Kept in the dark again


A recent example involved a small Birmingham store having issues with Collect + and Yodel refusing to pick up certain packages legitimately dropped off by customers. When the retailer tried to contact PayPoint to resolve the issue, it simply “hit a brick wall.”

While the issues may be different, it is clear that they have a common theme: Large organizations fail to listen to their customers’ concerns, refuse to properly engage with them, and abandon the very people they depend on for. their sustenance.

Whether it is parcel collection, bill payment providers, ATM networks, newspaper distributors, the post office or even sometimes their own groups of symbols, retailers have regularly been treated like the proverbial mushroom – kept in the dark and fed a diet of bullshit.

The worst example is clearly the Post Office Horizon scandal, which saw hundreds of merchants falsely accused of deficiencies in their accounts, which ultimately turned out to be the fault of the organization’s computer system. The pleas of retailers were rejected, many lost their livelihoods and some even their freedom as a result.

What is good to see is that there now seems to be a collective realization that this situation cannot continue. La Poste has apologized for its “historic failures” and promises fundamental reforms to “restore the relationship” with the postmasters. And now PayPoint boss Nick Wiles has written an open letter to retailers admitting the company’s shortcomings over the past year and promising to address them (see News, page 8).

It is to be hoped that all these statements are sincere and that it will result in real reform and a two-way dialogue.

It is high time that these organizations began to treat retailers like adults, with respect, honesty, openness, integrity and transparency. It’s time they all realized that you can’t run a successful business if it is based on the contempt of your customers.

David Shrimpton, Editor-in-Chief

About Joshua M. Osborne

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