I want to wish a happy retirement to Liz and Mike Taylor, who will be on holiday by the time you read this after spending 31 years in their business, St Margaret’s Stores in Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Bit of a hitch, though. The couple had a Coca-Cola badged cooler that was still sitting in the store three days before it was due to be demolished and rebuilt as residential accommodation.
The problem had been two bits of misinformation. First, Liz rang the customer care line 6/7 weeks before the store was due to close and was airily told ‘Oh that’s fine. Just call closer to the time’.
When she did that she was told, hmm, we need at least one month’s notice and then we will pick it up when we are in the area. The deadline didn’t seem to be having any effect on the pick-up team.
Liz was quite frustrated when she rang me to ask what her legal rights were regarding putting the cooler outside. I told Liz I couldn’t give her any legal advice, but I would try to contact someone relevant at CCE.
As luck would have it, when I phoned CCE’s public relations company, a Coca-Cola communications exec was on the premises in a meeting. I got a very prompt response.
But then things went pear-shaped - the pick-up person went to another premises in the vicinity which also had a cooler due for collection.
Pleased to report that, after few frantic emails, head office got its outreach workers whipped into shape and it was finally resolved.
Coca-Cola has sent us the following response: “Thanks again to C-Store for bringing this matter to our attention. We are sorry for the delay in collecting the cooler. We appreciate how frustrating that must have been for Mrs Taylor. I can confirm we have collected our equipment and colleagues have visited Mrs Taylor to apologise.”
Just a footnote about the cooler itself. Liz was most admiring of it: “It’s a True cooler. They’re tested in the Sahara Desert! It’s probably got another good 10 years in it.”
I looked up True Refrigeration and I reckon Liz is right. It has won best in class for excellence of manufacturing every year for the past 13 years. Would certainly have been a shame to see that go under a pile of rubble.