Vinesse / wine club membership for miles

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by viguera, Jun 14, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. viguera
    • Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Well I decided to make this thread for a few reasons...

    • Some of this stuff is common knowledge, but I don't see a thread about it and even if it's available "over there" it's good to have "local" content

    • I figured I'd try it out regardless to have recent feedback about the overall experience

    • I wanted to bulk up my collection of cheap/mediocre wines to have something to offer people that visit and don't appreciate my expensive imported stuff. :)

    Anyway... In case you don't know, the "American Cellar Wine Club" is one of these "wines of the month" clubs, where you sign up and get a bunch of relatively cheap wines shipped to you every month or on demand.

    During AA's "30 Days" promo, day 8 was actually a 3,000 mile bonus in exchange for joining American Cellar, with an introductory offer of 6 bottles for $6.99 a bottle, with free shipping. Subsequent purchases would also yield 4 miles per dollar. The thread in question is below:

    We crunched the numbers and figured best case you'd get 3,500 miles at 1 cpm, with a total spend of $42. The miles would post, you cancel your membership and be on your way.

    Worst case, the miles wouldn't post before the first month of membership and you'd have to eat (well, drink) the next shipment costs...

    Bottom line, it seems like worst case scenario for me... :)

    I signed up the day of the promo (April 27th) and received the first shipment relatively quickly. The box arrived May 4th, extremely well packaged and complete with a bunch of welcoming paperwork.

    The miles didn't post -- to date they still haven't posted -- but I figured I'd sit on it and see how long it would take and in order not to affect the outcome -- after all, I'm sure if I cancel the miles would never post. :)

    I actually received a call today (June 14th) from them letting me know they were billing my card for the next shipment, asking if I was satisfied, etc. Total spend for this shipment was $112 (give or take a few cents). Doing the maths it looks like 6 bottles at $15 a bottle plus $22 for shipping, or something of the sort.

    I'm still sitting on this for the same reasons I didn't cancel before. Tomorrow actually makes 7 weeks since I signed up and 6 weeks since I received the first shipment. Why they waited that long to actually send the second shipment I'm not sure, but I would imagine that the miles should post within the next week or two.

    Their system is "not that bad" if you're into relatively cheap wines or like I said you want to build up a collection of everyday stuff to save your expensive wines.

    The #1 caveat is that you cannot choose which ones they send you -- you go white / red / mix, but you can't say you prefer Zinfandel or Riesling for example. The #1 advantage is that they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee -- if you don't like what they sent you, you give them a call and let them know, and they send you a replacement no questions asked, plus they don't send you any more of what you don't like.

    Either way, the "wine for miles" experience seems to be a no-go overall, as there are cheaper ways to get the same amount of miles. Total spend so far has been $154: $42 for first shipment plus $112 for second. Total (potential) miles earned is 3,448: 3k for signing up and 448 for spending $112 on the second shipment. That works out to 4 cpm, which is not actually a good value.

    Still, you DO get cheap wine, but it's cheaper to buy miles from AA directly -- you'd get 6k miles for $150 directly from them.
    Kalboz, cptnkirk77 and petzpetz like this.
  2. JetsettingEric
    • Original Member

    JetsettingEric Silver Member

    Great summary. I do think Vinesse is above some of the other wine for mile suppliers. Wine Insiders was so bad i turned it into sangria. They have grab bag specials all the time. They send a mixed box of red / white or mixed, you pay $10-12/bottle. My favorite use of Vinesse is for the US Airways grand slam where you get bonus miles for using more partners.
    Kalboz likes this.
  3. SC Flier
    • Original Member

    SC Flier Gold Member

    Nice that they gave you notice before the second shipment. They didn't do that for me when I signed up for it a couple years ago for a US Airways Grand Slam. I called to cancel, and they said that the next scheduled shipment had already gone to the warehouse, was scheduled to ship soon, and that it was too late to stop that shipment. It actually shipped about 5 days later, IIRC. I threatened to refuse delivery, and I ended up agreeing to accept it at half price.

    We didn't care for most of the wines. A few were okay. Very oaked Chardonnays were not good for us at all.
    Kalboz and Andyandy like this.
  4. wombat18
    • Original Member

    wombat18 Silver Member

    I found the wines in the first shipment to be terrible. They seem to be bulk wine put into bottles with fake labels, since I couldn't find the location of the winery for any of them.

    I, too, tried to stop the second shipment but couldn't. There is no email address and the phone service was awful. So, I put my complaint in writing. Never heard back to my request to return the second shipment. But, the wine stopped coming.
    Kalboz and SC Flier like this.
  5. PanAm
    • Original Member

    PanAm Silver Member

    Thanks for starting this viguera.

    When I did this earlier in the year for UA miles, I had the same issue with the second shipment coming but without any advance notice until I noticed the charge online on my credit card. Their phone CSRs aren't very good but the lady said to just refuse delivery and it would be credited back to my account. I did that and the money was refunded about a week after they received the shipment back.

