Dear Jac

A recommendation?

14 Jul 2017

I don’t like to recommend suppliers for fear of jinxing the arrangement. But I do like it when retailers pass on recommend…


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

Lucky dip?

09 Aug 2016 Updated: 12 Aug 2016

Distraction crime is not new – just sometimes different…

Red alert: the cowboys are still rustling in the wings

18 Jul 2016

Here’s yet another warning about cold calling ratings companies…

Sometimes stories on C-Store's website get surprising feedback

07 Jun 2016

Back in 2010 I wrote about a couple who had been taken to court by business transfer agents RTA.

Dear Jac

At this rate...

26 Feb 2016

A lot of people get taken in by ratings cowboys…

A beef about Hamburg: careful, you might get fried...

04 Dec 2015

…or at least wind up in a pickle, from this saucy scam…

Double jeopardy: it shouldn't be allowed

20 Nov 2015

Both the crooks and the banks got away with it…

Dear Jac

Dodgy dealings

26 Aug 2015 Updated: 28 Aug 2015

I recently reported that I had managed to get a retailer her money back following a transaction that used a cleverly doctored card…


At best this is a grey area in the rates world

14 Jul 2017

It wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t backdating their demands…

How do you get along with your bank?

30 Jun 2017

Presumably it will be better than this poor unfortunate…

Oh, feel this retailer's frustration

30 Jun 2017

15 weeks with a dead ATM is wa-a-ay too long…


Read all about it

29 Jun 2017 Updated: 30 Jun 2017

I was very interested in Roger Martin’s problem when he rang from St Helier, Jersey…

A lot of you are struggling with rates that have shot up

05 Jun 2017

This retailer is facing a £10K + increase…

You take a tough decision and then get clobbered

05 May 2017

It ought to be easier than this to just walk away…

This retailer is calling it 'the crime of the century'...

21 Apr 2017

Six police officers for flowers picked up off the street?…

Dear Jac

Justice on the horizon?

19 Apr 2017 Updated: 21 Apr 2017

Thomas Brown was a subpostmaster for a couple of decades, working in various branches in the north-east….

Dear Jac

Where's my money?

05 Apr 2017 Updated: 07 Apr 2017

It reflects on the retailer when the hole-in-the-wall machine gets a bad rep for being out of action…again….

A friendly landlord is a fine thing...

24 Mar 2017

And it can go badly wrong at the end of the lease’s life…

Another last shop and PO in a village

24 Mar 2017

The retailer is actually giving the business away – it nearly became a community store…


What a shocker

24 Mar 2017

I’ve just listened to a fascinating recording between a very amiable bloke and Teresa Marshall who runs Crofton Stores in …

dear Jac

Rolling to a stop

10 Mar 2017

It was smooth sailing for 26 years between landlord and tenant until it became time to sell up shop…

It's not in your nature to be rude...

10 Mar 2017

…then your card gets marked so you are on record as ‘abusive’…

Can I pay by cheque please? Wait a minute...

24 Feb 2017

…you’re going to put Vat on the payment?…


Dear Jac

A recommendation?

14 Jul 2017

I don’t like to recommend suppliers for fear of jinxing the arrangement. But I do like it when retailers pass on recommend…

The strange case of the kaput coffee machine

21 Jun 2017

The supplier says it was rodents…the retailer says it’s a sealed unit…

After conducting his own survey, he handed in his notice

16 Jun 2017

PayPoint was costing him money, and the council hasn’t helped



14 Jun 2017 Updated: 16 Jun 2017

Well, not quite jackpot, but a good result for Jean Alcock, Central Stores in Eardisley, Herefordshire.

