The problem of managing those vouchers on home news delivery (C-Store, Jan 17 and Jan 31) is continuing to bring in feedback. Here’s how Jeremy Burton-Fanning, who runs Parkers in beautiful Ditchling, East Sussex, does it.
Jeremy asks his customers to bring them in in advance, the whole (usually 13 weeks) book, when the customer gets them.
“I have been doing HND for many years and we have very few customers who don’t do this for us. I developed my own computer system using DataEase database program.
“I send out accounts every Monday which show all the details of the week’s purchases, including milk, bread and so on, as well as any payment and a credit for the value of one week’s vouchers, plus the last date of the vouchers we hold. Perhaps it’s this that gives my customers confidence to leave their vouchers with me.”
He adds: “I am also able to produce a report showing expiry dates and if I am in doubt as to whether I will receive vouchers from a customer I cease crediting them and add an ongoing note on their account explaining that I need their next lot of vouchers in order to continue crediting their account.”
Jeremy suggests that the retailer who had the problem in the first place should refuse the out-of-date vouchers and suggest that the customer goes back to the Daily Mail for replacements.
Yep, that could work. The Daily Mail is much less likely to ignore its readers than it its retailers.
What I like about all this is that the solutions have all been similar yet different. Adds up to a masterclass in making HND pay its way.