I have almost never had any trouble with MyPoints from my Mac platform. Once in awhile a survey sponsor will insist that I have to access their site using Internet Exploder on a Windows POS computer. Not so; I have the option of clicking the close button, and I avail myself of it.

That, I think, produces the "best results."

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