Council strikes back at MH on Flash & Gain

01/12/2010 11:18

Morris Hedstrom should stop evading and answer the questions raised by the Consumer Council of Fiji on its loyalty programme. MH is yet to inform consumers why it has double the points needed to redeem certain gifts under the Flash & Gain programme.

Since the introduction of Flash & Gain programme 3-years ago, MH has made a number of decisions on conditions for redemption etc and it was only able to do so because of the unfair contract terms of the loyalty programme.

In 2009, MH increased the $1 per point earned under Flash & Gain card to $5 per point making it harder for their loyal consumers to accumulate points and now with doubling the points it has made it difficult for consumers to redeem rewards. In September this year, MH revised its existing gift redemption list doubling the points required to redeem certain products.  

For example, previously a cardholder could have redeemed a Morris Dry Iron with only 900 points but with the revised list he/she needs 2000 points to redeem this gift. This is twice the amount of points previously needed to acquire this gift. Similarly, to obtain a 1.7 litre Morris electric kettle a cardholder previously needed 1250 points but now 2500 points are needed. The table below shows some of the gift items where redemption points have been doubled. By doing this MH is making it difficult for cardholders to redeem gifts.

Unfortunately, in its reaction to the questions raised by the Council, MH did not clarify why it continuously changes conditions thus complicating gift redemption by consumers. The supermarket’s argument that its loyalty programme is based on international standards is baseless since to be of international standard, MH should not have used unfair terms and conditions. If anything, MH should have taken cues from our local company such as Tappoos that offers the program with electronic recording of points and a catalogue for point redemption. This is done in a merely transparent manner. On the contrary MH’s participating organisations are recording the points manually and there is no way a consumer will know whether the points are added to the main system or not.

The Council has always maintained that Flash & Gain was a clever and hideous marketing tactic used by MH to entice consumers rather than rewarding its loyal customers. MH made millions of dollars by selling the Flash & Gain cards at $10 each with a free wall clock as a gift.  The Council appreciates the fact that MH is now informing consumers holding Flash & Gain Card through media on recent developments within the programme.