Fixing Loyalty Programs - Inputs on Solutions

Below are the key issues as identified by you with loyalty programs in India. Kindly review them and help identify specific solutions that can be implemented to make loyalty programs more effective and consumer oriented in India.

Loyalty Programs - Key Issues

1. Many loyalty programs are bogus
2. These loyalty points are not useful to the extent of their attractiveness
3. Some loyalty programs are just made to extort the customer
4. The loyalty programs are very restrictive and they reward the vendor along with the customer
5. Customers are being lured to purchase/ consume more to get loyalty point and which can be redeemed to purchase something from a selected list, which is not helpful to the customer
6. Many loyalty programs become opaque after a while
7. It is tough to get a detailed analysis of your loyalty account from the vendor
8. Many loyalty programs are scrapped midway
9. Loyalty points and not standardised
10. The company keeps changing the value of each loyalty point without adequate notice
11. Some companies charge redemption charges which is an additional burden to the consumer
12. Some banks do not allow accumulation of points beyond a year and forfeit them
13. The customer service for the loyalty programs is worse than regular customer service
14. Sometimes it is more expensive to get an air ticket in exchange of mileage points than buying new tickets in other airlines
15. Loyalty points are almost impossible to encash for majority of the brands. more  

View all 13 comments Below 13 comments
Instead of loyalty programs, the service provider/ agency may offer discount straight away in the bill, as soon as the usage reaches certain slabs. Of course they can fix a time limit within which the customer may reach the slabs and specificially indicate upto which time the discount is valid. more  
I agree with gajendra Katiyar. No customer is forced to participate in a loyalty programme. I hold loyalty cards for all big stores in the my city and am very happy with the redemption of my points. I get SMS telling me well in advance when the points will lapse. I am free to buy something and redeem the points or just let them lapse. It is like getting something for nothing because anyhow we would still be purchasing the items whether or not there was a loyalty card. more  
It is almost bogus.....even ordinarily it is impossible to encash your points.......the online process is so long and tedious...either we just don't bother abt them or the cos amend their system... more  
SBI Card recovers redemption charges & service tax. They also forfeit the accumulated points at regular intervals. Their intention, apparently, is to lure & cheat the customers. However, in some establishments, like Big Bazaar, they directly deduct the value of the accumulated points from the aggregate bills.

The government should enact suitable laws making deduction of the values of the accumulated points directly from the bill amounts/outstanding mandatory restricting recovery of charges of any kind (including service tax) from the value of the points.

The corporate/business houses find it easy to lure the common man with loyalty points as well as other attractive offers as bait, which are easily gulped by them and finally realise that they have been cheated. Now a days even the real estate developers/builders are indulging in such practices and offering baits of free parking, gold coins, automobiles, furniture, modular kitchen with chimney, electronic gadgets etc. to the purchasers and many people are easily attracted to such baits being ignorant about the actual price of the property. When they realise that they have been cheated, it is too late. It is the responsibility of the government to look into all these issues and initiate remedial measures. more  
i am really unable to understand the issue.is it a legal requirement to participate in loyalty programme??when consumers are willingly participating in loyalty programmes,how and why should they crib about fairness or unfairness of schemes.loyalty programmes are designed to lure consumers in to remaining with the brand or vendor.they are beneficial for the makers and not for consumers.it is the greed of consumers which is at fault by which they are foregoing their freedome of choice and sticking with one brand /vendor.why do not consumers read all the terms and conditions before participating?? more  
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