Nectar & Sainsbury’s bonus point offers changing for some customers

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.

Bonus Nectar points at Sainsbury's on the Nectar app

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.

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:

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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But days later, and people still hadn’t got their bonus offers in the app.

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.

But it seems that there’s still a lack of knowledge about what is going on among staff at Nectar HQ.

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.

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.

And since first writing this, others have shown different offers appear.

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.

Updates

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.

5 thoughts on “Nectar & Sainsbury’s bonus point offers changing for some customers

  1. I thought it was just me until I accidentally hit on this webpage. For quite some time I have had totally irrelevant bonus point offers. Sainsbury’s statement states that offers reflect the individual card holders shopping choices, but my offers are on items I have never ever purchased – with one exception; 10points for green top milk I can’t quite work out the fraction of a penny that is worth!
    Also worth adding is the general reduction in vouchers offered at checkout in store, again the few that are offered are not relevant to me

  2. I used to have really good offers on my app, e.g. 100 points for a can of tomatoes or a jar of jam that cost 28p, which was a no-brainer. Recently these offers have been massively reduced, in the above case to 10 points. While that is still OK considering the low price of the item, it is never good to reduce levels as it causes resentment. Not a very clever strategy on the retailer’s side.

  3. Here is a copy Arthur nectar told me via a DM Tweet on 26th April…I have had no changes or offers to my account yet…
    That’s no problem at all Brian, and in regard to you not receiving offers we’re currently making changes to how and when we send our offers and what exactly the offers will be. We’re currently in a transition period for this and are rolling it out slowly to all customers and that will have caused you not to have received offers for a little while now. I’m unable to say when you’ll next receive offers but I’m confident you’ll receive more offers some time in the future. Brandon.

  4. I too have not had any sainsbury offers for four weeks. I think this is because against as a single person I very, very, rarely need to spend over £15. If it is the case that sainsburys only want people who can afford to spend £20 or much more, they are going to lose a lot of customers. And they are making a mockery of there “Aldi price match” pledge by deterring the people who shop at Aldi/Lidl because they can’t afford to shop anywhere else. I am beginning to see myself as an ex-sainsbury customer which I find sad as the staff at my local store are very good, kind and friendly people.

  5. With regards to the Nectar app I haven’t had any Sainsbury’s offers for 4 weeks now as of 5/5/21. Before getting the app, I also had no vouchers when using my Nectar card at the tills for over 2 years. I’m not very happy. Phoned them up several times only to be told everything was OK on my account with the information they held with regards to postal and email communications.

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