“Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.”

I recently redeemed 2,000 hard-earned Open Table dining points. I think it’s taken me almost ten years to finally cross this first redemption threshold; not sure if that’s a commentary on how poorly I’m doing at dining out overall, or just within OT’s network of restaurants, but it’s pretty damned lame. Still, I figured I finally had a credit I could apply, so…let’s claim that thing?

Not so fast. 

I submit the form and see the response come back from the server. I’m expecting to get a PDF to print, or maybe even a bar code to flash on their mobile app at my next restaurant. Mais non! “Your certificate will be mailed to you. Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.”

How in the name of Loyalty Marketing does a company born and developed solely online to disrupt offline restaurant seat inventory allocation, decide to mail you a bleeping piece of paper in the year of our Lord, Twenty Twelve? And what about the fulfillment process requires them to take as long as General Mills did with secret decoder rings in cereal boxes, circa 1964?

I’m sure there is some sound terms-of-service reason for this lag, but perception is reality and this particular perception is baffling.