Animals Australia: the voice for animals

Animals Australia: the voice for animals
Love life? Love all of life

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Woolworths, Grog and Complaints

Well, dear Reader, it took a while. They didn't meet their own standard. Was beginning to think I'd never hear from them. But lo and behold they called. What on earth am I rabbiting on about I hear you ask?
You may recall my post Woolworths, Safeway, Liquor and Fuel - but not food which was posted on Friday, 8 June 2007. Woolworths pride themselves on having a seven-day response in replying to customers. Answering my complaint took them two days short of six weeks. Ah, well, better late than dead on time, eh!
Anyway, the call came from John McInnes who is in charge of buying for the liquor stores. As I expected, John didn't see my point. You might recall the issue was a promotion prior to the Queen's Birthday long week-end where, if you were to buy $60 worth of liquor from their liquor shop, you would get an 8c a litre discount on fuel (twice the usual 4c a litre discount when you produce your cash register docket for purchasing more than $30). My argument was the link between alcohol and driving and putting a value on alcohol which food did not attract.
John tried to claim that they did not target anybody in particular with the promotion. I explained to him that this was not true. He had in fact targetted two groups of people: those who drove and those who drank alcohol. A mum buying food for her family of six and didn't drink had no chance of getting 8c a litre off her fuel.
John didn't seem to be able to see the problem that alcohol was for all of us. He told me that following this nation-wide promotion, out of two and a half million customers he had received only eleven complaints apart from mine and they were all from the Northern Territory. Funny that, Miss E said, I'm an old Territorian. Perhaps we are a bit more conscious of grog issues than other people? I lived in the only town that had the pubs shut by Aboriginal people - Tennant Creek. Read all about in Grog War by Alexis Wright, this year's Miles Franklin Award winner.
Back to explaining community responsibility re alcohol consumption. For instance, we all pay taxes for the hospitals and these have a high rate of alcohol related admissions. In fact, when one considers the links between violence and alcohol and road trauma and alcohol, alcohol is a community problem. So there was more conversation in this regard which didn't bring about one ounce of regret or remorse from John. Youth drinking? Parental problem. Miss E said that when they stabbed someone or killed someone on the road it was a community problem, a problem for all of us.
I explained to him that what I would like from him was for him to say that he would never link alcohol and driving again or give preference to alcohol over food again. He said he couldn't say that. Suprised? Are you kidding? But I did suggest something else to him.
I suggested that he enable food purchasers to have access to an 8c a litre discount on fuel for purchases over $60. I suggested that such a promotion be held the week before the First Sunday of Advent. Brief reference to an election and what's-his-name's threat/promise on food pricing should he become Prime Minister.
Wouldn't that be good? Just when you're buying the fruit for the cake and the pudd and associated Christmas jollies. Just when you're about to set off on hols. with the kids and all the camping gear.
I said if he didn't know when the First Sunday of Advent was he should buy a calendar and learn - and I did a deviation to say that chocolate chips do not belong in Hot Cross Buns and and that Hot Cross Buns should not be on sale before we had even got to Epiphany. Didn't bother to ask if he understood what Epiphany was. All that will have to be the subject of a separate complaint. (Poor pun warning: Should I wait for an epiphany from Woolworths?)
Poor John. He's to do with liquor and not food...but he said he could bring it up because he is on the team that discusses this. Mmm.
Perhaps if I make a complaint about the keeping of Christian festivals now and go over my request for the 8c a litre discount in late November....mmm...letter to the CEO do you think?


Val said...

You go, girl!

Gina E. said...

Oh Miss E, you are wasting your wordskills on people like that - they really don't care for anything except the $.
You should have (and it's never too late) be writing all that to one of our major newspapers, letters to the Editor. I reckon it would get published, because you have so many valid points there. Rephrase most of what you have written here, to make it appropriate for a letter, and send it off. Not just to newspapers - The Bulletin might be an even better bet. They publish some good stuff (even published one of mine once).

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