The Co-op Group has introduced a 10% discount for students on their food (and, it seems, drink) purchases. Good idea, students need all the help they can get these days. And good idea, too, to introduce a new generation of people to the idea of the consumer cooperative movement. Except…
“Don’t talk to me about the 10% discount”, said the NUS Extra card-carrying student in our household yesterday. She has been trying to claim her discount four times over the past few days, with a success rate so far of 50%. It has not been easy. Each time she’s arrived at the till the authorisation card has had to be found from the office at the far end of the store, the supervisor has had to be summonsed, and the queue of (increasingly impatient) other customers has built up behind. On Thursday, she took pity on the queue and walked away without the 10%. And yesterday the supervisor told her that the discount wasn’t available as she had already proffered her Co-op membership card. (Really? I find this heard to believe. I will see what I can find out).
We ask a lot of our coops. We expect them to be ethical, we expect them to sell good quality produce at good prices, and we hope that they treat their staff at least as fairly as the competition. But we also legitimately expect them to run their businesses effectively and efficiently.
Should I mention the Co-op own-brand Red Leicester, complete with a large £2 sticker on the pack, which was in my basket last week. At the till, it rang through at £2.05. Oh well, what’s fivepence?