CINCINNATI — A change in the way Kroger distributes its much coveted Fuel Points is causing some confusion at the pump, the grocery chain says.
And it's a big deal, because saving money on gasoline is more important than ever these days with pump prices hovering right around $4 a gallon.
But over the past week, Kroger has changed the way fuel points appear on the pump screen, and it is causing some customers to believe that some of their coveted points have vanished.
Tracy Ormond told us on Facebook "I saw a bizarre screen. By the time I figured it out, it blinked off and I was only offered 10 cents off."
Lisa Hicks told us "I only got 3 cents off and I was supposed to get 25 cents off."
The good news: you have not lost your points, but it can look that way.
What Kroger changed that is confusing customers
Kroger spokeswoman Jenifer Moore tells WCPO 9 that the grocer has changed the greeting customers get at the pump when they scan their Kroger Plus card, or enter their phone number.
Instead of simply telling you that "you qualify for a 30 cent discount" ( or 50 cents, or up to $1 off), the pump screen now gives you 3 options.
You can choose:
1. Last month's remaining points
2. This month's points
3. No points, which means you simply default to a 3 cent discount.
Moore says the change was designed to prevent customers from losing the previous months points, which frequently would happen when you have more points this month than last month.
Why customers are confused and frustrated
It's a great idea, except Moore says the system may be timing out too quickly for some drivers.
"If you wait too long to decide what points to use," she explained, "it defaults to the no-points 3-cent discount. As a result, some customers believe they have lost the 400 or 500 points they had been planning to use.
Moore says no one has lost any points, and says this new system ensures you won't lose your remaining points from the previous month.
But she says the grocer's tech team is working on extending the time customers get to make their choice, so that you have 30 seconds or more to decide which points to use.
She is confident once customers get the knack of it, they will love the new change for what it offers.
But until now it is leaving some users stumped and frustrated.
You can call Kroger customer service if you have questions at 1-800-KROGERS, OR 1-800-576-4377.
As always, don't waste your money.
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