A letter from our Director
I hope that you are keeping healthy and safe and following the appropriate recommended precautions during our current unprecedented situation? It’s hard to believe that we are only in March and yet with everything that is currently happening both myself and our team here are looking forward to Christmas already, so we can enjoy the celebrations and put the start to this year well and truly behind us.
Naturally your own thoughts and attention will be with your family and friends during these difficult and challenging times. At Variety, we are doing our utmost to provide our Agents and customers with the best possible service, while at the same time adhering closely to the Government and Health Authority guidance to ensure the welfare of our team during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
I am pleased to inform you that the team at Variety are currently all safe and sound and virus free. We have adopted rigorous measures to ensure we keep things this way, and stay vigilant to the prevention of the virus spreading.
I have ensured our offices have been deep-cleaned, and our normal cleaning routines have been increased to include greater disinfecting procedures and frequency. We are sharing regular updates covering education, advice and practical actions to take, ensuring that all the Variety team are kept informed, keep calm and are prepared. Our team are also aware of the signs to spot if they feel they have the virus and have been informed to self-isolate should they, or anyone they have been in contact with, have the signs. All these measures have been put in place to restrict the virus from entering and spreading within our team and the greater community, and to ensure we can continue to operate our service for our Agents and customers.
So, for the time being at least, it’s business as usual here at Variety. We will continue to offer the great levels of service that we always have, to the best of our abilities, and for as long as we can do that. We have contingency plans in place should the situation change in the near future. Key members of our team have the ability to work remotely from home should there be a ‘worst case scenario’.
I therefore want to reassure you that your savings with Variety are still being, and will continue to be, deposited into our Trust Bank Account with Barclays Bank which is protected by FCSC regulations to ensure their safety. They will remain in that account until the time arrives to purchase the gift cards you and your customers have ordered. We have 40+ years of trading and have a solid financial backup. We are 100% sure our business will not be affected by the current/future situation and will come out of this unscathed.
We are also aware that some of you may have concerns about the general running of your Agency during these testing times, so we have indicated below some suggestions which may help to make that safer and easier for you:
- If you are concerned about close-contact with your customers, please encourage them to transfer their payments direct into your bank account, rather than giving you cash. Or ask them to give you post-dated cheques for the rest of the savings year which you can then forward to us as and when the date is due.
- Alternatively, your customers can ring our office directly and make a payment over the phone using their debit card (we will just need their name and address to find their account). Currently our office is open as usual (Mon – Friday 9am – 5pm and 9am – 12 noon on Saturdays). If this changes we will let you know.
- If you normally make cash payments at a bank or post-office and are concerned about that, then we have the facilities to take your Agency payments either over the telephone, or alternatively you can make your payments online. Please refer to the front of your payment book for details on how to do this, or telephone our office where we will explain the processes.
- Should there be a ‘worst case scenario’ and we are forced to close our office for a short period of time due to Government advice; you can manage your account online to make payments, view your statement, look at individual customers payments and orders, and even advise us of any change of orders as well. You can access your Agency online by logging in to your account through our website. You will need your PIN number and Agency number to do that. If you do not have your PIN number please ask us for this.
- If you are unfortunate to be unable to collect/send your customers’ payments to us for a short period of time due to self-isolation or social distancing, we would fully understand. Please contact us via email or telephone to advise us of this and we will put a note on our systems. Email email@example.com, or ring 0800 626876 to let us know.
Of course if you have any other concerns with regard to your Agency or the running of it, then please don’t hesitate to ask us. As always we are more than happy to assist to the best of our abilities.
Finally, I would like to personally thank you for your continued support during these challenging times we are all experiencing. I’m sure that if we all remain sensible and cautious; do not panic and heed the advice of the professionals; look after our relatives, friends and neighbours who have self-isolated, particularly those most vulnerable to the virus’s effects; we will soon get through this minor crisis that is affecting us all.
Stay safe and healthy,
Variety Christmas Savings Club Limited