So it was totally my bad. I read the email in October and didnt check its date to see it was from a september event.
IQ test fail - theres no way I should be allowed to fly spaceships at all! :o
A big hug to Patrick from support who very politely did not just call me a big eejit and instead patiently waited for me to figure out this brainteaser over the course of many emails
Good news is it was the email that actually got me back into the game and I'm now a Mercenary with 3 x T4s in vivid bun bun pink (which lets face it is the far superior coating anyway ).