Flaw in Countdown's Onecard rewards programme short-changes some

  • 17/11/2022
File photo
File photo Photo credit: Supplied


Countdown has apparently failed to properly count up customers' reward points as part of its loyalty scheme, meaning shoppers have been short changed when it comes to discount vouchers.

The Onecard rewards programme gives customers a point for every dollar they spend at the supermarket.

Reach 2000 points and the shoppers gets a $15 credit off their grocery bill.

There's also a boost scheme that instantly bumps up your rewards points. But following a complaint from a hawk-eyed customer it appears not all shoppers are getting all their rewards points. 

Caitlin Cherry from Consumer NZ said the problem was identified by a long-time Countdown shopper Kay, who especially enjoyed receiving 1200 boost points for a $250 spend during a weekly shop for groceries for her family.

On four occasions she had to contact Countdown and have her boost points added manually. 

Finally, she emailed the company and received a phone call from a staff member, who told her it was a nationwide problem that they had been unaware of until her complaint. 

Cherry agreed other shoppers could have been missing out on many dollars in discounts over a long period. 

Since Consumer publicised the problem, a man has contacted the organisation to say he had a Onecard for a decade and had never received a discount. 

"In a lot of these kinds of cases it really does take people being quite active to deal with some of these issues themselves and it's not the way it should be.

"If a company says you're going to get this kind of deal if you shop here then they should actually come up with the goods."  

Cherry said it was "potentially misleading" for a business to offer rewards and then not deliver. 

There was also confusing information about the Onecard's terms and conditions, especially for consumers who shopped online, she said. 

Countdown told both Kay and Consumer the problem had been fixed and if people were worried about their boost points they should phone the business. 

Countdown said there was no one available to be interviewed on Checkpoint.

In a statement the supermarket operator said it had recently identified a system issue where some customers did not have all their Onecard rewards earned on Onecard Boost offers loaded onto their account.

"Countdown apologises to customers for any inconvenience and they've been in touch with all affected customers to let them know what happened. They have also loaded the missing points onto affected customer accounts.

"Countdown says as soon as the issue was escalated, they suspended the offers while they worked to fix the system issue. They have now fixed the issue and the boost offers will be active again from Monday."