/ Money

Why I’m ditching cashback sites like Quidco

Percentage sign on keyboard

Missing cashback, poor customer service and an impenetrable ‘contact us’ system mean I’m ditching Quidco. Are you with me – or do you find cashback sites too tempting?

I took out home insurance with Marks & Spencer back in October. They’re a Which? Recommended Provider, so I thought I’d be fine. The quote was good value too, so no complaints there.

However, it’s now February and I’m still waiting for my cashback. Quidco claims that M&S takes an average of six months to pay out, so I’ll have to wait even longer. I don’t know whether to blame M&S or Quidco, but either way I think it’s poor service.

Customer service fail

I then made another purchase through Quidco, this time opening a Ladbrokes account to have a family flutter on the Boxing Day races. When no cashback appeared, I contacted Quidco.

After a series of back-and-forward emails, my claim was closed as I apparently didn’t reply fast enough to one of their emails. Now I can’t reply at all. It seems to me that I’ve got more chance of Beyoncé popping round for afternoon tea than of having a reasoned, human response from the cashback site.

I’ve tried submitting a new claim, but the Quidco website tells me that the retailer in question ‘doesn’t accept cashback claims, so we’re unable to find out why your cashback was declined on this occasion’. No link. No opportunity to challenge this. Just a statement of fact.

But, although my story relates to Quidco, this isn’t the only cashback site I’ve had problems with. I’ve used GreasyPalm in the past and I found it equally hit and miss when it came to customer service.

Is 95% success rate good enough?

For those who don’t know how these sites work, you find the retailer on the cashback site before clicking through to purchase on the retailer’s site as usual. It then processes the cashback for you.

I’ve checked my cookie settings, and I’m pretty sure it’s not a fault at my end. Quidco’s website claims that ‘over 95% of Quidco’s transactions are tracked and paid successfully’ – mine is clearly one of the 5% that mysteriously disappear.

Imagine if you paid a cheque into your bank account and had a one in 20 chance of it going astray. It’s not good enough.

What are your experiences of cashback sites? Are you an avid fan or a jaded ex-customer?

Have you ever used a cashback site, like Quidco?

Yes – and I think they’re great (37%, 64 Votes)

No – I don’t think they’re worth signing up to (27%, 47 Votes)

Yes – but they haven’t lived up to my expectations (19%, 34 Votes)

No - I’ve never heard of them (17%, 30 Votes)

Total Voters: 177

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William says:
28 March 2013

Am currently pursuing Holiday Autos who have declined cashback despite me having “tracked” confirmation emails from Quidco. They were offering a high discount.

Have Which? considered publishing an article about your legal rights when things go wrong with cashback? In my mind when I buy through Quidco, I am accepting an offer to buy and my rights should cover the fact that I was offered cashback as part of the deal. But who is the contract with? The retailer or Quidco?

Zazoupazou says:
13 January 2015

Likewise I have problems with Holiday Autos via Topcashback from a handful of legitimate transactions over a couple of years. I chose to purchase from Holiday Autos rather than a rival on purely on the basis of the discount they were offering via TCB – which I have not received even after years of chasing. I’m out of pocket in excess of £100 and have exerted a lot of energy pursing it. What rights do I have? It seems to me that there is some deceit here on either the part of Holiday Autos, TCB or both.

Bob says:
23 April 2013

I’m sure you do what I do and only buy something you were going to buy anyway, so that the cash back is just a nice added bonus. Unfortunately it’s an unregulated industry – maybe this will change in the future? I’ve signed up with http://www.nobraina.co.uk recently – they’re new and I wanted to see if they’re any better than the likes of Quidco – time will tell!

Dave says:
22 May 2013

Three months in and I still do not have my £50 from Quidco for AA breakdown cover I bought. I think the contract law in Scotland will cover this and I intend to take it to my local small claims court. My “Contract” with the retailer was verified and they admit my purchase was tracked. the delay in paying out is totally unacceptable. I am happy to verify this with a test case. and the papers might be interested when a wee man starts to sue a major breakdown service and quidco (Jointly) If nothing else it will force quidco to start suing the retailers when they dont pay.

William says:
18 July 2013

Be really interested to find out how Dave got in in the small claims court re Quidco.

Yet again Quidco have declined to pay out:

1. £37.29 from Holiday Autos (which their own site tracked) offering 11% cashback
2. £390.14 from Accor Hotels from a £2000+ booking offering 16% cashback

If my experience is representative (and I’ve no reason to believe it is), I think it’s time Which? did some research into these sites and consumer rights (or lack of) when cashback does not appear

Hesham Elkouha says:
16 August 2013

Personally, I had an amazing experience with Quidco, all of my transactions got tracked and paid back expect one with BT Broadband, however, I submitted a claim and waiting for the result. Today, I just bought phone through them, and guess what, the transaction got tracked in less than an hour. Overall, Quido has paid me a total of £220 since I started using them about a year and a half ago. Yes, some transaction take 4 to six months, however, I was going to pay the money anyway, and I consider this cash back like extra bonus. I believe this delay is caused by the merchandise, because they need to make sure that you don’t claim the cash back and run away. For instance, if the cash back was immediate, anyone can buy a car insurance today, get the cash back tomorrow and then cancel the next day isn’t?. That’s why I think the delay is justifiable. I also tried TopCashBack but just loved Quidco and continued with them. Be aware that they deduct £5 annually rom your cash back where TopCashBack don’t.

