/ 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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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.

RockyWoof says:
11 July 2016

Is the legal side of cashback which has been tracked but not being paid is still a mystery? If a cashback site advertises something on their site and fails to honour it, surely that is illegal? (Much the same way as booking a flight through a booking agent, the contract lies with the agent and not the airline) Comments are on here dating back to 2013 asking that question but I can’t find an answer?

impossible to get hold of and constantly hide behind payment being processed or its a supplier delay in paying me. waiting since may for them to pay all my quidco from sse .I will never use them again .

I cannot get the money that has successfully tracked and confirmed. It is a scam. The time I’ve spent pursuing this should be charged to Quidco at minimum wage,.. then it might be worth it. Otherwise stay clear.

My Recent Review of Quidco –

Firstly let me start by saying that Quidco used to be a good site. The process worked well and if you had a query, a dispute or a claim then the staff would deal with this efficiently and fairly. Recently however this level of service has disappeared. I’m not sure of the reason but I get the impression that they may have outsourced their customer service or perhaps they have significantly lowered their recruitment standards. The quality of the service provided has dropped to a level where the Contact Us option on the webpage is hidden behind a number of generic ‘help’ options that obviously never answer your question, clearly they don’t want you to talk to their customer service staff! When you do eventually get given the opportunity to send an email the reply you receive will not only not answer your question but will also give the impression that your email has not even been read properly. Believe me I’ve had some bizarre responses to some very straight forward questions.

The final straw came with a claim. I’ve had to claim before but as I say this has always been an efficient process and I’ve not previously had any issues. On this occasion my initial emails were either ignored or the reply was a generic response that did not address the issues that I had raised. My request to escalate the claim was also ignored and despite the fact that I had pointed out significant errors, I’m being generous not to call them lies, in their emails this was also ignored, I even provided proof in the form of correspondence from the company that I had made the purchase from. Still a point blank refusal to engage in any meaningful dialogue.

It would seem that Quidco are not interested in retaining customers, providing a service or even abiding by their own terms and conditions so I have closed my account and moved my business to a competitors site (Top Cashback). Several months later and I have to say the difference worth it. If I could give them a zero rating I would.

Huge con
Am owed hundreds in cashback
Impossible to contact them and they always blame the retailer

Chris Green says:
14 October 2020

I am so appalled with Quidco right now. I’ve had my account with them for many years, earning over £2k in cashback (and even more for them as a result!) and went to log in last week to find I couldn’t and my account had been “blocked”. Communications with their staff informed me that my account had been removed owing to what they described as “false referrals”. I replied saying that I haven’t made any referrals for quite a while and could they explain more but they simply replied again saying false referrals were made. I have still been receiving email from them advising me that my cashback has become payable yet they tell me that I no longer have my account with them.
I think potentially my account was hacked and I’m now fearing for the security of the site. I can’t check this or the account activity because they have removed my account and hence kept my cashback too. I’d warn anyone of this and not to open an account if you do have one remove any sensitive data they hold on you and withdraw any payable cashback you do right away. Dreadful!

The same as lots of comments here. They were good once but not anymore. Victims of their own success. I use BA shopping also and they are great when things go wrong. Quidco could learn a lot from them.