I got the good fortune of being able to try out the new Giant Express Rewards program a few days before it went live. I had been told by a friendly customer service rep that it was a pretty cool program and it would be worth looking into. Boy, I was not wrong!
I had been toying with the idea of changing my gym routine for a while now. I had tried going to the gym several times a week for about a month or so, and it was nice to have a change of pace from work, but I was getting bored of the same old routine. Especially since my workouts had become less effective and I was starting to lose a bit of interest in working out. Then, one day, as I was driving to work, I got the brilliant idea to try out the new Giant Express Rewards program.
From the very first moment I signed up for the rewards program, I was completely sold on the idea of trying something new. I love a good challenge, and the idea of trying out a new gym and having to build up a sweat everyday really appealed to me. Plus, being accountable to others through a rewards program is a good way to keep me motivated.
I researched the best gym for my area, and after talking with a few coworkers, I decided to try out the Orange County Fitness center. I’ve been there a few times, and every time I go, I feel like I’m in the right place. They’ve got everything from weightlifting equipment to yoga mats, and tumblers! I mean, seriously, what is this place if not one big, cozy gym?
Anyway, after I made my decision, I looked into the rules and regulations of the program and how to link my account. First of all, you have to have an active gym membership in order to participate in the program. One of the main things I loved about this rule is that it prevents people from creating fake accounts and getting others to do their exercises for them. It keeps the accountability aspect of the program intact. Moreover, you have to link your accounts by using the same email address, therefore, not allowing for anonymity. This is a good thing! Finally, you have to have a phone number associated with your account in order to create a one-on-one code for when you call in to redeem your reward.
Once I had my account set up, I immediately started seeing the benefits of the new program. I have a 10% off coupon for the next 20 minutes, so I hopped on a treadmill to start working out. As I was running, I got a notification on my phone that a package had been delivered. I looked down and saw that it was my Giant Express rewards package!
When I got to the desk, the staff was nice enough to give me the benefit of the doubt, even though I had a bit of an issue with my identity. The package itself was a nice little box wrapped in brown paper and held together with masking tape. The tape had been opened and torn off to reveal a small cylinder. I carefully removed the wrapping and discovered a small velvet pouch inside. I opened the pouch and found a silver ring and a small note. The note read:
“Dear Ms. Jang,
Please give this letter and ring to Mr. Jeong as soon as possible. We are proud to present this gift as a token of our appreciation for all that he has done for us. Yours truly, H.S. (Head Sommelier)
The Bartenders of The Ritz-Carlton”
As you can imagine, I was pretty excited to open up the box and see what was inside. When I saw the ring, I almost dropped the box in surprise! It was a beautiful design, and it had been made entirely out of diamonds. I had to admit, this was one sweet surprise!
What I loved about this particular detail is that it was a genuine surprise. I didn’t know the bartenders were that friendly, and I doubted that they would really send me a gift, but it seemed like a nice gesture. As for the ring, you won’t find a piece of jewelry that is as unique as this one. The design is by Neiman Marcus and the diamonds are a generous gift from Mr. Jeong. Once I put the ring on my finger, it felt like it was the right size. It wasn’t too tight, and it wasn’t too loose. It just fit perfectly!
Now that I had my ring, it was time to redeem my gift. I called the number on the packaging and was connected to the customer support line. I explained to the representative that I had received a package in the mail and they needed my help to open it. She asked for my name and address, gave me a one-time use password and then proceeded to tell me the redemption code. As soon as I entered the code, I was taken to a page where I was presented with the option to either print out my receipt or have it sent automatically to the email address I provided during registration.
If I wanted to find out more information about the program, I could have easily accessed that via the email. There wasn’t any sort of catch-all email where I could have entered a fake email and received a flood of spam, but I assume that that is the kind of thing that the company is trying to avoid. I really enjoy the fact that they’ve taken that precautionary measure and opted for the verification method through phone calls. It’s a simple yet effective way to keep people’s accounts secure and the information private.
Even though I had my hands full taking care of work responsibilities, I made it a point to stop by the gym as often as I could. It wasn’t that I wasn’t enjoying my workouts or the new environment, it’s just that there were a lot of other things going on in my life at the moment that I didn’t have time to give it the attention it deserved. But, as soon as I had a free hour or two, I would show up at the gym and workout. And, after the first couple weeks, it didn’t take me long to realize that I had made the right decision.
The program wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely a whole new way of thinking for me. Not only had I tried something new and been presented with a pleasant surprise, but I had also built a new relationship with the staff at the Orange County Fitness center as well. As I walked out the door, the owner of the gym came up to me and gave me a big hug. He thanked me for trying out his gym and said that he was looking forward to working with me.
All in all, it was a pretty spectacular start to the week, and it was all thanks to my new found friend, the amazing Giant Express Rewards program. If you’re interested, give it a shot and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the benefits as well!