Following our hard gained success with Marks and Spencer in 2016, we need to decide which national chain to target next. The chain must be national NB.
The Co-op, HSBC, Superdrug, Costa and Pret à Manger have all been suggested.
A recent survey of high streets in four British cities suggests that most places are still filled with piped music. The stress this can cause those working there all day is starting to attract notice.
Let Pipedown know your own choice during the next few weeks. (Anyone is welcome to make suggestions but those from members will naturally carry more weight.) The winner of this rogues’ gallery will be announced in March.
Recent reports indicate that several train companies are considering dropping Quiet Carriages on trains, on the grounds that such carriages are difficult and expensive to police and not really very popular. Write in to the heads of the relevant rail companies around the UK and tell them just how wrong they are.
And also write to the newspapers and even to your MP. This pusillanimity should be stopped!
Andy Mellors is the top personage at South West Railways, and his email address is email@example.com
Other CEOs’ e-addresses can be found at https://www.ceoemail.com/index-search.php
Piped music is a global problem that is, however, best dealt with nationally. Exact circumstances differ from country to country and can require different approaches. Complaints about piped music come in from many countries but few people have enough time or energy to do anything about it. So it is very encouraging that Warren Fahey, the renowned author, musician and cultural historian, has declared that he is ready to launch Pipedown Australia.
Anyone living in or near Australia who detests piped music should get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pipedown Australia should soon have its own website, a presence on social media and even celebrated supporters. Keep an eye open for it.
Meanwhile in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, the first fully operational American chapter of Pipedown has been making waves and getting publicity. See https://www.michigandaily.com/section/ann-arbor/quiet-ann-arbor-looks-limit-pipped-music and https://www.citylab.com/life/2017/12/the-backlash-against-piped-music/548399/
Contact Gina Choe email@example.com if you want to support their initiative.
‘The omnipresent curse of annoying muzak’ is the fourth most commonly hated aspect of hotels today, reports The Good Hotel Guide in its just published 2018 edition. (Poor Wifi reception, dim lighting in bedrooms and ‘captive’ coat hangers were the first three most hated things in modern hotels.) The Good Hotel Guide, one of the few such guides to remain wholly independent and impartial, gives full details about the piped music – or lack of – in each hotel reviewed.
All ASDA supermarkets turned off their muzac and reduced other acoustic and visual disturbances to a minimum for an hour last Tuesday to allow people with autism to shop in peace. This is a real advance: a major chain at last recognising the impact excessive noise can have on its customers. ASDA needs to expand the scheme to having well-advertised quiet hours every day of the year, however. Autism sufferers are of course especially vulnerable but they are not the only shoppers harmed by piped music. The 15% of the population with hearing problems are also badly affected, as are people with many other problems, from hyperacusis and tinnitus to ME. It is high time supermarkets woke up to this problem.
Email ASDA’s CEO Sean Clarke to press him to extend the scheme and make it a permanent feature of the chain, not a one-off. firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, keep protesting to the Co-op which is finally showing signs of listening to its customers. Email the Co-op’s CEO Steve Murrells, perhaps also pointing out how well Aldi and Lidl are doing without any music. email@example.com
Wetherspoon, owner and operator of more than 900 pubs in Britain and Ireland, has reported an almost 28 percent jump in annual pretax profit, helping to send shares in the company to a record high. Adding to the cheerful mood, the company said trading had remained strong in recent weeks. “Since the year end, Wetherspoon’s like-for-like sales have continued to be encouraging and have increased by 6.1 percent,” Chairman Tim Martin said.
A vital part of Wetherspoon’s appeal to customers is the (relative) quiet of their pubs, thanks to the lack of piped music in all branches. Other pub chains should take note.
A new survey from New York reveals the effects on human health of noise of all sorts. Noise is now second only to air pollution in its adverse effects on human health. Hypertension and cancer are two of the potentially fatal illnesses that excessive, non-stop music – which triggers a fight-or-flight response – can cause. And, as the report in Harpers Bazaar magazine points out, you can no longer hope to find a refuge in bars, hotels, restaurants or even bookshops, as almost all are filled with piped music!
‘Loud noise correlated with high-stress events that could damage tissue: thunder, animal roars, screams, or war cries,’ says Bart Kosko, Ph.D., a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Southern California and the author of Noise. So, in response to rare but loud threats, we evolved to spurt out adrenalin, cortisol, and other stress hormones—chemicals that jacked up our bodies so we could fight or flee. A constant gush of stress hormones actually restructures the brain, contributing to tumor development, heart disease, respiratory disorders, and more. And of course, our hormonal endocrine systems haven’t had time to learn that car stereos aren’t out to get us. ‘Today we regularly get similar stress-hormone surges from car alarms, ringing phones, police sirens, leaf blowers, jackhammers, and amplified voices.’
The problem is of course global and not confined to the USA.
Carol Caplan has had a Brilliant Idea: handing out Pipedown leaflets to concert goers as they enter or leave a concert hall. As people who appreciate music when freely chosen are among our keenest members, targeting people at such concerts should prove far more fruitful than thrusting leaflets at the general public.
Carol would much appreciate other Pipedowners’ company and support. This should take members very little time but ideally you should live in or near London.
She is also interested in starting a Local Group for Pipedowners living in London, especially those living in the N2, N3, N8, N10, N11, N12, N14,N21, N22 post codes.
Contact her at Pipedown@ossian.me.uk
People living in the USA have long complained about the problems caused by piped music there. Now the Ann Arbor, Michigan group has relaunched itself with a sparkling new website http://quietannarbor.org
Although their intention is to focus on local problems first – understandably, the US being a big place – they are very happy to exchange contacts and ideas with Americans from other states. So do contact them firstname.lastname@example.org