I had a call from Gurdeep Dhillon, who is actually now an ex-retailer. He sold his store (Simply Fresh, Leamington) last November and the new owners didn’t want the sizeable range of magazines he was stocking so Gurdeep sent them all back, along with a few vouchers.
Smiths’ accounts say they have no record of it. Gurdeep wasn’t sure he had a record of it either, but was going to check with his accountant who may have the paperwork.
With all my fingers crossed (not easy) I emailed and phoned around to try to find out whether the Press Distribution Forum had managed to replace Dorothy King who had guided any number of retailers through the official complaints process before she left in December. And happily I got a call back from Linda Windsor.
Obviously, this is a new role for her and, I’m sure, a learning curve.But she knows something of the inner workings of the news trade, having spent some 16 years with News UK before moving over to the Press Distribution Forum. As with Dorothy, Linda’s services are free and she will know where to direct the complaints.
Just to be even-handed I am also in the process of sending her Edris Babrakar’s complaint about Menzies.
He says that for the past three months he has had to chase and chase for credits to his business (Arundel News, Benfleet, Essex) when he returns One Shot football stickers and trading cards. They owe him £200-£300. He asked me if anyone else had complained about the depot at Graves. Not lately.
He has also asked the NFRN to look into it, but nothing wrong in involving as many people as possible in showing news wholesalers that they need to be held to account when their service fails.