When the Save East Coast Rewards website launched in January it had the aim of showing East Coast Rewards members how much worse off they'd be if the switch to Nectar goes ahead. The idea was to bring supporters of the current East Coast Rewards scheme together with a common goal of showing the new franchise that there was support for the existing scheme.

The amount of feedback after the first week of the announcement was overwhelmingly negative: What do their customers say?. As a result of this feedback they added the following paragraph to their page explaining the new franchise:

We understand that some of the most loyal customers today are engaged in the current Reward scheme and therefore have concerns about the move from that scheme to Nectar. We carried out research to understand what the typical customer wanted before taking the decision to introduce Nectar, with the ability to earn and redeem across a wide range of lifestyle partners being seen as a particular benefit, and we are now fully committed to the programme.

Out of over 500 Twitter followers and people on other rail forums we have not found a single person who has been surveyed as part of their research. This just shows that East Coast customers did not play any part in the research. The campaign has now taken a slightly different direction - explain how your research was relevant to the needs of East Coast passengers or suspend the current decision to close East Coast Rewards until there's been a chance to run a survey among existing members

Why is Nectar so unpopular?

More information here: East Coast Rewards v Nectar

The earning rates on East Coast Rewards are significantly better . Spend £50 on rail travel and have enough points for access to the first class lounge (or 50p value in Nectar), spend a total of £255 for a free standard class ticket (or £2.55 on Nectar), spending £1000 will only be worth £10 on Nectar but with East Coast Rewards will be worth 4 standard class tickets with some points left over. First class rewards are also available if you spend £460 on standard class tickets.

Since the launch of the @askVirginEC Twitter account most of the comments to this account have been negative towards the introduction of Nectar and many are joining our campaign for a proper survey to be made before East Coast Rewards is scrapped.

But isn't this just a few rich people complaining about free tickets?

Currently those who spend thousands on annual season tickets can receive in return a number of free tickets for travel which they can use to take their family away for a weekend. Under the new scheme those who have to buy season tickets will earn nothing. Their most frequent customers (those that travel every weekday) are the ones worst affected. Also any regular traveller, regardless of income, including students and leisure travellers can take advantage of the scheme, it's available on all rail travel book through their site and rewards can quickly add up. Basically anyone who travels by train can benefit.

We asked people to retweet our banner if they agreed:

Doing a search for all tweets that contain the text "@askVirginEC" will show the sort of feedback they've been receiving. Many people frustrated by the lack of replies.

Here's a selection of Tweets from 11 Feb: