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Fresh Threads: Lockdown limit, minor misdemeanour, unreasonable customer, eating out

  1. James Martini

    James Martini UKBF Ace Staff Member

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    Hi UKBFers,

    Welcome to Fresh Threads, our weekly roundup of the most popular threads, comments and advice from the forums during the last week. Here are the top five picks.

    1. Are we at the limit of easing UK lockdown?


    "This is it. We are now, give or take, at the absolute limit of how much we can reopen society without a resurgence of coronavirus,” said James Gallagher, the BBC’s health and science correspondent.

    “This realisation at the heart of government is about more than delaying the opening of bowling alleys, it will define our lives for months to come - and probably until we have a vaccine.

    “And I'm sorry to break it to parents, but the biggest question mark now is around the reopening of schools.”

    Depressing, but I kind of think he's correct.

    Mr D: Think we may have passed the limit several pubs ago. While I'm looking at it as a low order probability, I am factoring another lockdown into planning.

    DEFCON1: I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we have a full national lockdown again (something like a couple of weeks) in August. This would help ensure rules are followed and create a new starting point. We’re anticipating this and planning for it.

    fisicx: Don't agree. Because we were late moving to lockdown, a lot more people will have been infected and may well have a level of immunity. Which is why we aren't seeing significant rises in reported cases.

    John Hemming: There are arguments as to why England now has herd immunity.

    2. Minor stole parent’s credit card, am I liable?


    A 10-year-old recently came in and used their parent’s credit card for a contactless payment. In recent years, we have noticed that more and more children have their own contactless cards so we did not question the transaction.

    In this case, the child came in twice and the second time the staff noticed that the card looked like an adult's credit card so we asked the child if their parents knew they were using the card. The child said “yes”.

    A few days later, the parents came to us saying that the card had been stolen by their child and that we were wrong to take payment. What are our rights and what are we obligated to do?

    intheTRADE: How much are we talking? I would just refund the parents and move on. Maybe look at procedures for minors using cards to pay for things, especially children around that age.

    Annoying Donkey: Maybe tell them you'll first have to inform the police that a stolen credit card has been used in your shop. If you want to be nice and the parent returns the goods, then maybe give a goodwill refund.

    fisicx: The banks will reimburse them if there was fraud, not you. That's the whole point of contactless payments - the shop is not responsible.

    Darren_Ssc: The parents could claim a refund from the bank. Let them have the joy of dealing with it. I dare say there is an element of 'trying it on' with such cases.

    3. Customers being unreasonable


    I've had a couple of instances recently of customers that seem to have an inflated view of what their consumer rights are. I am aware that it is a very grey area so I'd be interested in getting opinions.

    The latest case: someone bought a used piece of professional audio equipment from us in October 2016 for £395. It is now not powering up. I could’ve repaired it or even replaced it for what I think is a reasonable fee of £95 +VAT but they think it should be done FOC.

    Are they being unreasonable or should I just suck it up?

    Mark T Jones: Four years ago? I'd say their rights are zero unless there was a strong implication that it should be very durable, which is unlikely in AV.

    Darren_Ssc: Given the time, it's an extreme case and I doubt you're obliged to anything. But, from personal experience, a goodwill gesture can go a long way.

    MBE2017: Stick to your guns. I would point out the second-hand goods are four years older, they probably only came with a one-year guarantee as standard. If they choose to decline your offer of repair just move on.

    gpietersz: Four years sounds like a "reasonable time" for second-hand AV. If you had sold it new, it might not have been clear cut. But I think second-hand AV equipment that lasts four years is fairly clearly of satisfactory quality to a reasonable person.

    4. Initial feedback on the eat out scheme


    Thought I’d give a slightly second-hand feedback on the scheme. A friend spent the last couple of nights in my local pub that serves food.

    My local is not a “busy” pub for food, especially midweek when usually around a dozen covers on a Monday, maybe 15-20 on a Tuesday. They did 42 on the first day of the scheme and 61 the following day with more already booked in for tomorrow. Their sister pub has been fully booked, too.

    Another pub we supply with our food has been fully booked for two nights and is turning away walk-ins. Good news for us small, local suppliers.

    Mr D: I suspect the intention of the scheme is to have more customers now and some to come back afterwards. Rather than shifting mostly full weekend meals to early week for a month.

    mattk: This is key. How many covers they do over the whole week is more important than the uplift on Mon-Wed. If Fri and Saturday hold up well, then the scheme is a success.

    Mark T Jones: I saw the scheme as a bit of a gimmick at first. I was wrong. Apart from providing the sector with turnover, it will give operators the chance to refine and perfect their socially distanced operating model.

    consultant: I was exactly the same. I collected a takeaway curry last night and the owner said it is far busier than any early weeknight would be and it was the same on Monday.

    That's all for this week – have a great run into the weekend!