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Transfers from other members & TWS promise

It is an interesting Q and all other things being equal and acknowledging the various points made, it is questionable that the Promise evaporates into thin air on the transfer of title from one member to another (howsoever the means and price), particularly when the wine is sat precisely where it was up to delivery to a domestic setting.

It feels fair that whatever would have been been done absent the transfer should still be done. Maybe it needs to be the original member who claims or whatever, which is something members can agree between themselves at the time perhaps.

This facility would be excellent to have, and perfectly consistent with the Society’s principles. Would it be an administrative nightmare in the reserves warehouse, though? Would they need rules on minimum swap sizes or on how often we could do it? Would they therefore need to charge a fee to cover that admin?

… and would they permit potentially significant profit to be made? Or only permit sale at original price plus storage. Obviously as things stand now they have no information on the price being paid in any transfer between members but if they were handling the whole transaction would profit be allowed? It could be argued that even between members making profit on the sale/transfer would be against TWS principles.

TWS should stop the ability to trade one’s wines. If you buy something, you should retain a one to one link between yourself and the seller (TWS) and not include any third party involvement.


The absence of a third party broking service may be a key issue and therefore it becomes a transaction between two TWS members.

I’m not sure there is anything official confirming this, but as we both know it happens, and no reason at all that it shouldn’t. Perhaps some clarity from TWS is needed here?

I think a charge would not be unreasonable. However, I also think that sorting out existing glitches is a higher priority right now.


I didn’t expect that wine in the cellar reserves are covered by the wine satisfaction guarantee. As all of the societies costs are funded by the wine we buy, ordinary members with no wine in reserves would be providing those with wine in reserves an insurance against the risk of their wine becoming corked over time. My view is that, if members want this insurance, this cost should be covered in the cellarage charge


For what it’s worth the Promise (https://www.thewinesociety.com/the-society-promise) explicitly says it applies to wines within the recommended drink dates and stored under suitable conditions.

Of course it’s correct that the reserve fees should cover the reserve costs, but is there any reason to think that keeping wine for longer increases the likelihood that the Promise is invoked?

It’s an interesting one and something upon which opinions can reasonably differ. With deference to higher TWS priorities, the ability for Members to transfer wines to one another would be great, without involving third parties. Whatever benefits accrue to the wine in Q should continue, as bought and stored with TWS. Anything in reserves is insured, as part of the storage fee.

Tastes change and wines evolve (and the burden to the TWS and members could become unacceptably high) so I don’t think it would be unreasonable to curtail the TWS Promise to obviously defective wines that are in Reserves. If sold defective then the usual replacement rules should apply. That the relevant member has not had the chance to discover such for the time it has been in storage should not change the position in my view. Not sure corking happens over time, just that the wine in question will deteriorate further over time.

One for TWS to maybe look at in due course but not a priority in the grand scheme of things I think.


Why do you think it isn’t already covered?

Isn’t that the same as the price paid for the wine that is then stored at the society?


Why wouldn’t they be if they are within their drinking window?? The wines are stored at TWS ensuring optimal storage conditions.
Also, the point doesn’t make sense, as the wine wouldn’t be in reserves if it was tasted and therefore deemed to be faulty. At that point the wine would have been released from reserves… just being pedantic of course.


Even though, to hear some people talk, I think that there are times that we (the TWS Community) think we run the Company, I’m glad this is not the case! This is just another rabbit-hole to throw everyone’s money down. Caveat Emptor rules!


Unless one of the parties involved holds a license, the sale of alcohol is ilegal anyway :slight_smile:

I might be wrong, but I don’t think a wine can become corked over time.

As far as I understand it, an individual bottle’s stopper either contains the ‘faulty’ TCA compound or it doesn’t, so I’d expect that there isn’t any increased chance of a wine being corked by ageing. It either is or isn’t at the point of bottling, which is why the guarantee should still apply, providing you are consuming the wine within TWS’ advised drink dates.

I also think that the refund for a faulty bottle will be for the original purchase price, so the cost to the Society of refunding a bottle bought many years ago will be less in real terms than refunding a recent purchase!


Unless they’re selling through a third party with a license.

Well, yes, but I think strictly-speaking the 3rd party must own the wine at some point. Another potential role that TWS probably doesn’t want to take on :wink:

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You are right that corked wines are faulty from the get-go.

For bottles faulty with TCA, consumer protection laws might give rights that apply beyond TWS’ time-limited guarantee.

I think you will find that sometimes TWS has bottles squirelled away under the radar, which can be used to replace older faulty wines. So the price refunded is not always an issue.


Having read the T&Cs and also the separate promise it seems to me that the promise only applies to the original purchaser.
The promise set out in the T&Cs only benefits the original purchaser because it is a contract between TWS and the original purchaser only.
The separate promise expressly states that it applies only to wines that you have purchased from the society. That is consistent with the scope of the contractual promise in the T&Cs.
You say you bought it through “wine owners.” The only outstanding issue is the terms of that arrangement which I could not locate?


It would seem to me more worthy to replace a corked bottle marginally beyond its drink window (it would have been just as corked a few years earlier), than to replace one in its recommended drink window simply because someone bought it but found they didn’t like the style of wine.

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Update on the conversation with members services:

We have escalated this for you and we can fully see your point, we hope that the remainder of the case is enjoyable, however a credit note has been raised for the value of this rogue bottle - £12.50.

So that’s nice.


Sounds like they’ve done it as a goodwill gesture without necessarily making it a precedent? One wonder if the answer would have been different had it been a Roumier Bonnes Mares…