Here’s a summary of what’s changing (positive changes in green, negative in red):
|Until 1 July 2019||From 1 July 2019|
|Subscription Cost||$49.90 for 12 months|
60-day free trial
|$59.90 for 12 months|
$5.99 for 30 days
No more free trial
|Grab||3 x $3 off every 3 non-promo Grab rides per month||3 x $3 off every 3 non-promo Grab rides per month|
|Netflix||2 month free subscription||2 month free subscription|
|Lazada/ Redmart/ Taobao||5% rebate for Lazada and RedMart, capped at $30 per month||4% rebate for LazMall and RedMart, capped at $50/month|
|Free delivery for Lazada, RedMart and Taobao Collection||No more free delivery except for RedMart (>$40)|
|Citi cardholders get 8% rebate on Lazada/RedMart orders (ended 31 May)||No more Citi 8% rebate (from 1 Jun)|
|Foodpanda||8 x free delivery for orders >$20 per month||8 x free delivery for orders >$20 per month|
|Chope||15 x 200 bonus Chope$ per reservation, per year||15 x 100 bonus Chope$ per reservation, per year|
My thoughts on the changes
The new LiveUp program features fewer benefits for a 20% price increase. That’s not exactly a recipe for customer satisfaction.
LiveUp’s trying to put a positive spin on these changes, but there’s only so much lipstick you can put on a pig. For example, they’re trumpeting the fact that Lazada/RedMart rebate caps will be increased from $30 to $50 from 1 July, but when LiveUp first launched the cap was originally $50 anyway. It was reduced to $30 in November 2018, so we’re basically back to where we started.Moreover, Lazada rebates from 1 July will be restricted to LazMall purchases only. LazMall is Lazada’s official store, featuring well-known brands like Apple, Samsung, P&G and more.
Their USP is that items here are 100% authentic (which is kind of dubious selling point insofar as it suggests that the rest of Lazada is rife with counterfeits), and come with a 15 days return policy.
But LazMall prices can be significantly higher than other equally-reputable merchants. Here’s a quick sample of three items- note how the LazMall official prices (in red) are higher than the cheapest alternative (in green).
Moreover, there’s no more free delivery for Lazada, and rebates have been reduced from 5 to 4%. So not only do you need to pay the higher prices of LazMall, you’ll also get less savings from LiveUp.
RedMart still offers LiveUp members free delivery for orders above $40 (although rebates have been reduced from 5% to 4%), but the free delivery threshold for non-members has been cut from $100 to $60. It’s not difficult to boost your order size from $40 to $60 simply by changing your order frequency, so there’s very little reason to keep LiveUp just for RedMart free delivery.
The partnership with Chope has also been devalued. From 1 July, LiveUp members will earn 100 bonus Chope$ on their first 15 reservations each membership year, cut in half from the original 200. Assuming you maxed out this benefit, that’s 1,500 fewer Chope$ a year, or more than $40 worth of dining vouchers.
Will I keep my membership?
I valued LiveUp membership for three things:
- Free shipping and 5% rebates on Lazada/RedMart
- Up to 3,000 bonus Chope$ per year
- 2 free months of Netflix
The new changes have gutted that value proposition. I’m not about to pay $60 a year for 1,500 bonus Chope$, two free months of Netflix (valuable though it may be), and the privilege of getting a smaller rebate paying LazMall’s inflated prices (I might as well buy from reputable sellers on Qoo10 for much less).
Where groceries are concerned, I’ll be giving Amazon Prime Now and FairPrice ON a serious look. Amazon Prime Now costs just $2.99 a month and gives access to Prime Video plus free 2-hour shipping with a minimum $40 spend. FairPrice ON does free shipping with a minimum order of $39.
It’s true that neither has the variety of RedMart’s selection, but I can still shop on RedMart and get free shipping as a non-member by spending $60. There’s a kind of irony here that RedMart did all the hard (and expensive) work of getting people used to buying groceries online, but these changes are likely to drive customers to their competitors.
How to cancel your subscription
If you’re thinking of jumping ship, you have until 31 August 2019 to do so. LiveUp is offering members the option to cancel their subscriptions and get a pro-rated refund in the form a voucher (it’s not clear what sort of voucher this is, or what T&Cs will be attached to it).
What’s interesting is that the value of the pro-rated refund is calculated based on 1 July until the month of your membership expiry, regardless of when you submit your cancellation request. This means you could cancel up to 31 August and still get a refund for July and August’s amount.
The cancellation form can be accessed here (the URL says “lazadacb”, which pretty much sums up customer sentiment towards the platform right now).
When it comes to devaluations, most membership programs try to either raise prices or cut benefits, but very few do both at the same time. This double whammy has understandably riled many LiveUp customers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a mass exodus on 1 July.
I’m sure there will be some who can still get good value out of the new LiveUp, but that group will have shrunk considerably.
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