The big supermarkets are all suffering at the hands of the discounters. Customers are now choosing to do regular “top up” shops and they’re being clever too – realising that cheaper doesn’t always mean “not as good”.
However, a year ago Morrisons launched a loyalty card scheme called “Match & More”. It replaced their “Morrisons Miles” scheme for petrol users and had one huge bonus – they would “Match” the prices of local competitors. Not only was it a loyalty scheme in the traditional sense of the word (offering points on certain deals and products), but they would give you points – which could then be exchanged for money-off vouchers – if a competitor was cheaper. They would compare their own prices against Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and those discounters – Lidl and Aldi.
There was, effectively, nothing to lose. You got a card, then shopped at Morrisons knowing that – if the local Aldi or Lidl was cheaper – you’d get your money back. The way it has worked for the last year is like this..
– If the comparable product is 1p cheaper, you get 10 points.
– Once you hit 5000 points, you get a £5 voucher.
In the first few months this was bonkers and was fantastic for the customer. A bottle of fabric softener could be £3 cheaper in a competitor. That’s 3000 points instantly.
On one shopping trip you could easily earn 3,4,5 or 6000 points if you purchased that fabric softener plus some deodorant, a shaver and some washing liquid. I was getting these £5 vouchers regularly, but lately they’ve slowed, and I’ve noticed that many checkouts have developed “bugs” which “accidentally” missed the Match & More card when it was inserted. On several occasions I’ve seen, “You earned ____ points today” instead of the actual amount, or “Use your Match & More card and you could have earned 249 points” – even after using the card. I’ve raised this with Morrisons, who admitted on Twitter that there were a few “problems”.
Today, just a year after launching, Morrisons have altered their loyalty scheme. They call it a “simpler approach” which makes things “easier”. They’re keen to draw us to the fact that the £15 spending limit (which was the minimum to earn any points per-shop) has now gone. This is a good thing, but there’s a number of other changes that are a bit further down their new terms and conditions.
Firstly, instead of buying special items, you now earn points for every £1 you spend in Morrisons. This is similar to all other loyalty schemes, however…
– You earn 5 “Morrisons points” (presumably the new name) for every £1 you spend
There’s no minimum spend now, but you can’t earn points on things like cigarettes, carrier bags, fireworks, lottery, medicines and mobile phone cards etc but.. wait.. let’s review that again..
– 5 points for each £1 you spend
– Morrisons Match points on comparable shopping will end
Yes, that second point is a MASSIVE gear change and effectively closes the door on this whole scheme for me. No longer will Morrisons be matching the price of goods to competitors. No longer will they be giving you the difference back. Effectively, in my opinion (with all the “bugs” and issues in recent months too), they’re saying that they cannot compete with the discounters. They simply cannot match their prices.
The upshot is that you can no longer go into a Morrisons and know that they’ll be as cheap as the local discounter. The Match and More loyalty scheme is over. There is no “Match” because they’re not matching prices any longer.
So we’re left with just the “More” bit, which is presumably why they’re now calling these loyalty points “Morrisons points”. I assume the new name will be just that.
Wait a minute though, because – even if you do stick with the scheme – let’s see how those points stack up. How much do you need to spend to get £5 off your shopping ? A £5 voucher is received when you hit 5000 points. It’s 5 points for £1 of shopping.
So, if you divide 5000 by 5 you get… £1000. Yup. You’re going to have to spend £1000 to get £5 off your shopping.
Sure, you’ll get 10 points for every litre of fuel (which, by the way, is about £1.05 as I write this, so a little over £1 in the Morrisons Petrol Station gets you double the amount of points that you’re going to get buying £1 of shopping in the store).
Seriously, though – £1000 of shopping to get £5 off? Are you kidding?
It’s time to go back to Aldi and Lidl. No schemes. No cards. No stupid deals, confusing points and offers. Just a fair price.
By the way, you may ask why I’ve written all this. I just want to show WHY the big supermarkets are in trouble. We, as customers, have given them all a kick in the groin because they do confusing and crazy shit like Morrisons are now doing. You know the tricks. Bulk-buying offers, supposed “good deals”, products which are inflated in price and then discounted and fake “specials” which actually don’t save you a great deal of cash.
Morrisons are trying to make this seem like a good deal for the customer. It’s just the old bait and switch. A good deal offered, but then switched to a bad one. Customers are worth more than this. Stop trying to blind us with science. Just give us good prices, good service and good quality. Today this change has been announced as the new carrier bag charges have been implemented in England – and ideal day to bury news like this. What makes it annoying for me is the fact that Morrisons are stating that these changes have been made “after customer feedback” and “to make things simpler”. Balls. It’s just to save Morrisons money. It’s just to confuse customers and make them think they’re getting a better deal when they’re not.
Have a look at your weekly shopping bills at Morrisons. See how long it’s going to take you to spend £1000. Personally, I’m cutting my card up as the whole thing is just pointless now. Literally.