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Jefferson Adams posted an article in Additional Celiac Disease ConcernsCeliac.com 05/03/2013 - Would you fork over five dollars just for browsing in a store? More and more brick and mortar stores are fighting against a practice called 'showrooming,' where consumers visit a store to view an item in person before buying it online. Charging a fee to visitors who do not buy anything is one new strategy in that fight. Adelaidenow.com.au reports that Brisbane-based Celiac Supplies, a gluten-free specialty food store in Australia, recently announced that it will charge customers $5 for browsing. The money will be refunded when the customers purchase an item. In an article that appeared on the Consumerist.com website, the store-owner, who gave her name only as Georgina, says that she implemented the fee to curb “showrooming.” Her store has seen a "high volume of people who use this store as a reference and then purchase goods elsewhere," according to a note, a photo of which appeared on Reddit.com Georgina's note adds that the showroomers she complains about "are unaware our prices are almost the same as the other stores plus we have products simply not available anywhere else.” The note closes by saying that the $5 fee “is in line with many other clothing, shoe, and electronic stores" that also face the same problem. Georgina told the website that she spent hours giving advice to as many as 60 people per week, who would go into the store, ask questions, and then leave without buying anything. “I’ve had a gut full of working and not getting paid,” Georgina was quoted as saying. “I’m not here to dispense a charity service for Coles and Woolworths to make more money.”
Celiac.com 09/14/2011 - There is a bit of a dust-up over the cost of gluten-free bread to UK taxpayers. It seems that either UK's National Health Service (NHS) is being gouged, or that the conservative party had released inaccurate statistics about the cost of gluten-free bread to UK taxpayers. In the UK, those diagnosed with celiac disease are given a doctor's prescription that allows them to purchase gluten-free bread from stores or pharmacies at cost that is partly subsidized by the taxpayer. The dust-up began when press reports stated that each loaf of gluten-free bread cost the NHS in Wales £32 (over $40), once the costs of diagnosis and prescription were factored in. This prompted a reply by major gluten-free bread-maker Genius Foods noting that Genius supplies the bread to the NHS at the exact same rate as it supplies to stores, and saying that Genius was frustrated by additional charges levied on gluten-free bread that it supplies to the NHS in Wales. Genius also said: “Some pharmacies, however, choose to order through a wholesaler, and in these instances the wholesaler can opt to apply an additional administration charge for taking and placing these orders." Genius added that: “This handling fee appears to be charged directly to the NHS. Genius Foods does not profit in any way from these charges.” However, the UK government insists that talk of £32 loaves is incorrect, and claims that the £32 figure came after the nation’s Conservative party read statistics as referring to cost per loaf, rather than prescription. Welsh health minister Lesley Griffiths said, "The actual cost for the single loaf of gluten-free bread in question is around £2.82, not the £32 claimed."