Peter says:
22 October 2013

If you are experiencing cash back tracking problems using Quidco, you must be doing it wrong!
I have been a member of Quidco for five years, received over £900 in cash back and never once had a payment declined.

The method that works for me is to use two browsers; I use Firefox & Google Chrome, but you can use any combination of web browsers you prefer, as long as you follow these few simple guidelines.

Use one of your two browsers for normal web surfing, emailing etc and use the other browser exclusively for on-line purchases and NOTHING ELSE. It’s also a good idea to set your chosen cash back site as your home page and ALWAYS clear your history and delete cookies BEFORE logging in and then being redirected to your chosen merchant. (It works for me and as long as you follow these simple rules, tracking problems should be a thing of the past)

Martin says:
31 August 2014

Peter, I already do exactly as you suggest (clear cookies, use separate browser for cash back) and I find about 50% don’t track at all, so bit insulting for you to say I must be doing it wrong. And believe me I’ve got some idea what I’m doing, I’ve had over £6k in cash back tracked over the years.

Peter says:
1 September 2014

Martin, I find it a ‘bit insulting’ that you have waited over 10 months before you decided to take offence to my comment. Why don’t you use some of the 6K to employ a lawyer to take on Quidco in the courts?

Kay says:
27 April 2015

Come now children, no need to fight

Stevey T says:
29 October 2013

I never had an issue with Quidco personally and have made a lot with it.

William says:
19 January 2014

quidco is a very bad site to deal with, when your order don’t track.
they answer with auto response to questions that need an answer by a person,
links they provide in their answers don’t work, you need a person to read what you post.
they the support team answer with “use link as advised by another support member”
when told that link don’t have anywhere to input the order number…

angie says:
20 January 2014

I have had over £500 back through Quidco but I am currently chasing them for cashback from Olotels for a hotel booking paid for last May. There are 19 reviews for Olotels on the Quidco website and 16 of them say they didn’t get their cashback. Surely Quidco should be withdrawing them from their site if the majority of cashback claims are not honoured. I understand that the odd purchase may not track but when an affiliated company is using the Quidco site to promise cashback and then not honouring it Quidco have a responsibility to their members to not deal with that company.

macliam says:
27 April 2014

Like Philip below, I use imutual. I also had to chase Olotels for non-payment last year, but imutual took on the issue, tackled the merchant and paid out the missing (and not insubstantial) cashback. Thy also removed the Olotels offer from their site as soon as I reported the issue.

That’s what I call service!

William says:
22 January 2014

Every 6 months or so I write to Which? Asking if they’ll consider investigating cash back schemes. The law seems so unclear about who to pursue if things go wrong. Are promises of cash back covered by the ASA for instance? Who is the agreement with? The supplier of the goods or the cash back company? How do you avoid pitfalls etc?
Take for example my recent gripe. Having been promised 10% cash back on a TV worth over £500 by Currys , I received an amount equivalent to 1% from Quidco 2 months later. I have flagged this to Quidco who have advised that it will take 4 months for them to respond to my claim! Me thinks they just want me to forget about it. ( no chance)

angie says:
22 January 2014

I have to follow up the comment I made on 20th Jan with some good news. Quidco have acknowledged that I have been waiting too long for my Olotels cashback and they have paid me the cashback and are going to chase Olotels to be reimbursed. That is a great result for me as the cashback amount is £134.00.

Thank you Quidco, it seems you are listening!

William says:
22 January 2014

Good to hear that Quidco stepped in. Have you actually got the cash in your account or is it just showing as pending?

angie says:
24 January 2014

Yes. It has gone into my bank account today! Wow.

Philip says:
27 April 2014

imutual is a site I use, I resigned from Quidco, did not like them nor their “admin fee”.

imutual is another 100% cashback site, unlike the “big 2” it charges no annual fee for superior service and perks.

It has a very active forum, and unlike the Topcashback, it has a useful daily (also known as recurring) offer section that a lot of us do in addition to any cashback for the rare purchases us skinflints make!

At the moment it is about 45 pence a day, or £12 to £13 a month, paid to PayPal or BACS, no Amazon vouchers as a redemption option yet.

