Dear Sir,
Since Costa Coffee opened in the town centre I have been a regular customer, for most of the time collecting the points as I purchased the drinks. The coffee was good and the staff always very helpful and pleasant.
After the first lockdown, when they reopened, it was good to be back, after reading an article in the press I found that the VAT had been reduced to 5% on drinks and coffee was, in most shops, down in price, but the Costa in our town centre did not hand this on to its customers, so in reality the price went up. When I asked one of the staff they had been told the price would remain the same.
Having points on my card towards getting the free coffee and also liking the coffee, the next time I went in the price had gone up again. I found at Gregg’s the coffee was set at a far less price and tasty.
I still visited Costa and looked forward to collecting the points for the free coffees.
I recently received an email from Costa saying that the system was changing and now you would get a bean for every drink you bought and eight beans would get you a free drink.
The last time I visited I went to order and gave over my Costa card as usual and was politely told I had a free drink but the only way you can do this is by using a mobile phone, which I do not have (and do not want). So, I left the shop after one of the staff tried to explain this to me and seemed to agree that a lot of the customers, especially the older ones, would be in the same boat.
I complained to Costa that I thought people like myself are being discriminated against because we don’t have a mobile phone and that is the only way you can claim your free coffee. I have heard nothing back from them to date.
Costa say they go out of their way to look after their loyal customers, I do not think so, remember they did not pass on, as many others did, the drop in VAT, but also put the prices up. It is worth thinking about!
There are other cafes on the town who offer good coffee at good prices and McDonald’s is just down the road.
John Armstrong
Defoe Crescent, Newton Aycliffe