Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Sub standard

As you might recall, I was a little miffed last week when I learned that my local Subway had discontinued its Sub Club stamp program. Not taking this lying down, I wrote the company an e-mail that appears on the May 9 post linked above. Three days later, I received an official reply. It follows:

Dear Mr Mcgibboney:

The SUBWAY® restaurant chain's Sub Club® Card customer appreciation program has been around for many years and customers have enjoyed collecting stamps on the back of the card and redeeming them for a free submarine sandwich. The program’s parameters have remained relatively the same for nearly a decade.

Currently, the chain is seeking ways to make our customers’ experiences in our restaurants even more rewarding. To do this, we have made slight changes to the program in some markets, made major changes in other markets and have eliminated it in a small number of markets. In areas where the card has been eliminated, we have encouraged our franchisees to increase the amount of specials and promotions they offer as a way to show appreciation for customers who choose to visit SUBWAY® restaurants.

We frequently review all of our products and programs. In the case of the Sub Club® Card, we want to insure we have a program that is beneficial for the franchisees while still generating excitement among customers.

We appreciate customer input on this and all issues. More than anything else, it is the customers who determine what products and programs are featured in SUBWAY® restaurants.

Toni Ann Savoca x8201
Customer Care Representative

Fair enough. Her name kinda freaks me out, though. Does that make her a corporate drone or a science-fiction Jetson from the future?

In any case, Subway is still on my good side. Because they are nothing like Wal-Mart.


gambitch said...

I believe that string at the back is just her phone extension number. You know, in case you decide to call Headquarters.

Except, are they listed in the phonebook?

Plus, the response looks boring. She could have just sent you a one-worder "Read." and be done just as quickly.

YatPundit said...

they may not be wal-mart, but it's still not a po-boy...

Michael said...

Oh, thank you, Jesus! I'm sorry that yours was one of the markets where the promotion was eliminated, Ian, but I'm glad that mine wasn't! Just two more stamps and I've got a free foot-long lunch coming my way :-)

Murph said...

Oddly enough, it's been eliminated in L.A. too.

I find it funny how she talks about how they review their offers every year and evaluate them, etc. That being said, that means that for 10 years they've thought the Sub Club has been pretty damn good. Something drastic must have happened this year ... or they just realized it was too good of a deal for the customer and not for the "franchisee."

Flamingo Jones said...

Because they are nothing like Wal-Mart.

heh heh heh.

Just like you.

Phillip said...

damn subway. i hope i don't find a finger in my sandwich tomorrow.... (a-wink*)

Kevin Hayden said...

Congrats, Ian, you whined loud enough that Wired heard you!

I bet you're making Jared cry, too.

Kevin Hayden said...


Click on 'blogs'.

jazzle said...

When I last visited my local Subway, about 6 weeks ago, they told me that the cards were going to be replaced with a plastic, credit card style card with a magnetic strip.
Is this just happening here in the UK?

Antwon said...

ugh...subway sandwiches taste like ass... but i feel your pain that they discontinued the program...i wouldn't want to lose something similar for something i liked.

Anonymous said...

They're eliminating this program because of fraud. Too many people making up fake cards to get free sandwiches. They're even being sold on eBay.

Chris said...

It would be pretty easy should you want to duplicate the simple stamps and cards, but if the customers are really faithful, they'd be willing to pay like 50¢ for a plastic card with a barcode or something that got credited each time they made a purchase. I does piss me off that some people ruined free sandwiches for everyone! I don't go to Subway as much anymore.

Starrdanzr said...

Hi there,
First, your blog is linked to by a article :)
If you go to the same article, Subway is quoted as saying that they have discontinued the program due to fraud. I cannot imagine why they would discontinue in some areas and not others.I suppose they are testing to see if eliminating the program affects sales.

super_structure said...

I had heard they were ending the program back over the summer and so some friends joined my wife and I at Subway for a "goodbye to our Sub-Club cards" dining festival. The lady behind the register said something to the effect that they were going to keep honoring them until September. Something gave me the impression it was up to the franchise what to do, but that corporate wouldn't be helping them out anymore until the swipe cards were available.

I'm sorry to see it go, though, as I lived for years on a mostly Subway diet in college.