Sudesh Gupta has an on-off relationship with supplier Dairy Crest. He is not a big customer, ordering only milk, eggs and bread from the company, spending about £40-50 a week and purchasing via the buying group Vikas.
Although his store, Quick Shop, trades in salubrious Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire, he says he has to watch the pennies and had noticed that he was often overcharged and items were short-dated. He added that he had had the same problem with the company back in 2008, but it had eventually been sorted out.
He contacted me because, having complained to the company quite a few times, he has now been told by the Watford branch that it would no longer supply him. This upset him further.
“How can they refuse to supply me because I have complained of overcharging and short-dated items?” (He had been promised a minimum of three days on bread and seven on milk, but the reality is that sometimes he gets only two days on bread and four days on milk.)
He fired off letters to every executive he could find, and Vikas, too, has complained.
There seems to be a good deal of confusion because he got replies from two senior executives dated May 2 and May 3, one telling him that the situation would be reviewed and the other telling him that supplies would cease and that he could obtain alternative supplies via Palmer & Harvey.
P&H have confirmed they could supply, but they also buy from Dairy Crest.
I got in touch with Dairy Crest and a spokesperson replied: “It is not our practice to comment on our relationship with individual customers, but we can confirm that members of our senior management will investigate Mr Gupta’s claims thoroughly and try to settle this in a fair and proper way.”
Let’s hope the relationship will be on again soon.