Dear Jac

Independence day

09 Mar 2018

Sally Stringer believes she has been dropped in favour of bigger fry…


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…

If you were one of those un'appy retailers, don't pay up

30 Jun 2017

The company is now in liqidation…

It seems old scams never die, they just evolve

16 Jun 2017

Here’s a really sneaky twist from a business rates ‘consultant’

Charge backs are very unfair on the man in the middle

10 Mar 2017

If the card is not Chip and PIN enabled, you are at risk…

Another one bites the dust

10 Feb 2017

And according to online reviews it is good riddance…

Beware those pre-paid holiday cards and the big spender

10 Feb 2017

In fact avoid altogether, unless you know the customer personally…

Sometimes all that's needed is a quick email from the press...

18 Nov 2016

…to get the right sort of attention and outcome…

The bank makes a rule and charges you a fee...

07 Oct 2016

…to cover its back in case the bank breaks the rule…


Dear Jac

Independence day

09 Mar 2018

Sally Stringer believes she has been dropped in favour of bigger fry…

What was needed was extra support during this most difficult time

09 Mar 2018

Instead the supplier-customer relationship got very strained…

This is a fine example of staff being a best asset

23 Feb 2018

She got the bit between her teeth and ran with it…

Dear Jac

Dazed and amazed

21 Feb 2018 Updated: 23 Feb 2018

I got an email from Susan Lee asking: “I was wondering if you could help me with an issue with BT?”…

This retailer's case didn't look good at first sight

12 Jan 2018

…but a compromise with Camelot was reached in the end

Far from first-class service at the crucial time

12 Jan 2018

Support from the Post Office wasn’t there when it was needed.

Here's a warning about outrageous penalties

12 Jan 2018

It’s a rubbish situation to find yourself caught up in

Machine foul-ups are a very sore point for every retailer

01 Dec 2017

Who hasn’t had the frustration of a queue and a ticket screw up?…

Here's the latest episode in the fortnightly Smiths News saga

17 Nov 2017

This instalment focuses on the Stockport depot and Newcastle call centre…

Here's an update on the latest in the PO Horizon case

17 Nov 2017

The press release headed Group Litigation versus Post Office Ltd came in too late to run last issue.

Dear Jac

Crossed wires

16 Nov 2017 Updated: 17 Nov 2017

For the Gill family, switching electricity supply should have been a simple matter but it turned into a rather illuminatin…

Hello, hello. Can you hear me? I've got a complaint...

06 Oct 2017

… and it’s about your centralised phone system

Another retailer adds his voice to the clamour in this column

08 Sep 2017

Yes, it’s Smiths News and its poor service again…

It's not all about Smiths. There are two monopolies at work here

08 Sep 2017

Welcome back to the column once again Menzies…


A direct approach

06 Sep 2017 Updated: 08 Sep 2017

This seemed like such a simple request…


Hitting the wrong note, over and over again

09 Mar 2018

This retailer would prefer to start all over again, with a new machine…

Let's wish them a long and happy retirement

09 Mar 2018

Now that all the hassles are behind them…

Somehow the notice didn't get noticed, leading to cut off

23 Feb 2018

But all’s well that end’s well as service is resumed…

This couple would prefer a pay-as-you-go arrangement with Camelot

09 Feb 2018

This would allow a better Scratchcard display…

You follow all the rules about ending a contract

26 Jan 2018

They take back their equipment but forget to stop taking the money…

Dear Jac

New rule

12 Jan 2018

Jayesh Patel wanted to know if he could continue to charge customers if they used debit/credit cards or mobile apps when paying for their purchases in the new year.

He sounds like a safe bet, a good bet...

22 Dec 2017

…but Camelot has different criteria to everyone else…

ATMs are meant to dole out money, not chew it up

01 Dec 2017

And people lose their rag…take it out on you…go elsewhere…

Who should pay the price for stolen lottery tickets?

17 Nov 2017

Camelot kept him in suspense for a long time, and then suspended him…

It was literally a ticket screw up through a machine fault

03 Nov 2017

And the retailer thought the right thing to do was fix it on the spot…

The new plastic tenner has been in circulation in some places

03 Nov 2017

But not everyone was prepared, including the Post Office…

Here was a good response for the same retailer

03 Nov 2017

A recommendation for some decent CCTV…

Recommendation needed for a bit of kit

20 Oct 2017

You all have cameras so you must be able to help…

A cool result on the refrigeration front

06 Oct 2017

And a smarter image as a result, plus a chilled-out retailer

Dear Jac

Not up to scratch

04 Oct 2017 Updated: 06 Oct 2017

Anand Patel rang from West Street News, in Farnham, over Camelot’s Scratchcard replenishment system.


