Waitrose Loyalty Scheme Sparks Controversy as Weekly Vouchers Shift to ‘Time-to-Time’ Arrivals, Leaving Customers Frustrated

Waitrose Loyalty Scheme Sparks Controversy as Weekly Vouchers Shift to ‘Time-to-Time’ Arrivals, Leaving Customers Frustrated

In a recent development, customers of the popular British supermarket, Waitrose, have expressed dissatisfaction as the company modifies its MyWaitrose loyalty scheme.

Formerly, participants in the myWaitrose membership program enjoyed the perk of receiving personalized discount vouchers on a weekly basis. However, a shift in the terms and conditions has now altered this arrangement, leaving customers with vouchers arriving only “from time-to-time.”

Changes to Voucher Distribution Cause Customer Backlash

The alteration in the myWaitrose loyalty scheme has not gone unnoticed by vigilant shoppers who are accustomed to weekly discount vouchers.

Previously, cardholders were entitled to two vouchers each week, dispatched every Wednesday, usable both in-store and online until the ensuing Tuesday. However, the terms and conditions underwent an amendment on February 14, specifying that eligible customers “may receive vouchers for personalized offers on products from time-to-time.”

This adjustment has sparked discontent among customers, as the weekly guarantee has been replaced by an uncertain frequency, with vouchers potentially taking up to a month to materialize. The company insists that these changes align with industry standards and will not significantly impact the majority of customers.

Historical Changes in MyWaitrose Program

This modification marks the latest in a series of alterations to the MyWaitrose loyalty program, which debuted in 2011. Renowned for its perks, including a free newspaper deal and complimentary hot drinks, the program underwent revisions over the years.

The free newspaper deal, initially offered with a £5 spend on weekdays and £10 on weekends, saw modifications in 2016 before being terminated in February 2022.

Similarly, the complimentary hot drink offering has undergone several changes, including pauses due to the pandemic and relaunches with conditions such as bringing one’s cup and making a purchase.

These adjustments reflect a broader effort by Waitrose to maintain its market share amidst a competitive landscape, particularly with rivals like Marks and Spencer.

Customer Reactions and Market Dynamics

Customers expressing their dissatisfaction on social media platforms cite the abruptness of the change and the lack of publicized communication. Some customers have reported receiving no vouchers despite regular shopping, prompting criticism and a shift to other grocery stores.

Waitrose is currently engaged in a competitive struggle to retain its market share, especially among middle-class shoppers. The ongoing supermarket war has resulted in Waitrose losing customers to rivals like Marks and Spencer.

Both chains currently hold a 3.8% market share, reflecting a decline for Waitrose from the previous year, while Marks and Spencer have experienced an increase.

Waitrose Responds to Customer Concerns

Despite customer outcry, a Waitrose spokesperson emphasizes that the frequency of vouchers has not changed, and customers continue to receive them weekly.

The company attributes any deviations to brief windows during which vouchers may not update, affecting only a small number of customers. The spokesperson reassures that affected customers will see the return of their vouchers shortly.

In conclusion, while Waitrose contends that these alterations align with industry norms, the discontent among customers underscores the delicate balance supermarkets must strike between loyalty programs and evolving market dynamics.

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