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Quietly putting prices up

At 7 a.m. yesterday morning, I stopped at Welcome Break's South Mimms Service area on my way to Cambridge; I'm particularly watching for price changes with the VAT drop - to see if we can continue to pass on savings, or if our various suppliers have quietly put their prices up, forcing us to do so once we get fresh stock.

<rant>

Muffin and Coffee ... £2.99. Hmm - signs a bit dusty; doesn't look like they have changed. My VAT receipt duly says 15% ... so that means that the base price has gone up - Welcome Break are pocketing the Chancellors's reduction and not passing it on.

And when I asked ... what a web of misleading information.

"We haven't put our prices up" says the young lady on the till. "Look - if you're VAT registered you can still claim back 39p"

"Our prices haven't changed for years"

"What you have bought would have cost you more if you had bought the two items separately"

"We have 24 sites - we can't change the prices all at once" (yes, but you changed the VAT!)

"It's been the weekend - we can't get staff at the weekend to do it"

Oh ... and just one honest answer that started with "Don't quote me but ...", so I won't quote it, nor give you any clue as to which employee it was who came over and had a quiet chat ...

</rant>

Wouldn't it have been nice to have been given a nice, honest "we haven't changed our prices [yet]. We're keeping the extra money and not passing it on". I might not have approved, but I would have respected the business decision.

Following on during yesterday, I bought Fish and Chips from a corner chippie, and booked into a small hotel. Both appear to left their gross prices unchanged and used the VAT reduction as a quiet way to put prices up by a couple of percent. Perhaps the government is more clever than we thought and that the real reason for the VAT reduction was to allow the retailer who is at the final stage of the supply chain to increase his margins in these hard times, and to put a brake on potential price deflation. This behaviour of our suppliers does make me question our own decision to hand back the difference to our customers - in some areas it may need to be a short-lived gesture on the proportion of our business in which we buy in and are just a part of the supply chain.
(written 2008-12-02)

 
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Perl Socket Programming Examples
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Alastair Darling helps make paperwork and confusion
Book now for 2009
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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