Despite being among the first 10 retailers to have PayPoint installed at his Costcutter in Harold Hill, North-east London, Hitendra Patel is throwing in the towel following PP’s announcement that it will be charging £10 a month for its obsolete technology.
When he signed up in the early days. CEO Dominic Taylor himself visited Hitendra’s store.
Hitendra still has an old yellow dial-up machine, so it’s slow and he is finding that the council’s rent cards often won’t swipe so he has to key in the 19 digits. He knows other retailers who tell customers ‘Sorry mate, it doesn’t work’ to avoid even trying to take the cards. In any case the council is phasing out both rent cards and council tax cards and is putting them on direct debit instead – it’s cheaper for the council.
He doesn’t know how widespread this is, but certainly it’s the case in other London boroughs as his considerable network of contacts have verified.
He says: “I used to take £12-14K in the first two weeks of every month for the council, but that’s now dropped to £9-10K.”
Before making his decision to leave PP altogether, Hitendra kept a record for two weeks of how many people made another purchase in the store alongside their PayPoint transaction. “About five people out of 75-80 per day bought something else as well.”
He thinks that PP’s contract is “bullying” and says that by quitting he will then be able to bank when he likes.
It will also, of course, save him in bank charges and he needs to cut costs because Lidl, after two failed attempts to get planning permission to open near him, has been third time lucky. There will soon be ferocious competition within a five-minute walk.
Now he has gone online to quit the service and received a confirmation. He thought, however, that after so many loyal years with never a failed direct debit, it might warrant a little more than a machine response saying ‘we respect your decision’.