A letter to WHSmith

Dear WHSmith

I must express in the strongest terms my objections to your decision to continue to sell the magazine “What Doctors Don’t Tell You” (WDDTY). It appears from their responses that your company representatives have not understood the nature of the complaints made against this magazine.

To put it plainly, the advice given in the magazine is dangerous and, if followed by the magazine’s readers, your customers, it could result in serious harm. WHSmith has the opportunity to show itself to be a responsible retailer by removing this magazine from sale. To fail to do so shows a callous disregard for public health.

I have noted your previous responses to other complainants, in which you dismiss this issue as merely one of consumer choice. To Andy Lewis, your Customer Services Coordinator David Trollope wrote:

Our customers often have widely differing opinions about the products we sell, so we aim to strike the right balance to meet the needs of all our customers.

This is a grave mistake. I acknowledge that you must cater to customers’ various beliefs and political opinions. I am sure there are many animal rights supporters who would rather you did not stock The Field, or eco-warriors opposed to the sale of Fast Car. But this is not an matter of personal opinion. WDDTY contains factually incorrect articles that promote distrust of medical science.

One example: In covering the HPV vaccine that is to be provided by the NHS to teenage girls, with a view to saving 400 lives a year (NHS source), WDDTY says :

the UK has accepted a vaccine that has been rejected by India after an early trial, funded by Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates, led to the deaths of seven young girls and another 120 suffered debilitating side effects.

This is simply untrue. As Andy Lewis points out,

That trial in India did indeed report deaths after the vaccine was given, but What Doctors Don’t Tell You Don’t Tell You was that these deaths included a drowning, a snake bite and the effects of malaria.” (source)

In its “Corporate Responsibility” policy for business conduct, part 3iv, WHSmith promises to “provide products that are safe, fit for purpose, meet legal standards and are never described in a misleading manner.” If there is any doubt about the misleading claims in WDDTY, Ron Lewis has written a through analysis. (link)

David Trollope also wrote,

We work closely with the magazine publishers to ensure that their products meet the expectations of our customers

The results of this close collaboration with the publishers of WDDTY has fallen far below the expectations of this customer.

I would not expect, nor want, WHSmith to vet and censor every publication prior to sale. But when a threat to public health is brought to WHSmith’s attention then the company will be judged on its response.

Yours,

Mike Agg

Update, 13/10:

I’ve been manically busy this past week but now I can finally post the woefully underwhelming response from Juliette Cavilla at WHSmith.

Thank you for contacting us regarding the magazine “What the doctors don’t tell you”.

As the UK’s leading retailer of stationery, books, magazines and newspapers, we aim to offer our customers a wide choice of products, whilst also respecting customer views. Our customers often have widely differing opinions about the products we sell, so we aim to strike the right balance to meet the needs of all our customers.

We work closely with the magazine publishers to ensure that their products meet the expectations of our customers. Where we receive customer complaints about a certain publication, WHSmith commits to raise these concerns directly with the publisher.

Customer feedback is extremely important to us and I’d like to thank you for taking the time to share your concerns.

Kind Regards

For fuck’s sake. They reply with the very same stock response that I wrote to them about!

So there you have it. WHSmith don’t even bother to read their customer’s complaints before responding.

This utter failure to listen to customer’s concerns, more than their decision to stock WDDTY, is indicative to me of a company with no sense of responsibility.

 

11 thoughts on “A letter to WHSmith

  1. “I would not expect, nor want, WHSmith to vet and censor every publication prior to sale. But when a threat to public health is brought to WHSmith’s attention then the company will be judged on its response.” Bull

    So it’s ok for the government to spend tax payer’s money on a fake flu pandemic and put everyones life at risk with unproven woo vaccines and antiviral. Double standards apply.

    1. “So it’s ok for the government to spend tax payer’s money on a fake flu pandemic…”
      Who thinks that?

  2. Quite a lot of people judging by the number of vaccines not taken up. Recent publication on Tamiflu highlight its wooness, and Poland officially rejected pleas by the CDC to adopt compulsory vaccine programmes for the last scamdemic. Didn’t you know that when the BMJ asked Roche for all the data on Tamiflu use in the last scamdemic the official answer was that they had lost it, all of it!

    We have no EBM for antivirals and flu, we have the Cochraine review on flu vaccine telling us it’s as useful as a paper bag for a piss and you wonder who thinks flu jabs are wrong?

    I find it rather amusing that your site seems to claim some kind of science highground yet is just not up to speed on evidence, peer reviewed or not.

    It’s more like some church hymnsheet, and the great lord CDC said……………..

  3. You are not really making sense. You said “So it’s ok for the government to spend tax payer’s money on a fake flu pandemic and put everyones life at risk with unproven woo vaccines and antiviral.” Either the pandemic is fake, or people’s lives are at risk. You can’t have it both ways.

    As for your accusation that we are not “up to speed on evidence”, that may be so. Can you help by pointing out which specific claim on this site goes against the published evidence? I certainly don’t think my friends and I have made claims about Tamiflu on this blog, and we are fully behind the campaign to get Roche, and all the other drug companies, to publish their trial data in full.

    I must admit, your claim that Roche’s answer was they had lost the trial data is news to me. Do you have a link that quote? The last I heard was that they had “refused to hand over much of its clinical trial data. For its part Roche cites issues of patient confidentiality and says it disputes the methods being used by Cochrane.” (BBC).

  4. ““So it’s ok for the government to spend tax payer’s money on a fake flu pandemic…”
    Who thinks that?” Mikey

    Well everyone I know and Poland who officially rejected the pandemic claims and refused to spend any money on it. Ok you could argue that because everyone in Mexico city was ordered to stay indoors and the murder rate went down dramatically (Mexico city has the highest murder rate per capita in the world) that the vaccine did save lives, but only a vaccine believer would try that weasel route.

  5. Hey I just bought a copy of WDDDTY, it’s very good, what’s the problem, people need to know that vaccination is dangerous.

  6. “You are not really making sense. You said “So it’s ok for the government to spend tax payer’s money on a fake flu pandemic and put everyones life at risk with unproven woo vaccines and antiviral.” Mikey

    You didn’t read this correctly. If there is no pandemic there is no need to put people’s life at risk by giving them drugs/vaccines that don’t work ie the risk of side effects are not balanced by any known benefit.
    Now we know Tamiflu is woo and the flu vaccine is about as crank as any medieval black bile.

    Does that make it clearer?

  7. Is anyone up for hiring a bus to go to a Berkshire Septic Soc meeting to hear Some people speak who actually still believe in vaccination or flu pandemics?
    Maybe we could film them and put it on u tube?
    Could be quite historic! I think the next one is in a place called Risky in Reading, the last Tuesday of the month is watch a nutter day, wasn’t that where Oscar Wilde was put in jail?

  8. Maybe just hang nearby and listen, no need to do anything else at all, I still can’t believe they believe it’s scientific to suppress information to promote an opinion and then use appeal to emotion smokescreens too.

    Donations of £2 to £3 are asked for? and why one may ask, is that tax deductible or is is a septic tax, since when was sitting in a pub not free? and who is responsible for the account?

    Come on Mike, what’s your position on this?

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