A total of £6,643 worth of Guild Points are currently unredeemed, despite their imminent expiry at the end of term.
The loyalty scheme, initiated by Guild President Laura-Jane Tiley in early October, allows students to use their University ID card to collect redeemable points in Guild outlets. For every pound spent, the student receives four points, each worth one penny.
Since the scheme’s launch, £7,528 worth of points have been collected. However, only 12 per cent of students have currently taken advantage of their points, while 56 per cent of students haven’t used the scheme at all.
Currently, points can only be redeemed if they cover the entire cost of the transaction. On Saturday 18 December any outstanding points will be reset to zero. This decision was taken at the loyalty scheme’s launch in order to evaluate its success at the end of term.
In a 24-hour Twitter poll conducted by Exeposé, support for the scheme was rather positive, with 49 per cent responding ‘yes’ to the question “Do you like the Guild Points loyalty scheme?” 21 per cent of the 104 respondents weren’t in favour of the system at all, while 30 per cent still haven’t used it.
A third-year English student was enthusiastic about the scheme. He said: “I spend way too much money on food on campus as it is – at least with the new loyalty system I can get a pack or two of wine gums at the end of everything.”
However, other students have complained about the scheme’s technicalities. A second-year History student said: “‘I think it’s ridiculous to offer us incentives and then not provide sufficient reward. We can’t even put our points towards something – it has to cover a whole transaction and then points expire before you’ve even earned enough to redeem them. You’d have to spend nearly £50 a term just to get one coffee.”
The Lemon Grove management decided not to implement the scheme at all due to the lengthy disruption to transaction time. An anonymous Students’ Guild employee commented on the disturbance to other Guild outlets: “Scanning cards for the Guild Points scheme has added 15 seconds onto every transaction. This doesn’t sound like a lot but in busy periods it slows us down considerably. I’m not sure if it’s worth it.”
As one of the key pledges of her manifesto, Students’ Guild President Laura-Jane Tiley was quick to defend the scheme: “I would encourage students not to miss out on the opportunity to spend your hard-earned points and grab some free bargains in Guild outlets just in time for Christmas.”
Guild Services estimate that the scheme cost £2,000 to implement, when taking into account marketing and administration outlays.
However, it is still unclear as to whether it has managed to boost spending in Guild outlets. Becky Morris, Interim Communications and Marketing Manager, said: “At this stage, it is too early to say how the launch of Guild Points is affecting sales in our outlets.
“A number of changes came into effect at the same time (teaching day, new products, new students, new prices) which make it difficult to identify a direct relationship.”
Following the successful introduction of the Guild Points loyalty scheme, President Laura-Jane Tiley now pledges to enhance the card’s benefits by adding a Gold, Silver and Bronze ranking system based on hours of contribution. In order to implement this, students’ participation hours will be surveyed in order to calculate their average contribution before working out the allocation. Rewards may include free hot drinks, Lemmy entry and reserved seats in DH1.
The Students’ Guild is currently offering discounts and deals until 11 December as part of its online ‘Advent Calendar’ scheme. A new deal each day is revealed on the Guild website.
Figures accurate at the time of print.