You can’t sell what isn’t on the shelves, can you?

Suryakant Patel, Novelty News, Crouch Hill in north London, rang to say that his crisps were not only overdue but, in fact, missing.

He had switched to Palmer and Harvey direct deliveries of Walkers Crisps in December (after being Pepsico van sales for 12-15 years). But his orders, he said, had been chaotic.

When he rang to place them he was asked for a postcode and told that someone would ring back. “But no one does. On Friday the message said there was no one there to take the call and no one available till the following Monday.”

So that weekend he had to go to the cash and carry to top up his Walkers.

The driver did arrive the following Tuesday and was due again later on in the week, but by this point Suryakant was looking for reassurance.

Pleased to report that P&H responded very quickly to sort out the teething troubles I should add that this is only the second complaint I’ve received about P&H in a good few years, and each time the response has been swift.

A statement from the company said: “We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service to our 55,000 customers. Unfortunately, in this instance the service experienced by Mr and Mrs Patel was below our usual high standards. We have since visited the customer, resolved their query and Novelty News is now fully stocked. Both Mr and Mrs Patel are happy with our service once more.”

A second statement from Snacksdirect md Chris Gott said: “We’ve simplified and improved our system for customers to log any queries. This means we can respond faster and ensure our customers receive the excellent service they expect. Retailers with any Snacksdirect queries should contact 0844 8464699.”

So there we go: belt and braces response.