AWARDS: Pick n Pay’s loyal shoppers are up in arms over losing points. Picture: Leon Nicholas
Meera Naidoo, a consumer: Pick n Pay has definitely lost creditability with their decision to expire points.

In my case, I have not received any notification via SMS or e-mail and had in excess of R1 000 on my card, considering that I am a loyal Pick n Pay shopper.

I went in for minor surgery in December and was not exposed to any till slips as my husband was doing the shopping elsewhere. I only found out in January, when I was doing the shopping again, that my points had expired.

I am so annoyed and hope that something can be done for them to reverse their decision and give customers the opportunity to redeem these points.

I have written to Pick n Pay and have not received any response from them.

RELATED: Ask Georgie: PnP under fire for Smart Shopper points

Pick n Pay Smart Shopper’s John Bradshaw responds: “It’s not correct to say some customers lost their points in January with no notification. We let them know their points were expiring a year after they were earned as far back as November 2016.

“We then kept reminding them that their points lasted a year on e-mail. We found a way to make sure that even customers who had not given us permission to contact them would know by using our till slips.

“Anyone with queries of how many points were expiring could call our call centre at any time.

“We are listening really carefully to our customers, and trying to make it easier for them to use Smart Shopper. The one immediate improvement we have been able to make is to show the points expiring the following month on the weekly e-mail.

“Where customers were saving (as you mentioned), we have tried to deal with them fairly and generously through the call centre on a case-by-case basis. We are pleased to see that January has started well with record numbers of customers using the cash off personal discounts. This shows us that customers are seeing the value in Smart Shopper.

“We clearly upset a number of customers when the expiry took effect, and we will try to re-win their trust by showing them the value of being a Smart Shopper in 2018 by giving them cash off vouchers on what they buy most (we aim for over R500 a year for every customer), and by making it easier and simpler to use Smart Shopper and get the value. Smart Shopper is South Africa’s most popular loyalty programme. We know we can do even better and we work on improving it for customers every day.”

Georgie: My original point remains: Pick n Pay might have been notifying customers for more than a year that their points would expire after a year, but they didn’t tell them exactly when that would be. 

I’ve looked at a few statements, which indicated the points values, not when exactly they would expire. The latest statements, from mid-January, give exact dates on which those points will expire. I disagree with PnP and Smart Shopper on this: before summarily wiping customers’ points off their cards, they should have clearly alerted them about the exact date on which they would lose those points.

* Georgina Crouth is a consumer watchdog with serious bite. Write to her at [email protected]

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