Tesco delays changes to Clubcard scheme after customer backlash
Tesco is delaying changes to its Clubcard rewards scheme after an outcry from customers who objected to a cut to the value of vouchers without warning.
The UK's largest retailer said it had listened to customer feedback and had decided to delay the introduction of the changes until June 10.
Tesco wrote to its millions of Clubcard customers earlier this week to say it had "simplified" the scheme with effect from January 15 to make it more straightforward to use by offering three times the value of their vouchers with more than 100 scheme partners as the standard offer.
It said it was ending those which offered twice the value and four times the value, including some of the most popular deals such as meals at Pizza Express, Prezzo and Zizzi.
The announcement was immediately met with criticism that customers would gain less from their points and were given no prior warning.
Tesco said any customers who had already redeemed vouchers at three times the value "will not lose out" and should contact its customer service centre.
Tesco has around 16 million active Clubcard customers, according to figures released at its half-year results announcement.
Customers reacted with anger to the original changes, with one writing on Twitter: "We had £89 saved up in vouchers - worth £356. Now they are worth £267.
"No advance warning, really really poor from @Tesco #tescoclubcard - been loyal Tescocustomers for well over 10 years - because of clubcard. And what a load of BS about 'making it easier'."
Another wrote: "All clubcard boosts going to 3x. Everything we chose was 4x so this is a big reduction. But highlight was the inane corporate-speak lathered over the announcement...'this is not a reduction in boosts, oh no, this is TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND' How dumb are we?"
Anika Newjoto, the editor of website shopperpoints.co.uk, said Tesco's original move devalued the scheme and did not give customers time to spend their saved vouchers at the old rates.
She said only a small number of Clubcard partners gave twice the face value of vouchers, including National Express, redspottedhanky and Megabus, which are all now going up to three times face value.
She said: "Loyalty schemes are meant to work two ways, not one way.
"If a shopper gives their business to a store based on the promise of certain rewards, it is totally unfair for those rewards to be taken away or reduced in value with absolutely no notice."