Countdown Onecard points not added to customers’ accounts
If you shop at Countdown, you’ll be used to swiping your Onecard at the checkout. But are you actually getting the points you’ve earned?
By Jessica Keane
A long-time Countdown customer, Kaye, has been left frustrated after having to contact the supermarket each time she noticed the points she’d earned hadn’t been added to her account.
Each time, Countdown apologised and gave her the points she was owed. When Kaye asked if this was a nationwide issue of customers not receiving the points they earned, she was told yes, it was.
What’s the deal?
Onecard is Countdown’s rewards programme. Swipe your Onecard when buying groceries and you get 1 point for every $1 spent. When you reach 2000, points you get a $15 e-voucher.
A ‘Boost’ deal promoted regularly to Onecard holders is the opportunity to earn 1200 points in one go when you spend more than $250 on your weekly shop. That’s more than five times the points you’d usually earn and is a way for shoppers to earn their $15 e-voucher far quicker.
Kaye said: “Our weekly online shop is usually over $250, and it was only after checking my online points that I realised I was not receiving the points rewards.”
She emailed Countdown and it apologised for the error and added the points to her account.
When it next advertised this deal, Kaye did another shop and again did not receive the bonus points. Again, she contacted Countdown and it added the missing points to her account. This has happened the last four times Kaye’s taken up the Boost deal.
“I have found this very frustrating,” Kaye said. “After all these years of online shopping, I am starting to lose faith in Countdown. Unless the customer chases them for the 1200 points, they do not eventuate.”
She asked Countdown: “But are customers expected to request the 1200 points? Shouldn’t you automatically be crediting their account?"
On 21 October she received a phone call from Countdown management advising her that this is a nationwide problem that they were not aware of until they had received her email.
Kaye asked: “So, this means all the customers throughout New Zealand who have spent over $250 in a weekly shop have not been receiving their 1200 points?”
The answer: Yes.
“The caller thanked me for pointing out the issue!” Kaye said.
Confusing terms and conditions
Kaye does her weekly shop online every week, placing it on a Sunday evening for delivery on Monday or Tuesday. She believes the issue may occur when you place an online order at the end of the week to be delivered the following week.
The terms and conditions listed in the email promotion sent to Onecard holders state the Boost offer is available both in-store and online. However, if you click through to view the more detailed terms and conditions it states contrary information, saying the Onecard needs to be used in store for the discount to apply. But on the same page, it contradicts yet again, stating that it’s available online AND in store.
There is a stipulation in the terms and conditions which states: “If shopping online, a customer must place their order, have it delivered and invoiced within the Promotion Period.”
However, it’s unclear whether this stipulation was added before or after Kaye pointed out the issue, as the Countdown team never mentioned this when speaking with Kaye.
The email sent to Onecard holders says ‘you'll earn more than 4x the points’. But when you click on the terms and conditions, it states ‘food’ customers will earn only 2x their usual Onecard points on every transaction during the Promotion Period.
Keep an eye on your inbox
Countdown management told Kaye they had the names of all the affected customers.
“I’m not sure I bought into that statement,” she said.
A Countdown spokesperson told Consumer: “We’ve now been in touch with all affected customers to let them know what happened, and we’ve loaded the missing points onto affected customer accounts in their preferred reward currency.”
Countdown has suspended these offers for now while it works to fix the system issue, so it doesn’t happen again.
It encourages customers with any concerns to contact the Customer Care team on 0800 40 40 40.
If you want to check if your point balance is correct, you’re entitled to request a copy of your points from Countdown.
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