    My miles had actually posted not long after my first shipment, maybe a week. I had it on my "to do" list to call and cancel. But the second shipment had gone out withon about 2 1/2 weeks which was way sooner than I'd understood. On the FT thread for the UA Vinesse offer, there were reports that folks had called after the first shipment and had the next delivery interval lengthened substantially. In fact when I called to cancel and ran down the litany of reasons why, one thing I mentioned was the shipments were too frequent and the CSR said they could schedule me for longer intervals if I wanted (which I did not as the wine isn't worth it).

    So anyone contemplating this in the future, you may want to call immediately after the first shipment and ask to have your next one delayed for a bit.

    Overall, it was a bit of a hassle but worth it, I thought.
    Kalboz, wombat18 and SC Flier like this.
  6. Gary Steiger
    • Original Member

    Gary Steiger Silver Member

    I have a list of (hopefully) all wine buying programs that produce miles or points on my website below in the Buying Stuff > Other Shopping Loyalty Programs >Wine Programs section.
    Kalboz and lin821 like this.
  7. travelinmike33
    • Original Member

    travelinmike33 Silver Member

    If you check out The Points Guy's blog, I believe he called immediately to delay the second shipment until after he received the points. Additionally, when he called to cancel, they offered him another shipment at no cost. Of course YMMV, but based on his experience it seems like it can be worthwhile.
    Kalboz likes this.
  8. I signed up with Vinesse thru the AA deal and thought that I was getting 6 bottles of wine for $7 each plus one cent shipping. I received the wine but found on my credit card bill that they had charged me $20 per bottle and $30 for an annual membership.

    When I called, they told me that I had signed up with them two years which I didn't remember (too much wine?). I could understand that but asked why they didn't notify me that they were going to charge me $20/bottle plus the annual fee since I would have just not gone ahead with the deal. They said that they didn't work that way - I then talked to a supervisor for awhile and he agreed to discount the 6 bottles down to the original $7 per bottle and they would issue a credit but couldn't do anything about the $30 annual fee. I told them I was going to dispute the $30 since I never agreed to pay that fee.

    One week later, I check my CC and still no credit for anything so I disputed thru my CC which seems to have taken care of it as my CC told me that they had finally resolved in my favor after I sent them screen shots of everything (I ended up paying on the $7 per bottle). The wine was ok (nothing special).

    As for Wine Insiders, I brought a $75 off for $25 thru Groupon. I carefully entered in the code on the Wine Insiders page but the invoice didn't show the $75 discount. I then call them immediately and the guy on the phone says he'll manually issue a credit. Get my cc bill, no $75 credit. I call them again and that person says the guy didn't input it right (duh) but she would take care of it. Two weeks later, still no $75 credit so I have go thru the CC dispute process again with them. Again, the wine was ok (drinkable but nothing special)

    Needless to say, I will not be signing up for any online wine offers in the near term.
    Kalboz likes this.
  9. Slow_Mustang
    • Original Member

    Slow_Mustang Silver Member

    If you are a 'serious' wine drinker, these poor quality wines offered are not for you.
    They were so acidic (probably not aged properly), that all I could do with them, was use them for cooking.
    To top it off, they send some paperwork which seems to imply that they were aged in oak barrels. That is complete misrepresentation as the bottle labels make no such claim.
    Kalboz and TRAVELSIG like this.
  10. Windwalker
    • Original Member

    Windwalker Gold Member

    anyone remember the US deal from some time around end of Dec 2011
    I think it was 2500 miles plus so much for spend
    Of course my bonus miles never posted
    I believe I got a 2nd shipment and then canceled
    Kalboz likes this.
  11. syphlix
    • Original Member

    syphlix Silver Member

    mine haven't posted either and it's been 7 weeks...

    i called and asked, and they said it was a bug on AA's side... they had reported it already but it wasn't posting... and there was no update on when it would happen...

    i also talked to the rep and changed the auto-ship to quarterly.. so the next one won't go out til september... the miles better have posted by then...
    Kalboz likes this.
  12. rajuabju
    • Original Member

    rajuabju Silver Member

    Got my miles posted yesterday, finally. They also told me about the system bug nonsense.

    I got 6 bottles, they were "ok" nothing I'd normally buy, but not horrific either. For 2k miles, and 6 bottles of wine, it was a decent deal.
    Kalboz likes this.
  13. Thanks for including Vinesse in your conversations. We're happy to be included in the discussion, and would like to address some of the concerns expressed about wines, offers, and policies.

    There were a few questions about the wines that we include in our wine club shipments. The wines from Vinesse are produced by smaller, boutique-type wineries, and are often limited production wines that major buyers wouldn't be interested in simply because there wasn't a large enough supply. You will not find them widely distributed, and at times they may be exclusive to Vinesse. While not everyone will like every wine, we stand behind our selections. All wines featured in our various clubs pass muster with our experienced wine buyers for quality and value. All of the information contained on labels is factual. Tasting notes accompany each bottle of wine included in our shipments, listing grape composition, grape source, aging vessels, pairing suggestions and additional information.

