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Countdown's voucher system 'unfair'

Consumer’s social media followers have brought our attention to Countdown’s new voucher offer, which some are saying isn’t fair.

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Our followers on Facebook and Twitter have been sending us photos of the offer of a rewards voucher if they spend a certain amount for three weeks.

But the amount that has to be spent each week differs from person to person.

We have seen vouchers telling the shopper to spend $105 a week to get a $15 voucher and another shopper having to spend $150 a week to get a $15 voucher.

On Facebook, a follower said her offer was for a $30 voucher if she spent $190 a week for three weeks. Another follower replied saying she had to spend $230 a week for three weeks to get the same voucher.

Consumer's head of research Jessica Wilson said the scheme seemed to favour those who usually spent more as they were likely to be offered the $30 voucher and earn slightly more for every dollar spent.

Countdown’s general manager for marketing Bridget Lamont said 370,000 people had received the current promotion. She said the spend amount was based on the customer’s average weekly spend over an 8-week period.

“Every customer is different and therefore the resulting promotional offer can differ between customers. This is to be expected with a tailored offer,” Ms Lamont said.

“We have applied a 'stretch' to the average weekly spend amount as we know at this busy time of year Kiwis tend to shop more frequently and spend a bit more.”

She said the voucher offer required shoppers to spend less to receive a voucher than in the standard Onecard programme.

“We believe that this is a fair offer, and is one we’ve run a number of times in the past 12 months. It's proven to be very popular with many of our customers who choose to participate.”

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