Why can’t we have nice things? Well, because sometimes a few bad apples spoil the bunch.
Last week, Iowa-based grocery giant Hy-Vee suspended its 10% employee discount program after experiencing wide-ranging abuse and potential fraud.
Since 2019, Hy-Vee, located in West Des Moines, has offered its employees and one member of their household a 10% discount on purchases at the grocery chain through an employee discount program.
A senior Hy-Vee official said in an email that the program was halted because some employees were abusing the benefit.
“Over the past several months, a significant uptick in the number of users utilizing the employee discount who were not living in the same household or living in other cities was identified, in addition to other fraudulent practices and loopholes that were occurring within the program,” Tina Potthoff, senior vice president of communications for Hy-Vee said in the email. “The discrepancies found were significant enough to signal a much broader issue that needed to be addressed immediately.”
One Employee Discount Card Was Used in 5 Different States To Buy Gas In One Hour
The program was suspended after Hy-Vee reviewed how the discount was used. Hy-Vee found evidence of multiple employees letting multiple people across many cities and states use their discount cards.
The program was designed to let the employee themself and one other family member in the same household use the card. But that wasn’t what was happening in many cases.
In one instance, an employee’s Fuel Saver discount card was used in 5 different states within the same hour.
In another instance, Hy-Vee was fairly certain that another employee was buying items at a discount to sell those items to make money.
“It’s unfortunate that we had to stop the program due to fraud” said a Hy-Vee spokesperson on a 3 minute video that was released to employees last week.