Money bags

Hey, big spender!

30 Nov 2018

Guy Pollington took great exception to Camelot’s response that its “overarching objective is to raise as much money as pos…


Energy bill

Power Points

04 Oct 2018 Updated: 05 Oct 2018

Most people don’t fall for cold calls these days, even if they are in the market for the very thing being offered…

Dear Jac

Jingle jangle

21 Mar 2018 Updated: 23 Mar 2018

No, not tills…spurs. Those ratings cowboys, RVA surveyors, are still around….

This required prompt action or face the threat of bankruptcy

02 Nov 2018

It was really an idle threat though that collapsed when challenged…

Watch out for statutory demands - they need a reply

26 Oct 2018

If you don’t respond they could bankrupt you…

Oops, there was a glitch in the electronic world of card payments

05 Oct 2018

And thousands of customers got charged twice…

When it comes to chargebacks, the retailer is the fall guy

24 Aug 2018

Is there somewhere official one can complain about the unfairness?…

It was bad but it could have been worse

25 Jul 2018

What do you do when you get a crowd ‘shopping’?…

Cops and robbers and the in-between territory

23 Feb 2018

What’s your stand on playing policeman on your own turf?…

He didn't choose to have his day in court

26 Jan 2018

…but after months of stress he won…

Such a good cause...

01 Dec 2017

And it’s such an old scam. It ruins it for the genuine charities…

Dear Jac

One school of thought

01 Nov 2017 Updated: 03 Nov 2017

Bharat Dalal’s wife Anna received a letter through the post thanking her for supporting a local community initiative…

This retailer is back on his soapbox over contactless cards

22 Sep 2017

And he cannot be persuaded in their favour…

Dear Jac

Adding insult to injury

22 Sep 2017

It was bad enough that two con artists got away with 320 euros but the fact that the authorities couldn’t give a toss made…

Selling up? Do be careful who you sign up with

14 Aug 2017

Some agents see a nice percentage for very little work…

This could have been a gotcha! Except he didn't fall for it

14 Jul 2017

Don’t agree to anything on the phone, especially if you didn’t make the call…


Dear Jac

Pass the parcel

07 Sep 2018

In the last issue we left Julie and Ian Shepherd in limbo with parcel company Hermes…

Dear Jac

A moving story

12 Jun 2018 Updated: 15 Jun 2018

Nigel Crocker got in touch from Hayes News in Cardiff on 10 May to ask for help in speeding up some forms from Camelot. 

Dear Jac

Winds of change

20 Apr 2018

All concerned in this story are anonymous because it suits everyone….

For some 500+ subpostmasters it's the trial of the century

30 Nov 2018

The contract, the Horizon system, the ‘partnership’ – it’s all being examined…

Talk about muddy waters. It was confusion all round

16 Nov 2018

But somehow we all muddled through, I think…

Give the Feds a chance to prove what they can do

26 Oct 2018

They can help you get a better service from your wholesaler…

Some stinging reports arrived from newsagents...

21 Sep 2018

Not wrong orders, late orders, missing copies…

Do you handle parcels? And do you keep tabs?

24 Aug 2018

One retailer has started double-checking and doesn’t like the results…

In 15 years they never had a problem with the National Lottery

24 Aug 2018

Then there was three months of fighting over Scratchcards returns…

And here's another complaint: different retailer, same wholesaler

20 Aug 2018

Why was the driver making decisions about the contents of the tote?…

This being written in a heatwave when sometimes tempers are short

20 Aug 2018

Riot weather they call it. But what if you’ve got a customer who is crazed all the time?…

If you do home news delivery do you get paid more?

25 Jul 2018

As they say in some circles, every little helps…

Dear Jac

Revenue stream

24 Jul 2018

Ajmer Johal’s store, GB Newsagent in London’s Kentish Town, used to have its water supplied by Thames Water…

Sometimes it takes a bit of time before things get sorted

13 Jul 2018

The main thing is that it does get sorted in the end…

Sometimes there's just no way round the middle man

13 Jul 2018

And of course it adds another level of cost…


Dear Jac

Shop around

20 Aug 2018

In mid-July I wrote about the issues Colin Steadman had with Worldpay and its increased costs of processing cards…

Dear Jac

Costly bit of kit

13 Jul 2018

I’ve speculated before on the price of cash machines and wondered how many times retailers have to suffer ATM breakdowns before their equipment is replaced.

Dear Jac

Doing a bit of banking

06 Apr 2018

A retailer wrote to say that their store has an ATM that keeps breaking down. That wasn’t why she got in touch though….

Contactless cards should not result in...

30 Nov 2018

The retailer is caught in the centre of a blame game…

You can't tell a book by its cover...

02 Nov 2018

Just because they don’t look crooked doesn’t mean they aren’t…

It was just another admin screw-up but ouch...

26 Oct 2018

When £2K of your money goes missing, it is sorely missed…

Chargebacks in the limelight again - something needs to be done

07 Sep 2018

And this retailer is on a bit of a crusade to set things straight…

Are police ignoring crime-hit retailers?

25 Jul 2018

All the evidence unfortunately points to ‘yes’…

Calling all hole-in-the-wall retailers regarding rates

13 Jul 2018

How many of you have settled out of court?…

If you scratch the surface there do seem to be some faults

29 Jun 2018

An automated system is supposed to keep the National Lottery running smoothly…

All they want is a fully-functioning cash machine...

