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Furious Costa Customers 'Lose Hundreds Of Pounds' Worth Of Points In New Loyalty Card Scheme

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Furious Costa Customers 'Lose Hundreds Of Pounds' Worth Of Points In New Loyalty Card Scheme

Costa Coffee customers are petitioning for the chain to bring back its former loyalty scheme, after a number of customers claim to have lost 'hundreds of pounds' after the coffee shop switched to a new system last month.

Previously, customers could purchase food and drink using their points balance; some had saved hundreds of pounds' worth of credit.

However, under the new scheme, customers' balances have been converted into 'beans' which can now be swapped only for hot drinks. Eight beans is equivalent to one drink.

Loyal customer Shay McSorley, who started the petition, says many Costa customers feel 'let down' by the new scheme, which began in September.

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 Previously, Costa customers could purchase food and drink using their points balance (Credit: Shutterstock)
Previously, Costa customers could purchase food and drink using their points balance (Credit: Shutterstock)

The changeover means some customers have an excess of beans, that they can only use on hot drinks, despite having been saving their balance for months and even years.

Many customers were saving their points for Christmas, with Shay pointing out one had intended to use theirs to buy a hot meal for the homeless in their local area.

Speaking to Tyla, one customer explained she and her husband had collected over £110, which was converted to beans with 'no notice'.

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"We have always been loyal customers of Costa and over the years have collected £110.35 in rewards to spend with family when my husband retired," she says.

"When reading the paper one day my husband came across an article explaining different coffee shop loyalty schemes. Noticing that the Costa scheme had changed I checked my app to find that my money had been converted to 259 beans (32 cups of coffee).

 Previously, Costa customers could purchase food and drink using their points balance (Credit: Shutterstock)
Previously, Costa customers could purchase food and drink using their points balance (Credit: Shutterstock)

"Contacting Costa customer service, they stated that an email was sent to advise of the change that would come at some point through the month of September. Checking my app it noted that the money was converted on 8th September. Had we been given notice of the change we would have happily spent the money on food and drink in a few days.

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"I had not received any communication/email from Costa and when telling them this they gifted a further 24 beans (equivalent to three more cups of coffee) onto my app.

"The last email I received from the customer care department stated ‘please be advised that we are unable transfer the beans back to points as the migration has already been done’.

"To rub salt into the wound there is now a time limit in which the cups of coffee have to be claimed. When visiting the stores we don’t want to just drink cups of coffee. We want to enjoy the food as well but now feel like we need to take our business elsewhere."

(Credit: Facebook)
(Credit: Facebook)
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(Credit: Facebook)
(Credit: Facebook)
(Credit: Facebook)
(Credit: Facebook)

In the review section of Costa's Facebook page, another person wrote: "I had been saving up my points so during December I could treat myself to all the delicious treats. Now they have been reverted to beans to have drinks. Not good business in my opinion."

While another said: "Your new ‘reward’ scheme means that we lost the money we were saving for a family treat now all we get are drinks!!! What an absolute joke."

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And a third added: "Bring back our much loved points on coffee club. You have cheated so many people out of hard earned points. Now all we get is free coffee. It's rubbish. Listen to your buying public everyone is complaining about it."

A fourth wrote: "I have been a huge fan of Costa Coffee for many years until yesterday. We scanned our loyalty card and had just over £360. The lady at the till told us you better use your points up, as Costa are changing the loyalty scheme and you'll only be able to buy drinks, and only one per visit once the new system is launched.

"I asked what would happen to my £360 that I already have on my card and she explained that it would be converted to cups of coffee instead."

Another customer claimed to have lost over £600 after the changeover, although it appears they have since had this refunded on gift cards.

Customers can no longer use their points to buy food (Credit: Shutterstock)
Customers can no longer use their points to buy food (Credit: Shutterstock)

A spokesperson for Costa said: “The relaunch of our Costa Coffee loyalty scheme is giving customers a simpler and more rewarding way to earn coffee Beans when buying their favourite cup of Costa coffee. Our members told us they wanted a more simplistic scheme that allowed them to earn free drinks and receive more rewards, more often. We ran a trial with 16,000 customers over six months ahead of relaunching the scheme to test various reward packages, listening to customer feedback throughout, which is reflected in our new scheme.

“We’re proud of the new scheme, which allows customers to earn a free drink after buying 8 drinks or just 4 drinks when using a reusable cup. These free drinks can be any size, with any milk/milk alternative and include extras such as syrups, cream etc., that previously would have cost extra points. In addition customers get a free cake on their birthday and additional rewards and discounts throughout the year.

“To ensure customers don’t lose outstanding points when migrating to the new scheme, we’ve converted points into Beans. Based on feedback from the trial and the average redemption we have converted every 40 points into one Bean. Given the changes to the scheme and rewards now relate to drinks only, we were not able to convert points into Beans as a like-for-like.”

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Food and Drink

Lucy Devine
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