Savvy grocery shoppers who joined the popular Woolworths Everyday Rewards Extra subscription service when it was launched last year are furious because the program has now scaled back on discounts and increased the annual subscription fee from $59 to $70 a year.
Previously, shoppers who were part of the program could access a 10 per cent discount on a Woolworths and BIG W shop once a month - either online or in store. Shoppers were also given 3X Everyday Rewards points whenever they shopped at Woolworths and BIG W.
In an announcement on the Woolworths site, the changes to the program - which will kick in from July 1 this year - roll back a number of the benefits shoppers receive, while increasing the subscription fee.
So what are the Everyday Rewards Extra changes?
From the beginning of July, subscribers will:
Be charged $70 per year (previously it was $59)
Now earn 2X points with each shop instead of 3X.
Only be able to access the 10 per cent discount in Woolworths and Big W in store rather than online
'Frustrated' shoppers hit out at Woolworths
Many subscribers have taken to social media to share their disappointment with the changes and the price rise in light of the cost-of-living crisis.
On the Markdown Addicts group page on Facebook, more than 500 comments have been left on the post announcing the changes, with many saying they are unhappy with the changes and will be canceling their subscriptions.
A number of commenters said they had cancelled their subscriptions already, while others said they had tried to go to the page to cancel but were getting an error message because, it seemed, many others were attempting to cancel at the same time.
Many subscribers said removing the online shopping option for discounts in particular was a dealbreaker.
“I pay a yearly delivery subscription so I never have to go in store,” one said.
“I’m frustrated that it can’t be used online I have a toddler and hate going in store to do my big shop.”
Another said the removal of the online option was 'ableist' as many Australians don't have the option to shop in store due to disabilities, age or being in remote areas.
A few said they were disappointed with the changes but felt the savings, although smaller, would still make it worthwhile.
The full list of changes is published on the Everyday Rewards site, and Woolworths said customers who joined the program before May 29, 2023 had the option to cancel their subscription immediately and receive a refund on any remaining balance.
Yahoo Finance contacted Woolworths, and a spokesperson said: “From 1 July, Everyday Extra subscribers can still save up to $100 a month with monthly discounts shopping across Woolworths and BIG W, double Everyday Rewards points on their everyday shopping and Extra Perks including free products.” however there was no explanation for the rise in the annual subscription fee.