Tesco customers have been dealt a “slap in the face” after the supermarket giant slashed the value of its Clubcard reward points on Monday (15 January 2017). However, while it didn't initially give users any notice of the change, it has now (on 17 January) U-turned giving customers five months to exchange points at the higher value.
Clubcard points are accrued on shopping in Tesco at a rate of one point for every £1 spent. One Clubcard point is then worth 1p in Clubcard vouchers (you need a minimum of 150 points to get a voucher), which you can then redeem in store or exchange for rewards tokens.
Currently, shoppers can swap Clubcard vouchers for rewards tokens worth four times as much to spend selected partners, such as Café Rouge, Pizza Express, and Prezzo. For example, £1.50 in Clubcard points was worth £6 in rewards tokens.
But on Monday (15 January 2017), Tesco cut the value of these tokens, which meant £1.50 in Clubcard points was worth £4.50 in rewards tokens.
However, following pressure from customers and consumer website MoneySavingExpert, which said Tesco hadn't given users any notice to exchange saved points at the higher reward rate, the supermarket has now delayed this cut to 10 June.
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, originally called the move by Tesco a "slap in the face to loyal customers". On Tesco's U-turn he says: “Having been lobbying for 24 hours, I’d put in a call to ask to speak to someone senior at Tesco – preferably the Chief Exec – to try and see if we could get it sorted. The issue here isn’t the change in itself, Tesco has every right to do that, but the fact it was implemented without notice – that was unfair and left many people missing out on £50 or more.
“Instead of putting someone senior on the phone though, we got the even better news that it was agreeing to our request. Tesco had seriously misjudged the mood here, especially as by definition those hardest hit were its most loyal customers. The fact it has back tracked is good news for its customers, and for its own reputation, as many were talking about changing where they shop after this.”
Alessandra Bellini Tesco chief customer officer says: “Customers have told us they want Clubcard to be simpler, and they’ve asked us to make it easier to get the most value from the points they collect.
"That’s why we’re simplifying our Reward Partners programme so it’s more straightforward to use, by offering customers three times the value of their vouchers with over 100 Clubcard Reward Partners.
"We’ve listened to the feedback from customers who said they want more time to adjust, so we’ve delayed making these changes until 10 June.
"It means that customers who planned to redeem their vouchers at four times the value with Reward Partners will have the time to do so.
"We will be sharing more information with Clubcard customers over the coming days.”