Controversial Woolworths checkout act sparks heated debate: ‘Rude’

A Woolworths shopper has triggered a tense war of words over the retailer's popular Everyday Rewards program after querying whether it's acceptable to ask fellow customers if she could swipe her Rewards card on their supermarket purchases.

The shopper's question came after she scored more than 800 free bonus points from a woman who bought $160 worth of groceries and didn't have a Rewards card with her. "Would you find it rude, if the customer in front of you doesn't have a rewards card, if you politely ask if you could scan your card?" she asked in a Facebook group for Everyday Rewards enthusiasts.

Adding some context, the shopper explained that it was the first time she'd ever requested such a favour of someone else. "The lady was more than happy to let me," she wrote. "I didn't realise I had a booster but I got 852 points from her."

Left: Customer approaches Woolworths checkout. Right: Digital Everyday Rewards card on smartphone screen
An query from a passionate Woolworths Rewards member has divided shoppers. Source: AAP/Everyday Rewards

Fury over 'deceitful' Rewards act

While some group members praised the shopper, admitting they do the same thing "all the time" or let others scan their Everyday Rewards card when they don't have their own, her post did not sit well with hundreds of others, who lashed out at an act they deemed to be "against the rules" and even "fraud".

"You are wrongfully claiming points for stuff you didn't purchase. You are deceiving Woolworths for financial gain," one woman commented, and another group member added, "You aren't supposed to do this. You did not earn the points. The cashier can refuse."

One Woolies customer described feeling "violated" when the same thing happened to her, while employees revealed they can refuse to scan an Everyday Rewards card in such circumstances.

Woolworths weighs in

A spokesperson for Woolworths told Yahoo News that Everyday Rewards cards should not be shared among customers as offers and boosters are based on individual shopping habits.

"At Everyday Rewards our most engaged members save hundreds of dollars each year by activating bonus point offers, shopping specials in their 'my weekly picks' and redeeming fuel discounts," the spokesperson said. "To ensure our customers are getting the most value from the program, offers and boosters are tailored to each member, based on their shopping habits. As a result, Everyday Rewards cards should only be scanned by the individual customer making the transaction."

Woolworths sign
Woolworths has discouraged customers from scanning their cards on other shoppers' transactions. Source: AAP

"For any shoppers who are not yet a member of the program, signing up is free and easy to do online. By scanning their card and boosting offers customers will maximise their savings every time they shop with us," the spokesperson added.

Sneaky customers slammed

Some Woolies customers shared their anger at more covert customers who don't even ask if they can scan their Everyday Rewards card on someone else's purchase. "I had the person behind me the other week scan their card after I'd already scanned mine. I noticed so I could fix it and scan mine again to override it but I was so annoyed," one person explained, and another revealed she had to ask a cashier to scan her $300 worth of groceries again after another shopper scanned their card. "Asking is fine, just don't jump in and do it... That's rude," she wrote.

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