Thu, 14 Feb, 2019Shannen Findlay

Outrage over McDonald’s major change to loyalty card

Outrage over McDonald’s major change to loyalty card

Australia’s leading fast food chain has come under fire for “technology discrimination" after ditching its paper loyalty coffee cards.

Over the last few years, McDonald’s had been gradually phasing out paper coffee cards but the cut was made permanent throughout Australia for the past six weeks. Now, if a customer wants to cash in and save money, they must first download the MyMacca’s app to access the “buy five, get one free” deal.

Customers are unhappy with the change, some going as far as reporting glitches resulting in “stamps” lost. Others are enraged by how unfairly they believe it impacts older customers.

McDonald’s is Australia’s largest fast-food chain and most popular go-to spot for coffee with over 800 locations nationwide. The restaurant sells around a quarter of a million cups of coffee a day.

View this post on Instagram

The perfect morning starts with a view, and the fresh aroma of a barista made coffee from McCafé.

A post shared by McDonald's Australia (@mcdonaldsau) on Aug 5, 2015 at 2:30pm PDT

Customers have even flocked to social media to complain about the change.

“My mum… nearly 80… does not have a smart phone, does not use the app and uses your coffee cards constantly… So now she misses out?” Dearne Carroll wrote on the McDonald’s Facebook page.

"I have multiple cards in multiple places all with multiple stamps on them. If they will not be honoured, I am not going to be impressed.”

One disgruntled customer told his phone is unable to run the latest app as he carries an 8-year-old HTC Desire phone.

“That cuts me out from the loyalty system immediately,” he explained.

“Then I thought of the many people that just use a flip phone — they’ll be left out too. And also, the many older folk that don’t bother with mobile phones. This is ‘technology discrimination’.”

Cornel Brophy also expressed his dissatisfaction with the new system.

“My usual 3 min drive thru experience turned into 10 to download the stupid app then at the window the code wasn’t processing, cars banking up behind me peeved I’m taking so long.

“What a stupid decision McDonalds have made!” he wrote.

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We hope you took some time to enjoy a McCafé moment today #InternationalCoffeeDay

A post shared by McDonald's Australia (@mcdonaldsau) on Sep 30, 2015 at 11:14pm PDT

A spokeswoman for the fast food restaurant told McDonald’s had received “great feedback from customers on the app and more people than ever before are taking advantage of our coffee loyalty program”.

“We’re proud to always offer our customers great value regardless of whether they are dining in our restaurants, using our MyMacca’s app, or ordering McDelivery through UberEats,” she said.

“Customers with a seniors card continue to be able to take advantage of offers which entitle them to a free coffee, juice or soft drink with a purchase in our participating restaurants.”

Are you happy about McDonald's changing its paper loyalty cards to a digital app you need to access on a mobile phone? Let us know in the comments below.