What JPryde said.
Reminds me of one time when I told my wife I had a present for her, and she got all excited. When she saw it was just a movie DvD she couldn't hide her disappointment and said in disbelief 'THAT'S MY PRESENT?!' I would have been better off not announcing the present in advance, or just giving her a gift card with funds on it instead.
Can't believe you're dragging your wife into forum discussion, but try getting her a gift card for the next bday/anni/holiday. Let me know how well that goes over. Fact remains, you guys dropped the ball on this one in a big way. You couldn't see our faces, but it was probably the same look your wife gave you. We told you this cartel market b.s. was making us angry. You hyped some big magical customer appreciation thing to win us back. Then you gave us the equivalent of $5 starbucks card. Just go ahead and say publicly that you guys would rather this game be 100% f2p/preferred, because that's how you're treating it.
I've already said on the forums that a meaningful sign of customer appreciation would have been a permanent (diamonds are forever) across-the-board (your love should be unconditional) discount on all cartel coin purchases.