Fury as Pret A Manger cracks down on Club Pret 'free coffee loophole’ with new ‘anti-fraud’ measure

13 March 2024, 12:34 | Updated: 13 March 2024, 12:46

Pret A Manger has launched a new 'anti-fraud' measure.
Pret A Manger has launched a new 'anti-fraud' measure. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Pret A Manger has introduced new measures in an apparent effort to crack down on ‘Club Pret’ members sharing the benefit with friends and family.

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Customers who are subscribed to the ‘Club Pret’ membership, which entitles them to five drinks a day, will now have to log in through its app every time to use it, the coffee franchise has said.

The new measure appears to be an attempt to clamp down on subscribers who share the membership with friends, which is banned under the terms and conditions.

A Pret spokesman said: “We’re updating how Club Pret subscribers access their QR codes as we continue to invest in our digital offer for customers. Live QR codes will be reissued to all subscribers.”

Pret said the change was an “anti-fraud feature” in a tweet to users earlier this month.

But the move has been met with fury, as members have complained it would make the subscription less convenient with many threatening to end their membership.

As it stands, members can download their ‘Club Pret’ QR code to services such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

However, members can take a screenshot or photo of the QR code so they can share it with friends.

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The subscription costs £30 a month.
The subscription costs £30 a month. Picture: Alamy

The new measure, which will come into effect on March 18, will mean users can no longer add subscriptions to Apple Pay or Google Wallet.

Users were sent an email by the franchise announcing the change on Wednesday but dozens of users have since complained saying the login feature on the app, which will be required when it comes into force, isn't working.

One wrote: "Considering I can’t even log into your God awful app @Pret, you’ve probably lost a subscriber."

Another said: "As much as I love my subscription, having to rely on an App to keep me logged in and load to show a barcode instead of hugely convenient Apple Wallet integration is a HUGE step backwards.

"It's making me re-consider my subscription in the first place."

‘Club Pret’ entitles users to five barista-made drinks a day and a 20% discount off the entire food menu for £30 a month.

It originally cost £20 a month, but rose to £25 and then £30 last year due to a surge in costs, such as wages and ingredients.

The coffee franchise was launched in a bid to coax customers back into stores after the first Covid lockdown.

Pano Christou, Pret’s chief, told The Telegraph at the time: “We had no customers, no business. [It] was almost like us as a startup saying how can we get people to come through the doors? How can we really drive the interest in Pret back in?”

The feature is now used by customers 1.25 million times a week.