The worm has turned. I and others have blogged about the venal behaviour of Boots the Chemists, and nothing has any effect. So I am not shopping in their stores any more. Last month I got a renewal notice for my contact lens contract, to which I replied thusly:
I am responding to your renewal letter dated 12th March. Please note that I will not be renewing my plan and I have cancelled the direct debit. I have no issues at all with the service I have received from your department, but I am generally very concerned about the unethical behaviour of Boots in general. Your head of professional standards recently testified before the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, and stated that there is no evidence that homeopathic remedies are effective, but that Boots would continue to sell them because customers want them. I have asked your head office how the company’s corporate social responsibility policy can sit alongside the marketing of obviously ineffective products with misleading claims, and the question is never answered other than with irrelevant platitudes. The problem not only relates to homeopathy, but to a wide range of ineffective products on your shelves, ranging from flower remedies to finger rings for snoring.
After decades of shopping in Boots, I have called a halt and will do so no longer until the company decides to stop misleading customers for financial gain. I do not for a moment think that losing my custom will change Boots’ policy, but I at least have a conscience.
Did I get a reply? I was excited when not one but two letters hit my doormat. The first complained that they had not been able to collect my money because I had stopped the direct debit, followed a few days later by another which demanded the March payment. Nothing else. Just about sums up their attitude really. Can there be any justification for shopping in Boots? There are other pharmacies and (in my case) opticians.