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A shopper has slammed Coles’ loyalty program Flybuys after being sent a series of unrealistic bonus points incentives.
The customer shared her annoyance on a popular budget-savvy Facebook page saying she was "angry" over the program’s conditions.
To be eligible for this Coles Flybuys promotion, the customer was asked to spend $300 in-store in one transaction each week for four weeks to be eligible for 10,000 bonus points.
"Am I the only one who thinks this is a joke?" she wrote.
"I'm lucky to spend $400 a fortnight! And they want $300 a week for four weeks to be eligible for this offer? I'm kinda angry."
Her post was met with comments from numerous other frustrated customers who said they’d received similar incentives. However, the value amount varied for each Flybuys member.
"$300 a week is ridiculous. Just don't do the offer. It's not worth it if you have to spend that much. Mine's $90 a week for the four weeks which I’m not even going to do that," one fellow Coles shopper said.
"Mine was $350 a week for four weeks," said another.
"Mine's $90... it was up to $200 and I shopped at Aldi and Woolies until it dropped," said a third.
Other shoppers said they’d given up on the loyalty program altogether, saying the program was a "money-grab" by the store that was offering a reward that wasn't worth the increased money spent.
"Mine is, spend $190 once for 2500 points. That is $12.50. Have been getting the offer twice a week. No thanks," one customer commented.
"I stopped trying to spend what they wanted me to, to get the bonus points," they wrote.
"I just see it now as a money grab for them," commented another.
"I keep getting shops for $200, even though I spend $100. The first offer was for 8000 points, now I'm down to 2000 points for the same $200 shop offer. Duh. decreasing incentive. Good one Coles,” said a third.
Smart shoppers share their Flybuys secret hack
While some shoppers were left confused by their offer, several others had worked out how to make the offer eligibility work in their favour.
"Make a second Flybuys account use it for a while once the price increases check the other one, it should have dropped down," one person wrote.
"They rise the more you do them and it bases it off how much you spend each week or fortnight and then pushes it up to try and make you spend more, so my partner and I rotate our cards as soon as one busts past our normally weekly to fortnightly amount, we swap cards and its back down on the other."
Meanwhile, other shoppers said the trick was to vary your shops between different grocery stores to take advantage of the lower spend offers.
"Mine is $100 a week because I stopped using these offers. The more you use them the higher they get for you," one said.
"Just wait a while and it will drop back down. It is ridiculous though, they know by your shopping patterns that you wouldn't spend that much," another added.
Supermarkets track spending using loyalty programs
Gary Mortimer, a professor of marketing and consumer behaviour, said while he didn't specifically know the metrics retailers used to track shoppers' activity, supermarket loyalty programs did monitor how customers shop.
"When you use a Flybuys card, Everyday Rewards card or any loyalty card for that matter, the retailer is able to access and track your frequency of shop, average basket size and the types of products you would most likely buy," he told Yahoo News Australia.
“Retailers will induce demand or encourage you to shift your purchase transactions to different brands within the category through bonus points.
"If you regularly buy Nestle chocolate they might entice you to buy Cadbury chocolate or their own brand of chocolate and for making that switch you are rewarded with some level of points."
At the end of the day, he said the way loyalty programs will work for you is based on the type of shopper you are.
"There are two types of loyalty consumers. There are passive consumers who scan their loyalty card and really don't know how many points they've accrued, they never redeem the points and they aren't swayed to switch their purchasing behaviours or frequency," he said.
"The others are active loyalty consumers who understand the metrics behind the offers and do the calculations. They actively buy products they need but also base them on their term in that investment."
Yahoo News Australia has contacted Flybuys for comment.
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