SM Advantage Rewards Card

sm advantage card

I’m a sucker for rewards cards. I only have a few but I use the SM Advantage Rewards Card most often. I live near an SM Hypermart branch so I do my weekly grocery there. There are a couple of Watson’s in our neighborhood so I thought getting an SM Advantage card would be useful. The cashiers can be annoying too, asking if you have one every time you are at the cashier, so to avoid such question, I got one last year.

I remember having one before but didn’t bother to renew the membership. I only got the permanent card when Noah and I went to SM Centerpoint last week. I received a Welcome letter and the Value Perks discount book which contains, according to SM, ‘endless shopping rewards and benefits‘. Most of the deals are valid until May 31, 2013 so good luck when and where to use them.

I was particularly interested in registering my card number over SMS as indicated in the letter. I like to test such procedure. Haha. Unfortunately, it was not successful. I was told to register the number with my birth month and birth year as my four-digit PIN. I tried to register the same evening so I thought maybe the system still needed to be updated or processed.

I tried the next day, same ‘Invalid PIN’ message. I tried registering online, still the same. I tried SMS registration six times– all failed. I gave up.

This morning, I bravely e-mailed the SM Advantage Customer Service to ask what’s the problem. I gave them my details so they could check the error. After 23 minutes, I got an e-mail response that they have ‘successfully reset my PIN’. Quick response. Wow!

That was impressive. Problem is, my e-mail information was incorrect. SM Advantage Card Rewards System

Instead of [reah.padla] , it was [reah.padilla]. Where did that come from?

I understand that others would have the tendency to commit that mistake when writing my surname but this was supposed to be system-generated, right? Is the database being updated manually? That whoever is e-mailing me simply entered my information right then because I asked. Am I the only one experiencing this?

I edited my e-mail information and finally got an activation link, unfortunately again, it still isn’t working. I sent another e-mail and reported the error . I wrote “seems that you manually entered a wrong e-mail address“.

Does this happen all the time?

And then I got this reply: “We have manually activated your registered account.”

So accounts are manually activated? What’s the point of having a database if SM still needs to ‘manually’ update and activate the accounts?

This isn’t really a big deal for me. It won’t add value to my life but for a group as big as SM, the company should have a nicely setup database. Or at least, have hired the best developers and web guys in the country. Up to this point, I am not sure if this happened to me only but I sure hope the SM Advantage team fixes this.

I realized that local companies still don’t put priority on their websites. I am all for e-governance and I am happy that some government agencies are taking this seriously. Meanwhile, a lot of private companies and firms do not– at least, not yet.

The future of e-commerce is very bright. No doubt about that. I hope local businesses reconsider their strategies.  The digital landscape is also rapidly growing and improving that people and businesses need to keep up with the trends.

I know this is old news but apparently, majority of the Philippines is still behind. Sure, there are thousands of online stores based in the country right now. Thanks to Multiply, Facebook, and now Instagram– admit it, these three social networks, have annoyed contributed  to our social shopping life. But I hate that most of them still do not offer online payment. What’s the point of opening an online store if the customer can’t pay online, that she still has to go outside the comforts of her home to go to a bank, a GCash outlet, or a Western Union branch?

I understand that most of these online stores are small retail businesses that some owners may not have credit cards or have knowledge about PayPal and such. But if they want to target more people, they should at least, consider other payment methods aside from bank transfer.

As for SM, I still love you even if I’ve been told by some people not to support Henry Sy. I am targeting the SM Prestige Loyalty Program but I don’t think I would be able to spend P300,000 all at SM Malls within two years of membership.

I love SM because they still ‘got it all for me’.  🙂


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