Steele On Your Side takes your questions
Every Friday CTV Consumer Reporter Lynda Steele answers a handful of viewer questions CTV has received.
Grace from Mission asked: Why have places like Safeway and Pharmasave stopped giving Air Miles and loyalty points on prescription medication sales?
As of July 4 these stores have stopped giving loyalty points and Air Miles on some prescriptions. The Ministry of Health says it has received complaints from pharmacies and the public about taxpayer money being used to support reward programs. The complaint is that patients are given rewards for prescription costs that B.C.'s PharmaCare program pays for. So the ministry has asked stores to stop offering points for the cost of prescriptions that are paid out by B.C. PharmaCare.
Our next question was sent to us from Jennifer in Nanaimo. When Jennifer's husband passed away two months ago, the American Express credit card they shared had a $125 cash rebate on it. Her husband was the primary card holder; she was a supplementary card holder. She asked:
The charges on the account were all my transactions. Why is it I'm expected to still pay for the charges on the account, but I'm not eligible for the rebate?
We contacted American Express. Officials there told us that both the primary and supplementary card members share benefits and features, but only if the primary cardholder is still a member. In this case her husband was no longer a member, because he had passed away. However, any rewards earned by a deceased primary card member will be transferred by Amex to their estate. In this case, Jennifer would have access to this money once it's transferred, so she will eventually be able to get that cash rebate of $125.
Our last question came from a viewer who emailed us after he tried to cancel a BC Ferries reservation more than six weeks in advance. Devin asked:
I would like BC Ferries to answer why as a consumer they can't provide credits to our accounts when we have to cancel a reservation?
Devin said he understood the $15 reservation was non-refundable if cancelled, but since he cancelled so far in advance, he thought he should at least be eligible for a credit. We called BC Ferries on Devin's behalf.
BC Ferries said no credits are given because if there were no consequences to booking and cancelling people could make multiple reservations when they only intend on using one. That could cause havoc on the reservation planning system. Customers are able to change their reservations, but there is a $9 fee to do that.
If you do cancel your reservation that free spot is put back into the reservation pool and re-sold, so BC Ferries is actually making double the money on that spot.