First, the good news: Best Buy is offering a $10 gift card to Reward Zone Gamer's Club members who buy Assassin's Creed 2 for PS3 or 360 by November 21, 2009. Sounded like a pretty good promotion, and they weren't shy about it, putting it in a free flyer, the weekly ad, and on signs hung up around the store. From every word I could absorb off these printed goods, all you had to do was be a member of the program (I am, though with some trepidation) and buy the game, and voila — $10 gift card to use for yourself, or to give to a loved one.
Now the bad news. I reached the counter, bought the game, and asked for my gift card. The cashier asked if I had a coupon. I did not. Nowhere did it say that one was required. I double-checked the signs in the store, the Web page, weekly ad, flyer acquired the week before, and so on. The only indication that there was more to it was a "Visit myrewardzone.com/gamersclub for more details," but there was nothing to indicate that more information was required or would be necessary for you to be aware of somehow.
So I said, "No, I don't have a coupon. Do I need one? The signs and ads do not say I need a coupon, nor do they say I need to go home and look online to get one." The guy informed me that I had to log into their site and dig around to find it (it wasn't easy), or that it should have been emailed to me (it definitely was not). I asked a supervisor what the deal is with this, and he confirmed that I needed a coupon to redeem their offer, which by all indications was coupon-less. I brought up again the point that nowhere did it say I needed one, and I started to think they were trying to get me to go home, waste a bunch of time looking for something that didn't exist, and lose interest, saving them $10.
So I asked him, "How are people supposed to know they need to print out a coupon ahead of time when this isn't mentioned anywhere? Telepathy?" The supervisor wasn't amused, but also didn't seem to really care. I needed a coupon, and that was that. Note: An identical offer was made for Modern Warfare 2 a week earlier, and there is another promo underway for New Super Mario Bros. Wii for a 500-point Nintendo card, which I suspect have the same stipulations; if so, I'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments.
I finally got my hands on the coupon in question and had to explain the situation to the returns staff to redeem it, at which point the woman helping me sighed and admitted it was stupid, and that they've had to send several people home to unearth the elusive mystery coupon just to get Best Buy to do what they advertised in the first place. So to Amber in Customer Service, thank you for being reasonable with me. To the marketing and advertising people, please get your heads out of your asses.