June 10 2010 by Ellen Roseman
Companies that offer rewards for frequent shopping can change the rules from time to time. But they should give clear disclosure of how the changes may affect you.
Shoppers Drug Mart is changing the rules for Optimum reward redemptions on July 1, but it’s telling customers only about the new schedule.
I think this fails the clear disclosure test. Shoppers Drug Mart should show how many points you need for rewards now, compared to how many points you’ll need in the future.
Giving customers plenty of advance notice would also be welcome. Alas, that’s not the case here. You have only a month to redeem your points before the new rules come in.
Luckily, my readers are helping out. Joy sent the following information:
My Shoppers Drug Mart bill has a notice that the Optimum program is changing. It doesn’t say what the changes are, but it directs you to the website.
From there, you click through two other screens to learn that they are changing the points redemption amounts. To compare the current and new programs, I used a shopper who has earned 150,000 points.
Under the current program, the shopper would get $300 worth of merchandise (75,000 points = $150 worth of merchandise).
After June 30, they’d get $255 in merchandise (150,000 points is 3 x $85 or $255).
So, I think I’ll get better value if I use my points by the end of June!
You can find more about these changes here at the Smart Canucks blog.