PC Optimum member’s account unexpectedly frozen, but he can still earn points

A PC Optimum member says he’s perplexed as to why his points were unexpectedly frozen.

“There was just suddenly a lockout and that was it,” Justin Capper told Consumer Matters.

The Vancouver resident and father of three says he’s been collecting reward points with the loyalty program since 2018.

Since then, Capper says he’s collected over six million points, which equates to over $6,000.

“If you think about how far that money goes over the course of six years, it’s pretty easy to use that amount,” said Capper.

Back in February, Capper said he received an unexpected message from PC Optimum stating in part: “After reviewing the customer’s account, it has been determined that the account does not comply with the PC Optimum terms and conditions. As a result, we have suspended the customer’s participation in the Program.”

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However, Capper says no representative from Loblaw, the company which operates the loyalty program, can provide him with further details.

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“I’d like some transparency – at least someone to explain specifically what issues are going on with my account,” Capper said.

Perhaps more frustrating, Capper says he’s been told by PC Optimum representatives he can still earn points, but not redeem them.

“It seems like it’s one-sided,” he said.

“They are happy to take our money to shop, but they don’t want to reciprocate through the program that they advertise.”

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Patrick Sojka, the founder of Rewards Canada which specializes in loyalty reward programs, says it’s not uncommon for reward accounts to freeze. He says it’s usually due to security concerns and preserving the safety of the account holder.

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However, Sojka says in this case it’s unusual Capper can earn, but not use his points.

“That’s just unheard of,” Sojka added.

“That irks me and PC Optimum should be straight up and forward and say this is the terms and conditions you broke.

“I think programs in general, not just PC Optimum, should have to let the consumer know why did you close my account.”

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Consumer Matters reached out to Loblaw about Capper’s case asking for details as to why the company suspended his account and why he can collect points but cannot redeem them.

In a statement, Loblaw said:

“The customer violated numerous PC Optimum terms and conditions and their account was suspended. We explained this to the customer many times. We’re always happy to talk with members about any concerns they may have, but we take issues like this seriously.”

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However, Capper says he has received no further details regarding the suspension of his account.

His last email from PC Optimum advised him it’s investigating the issue internally and will get back to him with more information.

Capper says there’s been no further movement. He says his loyalty to the grocery giant has reached a breaking point.

“After this, on my end, I may not be a very big supporter of Loblaws,” he said.

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