Shoppers Drug Mart changing rewards in July

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.

19 comments

  1. rp

    Jun 10 2010

    Shame on Shoppers! They are almost a monopoly and act that way; I’ll be looking for more PharmaPrix and other competitors in my area for future shopping!

  2. Lior

    Jun 12 2010

    Probably has something to do with the suspension of the generic drug allowances. LOL! No stone shall remain unturned in Shoppers’ pursuit for a profit. I think that with all the bull%$#& that’s been coming from Shoppers recently as well as some of their peers in the industry, people really need to start boycotting their stores. Not only are they expensive as hell but customer service also leaves much to be desired.

  3. Den

    Jun 12 2010

    Pharmaprix is owned by Shoppers, so you’ll have to find another competitor.

    And yes, this is unfair. Only last week, they gave a redemption weekend and I skipped it since I didn’t need anything yet. By doing this, I lost the total value of my points and this happened without warning.

    It never pays to disappoint a paying customer and doing it this way is too sneaky for me.

    I also will start purchasing at either Uniprix (Aeoplan) or Jean Coutu (Air Miles) just because of the sneakiness…

    Bye ye Shopper’s!

  4. Rebecca

    Jun 12 2010

    Amazing! Cooments on this issue show fury and rage at Shoppers for changing the terms of point redemption – though they reserve the right to do so. But when MBNA changes their terms for cardholders – despite their written agreement, and payments go from $79 to $479 a month (250% increase ) on short notice – all the sympathy is for MBNA!

  5. Jamie

    Jun 13 2010

    This is actually quite a bit worse then it appears. Not only does the schedule substantially devalue the points, they have changed how things works for “plus” members (spent $1,000 the previous year)

    Now if a plus member redeems their points at the top two levels they instantly get points rebated, 10,000 back for redeeming 750000, 5000 for 40000. That benefit will disappear july 1. There is no mention of this change, anywhere, except mention of it has disappeared from the fine print (and been confirmed by phone).

    So today a plus member is out 65,000 points to redeem for $150 (or $200 on the special redemption days), on july 1 they will be out 95,000 points for $170 (we assume they will have special redemption days at $200, but don’t know). They have effectively devalue the existing points balances of their best customers by 1/3, with very inadequate disclosure.

    The extreme nature of the way they use the high value of the points as an integral part of their pricing strategy means they have just effectively raised the price on items point holders have already purchased in the past.

  6. Joy

    Jun 13 2010

    SDM needs to be more clear about the new redemption levels, instead of saying that the program is changing, and just referring customers to their website. And, once you do get to the right screen on their site, it’s difficult to do a ‘before’ and ‘after’ comparison as Shoppers uses different dollar amounts and different points for redemption values, other than at the $10 level. Many Shoppers clients are going to be surprised when they try to redeem points after June 30! ps I just received the weekly Shoppers marketing email and it doesn’t say anything about any changes to Optimum!

  7. rp

    Jun 14 2010

    Here’s the insipid boilerplate reply I got from Shoppers:

    Thank you for your inquiry as customer feedback is very important to us. The Shoppers Optimum program is Canada’s most valuable retail loyalty rewards program and remains so with this minor change to the rewards structure. The program’s reward structure has not been modified since January 2006, and since that time we have significantly increased the ways in which our customers can earn points and redeem for rewards.

    Customer feedback is very important to our continued success and your comments and concerns have been forwarded to the Marketing department for future consideration.

    Please do not hesitate to contact the Customer Service Call Centre at 1-800-SHOPPERs should you have any further questions or comments or require immediate assistance.

    Regards,
    Angela
    Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix Customer Service

  8. Karlyne Adey

    Jun 16 2010

    Why aren’t Optimum points allowed to be used to purchase Shoppers gift cards? After all, these cards would be used for goods in Shoppers.

  9. Shaun

    Jun 18 2010

    Because then u could buy stuff with the gift card and collect points again from what was free

  10. Joy again

    Jun 25 2010

    Today’s Toronto Star has an ad for a Shoppers “spend your points’ weekend tomorrow and Sunday. 40,000 points (normally good for $75 in merchandise) will get you $100 worth of merchandise. I couldn’t find anything on their website, so this may be a Toronto offer only.

    Interesting that the Optimum home page has the generic message about the program changing on July 1. And right underneath, they display the current (not the post July 1) points redemption levels.

  11. RP

    Jun 27 2010

    I think I found a way to beat Shoppers Optimum! Another post mentioned that you cannot spend the points on gift cards, but here’s something I successfully did:

    I had a bit more than 15,000 old points and bought something [returnable] for about $23 plus tax and used up my points.

    The next day, I said I didn’t like the product; got a cash refund and forfeited the 15,000 points. No big deal for me…I got cash in hand!

  12. coney

    Jun 28 2010

    I went to Shoppers for a refund on my points spent, but they told me they never give points back.

    However, when I check on their website, it says Shoppers Optimumâ„¢ Points used to pay for a product will be returned if a receipt is presented at time of return and within the 30 day timeframe”.

    So I called the store manager, who said: “No, we never do that, as what I see it says on our menu.”

    Shouldn’t they do what they tell customers on their own website? It they do not follow what is on their websites, what is the point to have it on there?

    Shoppers sucks!

  13. SFL

    Oct 3 2010

    I was in the same situation, as I found out my nearly 100,000 points were gone without any notice. I swear I did not get any email notice from them before they forfeit all points from my account. They just have another unhappy customer.

    I will not buy anything from SDM from now on.

  14. sophie

    Jun 16 2011

    A large number of Optimum points had disappeared from my account and Shoppers Drug Mart refused to do anything about it.

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