A forum reader posted a message to the ST Online Forums regarding the sale of complimentary bottled water to GV patrons. The premise of the complaint was that the bottled waters were labeled as "Complimentary" and should not have been sold. This is akin to selling products that are marked with "Not for resale", "Not for sale", or "Bundled as free gift". It’s like… collecting stacks and stacks of myPaper and Today Paper and selling it to everyone else for 50 cents.

Of course, no one will buy my papers in this case.

How can cinema sell bottled water it got for free?

Last weekend I went to a GV cinema and bought a bottle of mineral water at the snack counter. Later I realised that the label on it read ‘Complimentary from CapitaLand’. The next day I went to another GV cinema and saw bottles with the same labels among the drinks for sale.

I would like to know if selling a product to a consumer that had been received for free from another company is the right thing to do.

Nelson On Hun Ping

The response to the message posted is at best, laughable. After reading the reply a few times, I still can’t fathom what the management of GV was trying to get across.

Golden Village explains bottled water sales

WE REFER to the letter, ‘How can cinema sell bottled water it got for free’ by Mr Nelson On (Online forum, Feb 20).

Golden Village was having a promotion with CapitaLand which entitled CapitaLand Credit Card members to have two bottles of mineral water free with every pair of tickets purchased.

To help create awareness for this promotion, these bottles with the Complimentary labels were sold to our GV patrons as well with the approval from CapitaLand.

Although the bottles were labelled as ‘Complimentary’, the product costs of the bottles sold to non-members were absorbed by Golden Village. Only the product costs of bottles that were given to CapitaLand members were absorbed by CapitaLand.

In view of the feedback received from this promotion, Golden Village stopped the sale of this Complimentary CapitaLand Mineral Water on Feb 15.

We would like to thank Mr On for his feedback.

Annabelle Yap (Ms)

Guest Relations & Circuit Event Manager

Golden Village

So, to help me understand better, I broke the reply into lines:

  • WE REFER to the letter, ‘How can cinema sell bottled water it got for free’ by Mr Nelson On (Online forum, Feb 20).
    • Self-explanatory
  • Golden Village was having a promotion with CapitaLand which entitled CapitaLand Credit Card members to have two bottles of mineral water free with every pair of tickets purchased.
    • So, GV had a promotion and that CapitaLand Credit Card members who produced the card for purchase will be given the 2 bottles of mineral water
  • To help create awareness for this promotion, these bottles with the Complimentary labels were sold to our GV patrons as well with the approval from CapitaLand.
    • To create awareness for the promotion? I don’t get it. If the objective is to get members to sign up for the CapitaLand Credit Card, then you should not be charging people for it. You do not get your members-to-be to pay for your promotion!
    • If the objective is for your patrons to be aware that they can use their CapitaLand Credit Card to get the bottled water free, then all the more you should have just sold your regular bottled water and not the complimentary ones
  • Although the bottles were labelled as ‘Complimentary’, the product costs of the bottles sold to non-members were absorbed by Golden Village. Only the product costs of bottles that were given to CapitaLand members were absorbed by CapitaLand.
    • I smell smoke here. Lots of smoke. Let’s just say that we ignore the "Complimentary" sign for now, how is the prodict costs of the bottles sold to non-members absorbed by Golden Village when they are already sold to the patrons?
  • In view of the feedback received from this promotion, Golden Village stopped the sale of this Complimentary CapitaLand Mineral Water on Feb 15.
    • I hope you made enough to er… "absorb" your product costs
  • We would like to thank Mr On for his feedback.
    • But I think we’d all like a better explanation. If you scr*wed up, then an apology would be nice 🙂

Nonsensical corporate replies nowadays… tsk tsk. Someone should conduct a proper Customer Relationship Management 101 course for them.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 26th February 2008



Reader's Comments

  1. Tianhong | February 26th, 2008 at 10:58 am

    *smoke out* section retreat. section follow me.

    haha. I think I got smoke out by the the explanation. Corporate nowadays better still think that customers are stupid.

  2. xtrocious | February 26th, 2008 at 11:15 am

    I think the situation is the same everywhere…

    This habit of selling “free samples” is perhaps most prevalent at pet shops…

    I know that some pet food brands give out free samples for customers to try out on their pets with these satchets clearly labelled “sample – not for resale” but lo and behold, there is often a price tag on these samples…

    Profiteering anyone?

  3. ignorantsoup | February 26th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Wow it would seem that more and more companies out there are suffering from poor public relations.

  4. Daniel | February 26th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    I especially abhor the reply: “We regret that the incident happened”.

    Yeah, the consumer regrets dealing with you too. But you’re not sorry at all, are you?

    Nonsense answer, probably to cover themselves from legal action.

  5. malique | February 26th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    honestly, CRAP CRAP CRAP!

  6. kian boon | February 26th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    simply, absurd! Come on GV should have just admitted that it was a mistake and apologize.. total crap!

  7. techguy | February 26th, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    All this kind of replies is probably vetted by their corporate lawyers or PR directors.

    Tell you nothing, apologise to nothing.

    Being such a large organisation, GV would know very well that reselling “complimentary” products is not the right thing.

    Depending on the promotion agreement, the complimentary products can be sponsored by GV or Capitaland. The following could be the likely scenarios.

    One scenario is that the bottles are sponsored by Capitaland. Promotion over, GV sells excess bottles but did not remove labels. This is definitely not right and taking advantages of others here. But, the excess bottles can be returned back to Capitaland for other promotional uses, if needed. Unless Capitaland did not want the bottles back and GV simply saw a good opportunity to make a bit here.

    Another scenario is the bottles are sponsored by GV. When the promotion ended, GV sells excess bottles. The only problem here is that GV did not bother to remove the labels and thus, the customers felt screwed.

  8. JayWalk | February 26th, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Sigh.. folks at GV just too cheap to relabel these bottles before selling.

  9. ByPassing | February 26th, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    wah…really smoke grenade…

    P.S. Your Wish list, is it a Nikon D40X or Nokia D40X?

  10. GeekyCoder | February 28th, 2008 at 4:05 am

    These company really smart.
    Did they learn this trick from our government ? => If you can’t convince people then try to confuse them first. How ? By putting some irrelevant details for distraction so to make ‘honest mistake’ far more complex than it really is in hope that it bewilder everyone to even question it.

    Little did they realize that there is something called collective intelligence in blogosphere where it only takes a intelligent soul to expose it.

  11. aideseCat | December 23rd, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Some peoples says that you need, other that you dont.
    I hope you help

  12. celpCleat | December 23rd, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    Hi

    As newly registered user i only want to say hi to everyone else who uses this board 🙂

  13. GregoryMonroe | February 13th, 2009 at 5:56 am

    How you think, in our situation whis crisis its actual?

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