Waitrose has announced it will no longer give free coffees to holders of its loyalty card if they don't buy anything else during their visit.
The supermarket says it wants to stop people who haven't paid for anything taking up all the tables in its cafes.
Customers sitting in the Waitrose cafe will be required to buy something from it before they can claim their free hot drink.
The chain says the policy change isn't about cutting costs but a reminder to holders of the myWaitrose card of the “etiquette” around in its offer.
Not everyone was happy.
1) Some people who felt unable to pay for a coffee accused Waitrose of "penny pinching".
is it just me or does it seems a really bad move from @waitrose to get rid of free tea and coffee? Seems a bit like penny pinching...— The Leeds Foodie (@theleedsfoodie) January 29, 2015
2) It's fair to say that loyalty to Waitrose is not a condition of holding a Waitrose loyalty card.
i have to buy food to get free coffee with my loyalty card from waitrose, and i dont even shop at waitrose because it's shit— Teodora Kosanovic (@teodora_k) January 29, 2015
3) For many, the change was a social catastrophe affecting their entire friendship network.
Changes to free tea/coffee at Waitrose - can Hitchin cope? Seem to see everyone I know in that café :)— Helen Monk (@fullylivingme) January 29, 2015
4) Others felt the move was simply the latest sordid episode in a downward slide for the supermarket chain.
First the free biscotti with our free Waitrose coffees went, now this... No such thing as a free coffee http://t.co/bqzIwJQVWH— Diamonds&Daisychains (@DiamondDaisycha) January 29, 2015
5) Inevitably, customers tried to bargain with the supermarket.
6) Special pleading was rife.
@waitrose what if I have allergies to all bakery/fruit products available to buy in your cafe, can I sit down with a cup of free tea then?— Sophie Meechan (@SophieMeechan1) January 28, 2015
7) When negotiation failed, some users tried to explain that the move would have unintended consequences.
@waitrose Taking away free tea/coffee privileges in yr cafes means yet more one-handed trolley pushers wandering round store. Not helpful— Sam Davies (@Sam_in_Cam) January 28, 2015
8) The caps-lock key was very much out in force.
WAITROSE ARE SCRAPPING FREE COFFEE THIS IS NOT A DRILL MY LIFE IS NOW OVER— Wade Dyer (@wadedyer) January 29, 2015
9) For a lot of people affected, this would be a landmark moment.
Waitrose have scrapped their free tea/coffee...this is life changing.— Ali (@AliceDunford_) January 29, 2015
10) For some, the policy change cut short a dream.
11) The overwhelming emotion was definitely sadness.
No more free waitrose coffee :(— Oliver Soratatt (@olliejcs) January 29, 2015
12) It became pretty clear that many people didn't become loyalty card customers for the points scheme...
Waitrose stopping their free coffee with loyalty cards, safe to say that cards going in the bin— Alex Daws (@AlexDaws) January 29, 2015
13) One or two were worried that the supermarket might have been monitoring their usage of the perk.
I hope the Waitrose email I received re. coffee etiquette wasn't directed at me specifically?! Although, I do follow the rules! #freecoffee— Steven Bell (@lexsteven) January 29, 2015
14) Rebellion, it seems, was very much in the air.
@waitrose will only 'ask' customers to purchase a treat along with their free coffee. Doesn't mean we have to agree!— Forest Saint (@ForestSaint) January 28, 2015
15) Some people selflessly thought of the harm that would come to others from the decision.
"Waitrose scraps free tea/coffee." Well, that's going to piss a lot of older people off. You know, like they need more things to bug them— Hayley Evans (@HalesE) January 30, 2015
16) All in all, the decision added to an already tragic week.
idk. waitrose getting rid of free coffee, the nat hist museum getting rid of that dinosaur, it's too much upheaval for a single week.— Cat Smith (@cat_sierra) January 29, 2015