Krispy Kreme Worst Loyalty Program Ever

Krispy Kreme Offices

Krispy Kreme Offices

I have helped to set up 2 loyalty programs, and worked with a bunch of companies which run such programs. I have also worked on many affiliate programs which work along similar lines for their affiliates. I always advise that companies be generous with their loyalty programs, use them to in still good will. I learned this lesson from Sainsburys, which use their Nectar Points system for compensation, for reward and loyalty and use it very effectively.

With Sainsburys, If you make a complaint via Twitter, Email or Phone they almost instantly refund the equivalent points and apologise, so they buy your loyalty as you will want to spend your points and save more points, so you’re likely to continue as a customer.

Krispy Kreme Local

I recently had cause to order a wheelbarrow full of doughnuts, personally I’m a Sainsburys doughnut fan but they generally don’t last long even if picked up fresh, by late the following day they are already heading to stale.

I passed the Krispy Kreme store and heard about them recently being used for weddings and leaving parties etc, so I called in the store and the young woman who worked there were very helpful. She explained they were hand-made in a factory each day not in that particular store (didn’t know that), that they generally last 3 days before starting to turn but some people say they get 5 days. She explained the online ordering process, and about which flavours were most popular (Nutella)… long story short she answered all my questions and I were sold and decided I’d shell out the £1 per doughnut vs 6-10 doughnuts for a quid elsewhere.

Loyalty Program

I discovered that Krispy Kreme operate a Loyalty Program and app called “Friends of Krispy Kreme” aka FOKK, which tells you about each flavour, about the special edition doughnuts, and lets you register your purchases. It also has a dozen “Friends of Krispy Kreme Rewards” or FOKKR, some of the more interesting ones are below, but there are more.

  1. Free Glazed Doughnut upon Joining.
  2. 3rd Visit within a month = Free Doughnut or Hot Drink.
  3. Every 6 Dozen Doughnuts bought, you get 1 Dozen Glazed Free.
  4. Free Collectible Mug on 9th Visit.

Since I had been in the store a week before, and were decided I signed up for FOKKR / Online Purchases and I ordered 4 x Dozen Doughnuts (48 in all) using Click and Collect as I were advised it were the best way to ensure I got the doughnuts I wanted on the day I wanted them as they often sell out for the day.

I thought awesome well on my way to a free dozen doughnuts and a free collectible mug.

Worst Loyalty Scheme EVER

I emailed and tweeted Krispy Kreme asking how I register my online purchase for my Loyalty Rewards and I were told “Sorry this isn’t available, its only for in-store purchases”. This is bizarre, an App which is an online service, isn’t available for online purchases ?

Surely they need to go back to using a paper card and a stamp, if its only for in-store use.

So a company established in 1937, nearly 80 yrs ago with over 1,000 locations across 30 countries with a turn over of a HALF A BILLION DOLLARS, can’t even connect their app to their website, 2 things which in a modern online business world should be absolute basics.

The Small Print

I guess it could be a new app; I don’t know, but in this instance you would expect them to have the facility to manually add your rewards to your account. I went through the app and found a link to Terms and Conditions and hidden in there is a line which says

“The Friends of Krispy Kreme Reward (FOKKR’s) program is open to customers across Krispy Kreme UK retail stores and our sales partners.”

I guess it does imply that only retail purchases count, but the same “small print” also refers to “Reward Card” as a physical card and doesn’t explicitly refer to the app. It even tells you directly above, if you lose your card email them, so certainly not about the App. The T&C have been recycled and not “Search and Replaced” very well at all. I’d say it were reasonable to assume the print were out of date or didn’t apply to the app.

Even as a good will gesture since no where online, in-store or even in the app did it tell me online purchases wouldn’t count. Instead I’m told, sorry we can’t do that.

If ever you needed a lesson on NOT to run a loyalty program, or how to lose a customer, this right here is it it.

Just as a side note I could have gone to Greggs, Sainsburys, Tesco or even a local bakery, and for what it cost me I could have gotten 250+ doughnuts from the main supermarkets (and collected Loyalty Points), 180+ mixed doughnuts (topped, creams, jams, custards, nutella, peanutbutter, glazed, anything I wanted) from my local baker. Instead I got 48 from Krispy Kreme and shown the worst Loyalty Program ever.

How To Do It Properly

I have worked with many companies with Loyalty Programs, I’ve helped 2 start up a program, helped with who knows how many affiliate programs. I have always told clients be GENEROUS with your loyalty programs, put extra points on there, use it for compensation and rewards, add good will into it. While you maybe giving away pennies on the pound, people will be invested in to the program, and keep them coming back to build on it. That’s why its called Loyalty Program.

