I need to add a couple of extra comments here to the above from Hitendra Patel (Costcutter, Harold Hill, Essex). Like many, he loved the cartoon in the last issue (Slave Point) and wishes he could charge 50p a transaction for bill payments. "I don't, but if I could, I could get rid of everything else staff, stock, everything. All I would need is a 4x4 kiosk and a telephone."

Hitendra processes some £15K a week for PP and does not subscribe to the footfall argument. He hands on some cute tips. "When I got the new contract I rang and said what about the customer (ie, me) termination clause? I could go out of business, times being what they are."

PP told him that, on a solicitor's or landlord's letter, he would not be penalised. What if he sold the lease? Not even then, they said. Okay, good, but he concluded: "It's not in black and white. Everything in the contract in your favour is in black and white." Good points.