Things turned a bit sour between Sudesh Gupta and his milk supplier Dairy Crest following a few warm nights in late summer. He gets deliveries to his store, Quick Stop, Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, in the wee small hours.
The store is not very big and his order is a proverbial drop in the ocean - just seven bottles twice a week on average. So turnover is hardly quick and a couple of customers said they thought the milk was a bit ‘off’’.
He thought his delivery slot was 3am, but on CCTV he could see that it was being dropped off at 1am. He opens at 6am. He wrote to Dairy Crest to complain, claiming breach of contract. He writes in a letter to the chairman: “They said that the milk would hold its temperature for five hours (based on deliveries coming at 1am), but Trading Standards have disputed this.”
In fact, Chiltern District Council told him it must be refrigerated soonest.
The upshot was Dairy Crest wrote back telling him they could no longer meet his delivery criteria and therefore they were cancelling the contract (which is through Palmer & Harvey).
I rang Dairy Crest and a spokeswoman confirmed that Sudesh’s delivery slot was between 1am and 3am and it was only viable for the company to drop off the milk during those times.
On the basis that Sudesh cannot buy better anywhere else and that he cannot call himself a convenience store without milk, he has decided to get up when the milk arrives. How’s that for service to customers? Better than he has received.