I were already planning to pick up a dozen doughnuts for one my clients who always brings cupcakes, I were then thinking 1 more order and I get a free dozen. That would be 4 purchases off me, a new customer. I’d then be thinking I’m half way to a free mug, so there you go I would be already invested by this point and I’m more likely to complete the remaining 5 purchases.

Now, I won’t buy there on principle, back to Sainsburys doughnuts for me. 

Krispy Kreme Customer Desk by Jrayalme.

Driving Test Failures and Near Misses

L Plate

L Plate

There is quite a bit of buzz about a guy who recently failed his driving test within a few seconds of starting out. Apparently he left the parking bay at the test centre, and positioned himself on the right hand side of the road. We in the UK drive on the left, so it were an instant fail.

It were more galling due the examiner stating that the following 40 minutes of driving were near enough flawless and a certain pass. I also recently posted about the examiner given whiplash during an emergency stop manoeuvre, but these are the tip of the iceberg.  

While I’ve been learning and recently passed I’ve been hearing about bizarre fails, and near misses, and instances where the examiner weren’t looking in the right place at the right time.

Rapid Driving Test Fails

Some examples of rapid failures, which I have heard about in recent weeks. Some of them are a little woah, some are a bit arrrgh, some are aaaaahhh but hardly surprising, I imagine the pressure added with nerves when you first start is immense for some. I personally weren’t too bothered, John my instructor had prepared me so I could drive with the radio on, while talking, in the rain, in the snow, at night, all but on the wrong side of the road. He were so confident, he didn’t even want to ride along with me on my test, he probably took a nap or something. 

1, A woman pulling out of the driving test centre parking bay, without noticing a car approaching from the left. Failed within seconds and a few meters of actual driving. 

2, A man pulling out of the driving test centre parking bay, and mounting the curb fully. Its not clear if it were under steering or over steering other than he ended up wheel fully off the ground.  

3, Failing to Indicate and Position correctly all upon leaving the test centre car park to join the first open road. Didn’t even get 100m away. 

All of the above were fails within mere seconds, and all 3 candidates would have otherwise passed with a few minors.

I haven’t been told about any walk backs, apparently if you commit dangerous driving offense, you are given a walk back. This is where the examiner doesn’t believe you are safe to be in control of the vehicle, and they are not insured to drive the instructors car. I have heard drink, drugs and unsafe cars are the main reasons. 

Look Over There

Bulldog in a Car

Bulldog in a Car

There are stories about an examiner looking the wrong way at just the right time or wrong time. 

1, Pulling out of short road in to the test centre, getting to the first open road. The examiner looking right, as a car pulls up from the left concealed by parked cars. The candidate pulls out without seeing the car, the examiner decided it were a minor for inappropriate speed rather than a serious observation fault. 

Result: PASSED!

2, Moving off from a parking spot, the learner driver looks left, looks right, checks rear view mirror, checks right blind spot and pulls away while looking forward. Only problem is, as the driving candidate checks his blind spot, the examiner is looking left and fails to see the blind spot check, or final check as pulling away.

The driving instructor happens to be in the back seat, and knows the examiner so it were questioned. The examiner wouldn’t change the fault, but luckily it were marked as a minor as no other road users were inconvenienced or forced to change course.

Result: PASSED!

3, Having pulled up at the side of the road as you do many times in a test and often a lesson. The learner driver, prepares to move away once told too, is observing and waiting for a gap in traffic, then indicates and go to move off. A car coming decides to slow, stop and let you out. 

The examiner wasn’t observing the on-coming traffic. They didn’t realise the car which let the candidate out were the last one before a large gap which the learner intended use. The assumption were the other car seeing the Learner Bar on the roof of the car thought they would be helping so slowed rapidly. The result were the examiner saw the learner driver indicate out, and another road user changed course and were inconvenienced by your actions.

Result: FAILED!

The last story, my driving examiner confirmed that as long as you didn’t indicate out immediately, you at least attempt to wait a minute or two for a gap before resorting to indicating, she wouldn’t fail you for that. She went as far to say “How else would you get out…”.

The Home Run Fails

There is another type of fail, where by the driver has been driving perfectly but then on the way to the test centre, it all falls apart due to a judgement error.

1, On-route back to the test centre, with 7-8 minor faults but otherwise solid driving. They come down the open road there is an on-coming car the right side about 20 car lengths away. The learner comes up 7-8 car lengths from the turning point, as the on-coming car slows and flashes. The learner speeds up, moves up to 4th gear, crosses the central line, continues driving, cuts the corner, takes the corner at too high a speed, too high a gear and didn’t check the mirrors at all. Clocked up enough minor faults to fail, and a serious fault too. 

