Natubhai Patel, Tudor Library in Croydon, South London, said that his scanned returns and News UK’s scanning frequently didn’t agree, and Suru Patel, who runs Novelty Newsagent in London’s Crouch End, went so far as to suggest a hidden agenda. People won’t be bothered to go through the tedious phoning-in process for a few pence.
He thinks it’s a nice little earner which also bumps up the circulation of the Sun and The Times. Steady on, Suru.
I handed both over to Dorothy King at the Press Distribution Forum who will guide them through the complaints process, and meanwhile I had a conversation with Richard Johnstone, head of wholesale and logistics services at News UK, who assured me that News UK would investigate these two latest cases.
He sent me a piece from Retail Newsagent, dated last October, which reported that it had had so many complaints (about the same number I had had) that it visited the logistics support centre, along with representatives of the NFRN, to see the scanning system for themselves.
A lot of newsagents who ring me don’t belong to the NFRN so I’ll tell that they visited a newsagent in London’s Islington for three evenings and said his returns process “seemed fail proof”, yet this newsagent had complained of persistently missing credits. A visit to the hub centre in Broxbourne, Herts, yielded no further clues.
Richard Johnstone seems genuinely concerned to rectify this ongoing problem. But, meanwhile, let me know if you are still missing credits and I will report them on.