As regular readers will know, Payzone and PayPoint come in for routine thumpings because they offer poor commission and between them have a duopoly verging on monopoly in the marketplace.
In Bill Siddhu's case (manager, Bargain Booze, Kidderminster) Payzone has a virtual monopoly because he needs to offer customers a top-up prepay electricity smart card service for his area and only Payzone offers this.
Bill says that in March this year he was very happy to hear of plans to renew the terminals, which would speed up transactions. The installation was planned for September, but it took 12 phone calls to make it happen (after being promised many times that the terminal plus engineer would be there) and there were no apologies.
Once the machine was installed, Bill discovered that the electricity top-ups didn't work. The terminal was eventually changed, but still didn't work. The engineer (who each time arrived without notice) tried three more new terminals. None worked.
So the original terminal was re-installed and Bill is back to square one. The old terminal, which is still grunting on, has problems of its own.
Payzone says that the company installing its terminals is not part of the owning Alphrya group, but says it will pass on the comments.
"It's like a concrete ceiling," says Bill. "You cannot get beyond the
call centre. Our service was down for more than five days. We have made numerous calls to Payzone but it does not seem to give a damn about how all this is affecting our relationship with our customers, which we have diligently built over many years."
He also says that the right hand clearly doesn't know what the left is doing because he regularly gets calls from the company about new services it has to offer. To him, this is adding insult to injury.