01 Jun 2018

…one that gives out money on request, not keeps it for itself…

A direct debit screw up can have spiralling consequences

04 May 2018

And we are not not talking peanuts here – it’s thousands…

Here's a tip from a super-savvy retailer on the equipment front

04 May 2018

Head for the high street and avoid the tie-you-in-knots contracts…

Rules is rules: make sure you follow them

20 Apr 2018

Although in this case, it wasn’t very clear and the cost was dear…

Their system is a tough one but they're not bad people

06 Apr 2018

PayPoint shows its soft side…and it’s rather pleasant…



Lost and found

27 Jun 2018 Updated: 29 Jun 2018

Delivery man walks into a village post office looking all lost and says, “Can you tell me where Mrs So-and-so lives? I can…

dear jac

What a fag

01 Jun 2018

Justine Vokes wanted to know whether anyone would supply her with a vending machine…

Dear Jac

Caught on camera

03 May 2018 Updated: 04 May 2018

Did you know that if you have CCTV you need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and pay them £35 …

Most stores would prefer a captive audience...

02 Nov 2018

But, in most cases, it just doesn’t work that way…

The licence fee goes up. Why? Because you're in a new tax band

02 Nov 2018

So it’s a double whammy. The score is council one: you, zero…

Times change but the terms of the lease haven't

26 Oct 2018

And now the retailers are locked in the past by a knowing landlord…

Can I get rate relief on two stores fairly near each other?

21 Sep 2018

Not if the rateable value is too high…

Was this a case of sloppy police work or vindictiveness?

07 Sep 2018

The outcome was both devastating and unnecessarily ruined lives…

Why aren't there clearer guides to CCTV data rules?

07 Sep 2018

Ways to prevent falling foul of these new protection regs…

Just for a change...we're dispensing some really good news

29 Jun 2018

And believe it or not it happens to be on the tobacco front…

Hopefully the Feds will get somewhere with their new campaign

15 Jun 2018

Newsagents deserve better treatment than they are getting.

It's been a very slow burn for some retailers...

01 Jun 2018

The scheme aims to ignite cigarette sales but has stubbed out some loyalty…

You can't charge for taking cards but the ones in the middle can

01 Jun 2018

They’re chipping away at all sides, looking after their pennies…

In one week there will be new data protection rules in place

18 May 2018

Like all regs it has its funny little wrinkles…

It's still on the cards: why can't you levy a fee?

23 Feb 2018

One retailer argues that it is a product like any other…


Money bags

Hey, big spender!

30 Nov 2018

Guy Pollington took great exception to Camelot’s response that its “overarching objective is to raise as much money as pos…

Dear Jac


16 Nov 2018

I think this is one of the most satisfying pieces I have ever written for this column….


Delivering the goods

02 Nov 2018

The call I had from Chintan Patel represented a first for me: he runs a Londis store and he wants to offer a delivery serv…

Dear Jac

Profits up in smoke

22 Oct 2018

Hands up all those who sell tobacco at the recommended retail price?


Every little helps?

24 Aug 2018

When you have four stores and you join a symbol group you rather expect them to bring the goods to you…

Dear Jac

Setting it straight

15 May 2018 Updated: 18 May 2018

A couple of retailers got in touch after my ‘Rules is rules’ story…

Dear Jac

What a waste

07 Feb 2018 Updated: 09 Feb 2018

Plastic waste is now a very hot topic with everyone from David Attenborough to the PM on down…

It's another third party problem - always the trickiest

30 Nov 2018

And there are invoices waiting to be paid…

In the heat of the moment it seemed a good idea

16 Nov 2018

But it didn’t work out and now where is the refund?…

Past good. Present, not so much. doubt

05 Oct 2018

This retailer doesn’t like what he sees as the outcome of the Tesco-Booker deal…

At present we are in good shape, and the future looks bright

05 Oct 2018

Booker replies to the foregoing concerns of a disgruntled retailer…

Is the customer always right?

05 Oct 2018

What to do about the ones who bore you rigid?…

And here's another story on packaging waste...

20 Aug 2018

…this time ending on a hopeful note…

Was he or wasn't he owed some sizeable rewards?

29 Jun 2018

This is a very confusing dispute that seems to be digging itself into a hole…

This one also concerns a loyalty scheme...

29 Jun 2018

… and it too had an undesirable outcome…

Dear J@c

Jac Roper is fighting for a better deal for independent retailers

Help and advice are just a click away

If you have a retail problem that needs solving, you can contact Jac Roper in confidence here.


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Focus on energy drinks

12 Dec 2018 | By James Lowman

Store owners should debate selling energy drinks to children with their community, says James.


Digital ordering

12 Dec 2018 | By HIM

It is vital that suppliers embrace and invest in B2B e-commerce and are knowledgeable as to the key guiding principles, says HIM’s Chloe Kent.

Sam Coldbeck

Every little helps

28 Nov 2018 | By Samantha Coldbeck

Making your business more sustainable can be good for the planet and your pocket, Sam argues.

Alice Dolling

Beyond price

19 Nov 2018 | By HIM

With multiple players now in the market, it will be very important for discounters to start to differentiate themselves beyond price and value to have that competitive edge, says HIM’s Alice Dolling.


Self promotion

19 Nov 2018 | By James Lowman

The sector clearly needs to shout more about its benefits to the community, James believes.


Healthier range, happier shoppers

26 Oct 2018 | By HIM

Understanding the core differences between the average shopper and the healthy snacking shopper is essential, writes HIM’s Zoe Jag-Nathan.

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