Wanted to buy a $900 computer. With Dell discounts, it was going to be about $560. Went to my American Express Membership Rewards site to redeem points for a $350 Dell certificate. Read the fine print before redeeming my points - all was good - no mention of not being able to combine with Dell discounts.
I redeem the 35,000 points, get the certificate code, go back to Dell cart. Certificate won't work. Open a chat with customer service. An hour later, they inform me that I cannot combine the $350 certificate with one of the discounts. I ask them to override it, based on the fine print on the certificate. They say they cannot. We go back and forth.
I get a live American Express rep on the phone (in about 30 seconds) calling their 800 number. They say they cannot help me and cannot reverse the points redemption to get my points back. I explain the situation and ask them to make an exception. She puts me on hold. In less than two minutes, she comes back and tells me that they will give me my points back to use for something else.
I go back to Dell and explain that I am not going to buy the computer (or another one that I am planning to purchase at Christmas time) if they cannot make the discount work. They say they cannot. The amount of the discount: $50.
Honor your own fine print, Dell.
I will purchase my two computers somewhere else - and thanks to American Express' flexibility, use my points for something else, too.