Waitrose shoppers are up in arms after the supermarket announced it will no longer be offering customers free tea and coffee.
Currently, myWaitrose card holders can enjoy a complimentary hot drink without having to buy anything, which many choose to leisurely sip as they wander past the quail eggs and truffle oil. The scheme has been hugely popular for years.
But, heartbreakingly, this is all changing from 3rd April. In an email to card holders, the store said customers would now have to make a purchase before collecting their coffee – so they won’t be able to drink it before reaching the checkout.
“Our myWaitrose free tea and coffee offer is one of the ways we thank our customers for shopping with us - and we want all our customers to be able to enjoy a free hot drink when they shop with us in our branches,” the company said.
“From 3 April, we'll simply be asking myWaitrose members to make a purchase before collecting their cup at the checkout,” it added, glossing over the fact that this clearly means the drinks are no longer free.
Some customers welcomed the news, suggesting that many people frequently take advantage of the offer without ever buying anything in store. There’s obviously some truth in this and it’s true that long queues for the coffee machines can clog up stores.
However, there are many honest customers who will now miss out. “I can understand that many people take advantage of the Waitrose card by regularly having coffee or tea without making any purchase,” Waitrose customer Amanda Cavanagh, from Hampshire, told The Independent. “But I spend a not insubstantial sum each and every week and now I am required to take extra time to buy something in advance of my main shop. I enjoy glugging my coffee as I peruse the shelves.”
Others made light of the devastating news (possibly as a coping mechanism).
It’s not just middle class people who will be affected, either – many cash-strapped students and other young people will also be annoyed by the change. The millennial stereotype may suggest they all spend a fiver each day on trendy coffee, but that’s not entirely accurate.
However, all is not lost as there are ways to enjoy a coffee for minimal cost. Crafty customers have already been working out ways to get their hot drink for just a few pennies...
A single mushroom also costs 1p, apparently, while a single small banana is around 8p. We're taking notes.