A number of Sainsbury’s customers have reported Nectar points going missing – sometimes with hundreds of pounds worth disappearing at a time.
Frustrated users of the loyalty scheme have contacted This is Money after checking accounts only to find points stolen and spent, or simply vanishing.
When trying to resolve the problem, some have been surprised to find the Nectar team has referred them to the police – rather than dealing with the problem.
In some cases, more than a hundred pounds worth of points have gone, with one customer saying she ‘broke down in tears’ when finding out as she was planning to spend the points on her children for Christmas.
Nectar card holders are reporting their points stolen or going missing from their account
It has especially infuriated those who have been saving their points up all year in an effort to spend them on their big Christmas shop at the end of the year.
One reader, Nick, has lost more than £100 worth of points.
He said: ‘I have two receipts that show I have accumulated 22,656 and 22,619 Nectar points, respectfully.
‘I have used my cards a few times since these balances and my account and receipts show I only collectively have 18,000 points with a value of around £94.
‘My other balances in October as given were valued at £113.09 and £113.28 respectfully.’
‘I was planning to use my points to do my Christmas shopping but I cannot get in touch with Nectar because when I try I keep getting an error page.’
Many readers claim to have contacted Nectar directly to establish what happened to points with the hope of retrieving them but left with no further information about who took the points or how they could get them returned.
Some of the stolen points had been taken via eBay where customers can redeem Nectar points
Some readers were even told to contact the police about the incident.
One reader, Marianne, said: ‘I have had 18,000 points spent on my Nectar card two months ago and it wasn’t by me.
‘So Nectar say the transaction happened in the store I shop at. They contacted the Sainsbury’s that I shop at and told Nectar they cannot find any wrong doing.
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‘Nectar told me to contact the police so I did but they told me they have too many things going on to bother with my problem.’
She said she went back to Nectar after only to be told, again, to speak to the police about the matter.
Michelle, another angry customer, said: ‘I had roughly £60 to £80 worth of Nectar points, now I have £0.82. I have spoken to customer services whom cannot give me any conclusive answers whatsoever.
‘Customer services have blamed eBay but I have checked with eBay and they said no points have been redeemed by us.
‘I look forward to spending my points at Christmas and I haven’t spent or redeemed any points since last Christmas.’
Other Nectar users say their points have been redeemed in stores around the country, far from where they actually live, presumably by fraudsters who have hacked their account.
Another customer, Claire, said: ‘I have been hit by this scam – 22,000 points were taken from my Nectar card and spent in Brixham… nowhere near where we are in Southampton.
‘I broke down in tears as I was using this as my Christmas spending for my children.’
It has been suggested that fraudsters get hold of someone else’s Nectar number, change the address in the account, report the card as lost and then get a new one sent to the ‘new’ address and spend the points.
One reader, Stephen, found his points had been stolen via eBay in the scam as Nectar points can be accrued through the bidding website.
He said: ‘My £90 worth of credit in my Nectar account was in effect emptied out recently.
‘I was tipped off about the possibility of such theft by a neighbour who had only just experienced a theft in this way.
‘About an hour after that conversation I did some shopping at Sainsbury’s in Chertsey and discovered my Nectar account credit had been removed.
‘The spend was made with eBay which is no surprise as that was exactly what had happened to the credit my neighbour lost.’
A Nectar spokesperson said: ‘We ask customers to report any points they believe are missing from their account so that we can investigate and take appropriate action.
‘We also advise customers to be mindful of phishing attempts from fraudsters, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated.’
Other Nectar card holders have taken to social media to vent their frustration with the company after also finding their points had been taken just before Christmas.
One Twitter user found all his points he had been saving for Christmas had been stolen
One Nectar cardholder said her account had been hacked and her points had been stolen
Another user said he noticed that 10,000 points had been stolen and spent elsewhere
This man said that he had 11,000 points stolen from his account & believe he had been hacked
The Nectar card scheme was launched in 2002 and it is currently the largest loyalty scheme by customer numbers in Britain.
Each Nectar point is worth 0.5p so to save up a £1 worth of Nectar points, customers will need 200 of them.
This means 500 Points are worth £2.50, 1,000 points are worth £5 and 2,000 points are worth £10.
Users therefore have to spend a fair amount of money in store or online to save up any real value for their points.
It is not just Nectar customers that have been having problems with their loyalty scheme – Morrisons More users recently reported finding their points had been vanishing.
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