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HOW much Coke do I need to drink for a beach towel?
Member Name: norton501
Date: 02/05/10, updated on 03/01/13 (261 review reads)
Advantages: Free stuff
Disadvantages: Remove rewards without notice, lack of actual items to redeem for, too many ringtones
Coke Zone is a website you are encouraged to visit if you read the packaging or label on any Coke drink. It is the place you go to to input the codes that are etched into 500ml and 2l bottles of Coke and printed on the inside of can multipack boxes. I joined Coke Zone about 36 months ago. Originally I had seen this advertised on a bottle label and saw the code etched (very badly at the time it was barely readable) into the bottle was worth 2 points. Points for what I had no idea, so I checked out the website and registered.
Registration is easy. You just input your name, email address, choose a password etc., You can answers a few questions about yourself to get 5 free bonus points and you get a few bonus points when you sign up. If I remember correctly you get 2 points for signing up. If you refer any friends who sign up too, when they COLLECT 10 points (not including free sign up or bonus points, they have to collect 10 points from actual coke bottles) then you get 20 bonus points for referring them. These offers can change, so please check the website for the latest sign up deals.
I have only managed to persuade one friend to join and it took them ages to collect 10 points (they thought as I did that all they had to do was get to "you have 10 points" and I would get the 20 bonus points.. no, they had to get to 17 points as Coke do not include the free points for sign up). Also my free bonus points were added 48 hours after my friend had input 10 actual collected codes.
Originally, I wanted a Coke t-shirt. But these were out of stock when I had amassed the 100 points required (typical!), then I saw I needed not 100 but 150 points, so I decided to get a hooded top instead, that was 300 points- reduced to 100 in a sale. So I redeemed 100 points and received a confirmation email from Coke to confirm my redemption and my top arrived two days later in the post. Postage and packaging is free. So it really does cost you NOTHING to redeem your points.
The down sides are the rewards keep changing. So, if you see you want a clock for 300 points, it is highly likely the clock will be sold out or will just vanish from the site by the time you collect the 300 points- unless you drink Coca Cola like there is no tomorrow. There is a code collection limit of 50 points per week too. So you are only allowed to input 50 points per week worth of codes. If you try to input any more, the site blocks you and just says "come back next week". Also if you enter the wrong code three times, the site blocks you for 24 hours in case you are trying to make up or guess the codes.
The codes you collect are really quite difficult to read on the bottles. These are laser etched into the plastic underneath the bottle label or printed randomly inside a multipack box. They are barely visible and you really have to hold the bottle up to a light and have near perfect vision to read them. They are 12 digits long and are a mix of capital letters and numbers. What you think is a P can in fact be an R or the 5 an S or the W and N or M etc so it is VERY easy to write down the code incorrectly or input it incorrectly then get blocked from the site for 24 hours just from misreading the code on the bottle. If you write the code down then throw out the bottle, then find the code you have written down is not recognised you have just wasted 2 points (I have done this MANY times... now I input the code with the bottle there!).
Coke seem to have tried to rectify this as some bottles now have clearer codes on them. Saying that, only last week, I bought a 500ml bottle from the Co-op and the first two digits of the code were almost non existent. I had to use a magnifying glass and a spotlight plus a measure of guesswork to try to read the first two digits! On the website there is an 0800 number to call if you are having problems.
The rewards are very changeable. So, where I want to collect points for a laptop, a coke tshirt, a hooded top, a coke beach towel, a clock- Coke Zone have removed these products and now offer 50 points to get a £5 off at xxx or 30 points for a £5 off when you spend £30 at xxx or 2 points for entry into a competition to win xxxx or you can get ringtones or games for your phone. These seem to appeal to the age 9 to 14 bracket and I hope Coke continue to let you redeem the points you have saved for ACTUAL THINGS not just e-vouchers or ringtones.
I have had no problems with the site- only issues with reading the codes. I like the free postage but hate how Coke often just remove rewards you were saving up for without notice (Coke beach towel.. ahem). The Coke site in the US is amazing for its gift shop and homewares you can buy online- I with the UK Coke site would have a gift shop or let you redeem points for items in the online Coke store and drop the ringtone redeems. Sounds like another letter I should write...
Summary: Aimed at 9-14 yr olds when they should aim for the adult market too.