Nectar debut marred by computer failures

Nectar debut marred by computer failures

The Nectar loyalty scheme, the ambitious UK rewards programme backed by Barclaycard, BP, Debenhams, and Sainsbury, has been hit by severe technical problems just days after launching with a £40 million advertising campaign.

Nectar is blaming heavy traffic and overburdened computer systems for the problems which have prevented subscribers from accessing the company's Web site. Visitors to the site are being asked to complete a paper-based registration form and post it on to Nectar.

The Financial Times is also reporting a lapse in security which allowed one customer to view another person's account details when registering. Nectar has described the bungle as an "isolated incident".

The breakdown in service so soon after launch is a major setback to Nectar - which has set itself ambitious targets of 50% UK household penetration within its first year - and a huge embarrassment to Loyalty Management UK, the Warburg Pincus funded start-up which is operating the scheme.

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