Wachovia ‘rewards’ goof leaves customers with coal

Wachovia customers thought Christmas came early today, but an undisclosed goof left them with coal — and the bank overloaded with calls. A morning email told customers that special gifts they had ordered were about to be shipped. Sorry, the bank says: Our bad.

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

“The Wachovia Possibilities Rewards emails were sent erroneously to you, and they do not pertain to any orders you may have placed,” a subsequent email says, without explaining the error or its cause.

“Please be assured that your point balance was not impacted nor was your account compromised in any way,” it adds.

That came too late for the confused customers, many of whom thought they’d been scammed by hackers. No surprise, then, that Wachovia is “experiencing high volume on both our website and rewards call center, causing delays at both.”

Wachovia’s no-fee rewards program earns customers purchase points for rewards such as airline tickets, retail and restaurant gift cards and other items.

The panic started after emails went to some members thanking them for their orders and to others saying their rewards were on back order.

“We are working hard to service every customer and to prevent this from occurring again,” the bank wrote, soon after word spread. “We apologize for this error and for any inconvenience it may have caused.”

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