Woolworths abuses its market dominance to dictate to customers

They are even "Greener" than the politicians. Below is a letter I wrote to them followed by their reply. Note that to them it is "progressive" to deny choice to customers. That's certainly consistent with "progressive" politics generally. And in the best Fascist style they say that "our decision is in the broader best interests of the community", and stuff the individual. Clearly, even having a little power corrupts.

The fact that I much prefer the warm yellow light of a tungsten bulb to the stark and glary light of a fluorescent tube just does not matter to our Green dictators, obviously. Fluorescent lights have been around almost as long as tungsten globes but most people have always chosen the tungsten ones. So I am not alone in my preferences. And it would hurt no-one to allow people to have their preferences in the matter. So what it all shows is that the Fascist urge to dictate to other people is sadly still with us. The only difference is that it now justifies itself by a Greenie ideology which is just as crazy as the old racist one

TO: Chairman, Woolworths
17 Oct 2008

Dear Mr Strong

I have the feeling that Woolworths is departing from commercial principles in its stocking polices and as both a shareholder and a customer I would like you to talk to management about it.

I notice in particular that Woolworths seems to be pushing the twisty lightbulb barrow very hard. You do stock convenient sixpacks of the old tungsten globes but they are almost always sold out at my local Buranda branch -- while every possible iteration of the twisty globe is always available. Shouldn't the firm be stocking what people want to buy?

Please remind management that they are running a business and not a government Department.

Woolworths Limited
29th October 2008

Dear Dr Ray,

Thank you for your letter and for taking the time to write. At Woolworths we appreciate customer feedback, both positive and negative, and see it as an opportunity to improve our business.

You are right that we are actively supportive of the new 'twisty' light bulb. The reason for this is that The Federal Government announced in June 2008 that many incandescent bulbs currently on retail shelves would be banned from import in November 2008; and banned from retail sale completely in November 2009. The list of products includes the six pack bulbs you refer to in your letter. Whilst the traditional incandescent bulbs remain popular, their sales volumes have been rapidly decreasing as more customers make the switch to the Energy Efficient alternates.

Woolworths has taken a decision as a corporation to remove the banned bulbs from sale completely as of November 2008, a full year ahead of the legislative requirement.

We've undertaken this action as we fully support the Government initiative to reduce the use of inefficient energy products. The move is consistent with Woolworth's decision to pursue an ambitious carbon reduction target of 40% by 2015 across its entire business through a broad range of initiatives.

Historically the Energy Efficient alternates have carried a price premium to the incandescent globe and this has discouraged some customers from making the switch. This is now more than ever a false economy as the Energy Efficient alternates last many times longer than the incandescent bulb and use a fifth of the energy to operate. Along with this the retail price of Energy Efficient lights has decreased significantly in recent times meaning that real savings are to be made within twelve months of use. The diversity of styles and quality of the Energy Efficient product has also greatly improved at the same time.

We appreciate our progressive move to remove the older inefficient incandescent bulbs will not please everyone, but trust our decision is in the broader best interests of the community.

Naum Onikul
Director of Supermarkets

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH (2). Email me (John Ray) here

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