Customer Service- Do the Businesses Really Practice it?

12 09 2008

“Your call is important to us but all our advisers are busy at the moment. Please call later on..”
How many times have you experienced this? Many times, I am sure. Does this mean that there should always be a person ready (24×7) waiting for your call?

No, what I mean is that the businesses do not take customer services seriously. There are businesses that are notorious ……….. Read More

Retail Sales affected by Wet Weather

9 09 2008

According to the figures released by the British Retail Consortium, retail sales fell for the third consecutive month as the wet weather kept most of the shoppers indoors. Like-for-like sales for August were 1% lower than last year. DIY and gardening product sales fell due to the wet weather. However, furniture and home ware product sales fell the most.

 On the other hand, the appalling weather conditions and the fact that many are avoiding eating out due to tightening budgets, meant that many preferred to cook at home which in turn saw the sales of food and drink grow significantly.

Food prices rise by 8.3%

6 09 2008

It was reported this week by the BBC that food prices have risen by 8.3% since January this year. This is based on the figures from a survey carried out by Verdict Research specifically for the BBC.

A packet of ham, a pack of four croissants and a medium sized chicken were among the seven products whose individual prices had risen by more then 40%. Among the 13 categories into which all the products were classified, Meat and Fish rose the highest, by 22.9%, followed by Store-cupboard items and Fresh Fruits and Vegetables which rose by 15% & 14.7% respectively.

Inflation is also affecting the sales of organic produce which fell by 8.1% as compared to last year according to the analysts TNS. Families with low income are unable to afford the high price of organic produce and more people are increasingly switching to buying supermarket own-brand products.

Supermarket Sainsbury’s believes that most people no longer perceive supermarket own-brand products in a negative manner nor are they embarrassed of buying them and are beginning shift to buying own-brand products to help cuts their costs. According to Marketing Week, Sainsbury’s research showed that a minority of the people believed that the brand they bought reflected on them as a person. To make the most of the current situation, Sainsbury’s launched an ad campaign on the 5th of September called “Switch & Save” to encourage their customers to buy the supermarket’s own-brand products. The link to watch the new Sainsbury’s advertisement is given below.

Free Laptops

2 09 2008

For some time now, mobile phone networks and retailers have been offering free or subsidised handsets when you sign up for one of their plans usually for a period of 12 or 18 months. Its great for consumers since they get the latest handsets without having to pay the full price and the networks are happy since they are assured custom for the stipulated length of the contract, in other words, the customers are locked to the network. However, the market for voice and text services is riddled with competitors and is also becoming saturated since there is a limit to how much people would talk or send text messages.

However, many people are now beginning to access the internet for applications such as chatting, e-mails, local maps, etc. via their mobile phones. But, the mobile phone has limitations, the most obvious being processing power and screen size. Laptop computers have become the new “handsets” which mobile networks are now offering for free when you sign up for one of their mobile broadband deals. It all started about a year ago when Carphone warehouse started offering a Dell laptop when you signed up for their Talk Talk or AOL broadband package. Now, Orange, T-Mobile and Hutchitson 3 have joined the bandwagon with their own mobile broadband deals offering free laptops. More networks offering such deals would force them to reduce prices on their tariffs. This would be beneficial for those looking to surf the internet on the move as they wouldn’t have to invest in a laptop, especially for those who don’t already own one or are looking to upgrade theirs soon.

However, with the credit crunch affecting high street sales, it is likely that stores will offer heavy discounts on consumer electronics making it cheap to buy laptops which might deter people from signing on to such deals.