Upfront, dear customer and reader, especially in Europe, do your homework on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In the USA and other countries, do some research on what laws your country has to protect you regarding data issues. Subscriptions of cheap coffees lure customers into freely giving their precious personal data for future marketing! More on this at the bottom of this post. But under GDPR you can request for your data 1. not be included on Pret’s database, or 2. if you did subscribe, upon unsubscribing you can request for your data to be DELETED and request to not be contacted with advertisement in the future!
I have tweeted this before several times for people to not get lured into DM, mainly to keep the conversation public, but also because Pret wants customer data.
Pret sends little freebies in return for addresses.
If you want to unsubscribe from a website/newsletter but can’t find the feature, press F3 and enter into search “unsubscribe”.
Here is an eagle eye after my own heart:
You need to read the WHOLE text to spot it!
Pret has started collecting customer data since around 2018. They never used to do that before. If you scan through Pret’s Tweets and replies, you will see a LOT of “Could you please DM us…”. And then in the DM, away from the public feed, Pret is luring customer data out of them for marketing! 😀
UPDATE Dec. 2021:
A customer having a hard time unsubscribing from Pret’s marketing emails, and I’m not surprised at all. They captured it on video:
UPDATE on Pret doing data collection now:
In a NY Times article CEO Pano Christou speaks open about data collection, quote:
»The other benefit of the subscription plan is the chance to gather more data about its customers, who will scan a QR code each time they use it. “Pret have been very, very late adapters to this,” Mr. Christou said. Panera, he said, has a database of more than 40 million customers across the United States. … I think the richness of data today gives you an opportunity to learn much more about your customers”« Link
UPDATE November 2021:
Pret also lure customers into DM to get their home addresses with the promise to “pop something in the post”, and since the pandemic, they don’t send anything but just collect addresses. One of MANY complaints on this:
With the subscription Pret can gather data much faster and in greater volume. But there are MANY complaints on Social Media that makes it hard to unsubscribe, or when they unsubscribed Pret still continues to draw money from bank accounts, or Pret draws money a day BEFORE the expiry date when people try to unsubscribe etc. There are LOTS of complaints about the expiry dates on social media and I did an extra blog entry with some of the poignant complaints: Pret’s Continued Coffee Subscription Rip-Off. This technical “glitch” doesn’t look like a glitch, but a desperate attempt to keep drawing money and make unsubscribing challenging. Customers are sent in a loop when they try to cancel, or they wait for an email for days, Pret doesn’t pick up the phone, if they do pick up, the conversation is suddenly terminated … all in the name of “technical issues”.
More complaints. People can’t even delete their card details after unsubscribing! Pret needs a lesson in GDPR and a consumer watchdog to take a closer look at Pret as they’re always trying the dodgy thing until caught!
I write about the reality behind Pret’s “happy” facade and collect staff reviews and customer complaints. This is just a small selection of a long list and bigger issue. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is a reason why Pret and its leadership have such poor scores on Glassdoor & Co. If a multi-billion pound/dollar company under private equity looks too good to be true, just take a closer look.
Clive Schlee, since September 2019 former CEO even briefly mentioned the data base their building when asked in an interview on “Teddy Talks” (no, not TED Talks!). Mario Bauer noticed that for the first time people are asked to enter their email addresses. I took that interview apart on another blog post: Clive Schlee: A Case Study on the Fun Factory. And it’s notable to say that Clive Schlee at the end of the interview mentions that he’s getting his priorities changed from profit driven to more important things in what we leave behind. Well, now he’s thinking about his own legacy after having driven the company full steam ahead, ignoring warnings on allergen, two customers died and he still didn’t act UNTIL the deaths became public. Now he’s thinking about his legacy.
Schlee still remains in the background pulling the strings as a non-executive Director. He “retired” with this legacy:
… handing over to the new CEO, his prodigy Pano Christou. Part of the reason for their scores is in a slideshow, click here (opens in new window).
Click here for a slide show on complaints.
I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Please also see the MEDIA page for more.
Thank you for reading/listening.
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