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Customer loyalty taxed by Caffe Nero

BY Chris Green

A coffee drinker's angry letter to Caffe Nero, in which he enclosed his loyalty card in protest at the coffee chain not paying UK corporation tax, has gone viral on social media.

In the letter, Steve Pottinger (51) wrote: "I'm aware that what you do is perfectly legal... but at a time of austerity when vital services face cutbacks, it sticks in the craw. Loyalty cuts both ways. But you seem to have a disconnect when it comes to your responsibilities to paying your dues."

"I'd moved to drinking occasionally at Caffe Nero when I stopped going to Starbucks because they were dodging corporation tax," he said. "Part of it was almost a feeling of betrayal: 'What – you're doing it as well?'"

Starbucks came under fire in 2012 after it emerged it had not paid any UK corporation tax for three years. Following pressure it has since started paying up.

Yesterday Mr Pottinger received a letter from Caffe Nero's head of customer services Justina Virdee, which said: "I can assure you we don't take what you have said lightly" and offered to send a representative to meet him.

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