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First Nectar, now Morrisons: TONY HETHERINGTON investigates more missing points

Tony Hetherington is Financial Mail on Sunday’s ace investigator, fighting readers corners, revealing the truth that lies behind closed doors and winning victories for those who have been left out-of-pocket. Find out how to contact him below.

D.R. writes: I had saved my More points from shopping at Morrisons, intending to use them for my Christmas shopping, rather than spending the £5 vouchers as they were earned. However, on December 13 and 17 last year, no vouchers were issued when I did my shopping, and I found all my saved vouchers had been cashed. 

On December 22, Morrisons told me that my More card had been reported lost, but refused to say who had reported this, and I found that more vouchers had been issued than I had ever applied for. I wrote to Morrisons’ chief executive but received no reply, and an email from the company implies that I used the vouchers myself.

More hassle: Morrisons is now scrapping its current points system

Tony Hetherington replies: Since I recently reported very similar problems that affected holders of Sainsbury’s Nectar cards, it was no surprise to hear that Morrisons is not immune to the same mystery of vanishing points and just as reluctant to provide customers with a convincing explanation.

You gave me screen shots showing that someone had used 50,000 More points in your name.

However, you are clear that you only had 26,000 points, so how was it possible for someone not just to impersonate you but to spend more points than existed? And was this connected to the mysterious report that you had lost your More card, when in fact you still had it?

I put all this to Morrisons, and less than 24 hours later the supermarket company called you to apologise, replace all your missing points, and add a further £15 to your account by way of saying sorry. But there was no explanation.

When I pressed it for answers, Morrisons told me it could not explain why your More vouchers had failed to be printed at the checkout.

It appears the vouchers were printed later, though Morrisons could not say who collected them from the printer and spent them. Nor could anyone explain why you were told your card was reported lost.

To cap it all, while I was pressing Morrisons to sort out December’s problems, you found that you had suddenly been credited with 3,500 More points that you had not earned – only to see them snatched back from your account the following day.

Stolen points: Similar problems have affected holders of Sainsbury's Nectar cards

Stolen points: Similar problems have affected holders of Sainsbury’s Nectar cards

Were these someone else’s points, I wonder, or was your account picked out of the blue for an accidental top-up? Either way, you were honest enough to say that the points were not yours. 

All Morrisons would tell me was that there was ‘a technical error’ last month. Getting explanations was like drawing teeth, but Morrisons did finally say that when your vouchers did not print out last December, its own staff treated your card as lost, though nobody had reported it.

They activated a new card in your name, but absurdly both accounts recorded your spending, and this is why it looked as though twice as many points had been spent as existed.

This left just one question: how could anyone spend your More vouchers when they did not have your More card?

 Vouchers show the cardholder’s name, and the matching card has to be shown at the checkout.

Morrisons explained: ‘Customers can spend the vouchers on the self service [checkout] machines.’

If true, this would be one heck of a loophole in the system. But it is not true. I asked Morrisons to double check, and this time I was told that even the in-store self service machines demand the More card.

Morrisons added: ‘We are sorry that on this occasion no card was requested and so the vouchers were spent.’ By whom, remains a mystery.

It took more than a month to sort all this out, when of course it should have been resolved by Morrisons four or five months ago.

It is no surprise then, that Morrisons is now scrapping its current More card points system in favour of special offers.

I wonder whether Sainsbury’s will get the point.

If you believe you are the victim of financial wrongdoing, write to Tony Hetherington at Financial Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TS or email tony.hetherington@mailonsunday.co.uk. 

Because of the high volume of enquiries, personal replies cannot be given. Please send only copies of original documents, which we regret cannot be returned. 

I may go bankrupt if I can’t cash BA voucher 

S.F. writes: A family holiday to New York, booked with BA, was cancelled due to the pandemic. I accepted a BA voucher and cannot recall the option of a cash refund. Since then, I have lost my job, also due to the pandemic, and as I have a small Forces pension I do not qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance. 

BA agreed to refund half my money, but I am still jobless, my savings have run out and I’m struggling.

Tony Hetherington replies: The cost of your New York trip was £7,876, and this was the value of the voucher you were given for future travel. You were then refunded £4,788, leaving just over £3,000 represented by your voucher. By the time you contacted me, you were near bankruptcy, with the BA voucher as your only asset.

BA told me: ‘We have been in ongoing conversations with the customer to discuss their options for their booking, and had clarified the options previously offered to them.’

When you accepted the voucher BA was offering cash refunds minus the deposit, so the airline has turned back the clock and offered this again. The deposit was £350, which you have agreed to lose, and you now have a refund of £2,738. I do hope this keeps you afloat until things improve.

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