I asked her whether she had any paperwork spelling out the rules; whereas she once did, she no longer knew where it was. It's a long time 24 years.
When I looked through my files I found an out-of-date (2003) Liquid Milk Guide for Suppliers by the Welfare Food Reimbursement Unit, since replaced by the Healthy Start Reimbursement Unit (HSRU).
I contacted the Department of Health, which was very unhelpful. The woman in the press office kept telling me that I did not have a media enquiry and that this was a consumer issue and I should contact Trading Standards. I argued that it would be good to clarify the policy on returns for readers. She grudgingly said I could email her the details and she would see if anyone could comment.
She came back promptly saying, as she suspected, no one could. I took the precaution of emailing the HSRU and a helpful bloke, Rob Ward, administrator for the unit, sent me a link (www.hsru.co.uk), which spells it all out very clearly for retailers in the Frequently Asked Questions section. The devil as always is in the detail. So get the vouchers weighed.
I have also suggested to Bharti that she check out her insurance policy.
If this was theft, how was it done? Anybody know?