Result: FAILED, 16 Minors, Double Fail!

2, About 2 minutes away from the test centre, there were an accident which created a minor detour. The detour took the learner down a 2 lane one-way street, and the candidate had to take a right at the end. The learner positioned just to the left of the centre lane, and turned right.

The examiner apparently commented that the candidate hovered at the indicator half way down the road and considered indicating to the right lane. The examiner also told the learner to take the turn into the one way and turn right at the end. On this occasion they went to the left lane and should have been on the right.

Result: FAILED!, 4 Minors.

3, Approaching the test centre car park, the examiner asked the candidate to choose a parking spot. No request for a manoeuvre just go in to a parking spot. The learner driver chose to reverse bay park, and did so without looking around or out of his back windows once, just using his mirrors and reverse camera.

The examiner commented that, had he pulled in forward, he’d have passed. He’d already done Turn In The Road, so his manoeuvre had been completed. 

Result: FAILED!

Final Thoughts

Remember you’re on your driving test from the minute your name is called in the test centre until the minute you’re given the PASSED or FAILED result. This is all your test, so take no  risks, don’t rush, and take your time. Its your test, so own it. 


One Way Sign image by Gratisography, Brake Lights image by InstaWalli, Bulldog in a Car image by Tim Gouw.

Ginormous Strongman Stops Tractor Bare Handed

Arbab Hyat

Arbab Hyat

Abab Khizer Hayat, 25 from Mardan, Pakistan is for want of a better word is a behemoth of a man. Standing at 6ft3in, he clocks in at 68 stones 8 pounds, he were recently named Pakistans Hulk, and won various regional strongman events. 

The internet has literally been torn in half, mostly fat-shaming, and kinda abusive. There is a video of him stopping 2 cars, and holding a tractor back, which attracted some heat. The mechanics of traction explain it, if you’re on a wet road or on loose ground, you lose traction your wheels spin, same deal here. His weight as a land anchor against low traction, means I’m not even going near it.

At nearly 1,000lbs he’s certainly beastly, and now has his eyes set on becoming a professional wrestler in WWE, entering the global world of strongman, and getting even bigger to ease the path. Since I started writing this article, it seems WWE have made clear there is no affiliation on various outlets, so looks like a dead end there… for now. 

What I am going to touch on is, Eddie Hall is similar height, and less than half his weight, Brian Shaw half a foot taller and is rumoured to be half his weight (Brian declares 190’s but many speculate 220s), so I AM going to question how much of his mass is fat rather than muscle when compared to world class strongmen. 

Arbab Hyat Tractor

Arbab Hyat Tractor

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he’s not strong, every time that dude stands up, he’s basically squatting 400kg, every time he steps he’s calf pressing 400kg, his muscles will be lumping his mass around which means he’s going to be strong, there’s no two ways about it.

The problem is, when you start adding iron on top of his own mass, will his body be able to stand another 100-200kg of pressure. 

What I did find interesting about Arbab is his diet is 10,000kcal per day based on over 7lbs of meat, 36 eggs and a gallon milk amongst other things. It reminds me somewhat or Arthur Saxon Diet, which is crazy when you think Saxon weren’t even 1/4 of the size of Arbab. Many other strongmen from Brian Shaw to Eddie Hall all aim at the magic 10,000 calories, while body builders generally aim at 5,000 while bulking and 2,500 while cutting. 

Its reported that Arbab has no health issues, no pain or joint problems, I can assure you this is age at work. As he gets older and his joints and metabolic system wear down, its not going to be pretty. Geoff Capes said in an interview “I’ve ripped my stomach open three times, my abdominals. I’ve ripped my leg open, I’ve got a new hip. I’ve got degenerative problems in my spine because of the pressure on the lifts and everything else.”. There were more injuries listed too, and this were just about normal strongmen, Arbab will also suffer this too. 

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, if indeed it does unfold. 


62 Penalty Points and Still Legally Driving

As a new driver one of the things which bothers me is getting points and losing my license. In the first 2 yrs after a driver passes their test, you are permitted 6 points. This means you basically get 1 strike for many offences before you lose your licence. Unless its using a mobile phone, accidents, drugs, drink, massively over speed limit, all of which are 6 points or more which are instant losses for a new drivers.

There is a list on Driving Ban, about what offences get you what points and fines. The discretionary powers of police officers surprised me, even if the police vehicle camera gets you, the officer can overrule it given sufficient reason. 