Alice says:
9 May 2014

The more I use Quidco, the faster the payments are. I am now a “graduate”, and payments are really fast, like four weeks. I have had a couple of transactions declined, but this has always been due to the retailer, not Quidco. I also get full responses to my enquiries, something that didn’t happen right at the beginning. It seems that Quidco give a better service for high users. Overall, I am very pleased with this extra cash at no cost. I only buy via Quidco if the price is cheaper, regardless of the cashback offer because there is no guarantee the retailer will approve the transaction, even if tracked. The “terms and conditions” of each retailer are different and I learnt that i must read it before each purchase. Some retialer don’t give cashback if you pay via Paypal or Amex. Most don’t pay if you use another voucher, even free delivery vouchers.

Kathleen says:
10 August 2014

I’ve never had a failure to get cashback. Some, like the AA or RAC can take 6 months but they pay up in time. Delay is due to the supplier verifying the purchase before paying Quidco, they pay out after this. I have over £300 of cashback which is 12% to 15% of purchases.


I have been complaining to Topcashback for over a year about missing and failed payments on nearly EVERY thing I put through. After going onto MoneySaving xpert forum, a “representative from TCB” said to check Adblock and disable it. This worked fro precisely one week and then back to NO cash again. TCB use the excuse that their “affiliate company” is chasing it. A good cop out. I have had 90% of my purchases not recognised yet all my settings are correct. I have even contacted the offices of the Actual stores to make a complaint. This only worked with House of Fraser – all the others denied knowledge of any of it.One company said I had returned furniture that is actually sitting in my bedroom! I do not give up so am continually onto TCB, the MSE forum and now I am searching out who the affiliate companies may be. Watchdog may also get a call. No , I am not obsessive but principle tells me that someone is making a fortune out of this and it is not us. If I can do my bit to stop it , I will, I just wish there was a governing body like FOS who could take this on.


I may have originally been in favour of quidco, but like you I’m losing my loyalty to them. My reason being they tend to block negative reviews of retailers. They list one insurance company as paying up between 3-6 months and both times I’ve used them its been longer than 6 months . And both times I’ve left a review pointing that out, Quidco have blocked it.

Crimson says:
13 April 2015

All my transactions have tracked but I have not received a penny. I opened my quidco account in Febuary this year and began using it to click through to retailers. I have a total of £161 in cashbacks owing. 3 of them are now officially delayed.


I use Quidco and have had success with the majority of purchases. I am currently pursuing a claim for a Quidco link to an online betting shop that I used for the Grand National but I half expected a problem because it didnt have any reviews and is registered outside the UK.
For all the main insurance and utility companies the cashback amounts are good and the purchases have always tracked. It is always worth reading reviews from others as this is often a good indicator of the likelihood of success.


As a follow up to my comment above, I have had £1220.00 in cashback since joining and have sometimes had to wait up to 6 months.

John Fullarton says:
19 May 2015

Very poor tracking on purchases. Support advise that other cookies are stronger than theirs so the cashback goest o other sites. Not worth the bother.


Yes i would say its worth it. I do alot of shopping online and always use quidco to get cashback from the shopping i would do anyways! its like free money i love it!

[This comment has been tweaked to align with our community guidelines. Thanks, mods.]

babu says:
18 March 2016

I am using quidco since 2010. first few years, all my claims were processed successfully. recently in past 1 years, nearly three transaction were not processed. When I raised claim quidco put a blame on their clients. e.g. carephone warehouse (twice), EE. Someone mentioned it is free money anyway but in my case, the cashback made huge difference. The cashback 50£, 35£. Without this cashback, I would have selected another provider still paid slightly lesser than without cashback. I am not going to belive quidco going forward. My decision will be based on whoever gives without any cashback offer.
I used topcashback for few months and none of my claim (nearly 4) processed successfully so in my opinion if I need to select between two, I will go for quidco

Marc Mcconnell says:
15 April 2016

I have used Quidco for a couple of years and at first paybacks were reliable.
Now this year I have had two declined or not paid, for no reason.
I have had to really push and push the quidco support team to start to do anything about it.
Still not been paid the over £60 owed me, and bearing in mind the amount of time and hassle ….. so far, I’d advise against them.
Just search for the cheapest deal, pay and forget. You don’t want to have to wait months and then at the last minute have to start to fight for what they owe, you do you?

Stumpy says:
24 June 2016

Months waiting for Cashback.. insurance, Sky whatever it is it is the biggest con. Do not be fooled people.
Telling us to wait and wait.. been several months now!

Dan King says:
5 July 2016

I’ve used Quidco for the past 3 years and earned over £4500(happy to verify this privately). I do a lot of travel so benefit from the use of Quidco. In general the payments are made quickly and the site is very easy to use. The author if this article is not using the site properly in my opinion and its certainly not reflective of my experience.


I’m glad it’s working for you but it would seem that the rest of Britain is struggling. I presume you are a paying member.