Tesco recently saw a backlash from its customers after announcing changes to its Clubcard scheme. But it wouldn’t be the first company to do so. Why do loyalty schemes often change for the worse, asks our guest author Lady Janey.
Tesco claimed the changes to its Clubcard scheme were designed to ‘simplify’ the system.
Under the old scheme, points saved could be redeemed for up to four times their value. But in its wisdom, Tesco has decided that it’s much better to give customers just three times their worth instead.
Tesco finally backs down
Following an understandable backlash from customers and the intervention of Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis, Tesco has finally seen sense. Although it is not withdrawing the change, it has now been postponed so that customers have an opportunity to use their points to full effect before the change is made in June.
Changes of this kind, marketed as being of great benefit to the customer, are always a source of great irritation to me. Will this change affect you – and will you continue to use your Tesco Clubcard when the points you save are worth less than they are now?
My loyalty isn’t being rewarded
I was furious when Cineworld emailed me about the launch of its new Cineworld Plus upgrade. I’ve been a Cineworld member for years because I get a discount on tickets when I book online. Now I have the option of upgrading (for an annual fee) to a scheme where I would get exactly what I had before! I have resisted the temptation as yet to sign up.
And I used to have an Egg cashback card giving me 1% cashback on purchases. When Barclaycard took over Egg, I was informed about the ‘good news’ that I could now have two cards – a Visa and an American Express. Sounds fair enough in principle – Amex still gave 1% cashback, but Visa was now only 0.5% – considering that not many places accept Amex, I lost out on loads of cashback.
They emailed me again a few months later with the ‘fabulous’ news that there would be just one Visa card and from now on I would always get just 0.5% back. How wonderful. I now earn less cashback than ever.
Do you still use high-street loyalty schemes?
Tesco, along with many other companies, may say that the changes they implement to their loyalty schemes are for the benefit of their customers, but I beg to differ. How about you? What changes have you noticed to loyalty schemes and membership cards you use?
This is a guest contribution by Which? Conversation community member Lady Janey. All views expressed here are Lady Janey’s own and not necessarily those also shared by Which?.