If Starbucks Can Screw Their Best Customers, Doggonit So Can We

I received an email today from some guy named Jeffrey Diskin, Executive Vice President of Commercial Services for Hilton Worldwide. (I've include a screen shot of the email below.)

I don't know why commercials need servicing, but Jeffrey sounds very important. He thoughtfully thanks me for making Hilton HHonors my guest loyalty program. (I guess I never told him I was in 14 other programs. Am I cheating on him?) Jeffrey then reminds me that with ten distinct hotel brands, I have endless ways to experience the benefits of being an HHonors members.

Of course, I'm all pumped up from reading this and learning how they've expanded my benefits over the past few years, but Jeffrey brings me back to earth. It turns out Hilton has been giving me TOO MUCH! 

Unfortunately for me, Hilton periodically checks their program against the others. As Jeffrey states, "…we need to adapt our program based on industry trends." I guess that means something like, "We heard how Starbucks screwed their loyal customers and we want to get in on that action!"

So now, in order for me to maintain my Gold status with HHH, I have to complete 20 stays, 40 nights, or 75,000 Base Points (I'm not sure why those words are capitalized, but they are) within the calendar year. Looks like I'll be going back to my elite Cardboard status soon.

Airlines now nickle and dime us to death. Starbucks basically eliminates meaningful benefits in its loyalty program. The NFL insults it customers and demeans its product by playing games with replacement refs. Hilton says it shouldn't reward its best customers any more than their competition does.

Anybody noticing a trend here? Anybody noticing an opportunity here?

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