    Our heavily discounted "loss leader" new member offers are costly to us, but of course are made with the goal of reducing new customers' risk in trying our service, believing they will find value in our wines and stay on as members long term. Because there is never any commitment to stay a member past the introductory shipment, we must always impress our members with our wines and their value.

    Our promotional offers can vary, but typically they do include an introductory price for the wines (with shipping included), as well as bonus miles/points for enrollment. Bonus miles/points are typically are added to members’ accounts within 6-8 weeks of enrollment (barring any sort of technical issue). In addition to bonus miles/points, there are also typically ongoing miles/points per dollar spent on future wine purchases and club shipments. There was a slight issue with a particular batch of American Airlines miles, and some customers experienced delays in their bonus miles being posted. Unfortunately, the delay was not in our control, and we've since resolved the issue and kept those customers informed along the way.

    We want to make our special introductory offer to as many members as possible, however we do have to limit the introductory shipment pricing and miles/points offer to one per person.

    When an annual fee is charged (approximately $30), this fee is offset as a credit/voucher in the same amount, which can be used toward the purchase of wine or club shipments, etc.

    We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our wines; wines may be returned for any reason for a replacement or refund. Club memberships may be cancelled at any time, at which time no further club shipments will be processed or charged. Unfortunately, shipments that are already in process or in transit may not be cancelled.

    We are glad to see that members are enrolling through our special introductory offers. We know that there is a lot to consider when joining a wine club and we do our best to outline the wine club details on our websites for each offer. We appreciate all of the feedback and please feel free to contact us directly at 1-800-823-5527 if you have any additional questions.

    Thank you,
    The Vinesse Team
    Kalboz likes this.
  14. ma91pmh
    • Original Member

    ma91pmh Silver Member

    I thought I would chime here in. I signed up for this offer. The miles took a long time to post, but Vinesse did actually email me and say there was a delay. I have never seen AAdvantage shopping or even worse Continental onepass mall do that on their multiple delays. Furthermore, I actually quite like the wines and have kept the account open. It is certainly true that they are unique, a search on reveals that only Vinesse or associated companies seem to sell them. But I am pretty avid about wine and fine their offerings generally pleasant and interesting quaffing material :)

    I will say though they sent through what looked like a nice accessory kit as a freebie I guess but the foil cutter broke into pieces within 1 day, and the automatic bottle opener doesn't twist properly and as such I've had three bottles now where the thing just pushed the cork in. The last time splashing wine up and all over my pantry so now my "freebie" is going to cost me around $100 to repaint the darn pantry! :eek:
    Kalboz likes this.
  15. lin821
    • Original Member

    lin821 Gold Member

    (underline mine)

    Even my part of world is usually a day ahead of our fellow U.S. MPers, my calendar right now is nowhere close to Dec 2011. ;)

    I guess you should have stopped testing the bottle opener after the 2nd bottle. :p
    Kalboz likes this.
  16. Windwalker
    • Original Member

    Windwalker Gold Member

    caught me, i live in the future
    actually meany 2010, which means 6 months and NO Miles
    Wanna bet Vinesse says it's a US airways problem

    I've called they keep promising but never delivering, go figure....
    Kalboz likes this.
  17. Has this offer already expired?
    Kalboz likes this.
  18. kshahk

    kshahk Active Member

    So my AA miles posted today, but only 168 instead of 3000 miles. Anyone else?
    Kalboz likes this.
  19. viguera
    • Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    I received two deposits today, one for 3k and another for 168.
    Kalboz likes this.
  20. syphlix
    • Original Member

    syphlix Silver Member

    yea i only got the 168... fail... this is 10 weeks since i joined..
    Kalboz likes this.
  21. wombat18
    • Original Member

    wombat18 Silver Member

    You may say that, but actions speak louder than words. I put my request for a refund in writing and received nothing - no refund, no reply, nothing.
    Kalboz, gobears86 and SC Flier like this.
  22. Andyandy
    • Original Member

    Andyandy Gold Member

    I ordered from Viness back during the last Grand Slam. I received the initial shipment, a second, and then cancelled. No offense, vinessewines, but it's $5 plonk and for $12-15 per bottle, I can do much better at my local store. That said, I got my miles and had no problems with their customer service.
    Kalboz and viguera like this.
  23. Kalboz
    • Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Just received the following offer, any good?
    Does this mean 5K AA miles + 350 AA miles ($70x5) + 4 wines for $70?

    If my math is correct, this means 1.31 cents per AA mile (plus "the wine"). To purchase 5K AA miles through, it will cost you $147.50+tax.
  24. SC Flier
    • Original Member

    SC Flier Gold Member

    The 5 miles per dollar are ... "for every dollar spent on all other wine club shipments and orders."

    I just got a similar offer based on 6 bottles for $58.49 for the first shipment. Does the second shipment get the discount price? I don't think so. I think that the second shipment for my offer would be $140. I think that the second shipment for your offer would be $86 ($17.50 * 2 + $51).
    Andyandy and Kalboz like this.
  25. Kalboz
    • Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Thank you SC Flier for the clarification! :) I would like to share my offer with all:

    But the question remains, is it worth it?
    Andyandy and SC Flier like this.

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