New Tesco Clubcards cause nightmares for shoppers

Sarah Coles

Tesco customers are having nightmares trying to use the key fobs sent out with their new contactless Clubcards. Some shoppers have found that they don't work on some of the self-service tills, and as a result they are missing out on all their points. Fortunately, there is an alternative.

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Tesco is spending a small fortune updating its Clubcards, and posting out new contactless cards to its 17 million card holders. In the envelope with each contactless card are a couple of key fobs, which are supposed to make life easier for those who don't want to add to the endless cards in their wallet, or to fish it out each time they shop.

However, far from making life easier, the new key fobs are adding yet more frustration to the shopping experience.

Not working

Instead of having a barcode like the old cards, they have a QR code, which you are supposed to be able to scan at the tills. Unfortunately, the key fobs aren't scanning at some of the self-service checkouts.

Maureen Pryor was one of those who took to the Tesco Facebook page to complain, pointing out she, "never had any problems with my old one but told by assistant that new ones won't scan". Christo Sofianos reported the same issue on Twitter. He said he had to "go to tills to get them to use barcode reader". Carlo Perrelli-Lorak added: "So Tesco sent me a new Clubcard, but the checkouts in store don't accept them. Not the best upgrade! *throws Clubcard in bin".

Tesco says it is aware of the issue, and working to solve it. Customer services told Maureen: "We're currently in the process of updating all our tills to resolve this issue as soon as possible."

However, that's not going down well with the customers who have missed out on collecting their points as a result. One reported on Twitter that he had missed out on a month's worth of points.

Other users assumed that because the roll-out of the new cards introduced contactless technology, the key fobs would too. However, the key fobs don't have any contactless functionality, so those who have tried to use them as contactless cards, assumed they were broken, and missed out on the points.

Meanwhile, some shoppers are just unconvinced that the new cards add anything to their experience, because the old cards didn't require a PIN, and could be easily scanned. Many questioned Tesco's motives, including the Twitter user who asked: "What's with the new contactless Clubcard? Are you going to track us as we move round the stores? What else are you doing with it?"

What can you do?

Whether you are having issues with the new Clubcards or not, there's a handy solution that makes paying at Tesco and collecting Clubcard points easier: the PayQuiq app.

It lets you store your payment card and your Clubcard on the app. When you come to pay, you just open the app and it generates a code for you to pay with. The same code automatically collects your points at the same time, so you don't have to worry about cards or key fobs at all. The app also stores past transactions, so you can keep an eye on what you are spending - which is enormously helpful when you are budgeting.

At the moment you can get 100 extra points each week that you pay with the app - for the first five weeks. It means you can get 500 extra points, which is worth £5 in store - or up to £20 with Clubcard partners - which isn't a bad bonus for using something that's designed to make your life easier and costs you nothing.