Telstra now offering reward points
TELSTRA has launched a new rewards system giving customers the ability to build up points to use towards getting discounts on new products and technology such as smart speakers or a new phone.
In what Telstra is calling an Australian "telco first" it basically wants to offer its own version of frequent flyer points for customers who build up their balance simply by paying their various Telstra bills.
All customers are automatically eligible to become a member of the rewards program dubbed Telstra Plus, but the greater your monthly spend, the more benefits you get access to.
From today, the telco's 8 million customers can sign up and will start earning points from May 14. Members earn 10 points for every $1 they spend on their monthly account and if you sign up before June 30, Telstra will give you an extra 1000 points and more for its longest standing customers.
Telstra Plus membership comes in three tiers: All members, Silver members and Gold members. When you sign up, you will be allocated a tier based on your average spend in the last 12 months. If your monthly spend is more than $125 you'll be Silver, more than $250 a month and you'll be Gold.
Interestingly, Silver and Gold members will get a better class of customer service.
All members will have access to discounted movie tickets, pre-sale tickets and "front of line access" for a variety of sport and entertainment experiences.
Silver and Gold members will have access to additional entertainment bonuses not yet announced but will also have a better class of tech support. Silver members will receive a one-off Telstra Platinum tech support call online or over the phone per year while Gold members will get priority call handling and around-the-clock tech support online or over the phone through Telstra Platinum.
You can also earn bonus points by doing things like adding more services to your Telstra account or by using the Telstra app.
Speaking to news.com.au, Telstra's head of consumer and small business, Michael Ackland, said it was Telstra's way of thanking its customers for their loyalty.
"This is the next step in our T22 strategy," he said. Announced in June last year, the strategy was part of the company's plan to overhaul the business to improve the customer experience, simplify its structure and cut costs. A big part of that is "to remove customer pain points, give customers incentives to have more services with Telstra and provide an effortless digital experience," Mr Ackland said.
WHAT CAN I BUY WITH MY POINTS?
In the second half of the year, the telco will open its Telstra Plus rewards online store where members will be able to cash in their points for discounts on new gadgets and accessories.
Telstra hasn't outlined the range of products that will be available yet but you'll be able to get discounts on new premium smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 and products like Telstra TV 3, a Telstra smart Wi-Fi Booster, Telstra's IoT tracking devices, a Google Home Mini smart speaker and more.
"If you walked into our discovery store and had a look around, that would be very close to what we expect in our redemption store," Mr Ackland told news.com.au.
"Our most popular devices and accessories from leading tech partners will be available."
From the sounds of it, the discounts will be worthwhile. Especially given that you accrue them automatically by simply paying your bill.
According to the telco, a household spending $80 a month - across mobile and/or home broadband - would earn enough points after 18 months to fully redeem a smart speaker.
Meanwhile, a household spending $255 per month that also earned bonus points by adding a new service would earn enough points after two years to receive a 25 per cent discount off a Samsung Galaxy S10 (which retail for $1349) or a 40 per cent discount on a Samsung S8 (which has a recommended retail price of $999 but can be found cheaper).
Members will also have access to benefits such as discount sport and movie tickets, pre-sale tickets, complimentary extras and VIP services, Telstra says.
The program is designed to incentivise customers to spend more with Telstra and move their family's mobile and home internet accounts over to the provider to maximise the points benefit.
Launching the program this morning Telstra CEO Andy Penn touted the value proposition Telstra is trying to offer customers.
"In addition to the better value we provide our customers through our larger network coverage and data speeds, we're upping the ante through rewarding our customers for their loyalty over time," he said.
"Many of our customers have been with us since before the days of internet and mobile phones and, as we start to unlock the latest generation of technology through 5G, Telstra Plus is our way of saying thank you for being with us today as we move through an exciting time."
Customers can sign up by visiting www.telstra.com/plus or sign into their My Account or Telstra 24/7 app and follow the instructions.