In the South East of England alone there are around 10,000 motorists who have more than 12 points on their license, the vast majority have 12-18, but there are a handful who have 30+. This potential means there maybe as many as 70,000 in the whole of the UK, which is a scary statistic. I can’t find FOI requests for the whole UK, and can only find reference to the South East.  

Accidents Happen

More recently on a Friday night when a couple of drunks were messing around and dipping into the road. I spent a little too long watching them to ensure they didn’t come in front of my car or anyone else’s car for that matter. I was also keeping my eye on the road in case I needed to swerve around them, checking for other vehicles, and I wasn’t checking speedo as often as normal. At the time of writing this, I don’t actually know if I got a penalty for that, but it will suck if I do. 

Gatso Speed Camera

Gatso Speed Camera

Its a rubbish situation to be, do I check the speedo more often, while scanning road conditions, my rear, and increase the risk hitting an drunken erratic behaving pedestrian or prioritise I guess situational awareness. In hindsight, as soon as I saw them messing about in the road, I should have slowed way way down and increased my stopping capability. I guess once I’m a more experienced driver I will make better decisions like this. In future this will be my course of action, slow slow slow. Its hard not to “rubber neck” I guess.

This were one situation where C.O.A.S.T. didn’t help me, I was Concentrating on what was happening, Observing other cars, and what the drunks were doing, Awareness of where the cars were and where I could drive to avoid them, making sure I could allow Space for them fooling around and Time to react. What I didn’t do was check my speed often enough, I’m going to modify it to C.O.A.S.T.S. with the final S for Speed. I only noticed I *could* have been speeding because I had hit cruise control button at some point. When I had passed the hazard I checked my speed and it were set 4mph over the limit.  

At the time I was just like Oh My God, how drunk/high do you need to be to pushing each other into the road for a game while there are cars coming. If they walk just a few hundred meters up the same road they are on a 40 mph zone with energy saving in effect so no street lights, its pitch black. There are also road works so the road narrows too. I was debating phoning the police to make them aware, I haven’t heard of any accidents so hopefully they were ok. I keep debating now if I should phone and ask to settle my own mind.

Many Many Risks and Trickery

Speed Camera Consealed on A6 in Stockport

Plant & Forget Digital Speed Camera

Following on from the above its easy to accidentally accrue points, I have to drive through 3 traffic light cameras, 4 speed cameras, a few times per day. Which is 30 potential opportunities to get points every day just on my commute. The worse ones are traffic light cameras, when they are green all the way on approach on I have a little debate about speeding up, or slowing down to let them go red. Many times I have been going 30 mph, about 2-3 car lengths and they have turned Amber, if I have a car tailgating me, stopping is asking for a rear end, so I’ve had to carry on. A few times I’ve chosen to emergency stop, and once the lights actually turned red just as I passed them.

Out of nearly 200x I have had to go through traffic light cameras and/or speed cameras on my daily commute in the few month I’ve been driving, I have had 2 close calls, 1 of them very close. Once were when I had a car very close behind and the lights changed red. In hindsight I should really have stopped since it would have been their fault. I now try to slow down on approach in these circumstances so I can safely stop. 

I recently found out that Traffic Light Cameras can also Speed Cameras and can result in points, so speeding up to get through before they turn red, can be a major hazard. Which makes Traffic Light Speed Cameras all the more problematic. 

Concealed Cameras

Concealed Speed Camera

Concealed Speed Camera

Another situation is concealed cameras, the (right) image shows the speed camera concealed by a yellow sign at the bottom of a long steep hill. You don’t see the camera (Dubbed Stockport’s Scammera) until you are where the black car is, which has its brake lights on. The only way to see it from a safe breaking distance is where this Google image is taken from.

The image (above right), shows this camera is a new style digital speed camera, which means it never runs out of film, and is what they call “plant and forget”, operating 24/7. I assume plant is in relation to its eternal producing of fruit (money). This camera is between 2 steep inclines, directly at the bottom one, before, you go up another steep hill. Its ideally placed to get people who (1), allowed gravity to pick up speed, or (2), gained speed to make the lights, or (3), gaining speed for the upcoming hill. The fact its concealed is just a bonus for the police camera partnership.

There are various reports of this camera catching people for cutting the red light, and for speeding, many many many caught because they speeded up to make the lights before it changed red, and they assumed it were a traffic light camera. Its due to this camera, that I read about the fact traffic light cameras can be used to issue speeding tickets.  

62 Penalty Points 

In saying all the above potential traps, trickery and such hazards there is a driver in West Yorkshire which the BBC reported to have 62 Penalty Points on his license, the last 6 points given for Speeding just a few months ago (according to reports). Further more a driver in Oxfordshire has 51 Points, another in Essex has 42 Points, and one in Norfolk has 39 Points.

