Waitrose tightens up on 'abused' free hot drinks again

·2-min read
Waitrose tightens up on 'abused' free hot drinks again
Waitrose tightens up on 'abused' free hot drinks again

Waitrose is clamping down again on its free hot drinks offer for MyWaitrose members, following claims the perk is still being 'abused'.

Its offer of free tea or coffee for MyWaitrose members proved so popular last year that it introduced tighter rules for the scheme.

But now The Grocer magazine has reported that some stores are making shoppers wait at customer services to register their shop, before being allowed to take their hot drink.

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Free hot drinks for all

When the perk was introduced, it meant that members of the MyWaitrose loyalty scheme could enjoy a free hot drink every day, even if they did not spend anything in store.

Then in January, Waitrose introduced the requirement that customers wanting a hot drink from an in-store cafe would also need to buy a 'treat' to go with their drink such as a sandwich or a piece of fruit.
That clampdown has evidently not done the job though, with The Grocer reporting that Waitrose has lost about £150,000 as a result of 'abuse' of the scheme. The finger has been pointed at customers regularly collecting drinks for their friends. A spokesperson told the magazine that it was a "small minority of people who have been abusing it".

However, a spokesperson told us that "the £150,000 figure... is not one that we recognise and it certainly doesn't reflect the scheme which conversely is overwhelmingly driving incremental sales".

Other perks of the myWaitrose scheme include free copies of, and digital access to, the Waitrose Kitchen magazine, free newspapers when spending over £5 (£10 at weekends) and in-store savings that aren't available to other customers.

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