I had a quick half hour in the pub after work on Friday. I was greeted by seven different real ales. Six of these had the proper pump clip, and one had a hand written clip. The typical real ale drinkers at this pub are happy to try new beers, but if they find one they like they might stay on it for the whole session. I, on the other hand, will try anything new.
I sat near the bar and people-watched. Drinkers came in, and peered along the bank of pumps before ordering what they fancied. Nobody ordered the beer with the hand written clip. I have seen this many times. Customers like to see a proper pump clip. They probably have more confidence in the product; they like to see a professional clip rather than a scruffy hand written scrap of paper stuck over a no longer needed one.
I am not sure what the reason for not providing the correct accompaniment is. The price of a pump clip is pretty low so there's no excuses for not having them.
For what it's worth I did try the beer in question. It was nowhere near as nice as the other two I had. I am convinced the reason for its poor condition was that it was a slow mover. Surely a lesson to be learned. I would be interested if you have ever overlooked a beer in a pub because it did not have a clip?