It's (not) on the cards

05 Jun 2017

Here is a simple message. If a customer comes in with a card that is not Chip and PIN enabled, don’t risk it…

Message to those of you who signed up for PP's new contract

05 Jun 2017

Go online and read it, understand what you have agreed…

Dear Jac

Pay up, or leave

16 May 2017 Updated: 19 May 2017

The new contract sent out to PayPoint retailers created some confusion and dismay…

Direct debit failures: not a good thing

30 Jan 2017

And in the end it costs you even more money…

Just when you need it most, it packs up

23 Jan 2017

BT was to blame, but took its own sweet time…

Try to avoid direct debit failures with Camelot

23 Dec 2016

The consequences can be tough…

Are you among the growing numbers who take contactless cards?

19 Dec 2016 Updated: 23 Dec 2016

And moreover, do you trust them?…

Dear Jac

A happy resolution

19 Dec 2016 Updated: 23 Dec 2016

Here’s a cheery little tale appropriate to the time of year…

Dear Jac

No special terms

17 Nov 2016 Updated: 18 Nov 2016

Yes, supermarkets fall into the tough cookie category…

There can be costly consequences if you miss a deadline...

04 Nov 2016

…but a goodwill gesture saved the day…

Dear Jac

All wrapped up

30 Aug 2016

Here’s an irony for you. David Smith took on the myHermes parcel service for his customers three years ago…


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…

Having a licence doesn't stop there

09 Sep 2016

Not keeping proper records could land you in it…

That Very Awful Tax has got John fuming

12 Aug 2016

Why can’t you charge them for your time?…

Delivery times - it's all written down in a charter...

12 Aug 2016

…so you should take a quick study of it…

The wrap-around full cover up on fags is almost complete now

08 Apr 2016

So how do you set your stage to show off these hidden products?…

Dear Jac

Saddle up cowboy

07 Apr 2016 Updated: 08 Apr 2016

I learned a bit more about rates recently, owing to the Budget and courtesy of chartered surveyor and ratings specialist Ken Batty, who practises in Preston.

So, the status quo is maintained on Sunday trading hours...

25 Mar 2016

…and it’s cheers all round from our sector…

An oversupply of booze causes hiccups

14 Mar 2016

And the authorities may find this objectionable…


Sometimes you have to yell a bit to get listened to

14 Jul 2017

But the rewards are worth it in the end…

They say it's all down to location, location, location

14 Jul 2017

And it doesn’t help when they change the road layout…

He did it his way...and once again it worked

16 Jun 2017

But the writing is on the wall and it won’t work for ever 

Rent reviews: beware the commission-chasing agents

05 Jun 2017

But you might need professional help…

This triple whammy has knocked the sector for six

16 May 2017 Updated: 19 May 2017 | By Jac Roper

The living wage, business rates, plain packaging…and all at once…

A Happy Ending

A happy ending

05 May 2017

Ian and Sharon Laws ran three successful supermarkets trading as Costcutter for 24 years in Cornwall…

It's never too late to make good a promise of reward

21 Apr 2017

These stories will raise both a smile and your spirits…

Bridging that gap in the market

10 Mar 2017

There’s expert help at the end of the phone…

It's on the cards - it's the only way to play

24 Feb 2017

This retailer has some rigid rules on Chip and PIN…

One way to avoid a direct debit failure...

10 Feb 2017

…apart from the obvious one…

Rules is rules: they could have stuck to the book

30 Jan 2017

One retailer reckons that another was lucky to get away with it…

Loyalty isn't really its own reward: more is expected

23 Jan 2017

Two tobacco companies have come through eventually…

Tobacco sales down, overall sales up. Discuss

08 Dec 2016

Is this odd pattern happening to lots of retailers, or just this one?…

Stockpiling is not good business - selling is

08 Dec 2016

This retailer is still stuck with stock he cannot shift…

The arrangement is like an itch this retailer can't scratch

04 Nov 2016

But it is only once a year…so he’ll have to put up with it…

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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Meet our new Our Store columnist, CRA 2017 winner Donna Mullan

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The ACS will lobby to ensure domestic issues are not overshadowed by Brexit, says James.

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