YP Letters: Independent shops fail to reward loyalty

Do shops in towns like Harrogate penalise loyal customers?
Do shops in towns like Harrogate penalise loyal customers?
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From: Christopher Ramus, Harrogate.

WE are now all accustomed to the knowledge that being a loyal customer doesn’t benefit us – in fact it usually costs us our hard- earned cash (The Yorkshire Post, February 13).

We now have to bargain annually with utility, insurance and media companies to ensure we are not being ripped off by tariffs which we inherit by default of automatic renewals.

There is a growing move towards giving large discounts offered to attract new customers, while penalising loyal customers of many years.

I have recently witnessed this kind of thinking creeping into the high street in independent shops.

The other morning I phoned a well-known independent shop in Harrogate to ask if some items I required were in stock. I had noticed on their website that they were offering a 15 per cent “welcome” discount. There was a message on the website asking customers to ask about the discount.

The owner asked if I had shopped there before and I said no, but that my wife had in the past. After a short debate about customer loyalty, he said a discount wasn’t appropriate in this case.

If I had lied and said I was a first-time shopper at his shop, or ordered it from the website and had it delivered free, I would have been given a 15 per cent discount.

This first time customer discount only leads to annoying loyal customers.

I voted with my feet and took my business (of several hundred pounds) to a high street giant which had recently given me a voucher entitling me to 15 per cent off on any purchase by returning customers.

I wanted to support an independent business, but sadly it would have cost me over £60 to do so.

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

YET another talking shop has concluded that we are being ripped off by energy suppliers (The Yorkshire Post, February 13).

No matter which “supplier” we have, the same energy comes through the same pipes and cables.

Our “suppliers” supply us only with endless numbers and demands for payment, while supplying themselves and their shareholders with bonuses and dividends.

Competition keeps prices down – or so we are told. If that is true and we obey endless exhortations to “change your supplier” might this not lead to us all opting for the cheapest and thus a monopoly situation?

If juggling numbers really is the answer, why not allow local councils into this arcane world and let them juggle for the benefit of their entire communities?

Duty to help the police

From: J Hutchinson, Kirbymoorside.

HAVING never been in trouble, I would not object to the police taking my fingerprints if it helps to combat crime (The Yorkshire Post, February 14).

If people are bothered by this action, I suggest they take that chip off their shoulders and assist the police to get this country back on track.

It is time to give them our support, and, if you feel giving fingerprints goes against your civil liberties, I ask how would you feel if you had someone perpetrated a crime against you or your family?

Perhaps your first stop would be the police station, asking ‘where was the policeman when I needed him?’ If you have nothing to fear then give the police every assistance they need to stop crime being committed, or to catch criminals before or after the event. Prevention is better than cure.

Priced out of the market

From: Chris Sharp, Leeds.

REGARDING Kirkgate Market, has anyone at Leeds City Council ever run a business?

A market needs footfall. People will not go shopping on the bus.

Allowing the car parks to become privately owned brings, surprise, surprise, high charges.

Did the council not foresee this problem? They have never looked after the best interests of market traders.

It’s a shame what’s happening at Kirkgate and Leeds City Council must shoulder a lot of the responsibility for the situation.

Affordable parking is a must: £3 an hour and £30 for a day is ridiculous to most market shoppers.

Not worth complaining

From: Paul Sherwood, South Kilvington, Thirsk.

PETER Brooke asks in his letter (The Yorkshire Post, February 9) for suggestions as to how he can spend his much-anticipated rise of 25p in his weekly state pension when he becomes 80 later this year.

Fortunately, I still have seven years to go, giving me plenty of time to adjust my outgoing finances for this offensive, degrading and insulting rise that I hope to obtain.

However, I do recall my late mother complaining two decades ago on the same topic.

I can’t offer advice to Peter, but I can relay my mother’s comment that “it doesn’t cover the cost of a stamp to write to your MP to complain”.

Boris would avoid blunder

From: R Hartley, Shadwell Lane, Leeds.

JOHN Turley misses the point (The Yorkshire Post, February 10). Had Boris Johnson been elected Prime Minister, there wouldn’t have been the ill-fated General Election.

Jeremy Corbyn would then have remained the non-entity that he is, since he would not have had the chance to promise pie-in-the-sky to students who seem to believe that other people owe them a free ride.