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Castle Rock's managing director Colin Wilde provides an update on the loyalty scheme currently in place.

Dear Customer,

We were intending on using the pages of our forthcoming Castle Rock Quarter publication (April) to let you know of important changes to our loyalty card scheme, however we are aware of various rumours, discussions and misunderstanding which has led to a certain amount of conjecture about the changes we will be making. We have therefore decided to make an earlier statement to provide clarification to you.

The Castle Rock loyalty scheme has been in operation for over ten years and it has grown into a much loved and popular scheme. The fact is that it has become ‘too popular’ and has become a victim of its own success. The admin systems we have in place just can’t cope with the physical volume of cards that need to processed and at busy times this has also adversely affected customer queue times to the detriment of overall service levels.

We also believe that many people and especially new customers didn’t recognise the level of discount the scheme ultimately provided and this discount was not included in their ‘how much does a pint cost?’ calculation. This disadvantaged us when comparing our pubs with those of our competitors. In addition to this we have unfortunately uncovered a small element of fraud which has been very concerning to us and we would have had to respond to these circumstances in any case.

With these factors in mind we have decided that the Castle Rock Loyalty card will be withdrawn in its current form. Stamps will cease to be issued from 1st May 2015 and redemptions will need to be made before 31st May 2015. This gives you plenty of time to begin redeeming your cards.

Now the good news!

Clearly the scheme became popular for a reason and that reason is that it delivers great value to our customers; we are not losing sight of that and will always strive to continue to deliver this value. So, from 1st May 2015 we will be making some big price cuts across a wide range of drinks. This will enable more of our customers to benefit from great value and at the point of purchase. We will apply a price-fix guarantee until 2016 on these price reductions. This has already been trialled in a couple of our pubs with fantastic customer feedback.

My pledge to you

  • Each of our pubs will see significant price cuts across a wide range of products and where stocked our popular session bitter, Sheriff’s Tipple, will be available at a very attractive price.
  • Our calculations show that the composite discounts we will be introducing will amount to more than the current cost of our loyalty card giveaways so our customers will be better off and we commit to no price increases on any products for the remainder of the year.
  • We will provide some great deals on bottle cases and merchandise for those who may be sitting on a fair number of cards, especially for those who may not want to redeem and consume their accrued value all at once!
  • We will upgrade our Castle Rock Club scheme (due for an Autumn re-launch) and this will give additional benefits to members and include vouchers to save an extra £20 per year off purchases in our pubs. We will also continue to redeem the Wetherspoon vouchers issued to CAMRA members which will provide a further £20 per year benefit.
  • We will retain our existing loyalty scheme for specific pub/brewery promotions from time to time and we will be investigating the technology available to re-introduce a new and efficient loyalty scheme as part of the Castle Rock Club and this will consist of a further element of reward too.

I hope I have done enough to put your minds at rest on this issue and that in the long run these changes will lead to further improved customer satisfaction.

Thank you for your support, we appreciate it, and we know we need to work hard to deserve it.

Yours faithfully,

Colin Wilde

Managing Director