On page 41 of the Nov/Dec issue, Spike Brewing had an ad for their new V3 kettle. If you look closer at their ad there is a bubble on the left pointing to the new kettle stating that the first 5 people to use a code get 50% off. It doesn't state any restrictions in the ad, nor on their site when trying to use the code.
I rushed to the site and couldn't find a place to purchase the new V3 kettle. I purchased an old kettle in order to reserve my spot and secure the code and then immediately told them what happened and that I would like a V3 instead. They proceeded to tell me it's not 50% off the new kettles(which the bubble is pointing to), but rather their older model kettles and the new ones wouldn't be out until late Nov.
I understood the kettles weren't out yet, however they had pre-orders and wouldn't even give me the discount off of a pre-order. For all I knew this was some kind of promotional pre-release for their new kettles. They told me I would lose the discount because it was first come first serve and wouldn't hold my spot until release in Nov. But I wasn't asking to wait, I was asking to apply it to a pre-order.
To make matters worse, they said the following during my email exchanges with them, "The ad is for 50% off (which means we are losing money) and I guess no good deed goes unpunished." and "There were dozens of people that have asked about the code after it expired that would have been happy to take the 50% off." I'm sorry, but to me this is a cocky attitude and doesn't help resolve the issue that the ad was very misleading and they weren't even looking to make it right. Also, I didn't want their older kettles because they aren't induction capable, it didn't fit my needs, so I wasn't about to take a discount on something I didn't need. So in the end I was one of the first five people, and never received 50% off of anything.
To make sure I wasn't nuts in how I interpreted the ad, I've asked several other homebrewers and homebrew club members how they took the ad and what their expectation were after seeing the ad. They all said they took it as 50% off of their newer V3 kettles, and were appalled that Spike Brewing didn't make it right and honor their ad.
I'm putting this out there to let others know how they handled the situation, and also to let Zymurgy know how their sponsors are treating people.