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…

Card charges are bad news and still on everyone's radar

09 Feb 2018

Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty……

The banks are passing on the charges...

26 Jan 2018

But the law is preventing retailers from passing on the charges to customers…

Self service was once a bright new idea

22 Dec 2017

Now it can be shoplifter’s help-yourself heaven…


Do you take plastic?

01 Dec 2017

Or, more to the point, how do you feel about taking plastic back once your customers have drunk their fill?…

The fag end of the new tobacco regs has been a bit messy

06 Oct 2017

It may have taken some time, but gradually it is all getting tidied up

The One Lite stand off takes its last gasp...

22 Sep 2017

…and the retailer is going to try the supplier’s tactics…

Here was some good professional help

30 Jun 2017

In a minefield of cowboys you need to be careful…

How is your plain packaging strategy working out?

05 May 2017

Can’t get your hands on branded stock already or stuck with unshiftable?…

How do you rate your business?

05 May 2017

Or more to the point, how does the local authority rate you?…

We all know there are cutbacks afoot at local councils

21 Apr 2017

But charging for trading standards advice is a bit rich…

We can't 'light up' hardly anywhere anymore...

24 Mar 2017

This new packaging is not as plain as the nose on your face…

Don't get stuck with stock that will soon be illegal

10 Mar 2017

How are your tobacco sales going? And how are you getting on with your reps?…

Good luck to this retailer in attempting to change the law

18 Nov 2016

It would be a great relief for rural traders if he pulls it off

Dear Jac

Light relief?

04 Nov 2016

It is a huge irony that the government is currently giving 100% rate relief to small businesses but only 50% mandatory rel…


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…

Not much space left so how about a joke?

09 Mar 2018

This one is making the rounds in the grocery world…

Dear Jac

Change of scenery?

24 Jan 2018 Updated: 26 Jan 2018

Dr Glyn Reece and his wife Judith have run Penny’s Food & Drink in the village of Huntington, Chester, for 29 years….

Are you all goody gumdrops, jingle tills, it's nearly Christmas?

22 Dec 2017

Or are you more bah humbug! can’t wait for it to be over?…

Dear Jac

Zero tolerance

18 Dec 2017

Nigel Crocker wrote from Hayes News that he had been taking part in Coca-Cola’s voucher scheme…

Just rewards, that's all he wants, but he'll have to wait

01 Dec 2017

If it’s a no-show rep, don’t leave it too long to chase…

How much clout would a local authority have over a monopoly?

03 Nov 2017

It will be very interesting if they even try…

Yes, we give a very good delivery service to our customers...

03 Nov 2017

…but there are limits to how far we can go…

This turned out to be a case of let sleeping dogs lie

20 Oct 2017

Do not disturb a very old ruling and it might not disturb you…

We're still in search of direct drop delivery of our daily bread

20 Oct 2017

We thought we had found a few crumbs but they didn’t rise to the challenge…

One Stop

If you can't beat 'em

19 Oct 2017 Updated: 20 Oct 2017

Asif Mahmood and his brother Kashif took an enormous leap last year…

You have to use your loaf when it comes to retailing

06 Oct 2017

But getting your hands on your daily bread can be a problem

Quite a shock: a recommendation for an energy company

06 Oct 2017

A live wire plugged us into a utility that’s doing it right.

Oops, we pointed the finger at the wrong Kerry

22 Sep 2017

So we are more than happy to set the record straight…

There's something funny on the cards in Leicester city

26 Jul 2017 Updated: 28 Jul 2017

Who is buying up all the SIM cards, and why?…

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.


Do you think Costcutter can retain a distinct identity once it is supplied by the Co-op?

View poll results


Quick wins to influence shoppers

06 Mar 2018 | By HIM

Mission-led merchandising can be key to driving higher basket size and spend, says HIM’s Giorgio Rigali.

Sam Coldbeck

Set an example

06 Mar 2018 | By Samantha Coldbeck

More red tape isn’t the answer to preventing the sale of energy drinks to children, argues Premier retailer Samantha.


Rural ATM threat

20 Feb 2018 | By James Lowman

Cuts to the Link cash machine interchange fee are concerning, says James Lowman.


Don't forget the elderly

07 Feb 2018 | By HIM

HIM data shows that those aged 65 years and older make up almost a quarter (23%) of total c-store shoppers, writes Heidi Lanschuetzer.

David Knight

The 'F' word

06 Feb 2018 | By David Knight

Consolidation in the sector has turned Budgens retailer David’s thoughts to franchising.


New year, new starts

10 Jan 2018 | By HIM

It’s helpful to know that 32% of men and 42% of women are this year making a new year’s resolution, says HIM’s Chloe Kent.

Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up

I wish to receive the following newsletters: