Monday, June 08, 2009

Punch re-brands tenanted and managed pubs

This story is about me but I KNOW Punch licensees get the same. Punch have a mountain to climb getting themselves out of the endemic bad culture they have in their staff toward licensees from top to bottom. I'm thoroughly sick of having to recount things like the following because they always beggar belief but it has to be done.

Got a call from S&NPE last Monday morning telling me I can't have San Miguel (I do about 3 x 22 gall kegs a week) because it's not part of the tied portfolio any more. Instead I can have Heineken; Sagres or Amstel. I am not happy about this - I mentioned it on another thread - but whathehell; I'm used to being treated like a serf by S&NPE who, because I'm tied, obviously don't give a flying fig for anything and have NEVER done ANY of the things they say they do working together with tenants.

So: last Monday I was faced with Heineken coming in on Thursday instead of San Miguel but did not have Heineken badges for the fonts. So I sent an email to the regional director asking for badges and saying it would be useful to ahve a meeting with a BDM. I have not seen a BDM since July 2008 (I think it was then) because I'm a sensitive issue because of my involvement with the Fair Pint Campaign. The reason I got set to be involved with a Campaign about this kind of thing is because I've NEVER had any 'service' out of my pubco and NEVER had anything other than them standing in the way of my developiong my business and proving to me that they are not capable of organising a pissup in a brewery. I've heard nothing back since that email.

We've now run out of San Miguel and still have no badges. I rang Brewfitt, whom I bought the fonts I serve S&NPE's beer through, to ask for badges from them direct. They "could sell them but you should get them from S&NPE because they're supposed to suppply them". I called the 'orders helpline' to ask how to get hold of badges; "through InnServe" (cellar services). I called InnServe - Andy told me that they can't do anything about this without my area manager 'logging an install job' for me; I need to speak to him.

SO: I don't have a name or number for a BDM who's replaced the one who left earlier this year (did he fall or was he pushed?) who I'd thought might have been dead because he never returned my calls or emails.

So I have new beer. I have no badges. I'm selling unbranded beer. I do not have an area manager on call to sort this out. I could call Brewfitt and for £20 get all the badges I need but I'm not gling to. Why should I? When I DID have an area manager on call he never answered the phone or replied to emails. He never did anything useful or helpful. In some ways it's better NOT to have an area manager because at least I have no expectations of nothing.

For the privilege of my tied lease I get this level of service which is second to none. And I only pay DOUBLE for my beer what I could get it for free of tie - and my rent is going up £11K a year on the back of my own success when my pubco has done NOTHING to deserve the rent int he first place. They don't even own the freehold. Royal Bank of Scotland owns the freehold.

This scenario is not new, things very like this have happened on three previous occasions I can recall. It is evidence of endemic failure in the tied sector for pubcos to deliver even a basic serviec to their ruipped off licensees. Disbelief of things like this are what make it so hard for people who aren't part of this tied pub industry to believe that it's as bad as it really is. BUT experiences like this are the norm and so commonplace that getting good service would make me very suspicious of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment