Sorry to be a pain, but I think its important that we keep up the pressure.
WHSmith – keep complaining until you receive a personal response
17 October 2012
WHSmith is stopping under-14s from buying shooting magazines from its shops by using a till prompt to check the age of its customers. Not only does this discriminate against children but it offends adults who are stopped at self-service tills. WHSmith customers have been complaining about this policy by email. However, customers are receiving stock replies. BASC urges everyone to keep replying until they receive a personal response. See steps 1 – 4 in the next section below.
If you haven’t already done so please also register your views in the following ways:
Click here to sign a petition
Click here to vote in a web poll
Click here to 'like' a Facebook campaign page
Click here to leave a comment on WHSmith’s Facebook page
By working together we can reverse this policy. Spread the word and take action today!
Step 1 – email WHSmith
Please email WHSmith chief executive Kate Swann at email@example.com and chairman Walker Boyd at firstname.lastname@example.org calling for WHSmith to withdraw its policy to stop under 14s from buying shooting magazines. Some points to consider in your email could include the following:
- Explain how often you visit WHSmith and what magazines and other products you regularly purchase.
- WHSmith’s decision was made in the erroneous belief that 14 is the legal age for "obtaining" a firearm. In fact, there are many different age limits in firearms legislation and in many circumstances there are no age restrictions on children shooting if supervised by an adult. This occurs across the country with parents and guardians, in shooting clubs, the Cadet corps and the Scout movement.
- WHSmith does not have an age restriction on the purchase of car magazines despite an age limit of 17 for driving.
- Shooting is an Olympic sport and athletes start to train at a young age.
- At the recent three party conferences, front bench spokesmen and Government ministers from all major parties sang the praises of shooting sports for the sense of responsibility and discipline that they encourage in the children who take them up.
Step 2 – email WHSmith again
If you receive a stock reply, email again requesting that the points raised in your email are addressed.
Copy of the first level stock reply customers are receiving:
Thank you for your email. WHSmith aims to offer our customers choice, whilst striking the right balance and not acting as a censor. WHSmith seeks to do its best to satisfy all of its customers who often have strongly opposing views. We aim to display all of our magazines in locations where they are accessible to those who want to buy them, but do not offend those who do not. The till prompt system has been in place for many years on a range of different products and this has not previously been an issue for customers.
Step 3 – email WHSmith AGAIN!
If you receive a stock reply in a follow-up email, again request that the points raised in your email are addressed.
Copy of the second level stock reply customers are receiving:
Thank you for your further e mail which has been passed to me as Head of Customer Services for investigation and response. I apologise if you feel that our initial reply did not sufficiently address all of your previous concerns. I would like to assure you that WHSmith respects the views expressed by all customers. We are therefore now in the process of assimilating all of this further feedback, to assist us in looking into this issue. If I can be of any further assistance at any point , please do not hesitate to contact me.
Step 4 – share a copy of any personal response received
Keep replying by email until you receive a personal response. Submit a copy of that response via BASC’s comment box below. We will only publish your first name when publishing responses received.