Why the Lloyds Avios credit card ‘refer a friend’ service is a joke

Four weeks ago I wrote about the new refer-a-friend offer that Lloyds was offering on the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card.

This was a decent deal.  You could refer someone for the card and they would receive 4,500 Avios points for signing up.  Given that there is usually no bonus on this card, it was a good incentive.

You, as the person making the referral, would also receive 4,500 Avios.

It was all very nice.  Apart from the fact that the Avios website was well and truly broken.

Avios refer a friend

I tried to make a number of referrals over a number of days.  Only once did I ever receive the email.  Feedback from other Head for Points readers confirmed it.

I don’t know how difficult it is to write a piece of software that sends an email to an address you type into a box but I am guessing it does not require a PhD …..

And then, last Thursday afternoon, I received a massive flow of emails into my inbox.  Someone had unblocked the pipe and all of the emails I had triggered over the previous three weeks suddenly appeared.

I thought it was fixed.  (Not that this helped much, since the people who were interested had already got fed up with waiting.)

On Friday, I was asked for another referral.  I triggered an email but nothing arrived.  Nothing on Saturday either.  Or Sunday.  Finally, at 5pm on Monday, it arrived.  Just three days after being requested.

Until Lloyds / AGL can hire a 12-year old who is capable of writing a bit of computer code to automatically send an email, I would give the refer-a-friend scheme a miss.  You are just opening yourself up to hours of grief.

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  1. I had the forerunners for these cards when they ran the double points promo a few years back.

    I have never dealt with such a bunch of incompetent fools, and I vowed never to touch lloyds again. And I never have, and never will.

    They were (and from the sound of other posts still are) idiots who can’t do their jobs.

  2. I’ve got one of these cards. I actually quite like dealing with Lloyds. They are, as others have said, hopelessly incompetent but that seems to be borne out of their desire to manually process as much as possible. It’s really quite retro. Avios transferred in month 1 but not since? That’s because someone hasn’t pressed the button. Your account has been cancelled? That’s because the guy who dealt with your cancellation for a lost/stolen card has accidentally deleted the account. No avios accruing after that date? That’s because the guy who linked your new card to your avios account decided to create a new avios account for you instead and put your points in there. No avios in your account 2 weeks after we promised to sort this out immediately? That’s because it takes 30 days to manually transfer points, actually – we got that wrong.

    If this was Amex, I’d be an MR millionaire by now with the free MR points they dish out for errors like this. Still, you do get your points eventually, and it’s good to see that even in 2014, there are still banks out there that use pencils and paper rather than computers to do stuff.

  3. Nick, (3.55pm), as you state:

    ‘Lloyds………….are hopelessly incompetent………..’,

    Politely posted, Worz.

    • It’s all good fun. Human error is understandable, and I find it genuinely quite charming (and oddly reassuring) that it seems that it’s people who are doing things that would be automated at other banks. Plus, I quite like the call centre staff.

      I guess if I needed to rely on Lloyds to actually transfer some points to the correct avios account by the correct date I’d find it frustrating, but I’m in no rush for the avios and I do get them all in the end. It’s still a good product, and genuinely innovative – no other card gives me zero commission AND avios for spending abroad, and the fee is quite modest.

      • Thanks Nick-the positives understood.

      • It is interesting that easily automated processes are mandraulic. I applied today and the approval, which you might have thought would need person input, was completely automated (quite well).

  4. Thankfully I’ve had a smooth ride with Lloyds, though didn’t use the referral system (it didn’t exist at the time).

    I was wary when the form didn’t ask for my Avios membership number on sign-up, but a quick tweet (which was responded to promptly) advised me to contact them when I got the card through.

    I noticed that I didn’t have the green tick in my Avios account next to Lloyds, so I gave them a call, spoke to the rewards team at Lloyds who liased with Avios to sort it out, and within an hour I had the big green tick. Only had one statement so far, but the points went across on the statement date (or the day after… I forget) with the double points etc. working perfectly.

    I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to checking things are working properly, and when I get a feeling they aren’t I start digging. For those that wouldn’t think to do this I can see why they’d run into problems. It was clear that a new Avios account had been opened by Lloyds on my behalf, as my Avios account shows a merge on the date I called to sort it out. I feel like they could avoid a lot of that hassle by simply asking for your existing Avios number when you sign up.

    I haven’t been lucky enough to refer anyone yet (though I’m willing to do so still), but I’d certainly recommend the card on a personal level – every time I’ve spoken to them I’ve had an excellent experience.

  5. I’ve now been with them since August and still not see any Avios points posted to my account despite the fact I’ve got more than 7000 listed on my monthly statement as earned and I’ve spoken on the phone three times with staff who have confirmed they are in possession of my Avios account number.

    • Jono,

      They told me on Monday they have to manual add the points from your statement, but they won’t do it until you call them asking for it to be done.


  6. Worzel says:
    2 December 2014 at 6:45 am
    Lloyds=Shambles=Best avoided!

  7. After the initial problems with receiving the invitations the applications and issue of the cards was quite efficient. I have had emails saying that the Avios are on their way.