Telstra rebukes copying claims

Last month Telstra launched its THANKS loyalty program with rewards offered to recognise the faithfulness of long-standing customers.

Movie-themed rewards are on offer, including free tickets, access to red carpet premieres and private screenings.

But the telco has denied that it is copying rival Optus, telling Smart House that the THANKS system does not represent Optus' Movie Rewards scheme.

A spokesperson for the country's biggest phone company told the publication that Telstra is following the lead of a program established by British telco O2.

The spokesperson said: "Our program has been developed over many months in response to customer feedback and in doing so; we have looked closely at the success of the O2 loyalty program in the UK."

Rewards systems are designed to provide incentives to customers for staying with the same network, thus reducing their turnover.

Another way in which the THANKS program works well, the spokesperson added, is that ticket holders are able to redeem their offer at nearly 700 cinemas across the country - with no time limit or expiry date - another unique feature.

Telstra's chief of marketing said, upon the launch of the THANKS scheme, that the program was built on a successful partnership with fly buys which began last year.

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Posted by Eve Gillespie