Exclusive: Shoppers vent frustration on Twitter after weekly bonus point offers disappear.
Over the last few weeks, regular Sainsbury’s shoppers who earn extra Nectar points on everyday items via the Nectar app have discovered the offers no longer showing.
Missing offers on the app
Though some customers are still seeing the Sainsbury’s offers on things like lemons and chopped tomatoes, others either have had no offers or briefly had them, only for them to then disappear.
@nectar why have the nectar bonus points stopped being added to the app?— Sylvia Thompson (@SylviaThommo) April 18, 2021
I was alerted to the issue by reader BB_G on Twitter, and after a little more digging discovered tweet after tweet from Nectar’s social media team with the same cut and paste reply:
Hi. As we continue to learn more about individual customers and their shopping habits, we’ll try to serve them their offers in different ways. This could mean you’ll see a number of possible changes each time we send you offers, 1/2— Nectar (@nectar) April 20, 2021
2/2 such as when and how often you receive offers, as well as the number and value of your offers. Thanks, Lindsey.— Nectar (@nectar) April 20, 2021
Technical issue or a bigger change?
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It looks like the absence of offers first happened on Friday 9th April. The Nectar response at first was to say there were technical issues – which seemed to impact both the app and the website.
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Sorry about that, We’ve some issues with our system today. The website is back up and running now and the offers are expected to follow soon. Michael M— Nectar (@nectar) April 9, 2021
But days later, and people still hadn’t got their bonus offers in the app.
Morning Angela. Sorry to hear you still haven’t received your weekly offers. Our team are aware of this issue and currently working on this as we speak. Your offers should be available soon, sorry for any inconvenience caused! Rob— Nectar (@nectar) April 13, 2021
Then on the 13th, variations of the cut and paste reply started to appear on responses from Nectar’s social media team. This time the messaging was very different.
Rather than put it down to technical problems, it seemed the missing offers were part of a wider review of how bonus points were allocated.
Sorry about that we’re making some changes to the offers This could mean you’ll see a number of possible changes each time we send you offers, such as when and how often you receive offers, as well as the number and value of your offers. Michael M— Nectar (@nectar) April 13, 2021
But it seems that there’s still a lack of knowledge about what is going on among staff at Nectar HQ.
@nectar why am I not receiving my weekly Sainsburys offers. This stopped last week with no warning or explanation. Live chat and a phone call to nectar did not answer my query. I don’t think the live chat individual understood what I was asking about.— Jennifer Ward (@Jennife99338791) April 20, 2021
What are the weekly Sainsbury’s offers?
Every Friday, Nectar customers are able to select from half a dozen offers and save them to their account. These tend to be along the lines of 20 bonus points when you buy Sainsbury’s lemons. You needed the app or website to activate the offers, and scan your card at the till.
These bonus points began as part of the Nectar relaunch in 2019. In an initial trial on the Isle of Wight, they replaced earning points as you spent, but when the full “new Nectar” was introduced they were an extra way to earn points.
I, and my mother-in-law, are having the same problem as many others on @nectar. Our new weekly Sainsbury’s Offers are missing. Only showing ones that expire today. Blinking useless! ? Normally plan the week’s meals by what’s on offer and buy food tomorrow morning at 09.00. So pic.twitter.com/JVVp5qwrKH— intolerant_goth (@GothIntolerant) April 14, 2021
Some people are still getting the offers
Not all customers seem to have been affected by these changes. How do I know for sure? Well I’m still seeing them on my Nectar app!
For those not getting the offers, their frustration has been compounded by the fact they still received emailed from Sainsbury’s and Nectar telling them to activate the deals.
But some have started to see different offers
It seems that some customers have started to see new alternative offers. I asked this follower to share a screenshot of an offer with triple Nectar points rather than the usual item-specific ones.
Yes, here you go pic.twitter.com/BnEFWswSxZ— Jennifer Mullan (@handbagjen) April 21, 2021
And since first writing this, others have shown different offers appear.
Another week of no @sainsburys @nectar offers. I don’t know what they’re doing or why they’re not being transparent about it, but they’ve given me a useless “Spend £60 for 5x points” voucher instead. I don’t want to spend £60 on 1 week’s shopping thank you v much! Sort it out!— T J Smith (@TEZofAllTrades) April 21, 2021
@nectar hi I have a £2 off a £20 shop in sainsburys voucher on my nectar app (that I saved) – just did a £27 shop but didn’t get my money off ☹️— rhys (@rhyssuxx) April 21, 2021
What do Sainsbury’s and Nectar say?
I asked the Sainsbury’s press office (it’s the same team as Sainsbury’s owns Nectar) the following questions:
- 1. Why have some customers stopped receiving weekly bonus point offers on the app?
- 2. Can you confirm how many Nectar customers are affected? (both the amount and percentage of customers)
- 3. How have some customers been chosen over others?
- 4. Is this is temporary or ongoing for the affected customers? If temporary, when should they expect to see offers in the app?
- 5. Will this happen to other customers in the coming weeks?
The reply… we’ll it wasn’t the most helpful.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said, “We regularly review the promotions available through our Nectar app to ensure customers are always receiving personalised, valuable offers. As part of this process, some offers may be currently unavailable for a small number of customers and we apologise for any inconvenience.”
Exactly the same statement I’d seen on Twitter.
So what is happening?
My take on the missing Nectar points
It’s hard to know what’s happening here and why. It certainly looks like the initial technical problems explanation wasn’t the true story – despite there being reports of issues with the Nectar website and app.
Could the two be connected? A sign of bigger plans afoot that necessitated changes to the website? Perhaps.
Or is the cut-and-paste response from Nectar simple just a holding message because they don’t have an explanation?
What is certain is that for the time being some customers are missing out on these points. And there’s a strong chance more shoppers will see their Nectar offers stop or disappear in the next few weeks.
I’ll keep you updated as the story develops.
21/4/21 – 1pm
It certainly looks like a number of customers have received an offer for triple points when you spend £50. This promotion suggests the new direction Nectar points could be going in.
22/4/21 – 7am
As I’ve added above, there are more examples of different offers appearing on the app for customers, so it looks like promotions will be tailored to individuals.