ACCC releases customer loyalty scheme final report

    Australian Competition & Consumer Commission released (03-Dec-2019) its final report into customer loyalty schemes, highlighting consumer and competition issues associated with loyalty schemes with an active membership base of more than one million. The ACCC raised the following key concerns with certain practices:

    • Difficult to understand terms and conditions, in a way which may be unfair to consumers;
    • Collecting, using and disclosing consumer data in ways which do not align with customer preferences. This includes broad consents from consumers and vague disclosures, limited insight into what data is shared and providing limited ability for customers to opt out of targeted advertisement delivered by third parties of the loyalty schemes;
    • Virgin Australia, Flybuys, Woolworths and Qantas have highlighted changes these loyalty schemes have made, or are seeking to make, some directly in response to matters raised in the draft report by the ACCC. However the ACCC is “concerned about a range of practices in the industry” and called upon operators to review their practices.