Monday, 5 September 2011


Pure delight leads to penury!

First the good news.

Last week I took Pure the cashmere people to task for favouring conquest potential customers over loyal ones.

During the week something strange and rather nice happened. They sent my wife a new catalogue giving her the discount previously reserved for non-customers plus free postage.

Well done Pure.

And now the bad news.

She promptly spent £200 saying now she was, in fact, saving money.
I wish I’d never got involved. Let sleeping dogs of customer relationship malpractice lie in future. 


My wife loves cashmere so she was cheered to discover that Pure, the mail order cashmere people, were offering a 25% discount. Given the eye watering cost of cashmere this was a welcome piece of news.

But hang on. She was told she wasn’t eligible as she was already a good customer of the company. It was only for people who weren’t Pure loyalists.

I e-mailed them: “My wife just called to talk about a 25% discount she’d heard about to be told this only applied to “new” customers not “existing (loyal)” ones. Surely this is mistake”.

They replied: “Thank you for your email. You wife has been given the correct information with regard to eligibility of the 25% discount. This is an introductory discount for new customers placing their first ever order with Pure.

If we can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.

Not good enough so I remonstrated:  “I’m intrigued. Do you believe it’s sensible to treat non customers better than loyal ones? I think you’ve rather disenchanted my wife – check out how much she’s spent with you.

By now a senior officer, Trevor,  was involved who started digging furiously in the hole Pure had created for themselves:

Unfortunately, the 25% discount booklet your wife found inside a magazine is a recruitment offer that we have to run in the media to attract new business, so we’re unable to use this offer for existing customers. I do realise that this may be disappointing, (how about outraged Trevor?) but I hope you’ll understand that only by expanding the customer base will Pure be able to continue giving good prices to all customers throughout the season, like the 10% discount offer we’re currently offering everybody for the new collection.

The media booklet you have there does also explain that the offer is for your first order with us as a new Pure customer, on the inside cover, so we apologise if this was not clear enough.

However, as we appreciate this may be disappointing for existing customers, we would be happy to honour free postage on your order for you, as well as the 10% discount that is already available for you.

Absurd. It pays to be disloyal as a cashmere customer.

And Pure, bizarrely seem to think it’s important to understand that their customer recruitment strategy is of interest to its disadvantaged loyal (till now) customers.

Actually, yes Trevor, it’s all very disappointing, bemusing marketing and a case of pure stupidity.

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