This will probably surprise a lot of readers, but I have to speak out in favour of PayPoint. When I say PayPoint I mean my contact, Peter Brooker, who was head of communications. He has left to spend more time with his family in North Nottinghamshire after a hefty seven-year commute.

He was always unfailingly polite, prompt and fair, investigating each case with an attention to detail one seldom finds.

In his final case for us he was pleased to report a happy outcome. I had had a call from Thetna Patel, who runs Raka Off Licence in Clapton, East London. She says she got a call last November from PP asking her if she wanted to renew her contract. She said no, she wasn’t making any money on it anymore. 

Thetna says she asked the caller if she needed to take any other action, but the caller said no.

But then in March she decided to write to PP to confirm the cancellation for May. But it appears that PP took this as six months’ notice and had already taken £630 out of her bank for a termination fee (or she would need to keep the machine until September). She had never received a new contract.

Peter Brooker replied that he could see from their records that the retailer had called the contact centre in March and said that they were selling the shop and the new owner didn’t want PayPoint. “She was advised then that we had to have notice in writing. The retailer also asked what the charge for early termination would be.”

He adds: “I’ve dug deeper and it seems that their contract expired earlier this month, which means that when Thetna was told she didn’t need to put anything in writing, it was correct, as the contract she signed expired automatically. Unfortunately, we have gone ahead and treated the call in March as giving notice and charged for early termination. I have instructed our retail operations team to refund the £630 and to arrange for the terminal to be removed. I apologise on behalf of PayPoint for any distress this has caused Thetna.”