Earlier this week, Aeroplan announced that members could now earn Aeroplan points at Starbucks. Even better, Starbucks members could "double-dip" on points, earning both Aeroplan miles AND Starbucks stars with each purchase.
For a points-junkie like me, that's free money!
As an existing Aeroplan member, I found out about this offer when Aeroplan sent me an email to share the news. And eager to link my accounts and start double-dipping, I immediately clicked the large, blue "Link Now" button at the bottom of that email.
I was taken to a webpage where I was asked to sign in to my Aeroplan account, and then...
The link was broken.
Aeroplan wanted to announce a significant, exciting new partnership with one of the world's most famous coffee companies, and they presumably sent the same announcement email I received to their entire member database... and excited members eager to act upon the news and link their accounts were taken to a "Something went wrong" page.
Years ago, when I worked at the Starbucks Canadian Support Center, I'd regularly attend Starbucks "Friends and Family" events, hosted by new stores on the day before they officially opened to the public. The friends and families of Starbucks partners (employees) working at the store would attend to show their support for the store team... and because all of the beverages served that evening were complimentary.
And why would Starbucks host these "everything is free" events?
So that partners would get a low-risk "trial run" of the operations with friends before they had to service a paying public whose expectations would be far higher the following day.
Testing, testing, one, two, three.
We all make mistakes from time to time.
And to Aeroplan's credit, they recognized their error relatively quickly and corrected the link within eight hours: before I began writing this post, I tried the hyperlink again and was able to connect my Aeroplan and Starbucks accounts in minutes, without further issue.
But the number of mistakes you can expect with a launch event is usually inversely related to the amount of time you spend testing critical systems in advance.
The "friends and family" concept will work for more than just new store openings.
P.S. If you want to know the benefits you get by linking your Aeroplan and Starbucks accounts, just have a look at the screenshot below.