Liz Cronin, who runs a Spar store in Staindrop, Co Durham, was offered £3 compensation after her VeriFone terminal went down leaving her without a card-taking facility for six working days.

She wrote a very good, albeit frustrated, blow-by-blow letter to customer services. It reads like a comedy of errors with ‘dead on arrival’ terminals and umpteen phone calls.

Here’s some of it: “We lost a significant number of sales not having a non-cash payment service for six working days; we lost all credibility with our customers who we kept advising would be able to use the service the next day; and we spent time chasing you for responses to our issue.

“And you believe that £3 is adequate recompense for this? It doesn’t even cover the time and telephone calls.”

She adds: “You have, I believe, refunded the monthly premium (£3) that I pay for the next-day replacement service, however have ignored the effect that not providing the service has had on my business and, incidentally, the fact that we have also paid rental for a piece of equipment which was not available to use.”

Liz says customer services told her it might be more than £3 - there may be Vat on top. Could be another 30p. She cannot put an exact price on lost business, but it’s probably a few hundred and she knows that legally she doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Perhaps her letter will produce a result. I’ll let you know.