Monday, January 26, 2009

As usual a pathetically inadequate response from an anonymous representative of an anonymous corporate behemoth that could not organise a pissup in a brewery but has an inkling of how to momentarily appear to be nice people when the chips are down - as they were mildly today.

The contrast between the reception offered by the two biggest most humongously uninteresting devoid of creative outlook pubcos (don't fret you other pubcos you're all stamped from the same smudged tawdry mould) was entirely predictable.

Enterprise completely shut off to lessee contact, pretending there is no problem outside their front gates - blithely ignoring the drums banging outside the door and arrogantly not caring a toss how their behaviour might appear to the wider public because they know from previous experience that they can, and do, get away with anything they want. Being polite and civil is a waste of time when there's no need and probably cuts into corporate profits. Not dissimilar to the attitude they have toward lessees one on one and rather similar to the obstructive practices they employ as a matter of routine while pontificating about how open they are to contact and listening to their lessees' concerns. One Enterprise person in the offices and aware of the protest going on outside told a demonstrator they had been given orders not to look out of the windows and to keep the blinds down throughout the day. I fancy having a job in an environment like that don't you?

Enterprise point blank refused to take a hand delivered letter civilly written clearly expressing absolutely legitimate concerns shared by thousands of lessees. No doubt a banal, meaningless blah blah press release will be issued tomorrow when the brains at the top have managed to squeeze some illogical nonsense out of their underused neurons about why they will not consider dealing with issues which concern more than one person at a time. No news there then.

edited by: J Mark Dodds at: 26/01/2009 22:27:05

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J Mark Dodds 26/01/2009 22:27:14

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Punch: leased model does work

Punch on the face of it a startlingly sparklingly different and refreshing approach; cordially greeted by the facilities manager to stand in the taped off and cone section near the front entrance, while Nigel and Wendy could placate the crowd by being friendly and accommodating. Punch lessees were invited in to chat with their BDM's line manager to try to find out if they know more about how to run a pubco than their local reps do. Lessees were interested to note that Punch refused to let spouses of lessees in to meet the middle wigs on grounds that their name was not on the lease. And further more hereto with notwithstanding the confirmation of the detail of your confession of business difficulties in front of the altar of Punchdom (with your audited accounts your business plan, your vat returns, your stock takes for the last billion months, your proposals to slash costs, overheads and increase profits simultaneously before we can consider your proposal to meet an area manager).

I will return to this when I;ve had a glass of wine

Giles you ought to be ashamed of yourself and your company. The instructions given to Punch employees (that's what they are, these 'spokespeople', employees. They are not the 'entrepreneurs' thier lessees are) were followed to the letter (no irony intended).

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Stephen Docking 26/01/2009 22:49:51

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RE: Punch: leased model does work

Credit where credit is due.... at least Punch showed they have a PR department. Even if they did refer to their hard-pressed tenants and lessees as 'customers'.

As for having ...'robust communication channels in place...' well, they still ain't listening!

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J Mark Dodds 26/01/2009 23:37:12

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RE: Punch: leased model does work

Stephen you are a generous man.

When THE LETTER was presented for delivery SUDDENLY the faces of the public greeting committee froze "we will not take the letter" said Nigel and their immediately adopted stoically blank expressions said it all:

"We will not communicate openly with our lessees as a matter of course;

"We WILL NOT discuss the genuine, valid, combined, carefully considered concerns of lessees in an open arena;

"We resolutely will continue to use the time tested Divide and Conquer method of 'communication' which enables us to tell THEM what they are doing wrong (without having a clue what we are talking about) while completely ignoring what they each, as individuals, have of concern about our relationship with them;

"One to one is best because then we don't have to take any notice".

I was SHOCKED at the change in mood they all adopted instantaneous the moment THE LETTER was mentioned. There can be no doubt this was because they were thoroughly briefed on this specific point beforehand. Tellingly the cameras and press were not present at this moment. I suspect their reaction to THE LETTER would have been more 'robust', as pubcos are wont to say, and smiley.

There must be some potentially dread liability placed on them (both companies) if they had taken an 'open letter'. Clearly they fear receiving a letter in public (as against via the private postal service) because they know that lessees' straightforward questions cannot be answered adequately under any circumstances without exposing the myth of their position and revealing themselves as a pointless excessive drain on the infrastructure of the British pub industry...

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