Shopping Discussion

More griping, less swiping: Retailers feel Air Miles backlash

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 10th, 2017 9:13 am
[OP]
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
22371 posts
17181 upvotes
Waterloo, ON

More griping, less swiping: Retailers feel Air Miles backlash

Great news! People are voting with their wallets.

More griping, less swiping: Retailers feel Air Miles backlash
Fewer shoppers are pulling the Air Miles card out of their wallets at checkout in some stores, and many retailers have faced pressure from unhappy customers over their partnerships with the loyalty program.

And now Air Miles parent company LoyaltyOne Inc. says it plans to issue an apology to its members, and to offer an increased number of promotions with retailers, in an attempt to win back customers...

Jean Coutu has noted a decrease in people swiping their Air Miles cards at checkout at its chain of drugstores...

retailer Fountain Tire, which has locations across Canada. “People asked whether we were sure it was delivering value to customers.”...

“We did hear some concerns from our Rexall customers,” said Derek Tupling, director of corporate communications at Rexall Pharmacy Group Ltd...

“Our customer wasn’t happy [with] the way the partner managed that relationship with them,” François Vimard, then interim chief executive officer of Sobeys parent Empire Co. Ltd...

feedback “fluctuated” late last year. LCBO spokeswoman Christine Bujold ... “However, when customers contacted LCBO to express concerns regarding changes to the program, we relayed those concerns to Air Miles...
However it seems the negative feedback still isn't loud enough.
Despite complaints, retailers including Rexall, Global Pet Food Stores Inc., Staples Canada and Fountain Tire, said they have no plans to discontinue partnerships with the program. Pharmasave Atlantic, Hilton Hotels Corp., and Shell Canada Ltd., which all offer Air Miles to customers, did not respond to interview requests.
veni, vidi, Visa
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Deal Guru
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Mar 9, 2007
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Think of the Childre…
They should jump over to Aeroplan.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Deal Guru
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Sep 21, 2005
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Cheapo-Findo wrote: They should jump over to Aeroplan.
Rexall switched from Aeroplan to Airmiles 1 or 2 years ago IIRC.
Have too many phones... This is how I limit my monthly phone payment.
Public Mobile $36 5GB, $12 250MB, 2x $6 50min/50text, Fido $5 4GB data only plan with a free tablet,
Zoomer $36 loyalty 4GB plan, $0 FPL home phone.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
22371 posts
17181 upvotes
Waterloo, ON
embguy wrote: Rexall switched from Aeroplan to Airmiles 1 or 2 years ago IIRC.
About three years ago, long before the AM controversy began. I wonder if they now regret their decision?

As for retailers expressing that they have no plans to discontinue membership in the AM program...
• Even if they were planning they'd be well advised to keep it quiet for the purposes of negotiating.
• It's too early to take such drastic action. They could be waiting to see if/how this hurts their business in 2017.
• They may be waiting to see if AM's promised rewards devaluations attract more negativity from consumers.
• It's also possible that these sorts of agreements run for five years or more. So as much as some may want to leave, they can't do so in the near term.
veni, vidi, Visa
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Sep 26, 2011
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“We need to apologize for where we let collectors down. We need to own our shortcomings, and be transparent about it, and make a commitment to be better,” Mr. Cameron said. The details of that apology are still in the works, and he said the company plans to communicate directly with collectors.
Wow, this sure is a friendlier tone than that spouted by others on LoyaltyNONE's sleazy management team. :rolleyes:
But actions speak louder than words; unless one of the Air Miles sponsors (retailers) actually releases credible evidence that the rewards program itself has hurt their bottom line, all of this is just posturing.

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