A letter to Countdown from a reader

Dear Countdown

Though it may seem unreasonable to target Countdown as the enemy of consumers who oppose ?single use? plastic bag bans, it is Countdown who sing loudest from the virtue-signalling song sheet. Today?s ?The Press? headline by example.

This battle is not about plastic bags, and you appear to completely miss the point when whining about your customers ?borrowing? your little green baskets. It is interesting to see Countdown is prepared to spend to money monitoring the baskets to insure against ?borrowing? but not in assisting customers by providing a bag.?

This battle is about expecting ME to fund your profit making hypocrisy. It?s about expecting ME to fund your ?we?re saving the planet one piece of plastic at a time? message to NZ, while you continue to wrap everything you package in plastic. It?s about expecting ME to fund your clever advertising campaign as the ?saints of all supermarkets? because you shafted your customers … first.

I will NOT pay 15 cents for a plastic bag. I expect Countdown to provide me with enough free bags to carry my purchases from till to car. It?s not an unreasonable request considering our weekly contribution to your business would average $200 – $250 and cost your store about 45-60 cents.

Now I don?t care how you recover this extra cost of free carry bags, but I would consider that offering ?customers a ?complimentary? bag could be a winner. Especially considering every other supermarket chain will follow your virtual signalling, profit making, plastic bag hypocrisy, any day soon. Seize the opportunity to be first at something that benefits those your serve.

Would it not have been more honest to sneak the price of an evil sugary drink up 15 cents to recover that cost? It would certainly have saved a lot of basket ?relationships? with your stores. In fact a small increase on any non-essential item would be completely justifiable.

I will NOT pay $6.99 for a ?made in China? produced ?designer? cloth bag available at your stores. Not only does the handle stitching fail after a few loaded uses, but the blood dripping, plastic wrapped, meat trays, render the bags useless. Try washing one! They require a handful of little blue pills to ever stand erect and ready for re-use again.

Now I?m not a natural thief, I?ve had to adopt some skills. It helps that I identify as an old woman as the pimply faced youths you employ so cheaply as ?basket security? though zealous in their commitment to your cause, are easier hoodwinked by such identities.

It appears we have a Mexican stand-off. And if there?s one thing I do enjoy in my retirement, it?s the time available to waste on issues that matter to me. I will now research how to avoid the recapture of a ?chipped? Countdown basket. I?m told clever borrowers manage somehow to cover these chips when stealing items from other retailers. Perhaps it?s something as simple as covering that little area in foil as you shop?

Time will tell.??