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Farmers changes rules on members

Changes to the Farmers Club loyalty scheme have left some cardholders promising to shop elsewhere.

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Previously, all purchases in the beauty department earned one point for each dollar spent, with 200 points earning the cardholder a $20 voucher. From 4 July, only fragrances and 13 beauty brands that have separate counters at the front of a store with “beauty advisers” earn points at that rate. The majority are pricier brands such as Dior, Chanel, Bobbi Brown and Estee Lauder.

How long Farmers Club members have to accumulate points on the selected beauty brands and fragrances has also been reduced from a year to six months.

Cardholders are using Farmers’ Facebook page to threaten going elsewhere for their beauty products. Many are saying they will shop at LifePharmacy. Its Living Rewards scheme gives a $10 voucher after $150 has been spent.

In a media statement, Farmers said exclusive deals in the beauty department would see some customers better off.

"You will see in our Celebration catalogue that we are launching with 20 percent off a number of beauty brands and 30 percent off L’Oreal exclusive to Club members. While they may not contribute to a voucher, you can get the equivalent or better in savings on the spot, without any minimum spend," the statement said.

Farmers has also changed how the scheme works in the rest of the store. Before the change, you earned one point for each $10 spent outside of beauty. This meant you needed to spend $2000 to get a $20 voucher. Now you earn a point for every dollar you spend within a three-month season. For example, we’re in the Winter-Spring season that runs from July to September. Points earned this season will expire at the end of the season if they don’t go towards a voucher. Recipients of vouchers will have a month to use them.

This season, if you spend $500 (so have 500 points) you get a voucher for $10 off your next purchase over $50. If you spend $250 in the season (so have 250 points) your voucher will be for $5 off your next purchase over $50.

A spend of $100 or more this season gets you a “Privilege Pass”, which lets you shop their Big Thursday deals on a Sunday.

Loyalty schemes like this are a two-way street. In return for rewards, stores can get a lot of data. Don’t spend just to earn points and if an item is cheaper elsewhere, buy it and pass up the points.

What some cardholders are saying