Smiths News is in the firing line again. Rakesh Sood, who runs Handerson's at Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, has been supplied by Smiths for more than a decade. Now it has decided not to credit him for missing copies. 

He's been told he should have reported the short supply early enough for Smiths to have sent replacements or in this case replacement as it was only one copy and really not worth all this hassle. He's been further told that it's in his contract. "Even if it's policy, what's wrong with being flexible?" he asks.

Yes, we are talking mere pennies here but if this is applied across the network, well, the pennies soon add up to pounds.

And Jayantibhai Patel rang from Fosse News in Leicester to say that Smiths charged him for deliveries over Christmas when the store was closed. "I finally got it back but I had to make about 20 phone calls. It's very difficult getting through to anybody."

He, too, wonders about the worth of the hassle. "My news bill is less than £200 a week and I pay £27 delivery charges and the phone bill on top."