From the REPublic: Highway Robbery

February 15, 2012 · 5 comments

Hoo Boy. Trade events held at accounts can go one of two ways to help or hinder our standing relationships with Winebuyer. It should be all good, right? I mean, we’re showcasing their business… we’re paying them for food or service… but many times there’s a bump or hiccup or a rash misunderstanding of the terms and costs involved. Here’s an example of when it can go TERRIBLY WRONG. An ugly reminder to all of us Reps to get our agreements down in writing before said event takes place… 

Note: REPublic posts are reader-submitted.

Dear Mister Sommelier,

You know, I really do appreciate your business and it’s nice to sell you some wine when you’re in a buying mode/mood.

But it seems to me I’m the one who’s “getting the business” most of the time in our rather unequal marriage or partnership here.

Why don’t you simply be up front with all the reps and hand us some sort of manifesto explaining how things work.  You know, how you’re going to routinely squeeze the Bee-Jesus out of us in your on-going effort to get free goods, special considerations and such.

I mean, you’re always lobbying for “special events” to be held at your restaurant, on top of asking for by-the-glass pricing on all of a 6-pk of some hard-to-get wine.  You want best pricing and you don’t want to (or can’t) pay in the allotted 30 days.  You want the trophy wines, without having to help a brotha’ by offering some of
the entry-level wines from that winery.

Want, want, want!  Demand, demand, demand!!

Really, I ought to simply stop calling on you, but I ought to do so after calling the cops.

Let’s see?  How did this go???  Oh yes.  A winemaker visiting from The Old Country is in town, so we scheduled a trade event at your dining establishment.  I brought a number of wines to be poured as I hoped to showcase this guy’s wines and generate a few new placements and sales.  You didn’t pay a dime.  You even joined our little group, sitting down to join  us for a nice little meal. Thank you so much!!!  The winemaker explained his wines and politely engaged the assembled multitude in witty wine-speak.

Then you hand me the bill.
Like I said, I oughta call the police!

I’m billed for everyone’s meal, including the winemaker’s and, WTF!, yours!?!?!  And then, what’s this?  That’s not “corkage,” my friend.  That’s “screwage” you bag of….you’re charging me your wine list price for the various bottles of wine, even though I effin’ brought them myself!?!

There goes my expense account budget and samples allotment for the week.

Thank you so much.

I so look forward to doing business with you again soon.

But I’m bringing the cops next time.


A Frustrated Wine-Schlepper On the Frontlines

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