Where exactly does the “exceptional circumstance” come in here, how many times can you accidentally get points even  with the above examples. There must be a point where where Mr 62 Points has simply decided the rules don’t apply to him, he can speed, cut red lights, do as he bloody well pleases because the courts won’t take his license away. You only gets 6 points if you are significantly over the speed limit, not just a few miles over which can be an accident. I would really like to know exactly what he got and what his excuses are.

There are circumstances where you could accrue a few points, but surely there can’t be an excuse for getting 15-21 points per year, can there ? I estimate in my (at least) 2,000 Opportunities to accrue points, I have come really close once, which were extraordinary circumstances, and not normal at all. I also think a more experienced driver wouldn’t have made my mistake so where is the limit ?. 

Red Roadster picture by Pixabay, Speed Camera by Andrew Dunn, other images by Google Images. 

Coding Amazon Echo Skills for Alexa with C#

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

I was reading this months CODE Magazine and there is an article about coding new Skills for Amazon Echo and Echo Dot to extend Alexa’s functionality. When you think about how you could extend Alexa to fit into your life, it could be well worth adding C# into your life. Amazon Echo is currently on offer for Mothers Day, with a £15 discount, maybe the time to get one. 

Lets say you want to check if a domain is registered, you could say “Alexa ask NominetTool if is registered ?” or Alexa ask NominetTool who is Registered to ?”. I guess depending on how accurate Alexa turns out to be, you could even try “Alexa ask NominetTool to Register”.

I don’t have an Echo or Echo Dot, nor do I code in C# but this article does make it seem like a fun reason to learn. Its been maybe 10 yrs or more since I last opened VC++, and probably longer than that since I last wrote any reasonable amount of code. Looking at C# it doesn’t look that difficult once the new syntax makes sense. If I can pick up a cheap Echo or Echo Dot, I may just delve in to this. 

Looking at the code sample they provided…

It looks quite simple to program, I guess you would use a PHP or C# web interface to execute the Recipes section, or in the example I gave to handle the domain name queries. Port the Whois Family Parser over to C# and you would be able to ask questions about whois result. 

Exciting times ahead. 

Gordon Tullocks Dagger or Tullocks Spike

I recently read an article about Google Patenting a Sticky Car coating in order to protect pedestrians when they are in an RTA (Road Traffic Accident). The idea is quite funny, basically when a pedestrian is hit by a car or other vehicle they will stick to the vehicle. Yeah like stuck to the bonnet rather than being thrown off or dragged under the vehicle.

I guess it makes sense that lots of injuries are caused after the initial impact but the idea of being stuck to the vehicle is terrifying especially if its a looney driver or criminal. Initially google planned this for self driving cars, which makes the lunatic driver scenario moot but still the idea is scary. 

Anyway this brought the memory of a guy called Gordon Tullock, who way way back when seat belts were becoming mandatory came up with the idea of Tullocks Spike or Tullocks Dagger as some call it. It were more a thought experiment, which I sometimes enjoy doing, but more later.

He questioned if dire consequences of driving were ever present would it make people safer drivers, his idea were a dirty great big spike or spikes on steering wheels to keep the mortal danger forefront of your mind. Currently, assuming the driver is wearing a seatbelt, their survival rate is actually really good and they are somewhat insulated from danger. Its not great for pedestrians, cyclists and similar who are hit by vehicles. 

Modern cars are very safe for the driver with impact absorbing steering columns, side impact bars, crumple zones, side airbags, leg air bags, pre-tensioner seat belts, anti-submarine seats, multiple front air bags, whiplash reducing seating systems, and the list goes on. For pedestrians and those outside the vehicles the protections are somewhat less, including softer bonnets, crumple zones and some other bits, but at speeds of 20mph+ the victims survival rates drop faster than a rock. 20mph is 95%, 30mph is 45% and 40mph is 5%, beyond 50mph you’ll need a miracle.   

Risk Compensation

Would you’re almost certain death, make you take less risks ? This is called Risk Compensation, an easy way to envision this is compare 2 scenarios.

First, lets say you’re walking through the jungle and you find yourself surrounded by little green lizards like Newts, you’re not going to be that careful as they are kinda toothless and not aggressive or a threat. Now suppose you’re walking along, only this time you’re surrounded by man-eating Nile crocodiles which weigh more than your car with huge teeth. Risk Compensation says the bigger risk, the more care you take, thus a big effing spike would make you a safer driver. 

Ferrari Steering Wheel image by Ali Naqi, modifications by Steven UK.