Afzal Kassam, who runs Halliwell News in Manchester, signed up for Scratchcards, but when the package was delivered he realised it was a small epos machine. He says: “It’s all touchscreen.”
He tells me that, although it’s self-service, he has to confirm/verify every transaction as it happens. This adds up to 12 digits needing to be punched in. He has rejected the whole concept as too time-consuming, but Camelot is still taking £25 a month and also has £1K on deposit.
Could he get out of it?
A Camelot spokeswoman has replied: “We’re sorry to hear of Mr Kassam’s concerns – my colleagues have been in touch with him and are working with him to see what can be done. This includes the offer of further training and support.”
She adds that Camelot has now installed more than 2,500 Scratchcard terminals and most of these retailers are very happy with the equipment and how it works.
She says: “The equipment is not self-service and has never been positioned as such – the Scratchcards are still behind the counter and the retailer still has to activate Scratchcard packs and validate prizes. However, the new terminals do have a customer-facing scanner/media screen which allows customers to scan their Scratchcard to check whether or not it’s a winner. Therefore, it is necessary for the retailer to log in when accessing the secure, retailer-facing area of the terminal.
“We are aware that a relatively small number of retailers may find that this process is too in-depth/frequent and are looking into options that could make this process more user-friendly.”
On the deposit front she says: “For retailers who took part in the original Scratchcard pilot, the bond was set at £1,000. It was then reduced to £500 as part of the full rollout – so retailers who had previously paid the higher amount are in the process of getting £500 back. The bonds for Scratchcard terminals are held for the duration of the retailer’s agreement with us – so will be paid back if, and when, that agreement comes to an end.”
Apparently all retailers who have signed up a Scratchcard terminal have agreed to an initial 12-month contract.