I was browsing the ThankYou Network catalog, which is Citi’s reward program, when I noticed something funny. When I was logged out, the price for certain gift cards would be different than when I was logged in.

For example, Home Depot gift cards are available on this schedule when logged out:

  • $10 gift card for 1,500 points
  • $25 gift card for 2,500 points
  • $50 gift card for 5,000 points
  • $100 gift card for 10,000 points

Screenshot:
HD-gc-logged-out

When I logged in to “buy” them, the schedule (and number of options) changed!

  • $10 gift card for 1,500 points
  • $25 gift card for 3,500 points
  • $50 gift card for 6,000 points

Screenshot:
HD-gc-logged-in

This is a huge difference!

I checked another gift card, Starbucks, and found the same difference.

Logged out Starbucks options:

  • $5 gift card for 1,000 points
  • $10 gift card for 1,500 points
  • $25 gift card for 2,500 points
  • $50 gift card for 5,000 points
  • $100 gift card for 10,000 points

Logged in:

  • $5 gift card for 1,000 points
  • $10 gift card for 1,500 points
  • $25 gift card for 3,500 points
  • $50 gift card for 6,000 points

Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t buy anything unless I’m logged in but I don’t know there’s such a big difference in both price and options.

Anyone ever Buy Gold with Goldline?

by jim on June 7th, 2010

Goldline, the company that Glenn Beck has shilled for, has come under a lot of fire lately because of their high markups on some gold coins. While I don’t personally believe Goldline is a scam, they are very open and upfront about their pricing, I do think that a lot of consumers may be taken for a ride when they buy coins with incredible markups.

It should go without saying that anytime something “hot,” there will be scammers. Cash4gold is a company that buys gold and they’ve been, on numerous occasions, shown to use less than 100% honest business practices. If you haven’t read anything about that, consider this insider’s look – 10 Confessions of a Cash4Gold Employee. (there are plenty if you search for it)

However, if you shop around, you can usually discover this very quickly. The problem is many people don’t and they get ripped off.

How To Mess Up A Good Thing: RocketBoom

by jim on July 13th, 2006

Outside of reading blogs, I only listened to one podcast, Shoemoney’s Net Income, and watched one vlog (video blog), RocketBoom. I listen to Shoemoney because he’s made buckets of money online and the stuff he talks about on his show are things I want to learn. I watch RocketBoom because it found cool little tech tidbits and Amanda Congdon is smokin’.

When I found out that Amanda was leaving RocketBoom for greener pastures in Los Angeles I thought that was awesome, good for her, take it to the next level. Then, I discovered her blog which talked about the messy breakup.

If you look on RocketBoom now, her replacement isn’t that smokin’ and I realized the tech tidbits really aren’t that cool (that’s what Digg is for) and watching a vlog to get tech tidbits is really not that efficient (again, Digg). Guess I’ll be watching zero vlogs now (or maybe I’ll watch the four mentioned on her blog…Ninja, Tiki, Ze’s The Show, and The Richard Show).

This happens a lot. Something gets real big and the people who started it start that relentless power struggle and someone gets kicked out (this one was more like one guy being an asshat) and a good thing goes down the freaking tubes. Oh well… all good things

“Fat Tax”?

by jim on June 13th, 2006

Give me a break. Where have all the adults gone? A fat tax because people are drinking too much soda and getting fat? I want a doctor’s tax for that time they said margarine was better for you than butter and then changed their minds and then changed back and then changed back again.

People should be accountable for their own actions, they should answer for their decisions, and they should show some backbone when they’re challenged. That’s all part of being an adult and being responsible. If you drink soda and you get fat, the onus isn’t on the manufacturer – it’s on you.

Let’s be honest, without the warning on cigarettes that they may cause cancel, would you believe that cigarettes are entirely safe? Would you really believe that inhaling smoke (it’s freaking SMOKE!) would be entirely harmless to the human body? Consuming large amounts of sugar is bad for you, you should know this, if you’re a child then it’s perfectly alright if you haven’t learned this, but as an adult you should. In fact, as an adult you should educate your children that massive amounts of anything is likely bad for you.

This is like when that guy was suing MacDonalds for getting fat. Sorry buddy, MacDonalds didn’t forcefeed you their food, you made that choice yourself.

I Hate Sites That Require Registration

by jim on April 26th, 2006

Listen media moghuls, turn off registration requirements for your sites. This is what happens… I see a headline on Google Desktop that interests me, I click on it to read it. If I see a “registration required” for a FREE news article, I will close the window and not register. If I am at all interested, I will not register, I will go to Bug Me Not and pull a bogus login credential so I can read the story. Maybe I will use my Google Toolbar, fill in some bogus information, and then hit AutoFill just so I can get to the story. I will never give you my information and create an account.

Newspapers are losing readers to online content. The last thing you want to do is be inhibiting pageviews just so you can “track” my interests and do nothing with it. You need those impressions so you can sell advertising, I don’t need to read the news from your site because I can get it somewhere else if I really wanted to. CNN and ESPN don’t require me to register.

Get a clue.